On June 12, 1898, General Emilio F. Aguinaldo proclaimed at the balcony of his ancestral home on Calle Real in Kawit, Cavite, the independence of the Republic of the Philippines, and the Philippine flag was hoisted as the national anthem called Marcha Filipina was played in the presence of a huge crowd.
On September 29, 1898, the Malolos Congress formally ratified the Declaration of Independence. Then on August 6, 1898, the Revolutionary Government sent diplomatic notes to foreign nations, requesting then to accord formal recognition to the Philippines as a free and independent nation.
Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States (US) in the 1898 Treaty of Paris. It was until July 4, 1946, after nearly 50 years of American rule, and more than three years of Japanese occupation, that US recognized Philippine independence in the Treaty of Manila.
For a while, July 4 was celebrated as Philippine Independence Day. Then President Diosdado P. Macapagal decided in 1962 to have the Philippines celebrate its Araw ng Kalayaan on June 12, in commemoration of that historic day in 1898 when General Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence. President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who succeeded President Diosdado P. Macapagal, later proclaimed July 4 as Philippine-American Friendship Day.
Before the Philippine Revolution of 1896, there were many uprisings in various parts of the country against Spanish colonial rule. It was the 1896 Revolution that drew the nation together like no other movement before it. Subsequent developments – the Philippine-American War and World War II – may have delayed the actual enjoyment of sovereignty, but it was on June 12, 1898, that Filipinos proclaimed to the world their desire and determination to stand as a free and independent member of the world community of nations.
The Manila Bulletin led by its Chairman Dr. Emilio T. Yap, President and Publisher Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre, Executive Vice President Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Cris J. Icban Jr., and Officers, greet the entire nation on the occasion of our Independence Day today and wish us all the best and success in all our endeavors. MABUHAY ANG PILIPINAS!