The month of June signals the celebration of one of the most important historical moments in the Philippines. The 124th anniversary of Independence Day will be celebrated on the 12th day of June this 2022. Marked as a regular holiday, the Philippine Independence Day commemorates the declaration of Independence from the Spanish rule on June 12, 1898, at Emilio Aguinaldo’s house at Kawit, Cavite.
As a way to celebrate and remember this important event, we’re listing down facts that you probably do not know about the things that took place on Philippine Independence Day.
June 12, 1898, happened to be a Sunday and the declaration was said to have taken place between 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM. This year, the 124th anniversary of Philippine Independence will also fall on a Sunday. No weekday work holiday for everyone then?
Philippine Independence was proclaimed more than once
It was only through President Diosdado Macapagal’s Republic Act. No. 4166 that the date June 12 was finally designated as the country’s Independence Day. Prior to that, Philippine independence was declared several times. This includes Andres Bonifacio’s declaration on April 12, 1895, and by Emilio Aguinaldo on October 31, 1896.
It would also be important to take note that from 1946 to 1961, the country observed Independence Day every fourth of July as granted by the Americans on July 4, 1946, pursuant to the provisions of the Tydings-McDuffie Law. This was officially changed under Macapagal’s RA 4166.
The Philippine Flag’s Three Stars
If you’re in a history quiz bowl and you get asked what the three stars in our flag symbolizes, one would probably answer Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Contrary to popular belief, the three stars in our flag stands for the “archipelago’s three principal islands” where the revolution started – Luzon, Panay, and Mindanao.
Made in Hong Kong
The first official Philippine flag was designed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. While in Hong Kong, he requested Marcela Agoncillo to make the flag with the help of Agoncillo’s daughter, Lorenza Agoncillo and Dr. Jose Rizal’s niece, Delfina Herbosa Natividad. The flag was hand-made with fine silk while the sun and stars were embroidered.
Lost Philippine Flag?
The Philippine Flag, the symbol of Philippine Independence, did not fall short of being controversial. In Aguinaldo’s letter to Captain Baja dated June 11, 1925, he mentioned that the original flag was lost in Tayug, Pangasinan in their Northward retreat during the Filipino-American War. However, many people believe that the flag stored in the Aguinaldo Museum in Baguio City was the original flag that was unfurled during the proclamation of independence on June 12, 1898. In addition, experts found out that the flag in the museum was made of combined silk and cotton fabric contrary to what Marcela Agoncillo, the flag-maker herself, stated in “Philippine Herald” (published October 1929) that the flag was made of fine silk.
This and many more controversies surrounding the original flag’s whereabouts and other important events in Philippine History continue to scratch the curiosity of the Filipinos. As we celebrate the 124th year of Philippine Independence, may we also never forget why and how we are celebrating this historical event and the sacrifices that our ancestors have done to achieve the freedom we enjoy today. May we also continue to protect this freedom against those who attempt to take it away from us.
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