Celebrating Philippine Independence Day
Araw ng Kasarinlan (Independence Day) is such sweet words for the Filipino ears to hear.
June 12, the Philippine Independence Day is an annual national holiday to commemorate our country’s liberty from the Spanish colonization during its height of influence and power of the empire, otherwise known as the Spanish Golden Age.
This significant day marks the historical outbreak of the Philippine revolution that ended the Spanish Empire’s almost 400-year colonization.
The Philippines is named after King Philip II (Felipe el Prudente) of Spain, after being claimed by the European explorer Ferdinand Magellan who lead the expedition to conquer the Spice Island (later called Las Islas Filipinas) to put under Spain’s sovereignty.
Throughout the history, many brave Filipino heroes fought for the freedom of our country, therefore the Philippine Independence Day is the most celebrated PH holiday in honoring what our forefathers have gifted us.
On June 12, 1898, the independence was proclaimed at Heneral Emilio Aguinaldo’s Cavite home with the unfurling of the Philippine flag, made and sewn in Hong Kong, with the performance of Marcha Filipina Magdalo (Lupang Hinirang) by the San Francisco de Malabon marching band as the national anthem.
Annually, June 12 is declared as a non-working holiday and the whole country holds different kinds of commemorative celebration in lieu of working.
Various activities here and there
Many Filipinos, not just government officials, partake in parades and ceremonies, including the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in observance of this holiday.
In Manila, the festivities begin with a parade in Rizal Park where the police and military are joined with youth uniformed organizations, honored dignitaries, representatives from the nation’s different religious groups, other ethic minorities and general public.
The flag raising ceremony at 7 a.m. is then followed by wreath laying rites and the President’s speech that wraps up with a 21-gun salute.
Car owners sport a Philippine flag on their vehicles too, in a nationalist solidarity with the whole country to mark the celebration; same as office buildings and other corporate establishments.
Of course, there are many other enjoyable ways to express your patriotic love for our country, such as, visiting a museum, landmarks or historical buildings like Nueva Ecija’s Rice Science Museum and Camp Pangatian Memorial Shrine; or Manila’s National History of the Philippine Museum.
Take awe and pride in rediscovering the rich culture and history of the Philippines and appreciate its contributions on how it conformed the Filipino dignity.
In Manila, take a day tour and walk around the charming corners and cobblestoned pathways around Intramuros, where the way of life during Hispanic era was adapted throughout the country.
Want to relax while strolling? You can still find calesas there and enjoy a peaceful ride, much like in Vigan, where many ancient Filipino infrastructure are preserved and serve as historical tourist spots.
If you decided to stay home and interested in the art of expressive Filipino film making, the empowering Barber’s Tales (Kwentong Barbero), and The Guerrilla is a Poet are a couple of emotion-altering films.
The 1959 film Intramuros; 1998’s Jose Rizal, and the recently talked about historical epic Heneral Luna might also ignite your patriotic heart with pride, as well as the cinematic poetry of the Filipino film- Independencia, one of the must-sees to intertwine with our history much better.
The Philippine Independence Day is one holiday that music enthusiasts look forward to.
OPM (Original Pilipino Music) artists perform in music festivals at various venues in honor of this day.
Stages are erected in open grounds, or even university grounds for throwing free concerts for the public to enjoy.
These festivals promote harmony to the Filipino people through music in celebration of our independence.
Numerous, if not all, local musicians and bands, famous and indies, come together to unite the general public in music.
They perform their own originally-written songs to showcase Filipino talent and artistry that is not left behind in the global entertainment industry.
These music festivals are usually free of admission and the musicians perform “for the love of it” and to demonstrate being makabayan to inspire people.
Look out for Independence Day-themed music festivals in your area and have fun.
Food trip during the Kalayaan Day
And of course, what is a holiday without a variety spread of your favorite Filipino food and delicacies?
The Filipino cuisine is a fusion of mainly Chinese, Spanish, Indian, Malaysian, Indonesian and South American influence.
Who doesn’t love ceviche (kinilaw) or pansit? The lechon (roasted pig) is a staple food on the Filipino table during holidays.
You can also go food-tripping at famous Pinoy food joints or enjoy dining at Filipino restaurants with your family or friends, if you don’t feel like cooking complex dishes at home.
Filipino people are popular for their hearty appetite. The Filipino dining table is a communal center for getting the whole family together, not just to enjoy food but also to bond. Traditionally, food is shared with stories and laughters.
If your budget will allow it, why not book a trip somewhere in the Philippines you’ve never been to?
There are many gems that this country hasn’t commercialized yet, and wouldn’t it be marvelous to discover them yourself?
A road trip to a destination that you could make is a great idea too. Never been to the historic Bataan? It’s just a bus trip away.
Many Filipino’s bucket list consists mainly of out of the country travel goals. You might love what the experience of savoring the beauty of the Philippines that the ancient foreign empires fought over for.
They wouldn’t be fighting over this country if not for the bountiful and amazing resources that we have.
Show your love for the Philippines by patronizing our own local products and destination spots by supporting local businesses.
Another low-key way that you can celebrate the Philippine Independence Day is by educating the young children the significance of this occasion.
By explaining to the next generation a brief history of the Philippines and their roots, it may enlighten them on why this day is meaningful, and magnify their Pinoy pride.
In addition to all these, color-coordinating your outfit in blue, red and yellow to represent the Philippine flag illustrate your patrionism for our country.
However you want to spend the Philippine Independence Day, we can all unite in spirit as faithful Filipinos and gleefully greet each other:
Maligayang Araw ng Kalayaan, Kabayan!