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In the Philippines, Independence Day (Filipino: Araw ng Kalayaan) is an annual national holiday observed on June 12, commemorating the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. It is the National Day of the Philippines.

The declaration of Philippine independence from the colonial rule of Spain concluded the Philippine Revolution. Philippine independence, however, was not recognized either by the United States or by Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippine archipelago to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, and the United States granted independence to the Republic of the Philippines on July 4, 1946 in the Treaty of Manila

July 4 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, June 12, 1962 a special public holiday throughout the Philippines, “… in commemoration of our people’s declaration of their inherent and inalienable right to freedom and independence. ” On August 4, 1964, Republic Act No. 4166 renamed the July 4 holiday as “Philippine Republic Day”, proclaimed the twelfth day of June as the “Philippine Independence Day”, and enjoined all citizens of the Philippines to observe 12 June with rites befitting Independence Day. June 12 had previously been observed as Flag Day, which was moved to May 28.

Independence Day
Araw ng Kalayaan
Independence DayAraw ng Kalayaan
Aguinaldo Shrine where Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence
Also called Araw ng Kalayaan
Twelfth of June
National day
Observed by Philippines
Type National
Significance Declaring Philippine Independence from Spanish Colonization
Date June 12

Philippine Centennial Celebration

On June 12, 1998, the nation celebrated its centennial year of Independence from Spain. The celebrations were held simultaneously nationwide by then President Fidel V. Ramos and Filipino communities worldwide. A commission was established for the said event, the National Centennial Commission headed by former Vice President Salvador Laurel presided 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 for the last 100 years, located in the Clark Special Economic Zone (formerly Clark Air Base) in Angeles City, Pampanga. Some other important events includes the re-enactment of waving of Philippine Flag at Aguinaldo shrine, and raising of flag at Independence flagpole.

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The Philippine Declaration of independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in Cavite II el Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite, Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of independence, Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain, which had been recently defeated at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

The declaration, however, was recognized by neither the United States nor Spain. The Spanish government later ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War. The United States finally recognized Philippine independence on July 4, 1946 in the Treaty of Manila. July 4 was observed in the Philippines as Independence Day until August 4, 1964 when, upon the advice of historians and the urging of nationalists, President Diosdado Macapagal signed into law Republic Act No. 4166 designating June 12 as the country’s Independence Day.  June 12 had previously been observed as Flag Day and many government buildings are urged to display the Philippine Flag in their offices.

Philippine Declaration of Independence
Philippine independence.jpg
Created May–June 1898
Ratified June 12, 1898
Location National Library of the Philippines
Author(s) Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista
Emilio Aguinaldo
Signatories 98 delegates
Purpose To proclaim the sovereignty and independence of the Philippines from the colonial rule of Spain

The Proclamation Day

The original Flag raised by President Emilio Aguinaldo in declaring the independence in 1898

In the presence of a huge crowd, independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 between four and five in the afternoon in Cavite at the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo some 30 kilometers South of Manila . The event saw the unfurling of the National Flag of the Philippines, made in Hong Kong by Marcela Agoncillo, Lorenza Agoncillo, and Delfina Herboza, and the performance of the Marcha Filipina Magdalo, as the Nation’s National Anthem, now known as Lupang Hinirang, which was composed by Julián Felipe and played by the San Francisco de Malabon marching band.

The Act of the Declaration of Independence was prepared, written, and read by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista in Spanish. The Declaration was signed by ninety-eight people, among them an American army officer who witnessed the proclamation. The final paragraph states that there was a “stranger” (stranger in English translation — extrangero in the original Spanish, meaning foreigner) who attended the proceedings, Mr. L. M. Johnson, described as “a citizen of the U.S.A, a Coronel of Artillery”. The proclamation of Philippine independence was, however, promulgated on 1 August, when many towns had already been organized under the rules laid down by the Dictatorial Government of General Aguinaldo

Later at Malolos, Bulacan, the June 12 proclamation was modified upon the insistence of Apolinario Mabini who objected to that the original proclamation essentially placed the Philippines under the protection of the United States.

Surrounding events

Philippine Centennial

On June 12, 1998, the nation celebrated its centennial year of Independence from Spain. The celebrations were held simultaneously nationwide by then President Fidel V. Ramos and Filipino communities worldwide. A commission was established for the said event, the National Centennial Commission headed by former Vice President Salvador Laurel presided 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 for the last 100 years, located in the Clark Special Economic Zone (formerly Clark Air Base) in Angeles City, Pampanga.

