Everyone's talking about history today and we are especially focused on who's the hero and the villains prior to the declaration of Philippine Independence. I won't bore you with names and dates and the who's who of history. Let us, instead, learn about some hidden historical facts that maybe not a lot of Filipinos know...
1. It's actually Filipino priests who spurred the movement for revolution and, eventually, our nation's independence. Of course, you have studied about the GOMBURZA or Padres Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora who spearheaded the Propaganda Movement in early 1872. Their martyrdom roused anger among the people and, pretty soon, the likes of Gat Andres Bonifacio and Jose Rizal caught on to fuel the said anger.
2. Emilio Aguinaldo headed a secret society against the Spaniards in 1894. This group began in 1892 but Aguinaldo became its leader when he joined two years after. They had to act fast when the Spaniards caught wind of their plans.
3. The Declaration of Independence was never recognized by Spain.
4. Julian Felipe attested to the real time of the declaration of independence which was, supposedly, in the late afternoon on that Sunday.
5. The Philippine Independence Day date was changed to July 4 when President Theodore Roosevelt declared that they won the Philippine-American War in 1902. The Philippines was freed on the same date, decades later, in 1945, when President Diosdado Macapagal moved the date back to June 12 once more.
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6. Women embroidered and hand-sewed the flag. They were commissioned by Aguinaldo in Hongkong. These dutiful workers were Marcela Agoncillo, her 7-year old daughter, Lorenza, and Jose Rizal's niece, Delfina Herbosa Natividad. It took five days for this symbol of freedom to be finished.
7. Red-white-and-blue. 'Ring a bell? Yes, the Philippine flag pays obeisance to the colors of the American flag as was attested by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista on the Declaration of Independence. Aguinaldo was quick to give meaning to these hues, though, when he said red represented the Filipinos' bravery; blue, their willingness to sacrifice just so they won't be colonized; and white as the symbol of their love for peace.
8. The earlier version of the Philippine anthem was drafted but Aguinaldo did not approve of it. Julian Felipe then patterned the now renowned Lupang Hinirang after the Spanish Royal March which was, to my own opinion, crappy because we were declaring independence from them yet there they were patterning the national anthem no less, on a Spanish march. It was Andres Bonifacio who asked for the first anthem to be penned. It was called the Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan.
9. The three stars on the flag originally represented Luzon, Panay, and Mindanao because these were the areas where the initial revolutionary movements started.
10. The Declaration of Independence is currently housed in The National Library of the Philippines in Manila.
And we just couldn't pass up the chance to pose in front of Aguinaldo shrine. We're just so glad that we went there at night because we got some majestic shots that are a bit more difficult to get in the morning. Too bad we can't be in Kawit TODAY, right on the actual moment when celebrations are being held to commemorate that declaration by the balcony 120 years ago.
Camagay, L. T. (n.d.). Little-known facts of Independence Day. Retrieved June 12, 2018, from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/697594/little-known-facts-of-independence-day
Philippine independence declared. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2018, from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/philippine-independence-declared
The Surprising Connection Between the Philippines and the Fourth of July. (2016, July 01). Retrieved June 12, 2018, from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/july-4-philippines-independence-day-america-holiday/
E.S. Villamor has made a career in writing for a decade now. Her online business - GIML (Gabriela Isabel & Miguel Lucas) Publishing started in 2014. She advocated for women's rights and was once enamored with imparting financial literacy through training and blogs but she is now focused on propagating all things Filipino. This site is also being groomed as a rich homeschooling resource.