Independence Day (Philippines)

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Independence Day[1]
Araw ng Kalayaan
Casa del general Aguinaldo en Cavite, Luzón, Filipinas.jpg
Aguinaldo Shrine where Emilio Aguinaldo declared the country's independence from Spain
Official name Araw ng Kasarinlan
Also called Araw ng Kalayaan
Twelfth of June
Observed by Philippines
Type National
Significance Declaring Philippine Independence from Spain
Date June 12
Next time 12 June 2014 (2014-06-12)
Frequency annual
Related to Republic Day

Independence Day (Filipino: Araw ng Kasarinlan; also Araw ng Kalayaan, lit. "Day of Freedom") is an annual national holiday in the Philippines observed on 12 June, commemorating the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain on 12 June 1898. It is the country's National Day.

History[edit]

The Flag of the United States of America is lowered while the Flag of the Philippines is raised during the Independence Day ceremonies on July 4, 1946

The Philippine Revolution began in August 1896. In December 1897, the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, an agreement between the Spanish colonial government and the revolutionaries, created a truce between the parties. Under terms of this agreement, Emilio Aguinaldo and other revolutionary leaders went into exile in Hong Kong.

At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Commodore George Dewey sailed from Hong Kong to Manila Bay leading the Asiatic Squadron of the U.S. Navy. On May 1, 1898, the Dewey defeated the Spanish in the Battle of Manila Bay. Later that month, the U.S. Navy transported Aguinaldo back to the Philippines.

On June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo led the declaration of Philippine independence from Spanish colonial rule. Philippines independence was not recognzed either by the United States of America or by Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippine archipelago to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris. The Philippines Revolutionary Government did not recognize the treaty. When the Americans sought to execute the terms of the treaty, a three-year conflict, now called the Philippine-American War, ensued.

The US granted independence to the Philippines on 4 July 1946 through the Treaty of Manila.[2]

4 July, the date intentionally chosen by the United States because it corresponds to its Independence Day, was observed in the Philippines as Independence Day until 1962. On 12 May 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal issued Presidential Proclamation No. 28, which declared Tuesday, 12 June a special public holiday throughout the Philippines, "... in commemoration of our people's declaration of their inherent and inalienable right to freedom and independence.[3]" On 4 August 1964, Republic Act No. 4166 renamed the 4 July holiday as "Philippine Republic Day", proclaimed 12 June as "Philippine Independence Day", and enjoined all citizens of the Philippines to observe the latter with befitting rites.[4]

Prior to 1964, 12 June had been observed as Flag Day, which was moved to 28 May (the date the Philippine Flag was first flown in battle).

Centennial[edit]

On 12 June 1998, the nation celebrated its hundredth year of independence from Spain. The celebrations were held simultaneously nationwide by then President Fidel V. Ramos and the Filipino diaspora. The National Centennial Commission was headed by former Vice President and Prime Minister Salvador Laurel. The body organized and presided over all events around the country. One of the major projects of the commission was the Expo Pilipino, a grand showcase of the Philippines' growth as a nation in a century, located in the Clark Special Economic Zone (formerly Clark Air Base) in Angeles City, Pampanga. Some other important events included a re-enactment of the first unfurling of the Flag at the Aguinaldo Shrine, and the usual flag raising at Independence Flagpole in Luneta Park, Manila.[5][not in citation given]

Holiday customs[edit]

As this is the national independence day the day is spent (either if it falls on a weekday or weekend) with family bonding with friends and relatives and outdoor and indoor activities. All government offices are closed on that day as this is a national holiday and so also are schools (June marks the start of the school year) and private enterprises save for commercial establishments. As required by law the Flag of the Philippines, first flown on that day in 1898, flies proudly in homes and establishments from as early as May 28, Flag Day, to the 30th of the month. Fireworks displays are the norm in Manila on that day as well as other patriotic displays nationwide. Kawit, Cavite holds a yearly commemorative act with the flag raising at the Aguinaldo Shrine and the reading of the Philippine Declaration of Independence.

National Independence Day Ceremonies and Parade[edit]

The ceremonial proper in Manila serves as the main highlight of the festivities as well as the simultaneous raising of the National Flag of the Philippines in various historical places nationwide. Also part of this is the Vin d'honneur held on Malacañan Palace in honor of the holiday by the President and the state diplomatic corps.

