Here and There

July 4, more than Fil-Am Friendship Day

By Gerry Garcia

MOST practical-minded Pinoys who are well aware of the fact that their Republic was granted independence by Mother America on July 4, 1946, are understandably unbelieving of current comment that “we are now on our 110th year as an independent nation”. Meaning (or presuming) that we became independent in 1898, on June 12, in Kawit, Cavite when General Emilio Aguinaldo led its proclamation in his historic house there.

Veteran columnist AR Roces also seemed to be in agreement with the idea, adding that “all countries then celebrated their independence not on the day they attained it, but when they declared it.”

That’s why Roces, as a cabinet member then, felt responsible and happy over the change of our Independence Day from July 4 to June 12. Philippine Independence granted by America on July 4 was made in the USA to make appear that we are celebrating Independence on the same day the Americans gained theirs.

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July 4, originally our Independence Day, has come to be known as Philippine -American Friendship Day which we know could signify something rooted deeper than mere friendship. It’s a kind of caring fellowship between Mother America and growing Child Philippines.

The Philippines came US hands as a result of the Spanish-American war. Under the terms of a peace treaty signed in 1898, Spain ceded the Philippines to the US for twenty million dollars.

The US took over the islands but did not annex them as part of the territory because that was unconstitutional.

It was US President William McKinley who announced the policy to the Philippines: to consult the views and wishes, and to secure the advice, cooperation, and aid of the Philippine people. The purpose of the American government is the welfare and advancement of the Philippine people.

The Schuman Commission was vivid, more distinct:

“The destiny of the Philippines not to be a territory or state of the United States of America, but a daughter Republic . . . a monument of progress and a beacon of hope of all    the  oppressed and benighted  millions of the Asiatic continent.”

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From Pantal boy Jun comes this one-of-a-kind announcement of birthday celebration of Paul Jason C. Perez, son of barangay Kap Lilia Perez Yasar of Pantal, who celebrated his 29th natal day last June 10, 2008.

As part of his celebration, Paul gifted his constituents each with 1 kilo of rice, sardines and noodles. According to his mommy, Paul Jason has made a practice of giving gifts on every birthday celebrations since he was a one-year old tot. Mabuhay Paul Jason, Jun, Pantal greets him.

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