Araw ng Kalayaan

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Araw ng Kalayaan (Philippine Independence Day) is the Philippine celebration of the declaration of its sovereignty and independence from colonial rule after the Spanish forces were defeated in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.


Declaration of Independence

A depiction of the Declaration of Philippine Independence Day at the balcony of Emilio Aguinaldo (Kawit, Cavite) on 12 June 1898

Philippine Independence was proclaimed on 12 June 1898 by the Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo in the presence of thousands of people at Kawit, Cavite. During this historic event, the Philippine National Flag was officially raised and the Philippine National Anthem was played by a band in public for the first time. Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista read in the presence of the military and civil officials of the government the "Act of the Declaration of Independence" which he had written. It was signed by ninety-eight persons, among them an American army officer, L.M. Johnson, Colonel of Artillery.

The Commemoration

Philippine independence, however, was not recognized by Spain and the United States until July 4, 1946. Adopting the suggestion of historians and Filipino nationalists that the celebration of Philippine Independence be held on June 12, President Diosdado Macapagal signed into law Republic Act No. 4166 in 1964 and declared June 12 a national holiday. Thereafter, Independence Day is celebrated every June 12 throughout the Philippines with parades, firework displays, concerts and ringing of church bells.


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