July 4, 1946.
As the American flag was lowered and the Filipino flag was raised, many people cried in the audience. It was a long time that they sought it. And now, it’s theirs.
It was 67 years ago, that the Filipino people FINALLY got the United States to recognize the Independence of the Philippines, long proclaimed in 1898 but aborted. Even when the islands underwent many scars—the Philippine-American War, the Japanese Invasion, and the Destruction of Manila, and freedom seemed like a dream than a reality, many Filipinos… an entire generation from 1896 to 1946, contributed to this freedom. They took the battle from the fields to the mountains, and when it didn’t work, they took it to the debating halls of the US Senate and never wavered. When it was snatched from them by another invader, they persisted. We celebrate their lives and legacy, as we look towards the future with hope, as a nation of peoples with shared experiences and hopes to whom Rizal would refer to as “Filipinos,” members of the patria.