Republic Day (Philippines)

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Philippine Republic Day
Philippine Independence, July 4 1946.jpg
The Flag of the United States is lowered while the Flag of the Philippines is being raised during independence ceremonies, July 4, 1946.
Official nameRepublic Day
Also calledFilipino–American Friendship Day
Observed byPhilippines
TypeSecular, heritage, governmental
SignificanceInitially, celebration of the establishment of the Republic of the Philippines on July 4, 1946
Later, celebration of friendship between the peoples of the Philippines and the United States
DateJuly 4
Next time4 July 2022 (2022-07-04)

Philippine Republic Day (Tagalog: Araw ng Republikang Pilipino), also known as Philippine–American Friendship Day,[1] is a commemoration in the Philippines held annually on July 4. It was formerly an official holiday designated as Independence Day, celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Manila, which granted Philippine independence from the United States of America in 1946.[2]


The Philippine Islands were an American possession from 1898 to 1946, first as a territory and then as a commonwealth beginning in 1935. Between 1941 and 1945 during the Second World War, the Empire of Japan occupied the Islands; the Commonwealth government-in-exile headed by President Manuel Luis Quezon was based in Australia and later in the United States.[3]

A campaign to retake the country began in October 1944, when General Douglas MacArthur landed in Leyte along with Sergio Osmeña, who had succeeded to the presidency after Quezon's death on August 1, 1944. The battles entailed long fierce fighting; some of the Japanese continued to fight until the official surrender of the Japan on September 2, 1945. The country gained complete independence on July 4, 1946.[4]


Philippines Independence Proclaimed, July 4, 1946

Initially, the nation's Independence Day holiday (Araw ng Kalayaan) was held on July 4. President Diosdado Macapagal moved it to June 12, the date in 1898 on which Emilio Aguinaldo issued the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain. Philippine Republic Day was created in its place and kept as a holiday under Macapagal,[5] coinciding with the United States's own Independence Day.[6]

In 1955, President Ramón Magsaysay had issued Presidential Proclamation No. 212, s. 1955, which established the observance of Philippine American Day every November 15 —the anniversary of the inauguration of the Commonwealth.[2][7] Sometime under the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos, Philippine–American Day was renamed "Philippine–American Friendship Day" and moved to July 4, overshadowing the observance of the date as Republic Day.[2] After the 1935 Constitution was suspended under martial law and later superseded by the 1972 Constitution, it was impolitic to remind the nation of the old Third Republic.[2] This is why, when President Marcos issued Presidential Proclamation No. 2346 s. 1984, reference was made to Philippine–American Friendship Day, which was relegated to a working holiday without mention of Republic Day.[2]

In 1996, President Fidel V. Ramos celebrated the day as Republic Day.[2]


The practice of celebrating Philippine–American Friendship Day and Republic Day as a non-working holiday was formally abolished in 1987 under President Corazon C. Aquino.[8] Section 26 of the Administrative Code of 1987 specified a list of regular holidays and nationwide special days that did not include July 4.[9]

New holiday[edit]

On January 9, 2013, President Benigno Aquino III (son of the former president) issued Proclamation No. 533 declaring January 23 as "Araw ng Republikang Pilipino" (Philippine Republic Day), the anniversary of the proclamation of the First Philippine Republic.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Delmendo, Sharon (2005). The Star-entangled Banner: One Hundred Years of America in the Philippines. UP Press. p. 132. ISBN 9789715424844. Retrieved August 29, 2014.; Hunter, Duncan (June 12, 1991). "Filipino Independence Day". Congressional Record, Volume 132. Government Printing Office. p. 14634. Retrieved August 29, 2014.; Slater, Judith J. (2004). Teen Life in Asia. Greenwood Publishing Grou. p. 185. ISBN 9780313315329. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Philippine Republic Day, Official Gazette (Philippines), retrieved July 5, 2012
  3. ^ Office of the Historian. "The Philippines, 1898–1946". History, Art & Archives. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved July 4, 2019. At the urging of the Americans, Quezon’s government-in-exile moved from Australia to the United States.
    Abinales, Patricio N.; Amoroso, Donna J. (May 5, 2005). State and Society in the Philippines. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7425-6872-3.
  4. ^ Treat of General Relations between the United States of America and the Republic of the Philippines. Signed at Manila, on 4 July 1946 (PDF), United Nations, archived from the original (PDF) on July 23, 2011, retrieved December 10, 2007.
  5. ^ Fisher, Max (2012). "The One Other Country That Celebrates the Fourth of July (Sort of)". The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group. Retrieved July 4, 2012. Macapagal kept July 4 as a national holiday, though: Philippine Republic Day, which is still on the books but scantly observed. It is sometimes referred to as Filipino-American Friendship Day. Despite the colonial history, relations between the one-time colony and master are still good; many Filipinos remember how hard the U.S. fought to end Japanese occupation.
  6. ^ Pamana. Cultural Center of the Philippines. 1972.
    Vincent Alphonso Arino (1954). The Foreign Policy of the Republic of the Philippines. University of California, Berkeley. p. 89.
  7. ^ "Proclamation No. 212". Government of the Philippines. November 4, 1955.
  8. ^ "July 4th No Longer a Holiday in The Philippines". Associated Press. July 1, 1987. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  9. ^ "Administrative Code of 1987". Chan Robles Law Library. July 25, 1987.
  10. ^ "DID YOU KNOW: "Araw ng Republikang Filipino, 1899"". January 23, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2021.

External links[edit]