No workday for today! But that’s not the only thing we should thank about June 12. Today, we celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Philippine Independence Day. Being a Filipino, it is a must be knowledgeable about this public holiday. Some of the facts below may have already been discussed during your grade school years so we want to do a little recap to show appreciation to this historic day.
- The Philippines only gained full independence in July 4, 1946 when the US granted the country independence through the Treaty of Manila. June 12, 1898 was when we declared our own Independence from the Spanish rule. Former President Diosdado Macapagal declared June 12 as the special public holiday of the Philippine Independence Day to “"... in commemoration of our people's declaration of their inherent and inalienable right to freedom and independence.”
- There was an earlier version of the Philippine National Anthem, but Emilio Aguinaldo was not satisfied with it, so he asked Julian Felipe to revise it, the “Marcha Nacional Filipina”
- One of the inspirations for the tune of the Philippine National Anthem is the Grand March in “Aida” by Giuseppe Verdi, the march we would always here in graduation rites in the country. Other inspirations were the Spanish and French national anthems.
- It took five days for Marcela Agoncillo, Delfina Natividad, and Lorenza Agoncillo to finish the flag. They made it in 535 Morrison Hill, Hong Kong and was very meticulous with it, having to “unstitch what was already sewn simply because a ray was crooked, or because the stars were not … equidistant.” Lorenza Agoncillo was just 7 years old when they built the flag.
- The Philippine Flag is also a war flag. Aguinaldo ordered that during war times, the red strip of the flag should be on top. The original symbolism of one of the stars in the flag is Panay, not Visayas, as Panay was once mistaken as the entire Visayas and is also the first province to raise the flag outside of Luzon.