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China has expressed concern about remarks made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who said that Beijing’s claim in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) exceeded what was permitted by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

In a report posted Monday on its website, the Chinese Embassy in Makati City quoted Hong Lei, spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, as saying that China had raised concerns about Clinton’s opinion when other countries had chosen to adopt a hands-off policy on the issue.

“On the issue of the South China Sea, nonclaimant (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries and countries outside the region have adopted a position of not getting involved in territorial disputes,” Hong said.

“On this important prerequisite and foundation, the Chinese side has consistently committed to safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea, region by means, such as negotiating and signing with Asean countries the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in parallel with our efforts to pursue dispute settlement through negotiations with countries directly concerned,” she said.

Two Democratic senators—John Kerry and Barbara Boxer—also criticized China’s claim in  the West Philippine Sea at last week’s hearing of the US Senate committee on foreign relations.

Illegal claims

Kerry, the panel chair, said “China and other countries are staking out illegal claims to the South China Sea and elsewhere.”

Boxer produced a map that  showed that China’s claims exceeded far beyond its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone provided for in Unclos and amounted to a “significant territorial grab that comes very close to the land borders of countries in the region.”

China, which is among the 160-plus nations that are party to Unclos that was concluded in 1982 and has been in force since 1994, has made expansive claims in the West Philippine Sea based mainly on ancient maps.

A map that China submitted to the UN in 2009 virtually claimed the entire West Philippine Sea. However, it failed to clarify the exact extent of its claims that overlap those of Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines.

According to the Chinese embassy, Hong also expressed concern about Manila’s supposed attempts to involve third parties in its conflict with Beijing over the Panatag (Scarborough)  Shoal also Bajo de Masinloc  to the Philippines and Huangyan Island to China.

“Attempts by the Philippine side to draw a third party into interfering or intervening through whatever means in Huangyan Island will surely escalate the situation and meet with firm opposition from the Chinese side,” Hong said.

Provocative actions

She also claimed that “the Philippine side has taken some provocative actions recently in the Huangyan Island waters, and the Chinese side has correspondingly strengthened management and control measures.”

“It was learned that the Huangyan Island waters is now stable on the whole. About 20 Chinese fishing boats are working in that area and the number is basically the same with that in the same period of previous years. The so-called around 100 boats are mostly one-person dinghies from the fishing boats,” she said.

Hong pointed out the operations of these fishing boats are  in line with related Chinese laws and China’s fishing moratorium.

“China’s public service ships are exercising strict supervision over these fishing boats to prevent any law-breaching operation,” she said.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario expressed confidence that the Philippines could settle the Panatag Shoal dispute with China, as well as other West Philippine Sea-related issues, citing what he called the Department of Foreign Affairs’ comprehensive “overall plan.”

Del Rosario pointed out that the Chinese were “in violation of the Asean Declaration on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea when they are preventing us from enforcing our laws in our EEZ.”

According to the DFA head, they had “broken up the overall plan into diplomatic or political, legal and defense tracks.”

Political track

For the political track, he said the country would continue to push for the transformation of the West Philippine Sea into a zone of peace, freedom, friendship and cooperation, where Manila would observe a rules-based approach to all disputes in accordance with Unclos.

For the legal track, the DFA plans to continue coordinating with other government agencies concerned as it resorts to a dispute settlement mechanism under Unclos.

For the defense track, Del Rosario said the foreign office had committed to help improve national defense by building a minimum credible defense posture to protect the country’s territorial integrity.

 Aside from the United States, at least three other countries—Japan, South Korea and Australia—were also helping the Philippines establish that defense posture.

