Celebrating Philippines Independence Day 2021

Celebrating Philippines Independence Day 2021

The Philippines celebrates 123 years of Independence from Spanish rule. Filipino communities across Australia and around the world will also be celebrating!

Whilst there will be many events celebrating independence Day across the country, the Philippine Community Council of NSW (PCC NSW) will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary.

2021 also marks the 75th anniversary of Australia Philippines Diplomatic Relations.


123rd Anniversary of Philippines Independence Day. 

Here are some of the key points to note about the Philippines Independence Day.

1| Spanish rule began on February 13, 1565 and ended in 1898 with 333 years of rule.

2| The proclamation of Philippine independence took place on a June 12, 1898 by General Emilio Aguinaldo in the presence of a huge crowd in Cavite at his ancestral home.



Portrait of General Emilio Aguinaldo, circa 1919 – the First President of the Philippines. Source: Harris and Ewing Photo Studio


The Act of the Declaration of Independence was prepared, written, and read by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista in Spanish.

The Declaration was signed by ninety-eight people, among them an American army officer who witnessed the proclamation.

For the Filipino community it’s a time to celebrate the values of ‘Independence’ whilst reflecting on the bravery of those who fought for the country’s freedom.



3| The event saw the unfurling of the National Flag of the Philippines.

The flag is symbolised by the following:

– White represents equality and brotherhood
– Royal Blue represents peace, truth, and justice
– Scarlet Red represents patriotism and valor
– Three Stars represents the three main islands – Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
– The Sun rays represents the 8 Tagalog provinces that rose up against Spanish colonial rule: Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Laguna, Tarlac, and Batangas.



4| The National Anthem of the Philippines is called Lupang Hinirang which translates to ‘Chosen Land’ in the language Tagalog.

The music was composed in 1898 by Julian Felipe and played by the San Francisco de Malabon marching band.  The lyrics were adapted from the Spanish poem Filipinas, written by José Palma.

5| Jose Rizal was on of the most famous Nationalists to speak out on the need for Independence from Spain.

He wrote two important novels on Spanish rule and its negative influence and although the books were banned, they were smuggled into the Philippines and widely read.

On the night of his execution, on December 30, 1896, Rizal proclaimed the Philippines “the Pearl of the Oriental Seas”. His death is annually commemorated on December 30.


Map of Philippines



The Republic of the Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands lying on the western rim of the Pacific Ocean and north of the equator.

Manila, the capital city, is the country’s chief port and main commercial centre.


Based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Filipino population in Australia has increased to 310,000 in 2020.

Based on 2016 data, New South Wales has the most number of Filipinos followed by Victoria.

Keen to learn more or engage the Filipino community in Australia? Contact our team at [email protected]

Dee Raghavan

Dee Raghavan is the Senior Manager, Engagement Marketing at CulturalPulse. She has a passion for writing, travelling and experiencing other cultures through sport, music, film, art and food. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]