Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Perhaps one way of viewing the Philippine feat known, and imitated by other countries throughout the world as “People Power,” is as a reprise of that day 114 years ago when our forefathers, led by then military general Emilio Aguinaldo, declared the independence of our country from Spain that had then been ruling us.
On that day, June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo proclaimed our independence, while the newly-designed Filipino Flag, the same one now being flown by all establishments and institutions of the government – and even in international competitions as the one in which our boxing icon, Manny Pacquiao participates in - was waved for the first time on that balcony in Kawit, Cavite.
It was brave, bold, but maybe even rash of Aguinaldo to declare independence even while still not free from the Spanish yoke. As our own history has recorded, Spain just passed us on to another foreign ruler by ceding our territory to the United States. Although we called ourselves independent, neither of the two countries recognized that state as legitimate.
After almost 50 years, the United States condescended to grant us independence. This took place on July 4, 1946, so that for almost 30 years we celebrated July 4, the same day that the United States marks its Independence Day, until then President Diosdado Macapagal decided to adopt the day chosen by Aguinaldo as our day for celebration.
So today, we are marking the 114th year after that ceremony in Kawit, Cavite. To many of us, however, it does not matter so much when or how we declared ourselves independent, if in our hearts we still cannot say it we are truly free as a nation as our ancestors had dreamed us to be.*