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BOYCOTT CHINESE PRODUCTS! ITS THE MOST ECONOMICAL WAY TO SAY KEEP OUT! To the people of the world, I call for the spirit of the innate-vigilance in every soul that reads this article to be with us; Pilipinos. This time, i will ask not of your financial support for armory or charity as what our pity politicians does. I do not ask for your physical support or presence in any global protest my countrymen is cooking in every state of your country. I am here to ask for the greatest, most noble, creative and diplomatic way of living a “china-free” life. All things in the world is practically made in china, it is their power over us. We are at an economic war against the greatest tyrant ever. an old friend which use to sell us goods and services dating back so long ago that their ancient emperors will be awakened of this abomination they’ve created. We have to act now or else, every china product you buy will be paying for the very bullets that will punch a hole in the head of my countrymen including our siblings’, parents’ and children’ when war arises. I humbly know that we Pilipinos are economically weak, my people has their spirit broken by poverty and false sovereignty; but it doesn’t mean that we cannot call for a global support and warn everybody else of the possible things that may happen. as you see, if the Chinese government can do it to us, then they can do it to your country as well. Since I cannot go to the streets to protest. i’ll endure from consuming and buying chinese-labeled foods from supermarkets and won’t even buy from their local chinese merchants here even just for gift purposes (chinatown, divisoria, tutuban & etc). if all pinoys, or those at hearts and compassionate to this call (FROM ALL OVER THE GLOBE) will sacrifice by eating locally produced foods and buy local products, we will not just maintain the money (foreign reserves, gold reserves) within our circulation, we can also show the world that its possible to boycott the fruits of their labor. by such, their government will significantly feel the punch. compute how much things you have in your house that is made in china and realise how generous you have been to them. its time to stop supporting them. remember, their power comes from every reserves our central bank pays the IMF for the products and services we acquire from them. i know its hard to do for now, but you will find it easier as time goes by. Lets do our own best ways to be financially, economically and patriotically responsible for our country. a substantial local boycott of these chinese imports may not only weaken their economy but will let their own kind (the chinese expats) express their financial woes to their government. Even if china controls 97% of rare earth market, it doesn’t change the fact that china isn’t the world. even the greatest oppressors has been tumbled by the majority. it is historically proven and it all happened because of simple individual belief and faith. faith and belief so individually weak like a strand of stick in a bunch of sweeper, but strong enough to sweep a land of dirt if combined. have you not learned how the people has won over the country from the late dictator? its not because of people power in edsa, its just a visual and final demonstration. its because of the people’s voluntary boycott to his cronies and business allies which had the voice to command the rise and fall of a ruler. i have revised this for so many times because your support and those with you counts. you are an important part of the sweeper we want to create to clean the world of these corrupt power trippers. Hence,

1.) They (chinese expats & businessmen) will be heard because of our boycott. -these are politically influential people which voices can crumble or build governments. -Our purchases may be statistically insignificant for them but if we convice everybody and the world to stop patronizing their produces then it will be a powerful spear that may pierce their ambitious flight. they have soared with their belief, only our belief and faith can decide their fate.

2.) Our Central Bank Reserves will rise. -due to smaller imports to pay with gold or foreign reserve

3.) We’ll have a better credit standing in IMF -HIgher budget for armory due to higher Bank Reserves that will avail us more defense.

4.) We buy local products which will help the majority of producers. -Supermarkets has cheaper produces compared to the local market but i prefer to buy in local market because the profit goes to those who needs my money; not for the benefit of the complicated graphical lines defined by PSE

5.) We will be free from consumerism that has long withheld our ancestors. -You think you need chinese products? look better around and see the most creative of ways to live a chinese-free-life. consumerism blinds you; it makes you think you need the things you actually want. believe me, im prvately hired by companies to produce schemes to market their products.

6.) They will realise the toll of threatening their cash cows. -hence, will think twice nextime

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War is not the Solution

Please Government of China it’s obvious that the Panatag Shoal is from Philippines not yours, The World is watching , leave the Panatag Shoal and stop bullying the Philippine coastguard in West Philippine sea.

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Today, Filipinos from different parts of the world rise up to confront the bullying of the Chinese government in the region. We hope China hears us loud and clear. We may be a small nation, but we will not let our country’s sovereignty be trampled upon

The world is watching’

International opinion is one of the best deterrents against China’s overbearing attitude in the region, and We would like to expose the Chinese government’s lack of respect for international law and the sovereign rights of its neighbors.

Our protest action is directed against the policies and the bullying of the Chinese government in the Panatag shoal. It is not a demonstration against the Chinese people

Filipinos are in solidarity with the Chinese people and we urge them to convince their government to resolve the issue by sitting  in the international tribunal of the law of the seas (ITLOS) together with the Philippine government

We are glad that the United States has a hands-off policy in this matter as this is an issue that does not concern them. We reiterate that this is a regional issue and should be best addressed by regional stakeholders using multilateral mechanisms

I think ASEAN must now lend its voice to this growing clamor for China to stop its intrusions and withdraw from the West Philippine Sea. If we as a regional community cannot show our collective voice, then it becomes easier for China to bully every Southeast Asian country.



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