Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day is celebrated annually on June 30. Despite a lengthy history of colonisation, it celebrates the strong relationship between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Spain. It honours the 33 Spanish soldiers who defended the Spanish flag at the Siege of Baler and remained there from 1898 to 1899, unaware that Spain had already granted independence to the Philippines on December 10, 1898. The Revolutionary Army was so impressed by their fortitude that General Emilio Aguinaldo issued an order requiring them to be regarded as friends. On July 22, 2002, the Philippine–Spanish Friendship Day Act was ratified.
The background of Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day
The Republic of the Philippines is located in Southeast Asia, specifically the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of more than 7,000 islands and fragments. The modern name of the country is derived from King Philip II of Spain, who reigned during the Spanish colonisation of the Philippines. The country was ruled by Spain for over 300 years, followed by the United States for nearly 50 years.
In 1565, conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in the Philippines, marking the beginning of Spanish colonisation. By 1571, the seat of the Spanish East Indies was Spanish Manila. The Spanish then proceeded to invade and annex neighbouring territories. During its reign, Spain consistently suppressed native Filipino uprisings. However, the Filipino independence movement had its origins in the wrongful execution of three activist Catholic clergymen in 1872. This event inspired a Spanish propaganda campaign advocating for political reforms in the Philippines.
The Philippine Revolution was waged between Filipino revolutionary forces and the Spanish military beginning in 1896. The Philippines finally proclaimed independence from Spain in 1898. The Baler Siege lasted nearly a year. 33 Spanish soldiers defended the Spanish flag here from 1898 to 1899, until they learned that Spain had already granted independence to the Philippines on December 10, 1898. General Emilio Aguinaldo issued an order mandating that they be regarded as allies because the Revolutionary Army had become so impressed with their tenacity.
5 FACTS REGARDING THE PHILIPPINES
The Philippines is home to three of the largest shopping malls in the globe.
A Philippine diver discovered the world’s largest pearl.
Philippines is the thirteenth most populous nation in the world.
The Philippines is the world’s second-largest archipelago.
There are roughly 175 languages spoken in the Philippines.
PHILIPPINE-SPANISH FRIENDSHIP DAY DATES