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You can’t spell Independence Day without mentioning Emilio Aguinaldo, the general that declared the independence of the Philippines from Spain on June 12, 1898 over the dead bodies of Andres Bonifacio and his subordinates.

He orchestrated everything from commissioning the Declaration of Philippine Independence, next was the creation of the National Flag of the Philippines that was fresh from Hong Kong, mind you. To top everything off, he ordered the development of the national anthem. These are the perfect ingredients to prove the existence of a nation, well, for him.

Whenever Independence Day is on its way, students and employees alike get excited not because they can’t wait to celebrate it, rather, they can’t wait to sleep in and treat it more as a day-off.

Majority of Pinoys don’t really careq about the essence of Independence Day though they know it’s the reason for their precious day-off. Well, that tells something, there’s just no sentiment.

Originally, Independence Day was celebrated every 4th of July, from 1946–the date when the White Men granted independence to the nation–until 1962. The celebration was then changed to June 12 when Diosdado Macapagal signed the Proclamation No. 28, the day the general declared the nation’s independence. . .it sounds kind of redundant maybe that’s why there’s no genuine sentiment.

Maybe the signing of Diosdado Macapagal was orchestrated by Aguinaldo’s minions. Anyway, the reaction of the majority of Pinoys does tell something, there must be something off about this declaration. Though over the years, everything has been smooth and to keep things smoother, these are the things Pinoys should not know about Independence Day to maintain the integrity of Emilio Aguinaldo’s delusional Independence Day.

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The revolutionaries Gen. Juan “Tan Juan” Araneta and Gen. Aniceto L. Lacson established the “Independent Republic of Negros” at Bago Plaza, Negros Occidental after defeating the Spaniards on November 5, 1898 and on November 6 of the same year, Don Diego de los Rios, the last Governor-General of Spain the Philippines surrendered to the powerful revolutionary tandem.

Yup, that’s right, Negros Occidental already had their independence and their Republic up and running even before Aguinaldo was proclaimed as the Philippine President in Malolos, Bulacan on January 23, 1899. #BoomPanes!

Source: History Reborn”The Federal Republic of the Visayas” by Dinggol Divinagracia

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Gen. Martin Delgado proclaimed at Sta. Barbara, Iloilo the Federal Republic of the Visayas on 1898 and had their share of triumph too.

Governor-General Don Diego de los Rios didn’t only surrender to Negros, he also conceded against the Ilonggo’s thru Iloilo’s Alcalde-Mayor Jose Ma. Gay on December 23, 1898.

That’s a double whammy for the Ilonggo Nation! The Visayan Republic had never been under the authority and jurisdiction of Aguinaldos “Katagalogan” Republic in Luzon.

Source: History Reborn “The Federal Republic of the Visayas” by Dinggol Divinagracia

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Palawan also had their version of independence that transpired on December of 1898, the “Goviemo de Revolucion Dictatorial” was declared by Don Casiano Padon in Lucbuan, Cuyo Island.

It is also known as the “Lucbuan Republic”, although this government was short-lived, it was the only offshoot of the Philippine Revolution in the entire history of the country.

Source: Excerpt from an official Palawan State University research on Palawan history by Atty. Joselito Alisuag and Prof. Oscar Evangelista

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Philippine history books will tell you that the Muslims of Mindanao had already established their own states and concrete government system with diplomatic and trade relations with other countries. And the books will also note that the Spanish colonists, no matter how hard they tried, weren’t able to conquer the Muslim states (although their Islands were technically claimed by Spain). Yup, they were already independent especially from the Spaniards prior to Aguinaldo’s declaration.

Source: www.acpp.org/uappeals/bground/mindanao.html

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The June 12 proclamation had a very big complication due to the following lines: “under the protection of our Powerful and Humanitarian Nation, The United States of America” and lines “colors of Blue, Red, and White, commemorating the flag of the United States of America, as manifestation of our profound gratitude towards this Great Nation for its disinterested protection which it lent us and continues lending us.”

Everyone knows you can’t be independent with Uncle Sam behind you. “Disinterested protection?” So that means being independent, but is dependent of protection? Oh you must be shaking your heads now. Well, that’s the reason why Mabini insisted another proclamation which was eventually held in Malolos.

Source: The Act of Declaration of Philippines Independence. Translated by Sulpicio Guevara

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You might have heard the rumors that Aguinaldo ordered the death of Andres Bonifacio during his trial. The truth is, he didn’t order it. He spared Bonifacio by giving an order of pardon but it was withdrawn when two of his generals insisted upon him to do so in interest of Unity.

Aguinaldo was at fault for allowing himself to be peer pressured by his men who were responsible for the death of the Father of the Katipunan. One can then assume that the majority of the signatories in the Philippine Independence were all Caviteño and not by representatives around the region. (Bias to the max.)

Source: The Revolt of the Masses by Teodoro Agoncillo

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With several proclamations that occurred simultaneously in the year of 1898. Aguinaldo’s declaration of Philippine Independence from Spain was simply just one of them. Also, it is contentious because the Visayas and Mindanao regions were already independent prior to that, it also makes you wonder if there was even a concept of “the Philippines” during that time.

Was there even a person from the Visayas or Mindanao or even from Palawan who was a signatory in the declaration of Philippine Independence? Probably none, well if that’s the case, then Aguinaldo cannot declare it as the independence of the Philippines from Spain because it does not cover everyone in the first place. Especially if the other regions didn’t really want to be part of it.

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Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence from Spain—but never won, as explained in the infamous betrayal—the “Mock Battle of Manila.” That only means that no such independence existed with the proclamation of Aguinaldo, the events that transpired after ensured that everything was in vain.

“True Independence could never be just self-proclaimed nor bestowed upon, it has to be won and duly achieved with dignity.” –Dinggol Araneta Divinagracia

Well, that ends the list of things you should not know about Independence Day to keep the Filipino tradition as it has always been.

Happy Independence Day!
Do share your thoughts below.

4 comments

  1. You missed on something here. The last Spanish Governor in the Philippines Diego Delos Rios proceeded to Zamboanga after Iloilo where the flag of Spain was still hoisted at Fort Pilar which is recognized as the last bastion of Spain in the Philippines. It was only after his surrender to revolutionary leader Gen. Vicente Solis Alvarez on May 18, 1899 that we could truly say, the Philippines was independent from Spain. Please check National Historical Commission of the Philippines’ historical records. The fact is, the real start of independence day from Spain in our country was May 18, 1899 and not June 12, 1898 unless Luzon historians were ignorant that Zamboanga, Mindanao was not part of Filipinas!

  2. Well as what I read about this article, the REAL problem on why this Philippine independence from more than 3 centuries of colonial rule and it was quite a blunder in the end is because our country have a geographical and ethnic disadvantages of it. As if you could see the map of our country, Philippines is an archipelago nation and our country is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and a multi-lingual nation as well. And that’s why both Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo failed to unite our country during and after the Philippine Revolution in order to gain our independence from the longer years of Spanish rule and they’d only recruited their Katipunan rebels only in the Luzon area but NOT much in the Visayas and Mindanao, and later created this so-called “Imperial Manila” mentality in our country and that makes our country more divided since 1898, and it shows a huge evidence right now: the Luzoners are more economically and socially productive than the VizMin area, the politicians in the Luzoners are less corrupt than in the south, etc. etc. So this is a painful and awful truth about the our historical fact and country’s identity to the world. Bad history, it’s more sad in the PH.

    1. You do not know anything about our history. But you’ve just said that politicians in Luzon are less corrupt than in VIzMin. Did you just taught of what you’re saying?

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