The Philippines has two independence days: one from Spain and another from the United States.
- Filipino Independence Day commemorates the Filipino declaration of independence from Spain on June 12, 1898.
- The Philippines gained independence from the United States on July 4, 1946.
The Story of Philippine Independence Day
The Philippines is a rich mix of Pacific, East Asian and Muslim cultures.
It was a Spanish colony from 1565 to 1898. As Spanish power declined, Philippine patriots strengthened until there was a stalemate between independence and colonial forces.
The Spanish-American War began on April 25, 1898. In the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, the U.S. Navy defeated Spanish naval forces. The removal of Spanish military power made the situation very fluid.
Filipino forces liberated most of the country. On June 12, 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence from Spain. This is what we celebrate as Philippines Independence Day.
The Philippines Flag
The national flag of the Philippines is filled with symbolism.
- The red, white and blue colors represent gratitude for the help of the United States in ending Spanish rule. It’s a little bit ironic because after helping the Filipinos, the United States took over.
- The white triangle is a symbol of the revolutionary Society of the Katipunan which opposed Spanish rule.
- The three stars represent the main islands of: Luzon, Panay and Mindanao.
- The sun represents the road of progress with eight rays representing the eight provinces of the Philippines.