117 Years After Independence

Independence Day

All sectors of society were represented in Dumaguete City’s 117th Independence Day Celebration.

It was my second year of celebrating Independence Day as a public school teacher. It was the 117th year since Emilio Aguinaldo, the country’s first president according to historical canon, declared the Philippines free from the shackles of Spanish colonization. It is an Independence fraught with controversy – questions of legitimacy foremost among them – and the revolution that was its instrument is these days being revisited with questions of a revolution to what degree if it only served to install the local elite? It is good to be reminded of the tension with which we claim this Independence and to be reminded of how despite this claim, it has remained meaningless these past 117 years for some of our countrymen.

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