More than a century ago, the Philippines was declared independent from the hands of Spanish rulers.

It was June 12, 1898 when Emilio Aguinaldo led an event in his house to proclaim the Philippines’ sovereignty and independence. Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, the war counselor of Aguinaldo, read his written 21-page declaration titled “Acta de la Proclamacion de la Independencia del Pueblo Filipino” with conviction. As the clocks ticked down to 4:20 in the afternoon, the Philippine flag was revealed for the first time whilst the tune of Macha Nacional playing in the wind, singing to the ears of the remaining brave men as if the notes and words were tailored for each of them. It was a moment of glory and triumph for all the Filipinos who fought and sacrificed their lives for the country–a victory that served as the turning point for the Philippines in its journey to becoming a free nation.

A hundred and eighteen years later, this is the question worth asking the Filipinos today: When the calendars flip to June 12, can they still feel the spirit of this significant day, or at least know its significance and relevance to their lives? With the stresses of modern day, is June 12 has just become a regular holiday for them?

Right now, 65% of the population fall below the 40-year-old age bracket, which means youth, especially millennials, comprises the largest portion of our country’s populace. The fact that these people were born much later from the Philippine declaration of independence day itself is what makes this generation’s interpretations on independence day fascinating to know. The correctness of their understanding about this important event can also reflect their interest in learning more about the history of their land, boiling down to their efforts in finding out which accounts are accurate and not.

The declaration of Philippine independence was one of the most important events in the Philippine history. To celebrate it every June 12, government offices, schools, and private offices are closed to give way to celebrations. The Government also holds a nationwide parade that features the armed forces and different ethnic groups in the country. Fireworks are also exploded in the skies and a 21-gun salute to revel about the freedom we are having today and to give honor to the Filipino heroes who fought for that freedom.

More than the tidbits of information, there is a lot to know about the Philippine Independence Day–and it only takes time and willingness to learn. More than just a holiday, independence day is a commemoration of the bravery of men who saved the nation from the greedy colonists. And more than a commemoration, it’s a battle for freedom–a story of heroism wherein every Filipino is part of.

It’s another year of being a free citizen of own country. One way to thank the heroes is by taking time to learn more about this significant day. Things happened in one of the most essential moments in Philippine History and some interesting facts that most Filipinos don’t know, simplified in this infographic.

118 Years After: The History Behind Philippine Independence


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