Philippines celebrates 116th Independence Day

Asia’s first republic, the Philippines, celebrates its 116th Independence Day today, the 12th of June. It was first declared in Kawit Cavite with General Emelio Aguinaldo as the first president. The Philippines has finally been freed from over 300 years of Hispanic rule. It was made short lived with colonial America taking over the islands.

Filipino-American war erupted until the capture of Aguinaldo by the Americans. The Philippines became America’s possession. During World War II, the Philippines served as America’s long standing, strategic ally against the imperialist Japan. Filipino and Americans fought side-by-side against the invading Japanese imperial army.

The Americans granted the Philippines its independence on July 4, 1946, a little over a year after the liberation of the Philippines and the surrender of Japan to the Americans. The Philippines became the first country in the world after World War II to have declared independence from the hands of its colonizers.

Although the Philippines became a self-governing state since the Americans had left, a Mutual Defense Treaty has been signed in 1951 to ensure or provide Philippine security from external threats. The Americans maintained two of its military bases, the Subic naval base in Olongapo and Clark field in Pampanga until Philippine senate voted for the rejection of these bases in 1991. These bases are considered the largest U.S. military installations outside America.

116 years since Aguinaldo had first declared it for the Philippine nation, the question is: Have we been a free people at last? Have we got the freedom that our ancestors had been fighting for a long time ago?

It’s easy for anyone to say he or she loves the Philippines, but are you willing to die for your country? Are you willing to do everything to ensure her freedom? Are you willing to make her proud of you?

As long as we keep electing traitors, cowards, incompetent, crooked and corrupt government officials; to allow them to continue ruling us, we (as a people and as a nation) would not be able to free ourselves from bondage. But I would like to congratulate those living and unsung Filipino heroes of today who are more than willing enough to sacrifice everything, even to the point of risking their own lives, to make this nation as free as we can all imagine.


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