Independence Day in the Philippines

The Philippines, a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, was discovered by European voyagers and eventually was colonized by Spain. The country was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. The Philippines remained under the colonial rule of Spain until 1898 when Spain gave control of the region to the U.S. as part of the agreed end of the Spanish-American War. The Philippines gained its independence from Spain on June 12, 1898, and this day is celebrated as Independence Day.


Independence Day in Philippines


History of Independence Day in the Philippines

Even though the Philippines got its independence in 1898, the United States government still considered it a U.S. colony. On July 4, 1946, by the treaty of Manila, the United States relinquished its hold over the country and recognized the independent Republic of the Philippines.

Independence was declared in the town of Kawit, south of the capital Manila. The Philippine flag was unfurled, and the national anthem was played for the first time on Philippine soil. The “Act of the Declaration of Independence” was written by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista in Spanish, and it had 98 signatories.

Originally July 4 was the day designated to celebrate the country’s independence; however, due to nationalist sentiments and advice of historians, Independence Day was moved to June 12, the day it gained independence from Spain.


Philippines’ Independence Day Traditions, Customs, and Activities

Araw ng Kalayaan (the Philippine term for “Independence Day”) is a public holiday in the Philippines, and it is celebrated with grandeur and colors. The country celebrates the day with great fervor, and parades are the main part of the celebration with the president presiding over the parade by the armed forces.

It is estimated that nearly 11 million Filipinos live overseas, especially concentrated in the United States. Therefore, the Independence Day celebrations spill over to other countries as well. A parade is organized in New York City and other parts of the northeast United States. Special parades are also organized by Filipinos in other countries like the United Kingdom.


Independence Day in the Philippines Quotes


In 1995, we had evidence of the brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden being in the Philippines, living in the Philippines. We had evidence of front organizations set up in the Philippines. And we uncovered evidence about, which would help the U.S. with – about the perpetrators of the World Trade Center bombing.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo



The Philippines must ensure that it adopts, as much as possible, an equi-balancing strategy towards both China and America. To push back against Chinese adventurism by deepening Philippine dependence on another power runs counter to the very logic of protecting its national sovereignty.

Miriam Defensor-Santiago


I want the people of the Philippines to be happy, even if they have nothing.

Manny Pacquiao


The Philippines is a terrible name, coming from Spain. Phillip II was the father of the Inquisition, who I believe died of syphilis. It is my great regret that we didn’t change the name of our country.

Imelda Marcos


We strongly believe that the Philippines has huge potential in the tourism industry, given our beautiful islands, moderate weather conditions, good cuisine, and the flair of Filipinos for hospitality and entertainment.

Henry Sy


Many are asking what my credentials are and what I can do for the Philippines. They are telling me that they heard I am a womanizer. That is true. That is very true.

Rodrigo Duterte


I did not have activities in the Philippines before, but many fans recognized me and greeted me with overflowing cheers. ‘Moonlight Drawn by Clouds’ was said to have aired through KBS World. I didn’t know that.

Park Bo-gum


Originally in the United States, there were no laws regulating behavioral advertising. As a result, like in the Philippines, the government has relied on industry self-regulation.

Miriam Defensor-Santiago


There was a time in the mid-’50s when the Philippines was in the same league as Japan economically and academics-wise.

Lucio Tan


The most important thing to keep in mind is the incredible diversity of talent that’s out there-there are so many great actors from all over Asia, from Singapore and Hong Kong to the Philippines and Mainland China, not to mention many great Asian-American actors who are eager for fun and challenging roles.

Kevin Kwan


We need the children of Indonesia and the Philippines to manufacture our freedom of choice.

Marc Maron


The most adventurous thing I’ve done is to learn how to fly a helicopter in the Philippines. One night we landed on a beach and slept on it.

Francis Ford Coppola


That’s actually how my parents met. They were pen pals. My mom was in the Philippines and my father was in the States, and they wrote to each other. He went out to meet her, and they wed not too long after.

Vanessa Hudgens