Philippine Independence Day: Commemorating its 117th Anniversary
Submitted by an ESA 2011 for Agilapilipinas Online Journal Publication
Yes it is the 117th Philippine Independence Day – do we really know and understand why the nation is commemorating it? Or we are just following the trend – so that we can make selfies with whatever related things or places put hashtags and post them in the social media.
June 12, 2015 – Marks the nation’s 117th Independence Day.
Dating back one hundred and seventeen years of celebrating; it all started in the caves of Pamitiran, Montalban, Rizal on 12 April of 1895 where Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, Restituto Javier, Guillermo Masangkay, Aurelio Tolentino, Faustino Manalak, Pedro Zabala and other revolutionaries initiated to have new members of Katipunan. To which, Bonifacio wrote Viva La Independencia Filipina on the walls of the cave – this is to express the goals of the secret society. Bonifacio then led the Cry of Pugad Lawin which signaled the beginning of the Philippine Revolution – and it was 1896.
Aguinaldo thought that the declaration would inspire people to fight against the Spaniards; it was then 5th June, 1898 when he issued a decree that June 12, 1898 will be the proclamation of Independence. And it was the Acta de la Proclamacion de la Independencia del Pueblo Filipino read by the author Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista – Aguinaldos’ war counselor and special delegate. The flag was unfurled for the first time at quarter past four while the Marcha Nacional Filipina was played by the San Francisco de Malabon. The independence was short-lived because Spain and America did not recognize the declaration.
The 1898 Treaty of Paris ended the war between America and Spain; the latter surrendered the entire Philippine Archipalego to the former. In 1899, the Philippines started revolt against America and achieved national sovereignty on July 4, 1946 thru Treaty of Manila.
And that is how the Philippines achieved sovereignty according to most of our textbooks and in the internet.
But still, have we asked why we are celebrating it every 12th of June?
Independence Day is celebrated annually; with nationwide parades and all flags are up. The raising of the national flag is done simultaneously at 7 o’clock in the morning while the national anthem Lupang Hinirang is playing. The Vin d’honneur is held in Malacañan Palace preceded by holiday honours of AFP to the President, followed by wreath laying ceremonies and presidential holiday addresses.
Prior to 1964, June 12 was Flag Day.
Former Pres. Diosdado Macapagal signed Republic Act No.4166 on August 4, 1946 to legalize the observance of Philippine Independence Day as holiday; but then he signed an Executive Order in May 17, 1962 that moved the country’s Independence Day from 1946 to 1898; on the basis of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s declaration of Independence in Kawit, Cavite – believing it was his mandate to correct history and that it would serve better the national aspirations of the Filipinos.
Former Pres. also proclaimed in 1965 through Proclamation No. 374 that Flag Day is every May 28th that was based on the first flag flown in battle in Alapan, Imus Cavite 1898. What we are observing today is former Pres. Fidel V. Ramos’ Executive Order No. 179 that Flag Day is every May 28th until 12th June.
The Royal blue field in our flag symbolizes peace, truth and justice; just like what we Filipino Youth are supposed to practice. So as the Scarlet Red Field that symbolizes valor and patriotism and that we should not forget that the White field reminds us of equality and brotherhood. And that the three stars are the three large archipelagos namely, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao; while the eight rays of the sun were the provinces that lead revolt.
Today is the day where we remember the sacrifices of our forefathers – from the 300 years oppression of the Spanish colonial government – from all the other oppressors.
Where the realization of their dreams were awakened from deep slumber that they want freedom.
The is the time where we most must not forget that on the land where we stand was once a land of bloodshed just to regain the freedom of our land and our ancestors meaning let us appreciate the sovereignty we are all taking for granted.
Let us all take off our colonial mentality – love our country more, think less for ourselves, meaning it is not always “what’s in it for me”; it doesn’t mean that the national events seen on media cannot affect us. Let us be more considerate, let us wear our national pride, fidelity, loyalty and unity. And to do that is live up to the Scout Oath and Law.
“ON MY HONOUR I WILL DO MY BEST; TO DO MY DUTY TO GOD AND MY COUNTRY, THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, AND TO OBEY THE SCOUT LAW; TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES: TO KEEP MYSELF PHYSICALLY STRONG, MENTALLY AWAKE AND MORALLY STRAIGHT.”
A SCOUT IS:
Once again, this has been ESA 2011! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!