Credits to thephilippines.ph
Everyone’s looking forward to the holidays and Independence Day is one of it. But do we really understand why we are celebrating this commemorative event in the Philippines?
Many are looking forward to this day to take a break from school or their work. They never realized how important this event is to our heroes. Now, let us look back in our history and appreciate what our ancestors did to achieve sovereignty.
After the Pact of Biak-na-Bato in 1897, a year after the Philippine Revolution began, a peace treaty was signed between the Spanish colonial government and the Filipino revolutionaries. As agreed by both parties, Emilio Aguinaldo together with the other revolutionary leaders went to Hong Kong in exile.
On May 1, 1898, the American forces defeated the Spaniards in just a matter of hours in the Battle of Manila Bay. It is decided then by Emilio Aguinaldo to return to Philippines to support the Americans’ fight against Spaniards in which they gain victory.
On the 12th of June 1898, at the ancestral house of Aguinaldo in Cavite, the first declaration of Philippine Independence was made. However, this pronouncement was recognized neither by the Spaniards nor the Americans. Later that year, United States took over Philippines from Spain through the 1898 Treaty of Paris.
It is then that another struggle for Philippine Independence begun. In 1899, the Philippine-American War instigated. Several years of resistance from the US government had passed. Until July 4, 1946, just after the World War II, Philippines achieved its national sovereignty. That was 47 years after the Philippines started its revolution against the United States.
July 4 was observed as Philippine Independence Day from that year on until August 4, 1964. It was when Diosdado Macapagal signed Republic Act No. 4166 stating June 12 as the Philippine’s National Independence Day.