The festivities begin in Manila's Rizal Park or in selected historical landmarks of the nation as is the trend since 2011 in which the President of the Philippines, the Vice President of the Philippines, members of the state Cabinet and Congress, members of government organizations and state employees, representatives of the uniformed services (Armed Forces, National Police, Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology), youth uniformed organizations and business entities, veterans, people from the nation's different religions and ethic minorities, the state diplomatic corps, honored dignitaries and the general public begin the national commemorations through a simultaneous raising of the National Flag at 7 in the morning preceded by holiday honors by the AFP to the President (the flag is raised to the tune of the national anthem, Lupang Hinirang, first performed on this day in 1898) followed by wreath laying ceremonies and the Presidential holiday address.

Parade Proper[edit]

In the afternoon after the holiday toast or in the hours after the morning ceremonies in Manila, the commemorations continue with the civil-military parade at the historic Quirino Grandstand. It is a regular feature of the celebrations yearly.

The parade begins with the arrival of the President, Vice President and other guests in attendance. On the moment of the President's arrival, together with the AFP Chief of Staff, full arrival honors are given by cadets of the Philippine Military Academy and members of the Presidential Security Group with the PSG Band or PMA Band in attendance. As the band plays the "President's March" and the combined honor guard presents arms, a 21-gun salute is performed by a select battery from the Philippine Army Field Artillery Regiment (Regimiento de Artileria del Campana del Ejercito Filipino) in the same time. As the march ends, the honor guard commander orders the parade to order arms and informs the President and the CSAFP of the readiness of the honor guard to be reviewed. The guard is then reviewed as the band plays a review march. As the review ends the honor guard presents arms again and afterwards, after the guard orders arms, the commander informs the President of the end of the review. They march off as the President and the CSAFP walk towards the grandstand area to meet the other dignitaries.

It is followed by the National Anthem, a joint holiday ecumenical prayer, and later by the opening remarks and the Presidential address.

Civil-military parade[edit]

Before the parade would start, performances by dance groups and choirs celebrating the anniversary of the nation's independence follow the Presidential address.

As the parade commences, the AFP Combined Band plays "AFP on the March" as it marches past the grandstand and takes post to give way to the AFP parade proper, led by a general officer and his staff and followed by the color guard carrying and escorting the National Flag, the Armed Forces Flag and the component flags of the AFP and the combined color guard of the Philippine Marine Corps carrying the colors of the different units of the Armed Forces. Following the AFP contingents are units of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine Coast Guard. Joining them is a flypast of aircraft belonging to the AFP, PNP and PCG, and drive pasts of different vehicles of the uniformed services.

A civil parade follows at the end of the military parade. It is composed of contingents from the government and the private sector marching past the dignitaries. Floats celebrating the national holiday and marching bands take centerstage passing by the dignitaries in this segment.

Full order of the military parade[edit]
  • Armed Forces of the Philippines Divisional Contingent
    • Parade Commander and Staff
    • National, Armed Forces And MSCs Color Guard
    • Armed Forces Units Color Guard
    • AFP Composite Band
    • 1st Parade Brigade
      • Brigade Commander and Staff
      • Philippine Military Academy
      • Officer Candidate Schools of the Armed Forces
      • Presidential Security Group
      • Philippine Army Security and Escort Battalion
      • Philippine Air Force Honor and Escort Squadron
      • Philippine Navy Headquarters Security Group
      • AFP General Headquarters and Headquarters Service Command
      • AFP Technical and Administrative Service
    • 2nd Parade Brigade
      • Brigade Commander and Staff
      • Philippine Army Infantry
      • PA First Scout Ranger Regiment
      • Philippine Army Special Operations Command
      • Philippine Marine Corps
      • AFP Special Forces Combined Battalion
      • AFP Composite Female Battalion
      • AFP Composite Search and Rescue Operations Battalion
      • AFP Reserve Command
      • AFP Peacekeeping Operations Center Cadet Battalion
  • Philippine National Police Divisional Contingent
    • Parade Commander and Staff
    • Philippine National Police Academy Band
    • PNP Color Guard
    • 1st Parade Brigade
    • 2nd Parade Brigade
      • National Police Institute Cadet Battalions
      • PNP Special Action Force
      • PNP Regional Public Safety Battalion - National Capital Region
      • Composite Battalion of PNP Units in the National Capital Region
      • K-9 Bomb-Sniffing Dog Detachments

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]