I am not in school today because my teacher said Friday, June 12th is Philippine Independence Day and it is a national holiday..
My teacher said that every year, millions of Filipinos from all over the world gather around and celebrate this important day.
She told our class that the Philippine Declaration of Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in the Philippines. Filipino revolutionary head General Emilio Aguinaldo (who later became the Philippines’ first Republican President) proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain after the latter was defeated at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.
The declaration however was short lived as it was not recognized by the United States or Spain. The reason was because the Spanish government ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, in consideration for an indemnity for Spanish expenses and assets lost.
In the Treaty of Manila, the US recognized Philippine independence on July 4, 1946 and it was observed in the Philippines until President Diosdado Macapagal signed Republic Act no. 4166 into law on August 4, 1964, designating June 12 (which had been previously observed as Flag Day) as the country’s Independence Day.
So all Filipinos will spend this day celebrating and remembering the sacrifices made by our country’s heroes to bring freedom and independence to the Philippines.