Independence Day

The independence day in the Philippines is on June 12. Well, to be exact, it was on June 12, 1898, when the Philippine Declaration of Independence was proclaimed.

Short History of How the Philippines Got its Independence Day

It was during the Spanish and American War when after 300 years under the Spanish rule when Emilio Aguinaldo led Filipino rebels to proclaim the independence of the Philippines. Unfortunately, this dream was washed away when the Philippines was formally “taken over” or annexed by the United States for their peace treaty with Spain.

It was around the late 19th century when the middle class and Filipino intellectuals started calling out for independence. Here’s a timeline of what happened to just make it more clear:

…… Late 16th Century

The Philippines was colonized by the Spanish

…… Late 19th Century

As I’ve mentioned above, “the middle class and Filipino intellectuals started calling out for independence”

…… In 1892

The Philippines capital located on the island of Luzon is known as Manila. And, a secret revolutionary society called the Katipunan was formed in Manila. Their abbreviation is usually KKK. Anti – Spanish Filipinos (in Manila) formed and founded this society. Their main aim was that through revolution they would gain independence from Spain. Memberships for this society rose high.

…… In 1896

Unfortunately, on August 1896, the Spanish found out the plans that the Katipunan society made to rebel and revolts started breaking out around and across Luzon.

…… In 1897

This part of the timeline was when Emilio Aguinaldo (still age 28) took charge and became the leader of the rebellion. Aguinaldo decided to negotiate an agreement with the Spanish when the revolutionaries were forced to flee (or were driven) to the hills southeast of Manila. The deal made with Aguinaldo and his fellow generals (which they accepted) was that they were to be exiled in Hong Kong. This helped to temporarily end the Philippine Revolution, fill in the gaps for financial compensation and a promise for the reform in the Philippines.

…… In April 1898

Here’s what happened. Spain’s brutal suppression of the rebellion happening in Cuba, the Spanish – American War broke out. So pretty much what happened during this part of the timeline was a war breaking out.

…… On May 1, 1898

In Manila Bay (still in the Philippines) the U.S. had a victory annihilating the Spanish Pacific fleet.

…… On May 19, 1898

Although the Americans may have won the battle in Manila Bay, there was still an ongoing fight. Aguinaldo made an arrangement with U.S. authorities to be sent back to the Philippines and to help in the war against Spain. It was on May 19 when he landed, rallied his revolutionaries and started to liberate towns south of Manila.

…… On June 12 

V. I. C. T. O. R. Y.

This day was finally the day when Aguinaldo proclaimed the Philippines independence and established a provincial government. After this, he was made the head.

…… Timeline done.

So that’s what happened. That’s how we got our Philippine Independence day. But there’s a longer story to this and how it connects to our July 4 commemoration held annually in the Philippines which we call Filipino-American Friendship Day. Let’s just say that there was still a bit of battle left between


What Normally Happens in Independence Day?

Government offices are closed. No classes in all schools. Absolutely no classes at all. Business establishments (a great amount at least) except for shopping centers are closed, too. Limited routes for transportation such as buses, jeeps, and tricycles because of the closure of streets that are being used for the parades.

Many people (which includes students, employees and government officials) come and join the nationwide parade. There is also the police and military parade (which is known for it to be the main highlight of independence day) which is headed by the president followed by a speech and a 21 – gun salute. A lot of people also spend their time in parks and malls.

Other Places that have been Liberated and have Independence Day

Some places that got their Independence Day

  • Afghanistan
    • Holiday Day
      • August 19
      • Since 1919
    • Holiday Name
      • Afghan Independence
  • Bahamas
    • Holiday Day
      • July 10
      • Since 1973
  • Barbados
    • Holiday Day
      • November 30
      • Since 1966

Actually, the three places that I’ve written down above all go their independence day from United Kingdom. And, while there are 120+ places that celebrate independence day, I’ll stop for now.

Countries that DON’T have Independence Day

Just to be informed…

  • Britain
  • France
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • China
  • Japan
  • Iran
  • Nepal
  • Bhutan
  • Ethiopia
  • Thailand

Facts About Independence Day  

From Manila Day and Night

It’s suppose to be 16 days!!        
In 1994, as ordered by President Fidel V. Ramos in his Executive Order No. 179, the Independence Day is to be celebrated for 16 days, starting from May 28 up to June 12. Through this decree, the period was designated as flag days, during which all offices, agencies and instrumentalities of government, business establishments, institutions of learning and private homes are enjoined to display the flag. It was also in his term, on 12 June 1998, that the nation celebrated its centennial — the hundredth year of independence from Spain.

That would be really cool if people would celebrate their independence for 16 days! What’s your input on this?

About the Philippine Flag…

Did you know that the Philippines flag was made in Hong Kong with the design that Aguinaldo sent? The flag was made by Marvela Marino de Agoncillo with some help from her daughter Lorenza and Delfina Herbosa de Natividad which is the niece of Jose Rizal. More information about the Philippines flag is that it was first used on May 28, 1989 and not on June 12, 1898 (independence day).

Before I end this, let me just share with you guys what my view of what independence really is. Independence translates to be free. Independence is to not having to answer to someone else and being able to depend on yourself. Another word to describe Independence is the word CHOICE. We celebrate independence day because in the house of Emilio Aguinaldo in Cavite II el Viejo (present-day Kawit, Cavite), we proclaimed our country to be free and independent from the Spanish rule.

Yours truly,