In Philippines, the Independence Day is spent in memory of the struggle and turmoil that many Filipinos endured to make Philippines a free land. The Independence Day celebrations in Philippines begin with flag hoisting ceremonies in the capital city, Manila, and other major cities. The President addresses the nation. The police and military parade in Manila and a 21-gun salute are the most striking features of the celebrations in the capital city.Nationwide, parades and other festivities are held and government officials and students participate in these.
Since this day is a national holiday in Philippines people prefer to visit the martyrs' graves and other centers of national interest.
The history of Philippines has been influenced by the socio-economic and political developments in Asia, Europe, and American influences. The Spanish influence set in when Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed on the Philippines shore in 1521 and established Spainish dominance. What followed was an era of frequent uprisings, particularly in the latter half of the 19th century when educated Filipinos were led by national heroes like Jose Rizal to disparage the colonial rule.
This criticism led to the final revolt - a movement that began in 1896 and was headed by Emilio Aguinaldo. The revolt ended in a Spanish defeat at the hands of the in Spanish-American War at Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, and Aguinaldo declared the independence of Philippines from Spain on June 12, 1898.
This freedom, however, was short-lived as Spain surrendered the entire archipelago of Philippines to the U.S. In 1899 Aguinaldo started a revolt against the U.S. The much-sought after freedom came on July 4 1964, when U.S. recognized Philippines as a sovereign nation under the Treaty of Manila. For years to follow the Independence Day was observed on July 4. It was eventually changed to June 12 in 1962 to commemorate the independence from Spain, which was declared by Aguinaldo in 1898.
The Republic of Philippines is located in Southeast Asia in western Pacific Ocean.Across the Luzon Strait in north lies Taiwan, in the West across the South China Sea is Vietnam, and in the east it is bound by the Philippines Sea. Although the Philippines are gifted with natural resources and scenic beauty, the country's location on the Pacific Ring of Fire makes earthquakes a frequent occurrence.
Covering an area of about 300,000 sq. km the country is home to approximately 94 million people, most of whom are either of Malay or of Chinese descent. The majority of the populace practices Christianity. While Filipino is the official national language, English is the language of government and instruction in education.