Friday, June 12, 2009

Philippine Independence Day

Today, we Filipinos are celebrating the Philippine Independence Day. This year marks the 111th year of Philippine Independence from Spanish Government. This is an official holiday so there’s no work, no classes in the Philippines.

The declaration of Philippine Independence Day occurred on June 12, 1898 in Cavite el Viejo but now Kawit Cavite, Philippines. Filipino revolutionary head General Emilio Aguinaldo, the first Philippine President, proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain after the latter was defeated at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

The declaration, however, was not recognized by the United States or Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War.

The United States recognized Philippine independence on July 4, 1946 in the Treaty of Manila. July 4 was observed in the Philippines as Independence Day until August 4, 1964 when, upon the advice of historians and the urging of nationalists, President Diosdado Macapagal signed into law Republic Act No. 4166 designating June 12 as the country's Independence Day. June 12 had previously been observed as Flag Day.

Every year, millions of Filipinos from all over the world gather around and celebrate this important day.


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