Happy 60th Real Philippine Independence

I hear many of my fellow Filipinos asking or shouting at me “WHAT?”

Yes, it is ONLY the 60th Philippine Independence. The REAL Independence Day of the State of the Philippines and the Filipino Nation is on July 4, 1946, this is the real thing, the real date.

Follow up:

From hereon, when I refer to “true Philippine Independence”, I am referring to the mandated Philippine Independence by the Philippine Constitution. When I refer to “real Philippine Independence”, I am referring to the July 4, 1946 Independence of the Philippines.

So what’s happening here? Why do we have two very different independence declaration? Is the June 12, 1898 “Aguinaldo” Independence declaration not real?

Let’s cover some historical facts, but first, let’s all agree that history has the final say on this matter, agreed? Good.

The 5th President of the Republic of the Philippines, President Diosdado Pangan Macapagal, the father of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said during his Independence Day adderss at the Luneta Park in Manila on June 12, 1962, of which the guest of honor was Aguinaldo:

A nation is born into freedom on the day when such a people, moulded into a nation by a process of cultural evolution and sense of oneness born of common struggle and suffering, announces to the world that it asserts its natural right to liberty and is ready to defend it with blood, life, and honor.

(Macapagal, The Philippines Turns East, op. cit., pp.1-2. Full text of the speech is in pp.1-8.)

If we are going to follow the President’s speech, then we can argue that the Philippines Independence was on 1896 and not 1898, for the “people, announced to the world… ready to defend it with blood, life, and honor” that year.

The war for independence in 1898 actually began in 1892 when the Katipunan (official name: Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan or KKK) was founded, on July 7, 1892, before the execution of Dr. Jose P. Rizal on December 30, 1896. Then there was the so-called “First Cry of Philippine Independence” on April 10, 1895 in Montalban, Rizal, the “Cry of Balintawak” on August 26, 1896, the “Battle of Pinaglabanan” in San Juan, Rizal (now San Juan, Metro Manila) on August 30, 1896, which spread widely in the island that on September 2, 1896, Mariano Llanera rose up agains the colonials in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija.

So why July 12, 1898? Why General Emilio Aguinaldo? Is it all because of his “act” and the waving of the Philippine flag? Have we forgotten that Emilio Aguinaldo ordered the assassination of Andres Bonifacio, the founding leader of the Katipunan or KKK and his followers? Isn’t that act synanymous to killing the Philippine “Cry for Independence”?

General Aguinaldo declared Philippine “independence” over the dead bodies of the Katipunan founder, Andres Bonifacio, his brothers and their followers. Aguinaldo’s goons murdered these freedom fighters. History has it that Aguinaldo ordered also the assassination of Gen. Antonio Luna in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. These were among the reasons the Aguinaldo proclamation of “independence” was parochial in scope. He had only limited support in his native province of Cavite and some neighboring areas.

Then on May 1, 1898, the Americans controlled the walled City of Intramuros, Manila, after their naval victory at Manila Bay. Much more, there was not even a single country that recognized the proclamation of “independence” made by General Emilion Aguinaldo. What General Aguinaldo proclaimed simply paved the way for the establishment of a revolutionary government on June 23, 1898, to get the recognition from other countries that the Philippines is an independent nation.

September 29, 1898, the Malolos Congress ratified the declaration of the Philippine Independence which led to the approval of the Malolos Constitution by the Malolos Congress on November 29, 1898. General Aguinaldo spread the so-called Philippine Constitution on January 21, 1899. Still, the Philippines is under Spanish rule and other countries sees it as such.

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