Why celebrate Philippine independence on June 12?
By Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza
Those who paid attention to their history lessons will remember that the Philippines did not remain free of a colonizing power long after that declaration.
When the Philippines was about to commemorate its Centennial of Independence in 1998, the issue of when to celebrate it was a major debate among historians.
The Americans granted the Philippines independence on July 4, 1946. But given so many strings attached to that grant of independence, historians made a case for celebrating it on another day.
In 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal issued Proclamation No. 28 moving the Independence Day celebration to June 12.
This is because June 12, 1898 is the day when the first Philippine Republic, led by President Emilio Aguinaldo, ratified the “Acta de la proclamacion de independencia del pueblo Filipino.”