120th Year of Philippine Independence to be Celebrated

The Philippines will celebrate its 118th Independence Day (Araw ng Kasarinlan, also known as Araw ng Kalayaan) or the Day of Freedom on June 12, which marks the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain in 1898. This year's celebration is themed: "Kalayaan 2018: Pagbabagong Ipinaglaban, Alay sa Masaganang Kinabukasan" (Freedom Day 2018: Change that was Fought, a Tribute to a Prosperous Future).

June 12 is also remembered as National Flag Day to commemorate the day the national flag was unfurled in Emilio Aguinaldo's residence in Kawit, Cavite. All offices, agencies and instrumentalities of government, business establishments, institutions of learning and private homes are enjoined to display the flag by virtue of RA 8491 dated February 12, 1998 signed by Pres. Fidel V. Ramos. The flag is seen in various places across towns and cities in the Philippines during the country's Independence Day. Many cars also sport miniature flags on this day.

Background and History

From 1946 to 1964, July 4 was the date designated to celebrate Independence Day because it was in July 4, 1946 when the Americans formally ended their colonization of the Philippines. This also effectively ended the Commonwealth Government that they established in 1935. In 1964, then-President Diosdado Macapagal signed the Republic Act 4166 which moved the date from July 4 to June 12. This was done to make Filipinos "recall the heroes of the revolution against Spain and their acts of sublime heroism and martyrdom." The Independence Day was celebrated in this date ever since.

2018 National Independence Day Ceremonies and Parade

A ceremony in Manila serves as the official festivities as well as the simultaneous raising of the National Flag of the Philippines in various historical places nationwide. Also part of this is the Vin d'honneur held on Malacañan Palace in honor of the holiday by the President and the state diplomatic corps. 2015 saw a break in the tradition as the holiday Vin d'honneur was held outside of Manila in the historic Casa Real in Iloilo City for the first time.

The festivities begin in Manila's Rizal Park or in selected historical landmarks of the nation as is the trend since 2011 in which the President of the Philippines, the Vice President of the Philippines, members of the state Cabinet and Congress, members of government organizations and state employees, representatives of the uniformed services (Armed Forces, National Police, Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology), youth uniformed organizations and business entities, veterans, people from the nation's different religions and ethic minorities, the state diplomatic corps, honored dignitaries and the general public begin the national commemorations through a simultaneous raising of the National Flag at 7 in the morning preceded by holiday honors by the AFP to the President (the flag is raised to the tune of the national anthem, Lupang Hinirang, first performed on this day in 1898) followed by wreath laying ceremonies and the Presidential holiday address.

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References:

1. Wikipedia (2018). Independence Day (Philippines). Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(Philippines)