June 12 marks the official day when the Philippines declared independence from Spain after over 400 years of colonization. General Emilio Aguinaldo and the Philippine revolutionary forces enacted the declaration after the Battle of Manila Bay, where American forces defeated the Spanish in one of the last battles of the Spanish-American war.
However, in the light of self-declared sovereignty, the Philippines and its independence were not recognized by the two governments that sought to keep the country:
The declaration, however, was not recognized by the United States or Spain, as the Spanish government ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, in consideration for an indemnity for Spanish expenses and assets lost. (Wikipedia)
After "liberating" the country from Spain, the United States basically wanted to keep the Philippines for itself. It was only after World War II when the United States finally conceded:
While the Philippines first celebrated its Independence Day on June 12, its independence was only recognized on July 4, 1946 by the United States. Henceforth, Independence Day was observed on July 4, but in the name of nationalism, and upon the advice of historians, Republic Act No. 4166 was signed into law by President Diosdado Macapagal in 1964, proclaiming June 12, which up to that time had been observed as Flag Day, as Independence Day. (Wikipedia)
After much internal pressure, the Philippine government agreed to set the Iindependence Day back to June 12.
Pilipinos around the world continue to exuberantly celebrate Philippine independence day. If you're in the United States, you've probably heard of or attended celebrations cross the country, from New York to San Francisco.
- Philippine Independence Day Celebration in Carson Brings Families, Community Together
- Upcoming Events: Philippine Independence Day Celebrations
- Sto. Niño/Sinulog in San Antonio, Texas (With Special Guest, Gabe Bondoc)