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The Philippine Independence Day is a gargantuan celebratory anomaly
It’s a festival of freedom legislated when this country was still under Spanish tyranny
For on June 12, 1898, the Philippines was still under Spain’s political sway
Virtually Aguinaldo’s First Republic was a short-lived fantasy proclaimed in  Kawit, Cavite
Not officially recognized by Spain, USA, nor any other country

Independence Day is a feast marking freedom from foreign domination and control
Such as the recovery of statehood through armed revolution or grant of independence by mother nations
States celebrate their independence on the day of their military victory against their colonial masters
Hence, independence is usually won or granted and not just self- declared or imagined by revolutionary leaders

Our Independence Day celebration is a gross historical fable
For on June 12, 1898 the Philippines was still Spain’s colonial possession
In fact Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo was still bound by the Pact of Biak-na-Bato of December 14, 1897
Where he surrendered and agreed to receive the sum of Eight Hundred Thousand Mexican dollars from Spain

The declaration of independence in Cavite Viejo was a mere statement of political aspiration
Without the attendant reality of liberty from the shackles of colonial bondage and domination
For Aguinaldo’s revolution against Spain ended in utter failure and eventually its total surrender
Causing his exile to Hong Kong with his trusted officers

If the Philippine Revolution led by General Aguinaldo indeed attained freedom and independence
What war did it win and against what colonizing power?
In all certainty it could not be against Spain for he signed the Pact of Surrender under Governor General Fernando Primo de Rivera
Neither did he win the war against the United States for he was captured at Palanan, Isabela

The celebration of independence on June 12, 1898 is even more fictional and absurd
For the inhabitants of Mindanao and Sulu branded as the Moros
On this date these two kingdoms were still in the thick of the fight to drive away the conquistadores
Which Spain wanted to conquer but embarrassingly failed

Our freedom day celebration is doubly ridiculous for Mindanao and Sulu
For these kingdoms were not parts of the make-believe republic of Aguinaldo
The real independence from Spain took place when the Spaniards retreated from these two Sultanates
And when the last Spanish Governor General, Diego de los Rios, surrendered  On May 18, 1899 at Fort Pilar to General Vicente Solis Alvarez of the Zamboanga Republic

So what independence are we celebrating on the 12th day of June every year?
From Spain?
From The United States?
From France?
From the United Kingdom
Or from Holland?
Folks, none of the above!

By Clem M. Bascar

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