Malacañang on Friday joined the nation in celebrating Philippine Republic Day, the official recognition of the country’s independence from the United States.
July 4 of every year is the Independence Day of the United States (US). In the Philippines, it is observed as Philippine Republic Day, or Philippine-American Friendship Day.
“Today, July 4, we celebrate 68 years since the restoration of our nation’s independence, marking our country’s return to becoming a full member of the wider family of nations,” Palace spokesman Abigail Valte told a press conference.
Valte said the Philippines celebrates the long-standing friendship and cordial relationship between the two countries and recognizes the sacrifice and bravery of Filipino and American war veterans who fought side by side for freedom and democracy.
“Over the past six decades since the restoration of our Republic, we have tried to realize this promise of nationhood—going through four constitutions, witnessing eleven presidencies, and constantly striving to empower our fellowmen, so that they may enjoy the fullest measure of their rights, as well as fulfill their obligations to our nation as responsive, honest, and productive citizens,” she said.
“As President Aquino has always reminded us: it has been the task of every subsequent generation, since our liberation from foreign occupation to this day, to turn the political reality of independence into a living reality for every Filipino family—to work hand-in-hand in ending the vicious cycle of poverty and injustice, and, in turn, usher in an era of hope, opportunity, and shared advancement,” Valte added
The Palace official also asked the Filipino people to visit the special page of Republic Day on the Official Gazette: www.gov.ph/republic-day/. “On this important day, may we take the time, as a people, to re-consecrate ourselves in service to our nation based on the principles of integrity, solidarity, and sincere sacrifice,” she added.
The Philippines was an American territory from 1898 to 1946.
On July 4, 1946, the US formally recognized Philippine independence, culminating a process that began in 1916, when the Jones Law pledged the recognition of Philippine independence, and the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1933, which provided for a 10-year transition to prepare for independence. World War II extended the transition period to 1946.
Independence Day was celebrated in the Philippines on July 4th of every year until 1962, when President Diosdado Macapagal issued Proclamation 28, moving the day to June 12, the date in 1898 when President Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence from Spain and unfurled the Philippine flag and played the National Anthem for the first time in Kawit, Cavite.
The Philippine Congress passed Republic Act 4166 in 1964, formally designating June 12 as Philippine Independence Day and making July 4 Philippine Republic Day.
July 4 was renamed Philippine-American Friendship Day under Proclamation 2346 in 1984, by President Ferdinand Marcos. On July 4, 1996, President Fidel Ramos issued Proclamation 811 declaring Philippine-American Friendship Day a special day nationwide.