First Philippine Republic Day is celebrated annually on January 23. After 300 years of Spanish rule, Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence for the Philippines in 1898, making it the first republic in Asia. President Rodrigo Duterte enacted this day as a special working holiday to commemorate the proclamation of the First Philippine Republic, also known as the Malolos Republic, on January 23, 1899.
HISTORY OF FIRST PHILIPPINE REPUBLIC DAY
The First Philippine Republic Day — dubbed “Araw ng Republika ng Pilipino” in Tagalog — is an annual working holiday in the Philippines on January 23. On April 5, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11014, which makes this day an annual celebration. The day commemorates the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic (also known as the Malolos Republic) on January 23, 1899, at the Barasoain Church in Malolos City, Bulacan, by Revolution General Emilio Aguinaldo.
The Philippines were ruled by Spain for over three centuries. In 1896 and 1897, the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire and the American triumph in the Spanish-American War marked the beginning of the country’s journey to freedom. Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippine Declaration of Independence on June 12, 1898, and formed authoritarian regimes mere days later, after the United States won the Battle of Manila Bay. On January 23, 1899, the Malolos Constitution creating the First Philippine Republic was proclaimed. Sadly, it ended abruptly on April 1, 1901, when Aguinaldo was kidnapped and compelled into pledging allegiance to the United States.
In accordance with Republic Act No. 11014, President Duterte tasked the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (N.H.C.P.) and the Department of Education with coordinating activities and festivities commemorating the First Philippine Republic Day. Through this Act, he hoped that Filipinos would continue to recognise the historical significance of the event and take pride in their nation’s rich and honourable past.
In the Philippines, the First Philippine Republic Day is a working holiday: private organisations, schools, public facilities, and other companies remain open for business. Despite this, the holiday remains a day to commemorate independence, bravery, and national pride for the Filipino people.
Five FACTS REGARDING THE PHILIPPINES
A collection of 7,641 islands named after King Philip II of Spain, the Philippines are a group of islands.
About 175 languages are spoken in the Philippines, but Tagalog-based Filipino and English are the official languages.
The national flower of the Philippines is the Sampaguita, and the national bird is the monkey-eating eagle (also known as the Philippine eagle).
The Philippines have more than 200 volcanoes, yet only 24 are active.
The Philippines is the second-largest producer and exporter of coconuts (“buko”) in the world, sending approximately 19.5 million tonnes of coconuts annually to China, Japan, Germany, and the United States.
FIRST PHILIPPINE REPUBLIC DAY DATES