Independence Day - June 12th
The bittersweet independence from the Spanish rule had always remained in the hearts of our Filipino ancestors. In 1962, former President Diosdado Macapagal declared June 12 as the Philippine Independence Day to commemorate the freedom that our Filipino forefathers attained from their revolt against Spain. Today, Filipinos around the world celebrate this commemorative affair in their own simple ways. In the Philippines, Filipinos celebrate this event with greatness.
History does not diminish the facts of what really happened in the past, however, new generations have come to grip that everyone must move on while keeping history in good memory. Like most other countries, Philippines has not ultimately achieved its complete independence from the influence of foreign rule. Although freed from Spain, the Philippine independence was considered bittersweet. This is because the tangible freedom once achieved from our ancestors’ victorious revolt was shortchanged by the fact that our freedom from Spain was bought by the Americans for $20 million. The purchase involved many strings attached, and for that reason, many resentful Filipinos blame America for the country's continued struggle for progress.
July 4 was originally set as the Independence Day of the Philippines. Unquestionably, many Filipinos were against it. For that reason, the "Philippine Insurrection" (as referred to by the Americans) continued even after July 4, 1901 when the U.S. established a civilian colonial government in Manila. According to history, the so-called "Philippine Insurrection" cost as many as half-million Filipino lives. The freedom fighters' continued effort to gain ultimate independence from foreign rule has left us with many significant historical events. Therefore, it is our obligation as Filipinos to uphold such significant history for our younger generation to learn and cherish.
Today, only few Filipinos can probably explain as to when and how did Philippines exactly achieve its independence. Without going to the historical events that our nation has suffered, differentiating the true cause of independence can be very conflicting. Many refer their independence from the Marcos dictatorial regime, while the true historical event of our nation’s independence is from the roots of freedom from Spain. If only our freedom fighters were given their choice to win freedom without the American involvement, many of us today can certainly pinpoint as to when and how did we achieve our Philippine Independence.
Although history speaks for itself, we certainly learned a lot from the meaningful tribute that our forefathers have challenged us. It is up to us to teach our younger generation about the significance of our country's freedom. It is important, however, that when we speak of our history - we must be unbiased so that we can provide a positive impact in our future society.
The citizens of Oroquieta City continue to celebrate June 12 as the country’s only Independence Day. There are however, several commemorative events that signify Filipino freedom from many political insurgents and each of them is remembered wholeheartedly and in many different ways. The cost of freedom in the Philippines is nothing different from other nations. This is because many lives were lost and destroyed and even today, many Filipinos are suffering from the aftermath.