Patriotism doesn’t seem to appeal much on our younger generation now. The news and social media makes a lot of sensationalism every so often of our politics. Many end up partisan. Others uninvolved. Still, some, simply disinterested. I want her to grow with a fervent love and devotion to a the Philippines. I want to raise my daughter loving and proud to be Filipino, with a sense of alliance with other citizens who share the same values. I want her to know the Philippines ethnic, cultural,, historical aspects enough to eventually understand its politics. So, I wanted her to see some importance to this day. I wanted her to see the significance of Independence Day.And here are a few things I stressed for now:
Our Reason To Celebrate
We celebrate our independence as it marks the end of more than 300 years of Spanish rule. During that time, Filipinos were treated as second-class citizens in their own country. Filipinos suffered a lot of injustice and cruelty at the hands of the Spaniards. Some were even forced to work, with no wage, as a means of providing service for Spain. Hence, our forefathers took it upon themselves to take back our country, and put an end to Spanish rule once and for all, even at the cost of their lives. Our ancestors envisioned a free Philippines, with Filipinos able to make their own decisions about their country. They hoped for a Philippines where Filipinos are the masters of our destiny.
She found those times cruel and could not bear to imagine how the older day Filipinos were treated. I am happy she found our ancestors efforts to fight for our freedom inspiring and note-worthy. I am happy she found significance on our Independence Day.
Free But Not Quite Free
General Emilio Aguinaldo read out the The Act of the Declaration of Independence. This was held in 1898 in present day Kawit, Cavite where the original Independence Day was held. This was an important milestone for Filipinos but the Spanish government did not recognize our independence.
Spain went on to give the Philippines to the United States after the Spanish-American war as part of the peace treaty. The Philippines was sold to the United States during the Treaty of Paris.
Significance of Independence Day Every 12 June
Filipinos back then didn’t originally celebrate our independence on 12 June. Back then, it was on 4 July, same as the United States. After another war, the Philippines’ own treaty with the United States granted independence to the Philippines under the Commonwealth government of President Manuel L. Quezon. It was 4 July 1946, coinciding with the American Independence Day. Eventually, President Diosdado Macapagal, on 12 May 1962, finally changed it to 12 June.
Through Republic Act No. 4166, we officially celebrate Independence Day on 12 June and 4 July is known as Republic Day.
She could not completely grasp the idea of not being completely free that and that our country was sold. She said she was happy that we were eventually granted the independence. It was intriguing, though, when she said, she feels the Philippines is still not free and would not want to expound on that thought.
The Beauty That Is The Philippine Flag
The Philippines flag was officially adopted on 19 May 1898. Our flag has a whole story to tell on its own. It bespeaks of our heritage and history on its own.
The white triangle is symbolic of peace, red symbolizes bravery and blue represents patriotism.
The three gold stars and sun represent the three main divisions of the country – Luzon, Mindanao and Visayas.
The eight rays of the sun represent the provinces of Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Morong, Laguna, Batangas and Cavite, which were declared under Martial Law by a Decree of the Spanish government during the 1896 revolution.
During times of war, the Philippine flag is displayed with the red portion of the flag above the blue, to signify war. However, during times of peace, the blue portion is displayed above the red.
Well, she knew our flag’s story through school and even shared it with me.
As a Filipino, I want her to feel proud of her heritage. I want her to understand the passion that is Filipino. I want her to see that the Philippines is a country of heroes willing to fight for their rights, their liberty and their identity. I believe that makes this day truly important; when she appreciates the significance of Independence Day not just as another holiday where she gets a day off school.