Today we celebrate Philippine Independence Day and with that, it’s but right that I write some interesting facts about the Philippine Independence that I think Everybody should know (Especially if you have Filipino roots).
If you find some facts surprising, don’t worry! I did too. So here we go.
- Independence Day was observed on July 4 not June 12. Yes, we used to celebrate Independence Day along with the United States until May 1962 when President Diosdado Macapagal issued Presidential Proclamation No. 28, with this proclamation declared June 12 as a special holiday throughout the Philippines.Then on August 1964, Republic Act No. 4166 renamed the July 4 as “Philippine Republic Day” and June 12 as “Philippine Independence Day”.
- The Original Philippine Flag Was LOST! Yes you read that right! It’s like losing the keys to your house except it’s a lot bigger, a lot more significant and it will represent your whole country and our unifying symbol as Filipinos for probably our whole life, and our kids’, and our grandchildren’s and our grandchildren’s grandchildren… and well yeh you get the point.The original Legendary Philippine flag hoisted in Kawit on June 12, 1898 was lost! General and President Emilio Aguinaldo in his letter to Capt. Baja dated July 1925 he mentioned that the Original Philippine flag was lost somewhere in Tayug, Pangasinan when Aguinaldo retreated to Northern Luzon during the Filipino-American war.So yeh the next time you lose something, don’t be too hard on yourself, It probably isn’t as big as losing the original flag!
- The Proper display of the Philippine Flag is Dependent on the State in Which the Country is in. It’s a common knowledge that the Philippine Flag, when displayed on a flagpole shall have the blue field on top. However, the Philippine Flag Should be displayed with the red field on top when the country is in a time of war. This is according to Section 10 of Republic Act No. 8491Also, if the Flag is hanging vertically, the Sun and Stars should be on top. (Facing the flag) The blue field should be on the left side in times of peace and if the country is experiencing war, the red field should be on the left side.
- The Original Philippine Flag is in the City of Pines. Well as mentioned above, the Legendary Original Flag was lost and according to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines the whereabouts of that flag still remains as a mystery to this day.
BUT! The Baguio flag was considered as Aguinaldo’s favorite and the oldest surviving flag to date. This is the same flag according to Inquirer.net
“the one he held aloft when Philippine Independence Day was moved from July 4 to June 12 by President Diosdado Macapagal in 1962, the one brought to his bedside when he was ill, the one that was proudly displayed in a relic cabinet in the living room of his home in Kawit.”
This still remains a controversy whether the Baguio flag is the Legendary Original Flag that was lost or not, but the Baguio Flag certainly is an authentic part of our history and like I mentioned, the oldest to date.
- It’s NOT Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. This one is the most mistaken fact about the Philippine Flag. The three stars on the Philippine flag is commonly mistaken to represent the 3 main island groups of the Philippines (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao). It’s ok, I lived with that lie for decades too.The 3 stars on the Flag symbolizes Luzon, Panay, and Mindanao. During the declaration of Independence in 1898 the 3 stars referred to as the “archipelago’s three principal islands” and not the “Principal Grouping of Islands”. At this time Panay was considered as the center of the revolutionary movement in the Visayas region.
- The Celebration should start Earlier.
“The period from May 28 to June 12 of each year is declared as Flag Days, during which period all offices, agencies and instrumentalities of government, business establishments, institutions of learning and private homes are enjoined to display the flag.” – Section 26 of Republic Act 8491This for me is a sign that Filipinos really love to party! Kidding aside May 28 was chosen as the start of the celebration because it was on May 28, 1898 when the Philippine Flag was first unfurled after the Philippine Revolutionary Army won over the Spanish forces in the Battle at Alapan in Imus, Cavite.
- The Priests Came up with the Idea First. I’ve never heard this story before (Or maybe I was just sleeping in my History Class). Yes the priests were the first ones to express opposition against the Spanish rule according to History.com “Opposition to Spanish rule began among Filipino priests, who resented Spanish domination of the Roman Catholic churches in the islands. In the late 19th century, Filipino intellectuals and the middle class began calling for independence.” this is before the Katipunan was established.I think these were the cool priests in their day.
So there you go. 7 fun facts you should know about the Philippine Independence and the Philippine flag. There are a lot more to know about the Philippine Independence and our rich history we just have to research more.
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Thank you and Welcome home!