i laughed inside when i saw this article July 4, not June 12 in the opinion page of inquirer online. it’s been 50 years since president diosdado macapagal moved it to june 12 (from july 4 which is also america’s independence day), and june 12 has worked pretty well, at least hindi masyadong halata o buking ang american hand.
i wondered if that was why macapagal made the change and if there was a clamor for it at the time. or was it purely a president’s sensitivity to anti-neocolonial sentiments. so i googled it, and LOL this is what i found in wikipedia: stanley karnow (In Our Image) quoting macapagal as saying, some years later:
“When I was in the diplomatic corps, I noticed that nobody came to our receptions on the Fourth of July, but went to the American Embassy instead. So, to compete, I decided we needed a different holiday.”
only in the philippines. and then, again, baka naman it was just one of many reasons, just the one karnow chose to highlight? so i googled it some more, and found the official reasons in the national historical commission’s website.
First, United States celebrates independence day every July 4, the day Americans declared their independence not 3 September 1783 when Great Britain recognized their liberty;
Second, if the Philippines celebrates its independence day every July 4, our celebration would be dwarfed by the US celebration;
Third, June 12 was the most logical date since Filipinos were not actually particular about fixing of dates, what we actually cared for is independence itself;
Fourth, if the Philippines celebrates common independence day with USA, other nations might believe that the Philippines is still a part of United States.
‘yun na pala ‘yon. wala lang, para me dumating sa party. wala man lang pretense at a sense of history. wala lang.
so no to that same old debate. if we cared more, we would want a bonifacio kind of declaration, a celebration of those first shining moments — no back stories, no unseen hands, purely indio, purely pinoy. never mind that it was aborted nine months later. kahit credit where credit is due man lang.