In the Philippines, July 4 is Filipino-American Friendship Day celebrating the long-standing relations between the two countries. President Fidel V. Ramos designated July 4 each year as Philippine-American Friendship Day since 1996, formerly the Philippine Republic Day. A day in the Philippines designated to commemorate the official recognition of Philippine independence by the United States of America.The Philippines was a U.S. territory from 1898 to 1946. Between 1941 and 1946, during World War II Japanese occupation, it remained a U.S. territory with a government in exile headed by Manuel Quezon initially located in Australia and later in the United States. A campaign to retake the country began in October 1944, when General Douglas McArthur landed in Leyte along with Sergio Osmena who had assumed the Philippine presidency after Quezon’s death. The battles entailed long fierce fighting; some of the Japanese continued to fight until the official surrender of the Empire of Japan on September 2, 1945. The country gained complete independence on July 4, 1946.
Initially, the Philippines observed Independence Day every July 4, to coincide with the Independence Day celebration of the US. It did this from 1946 to 1964 when President Diosdado P. Macapagal signed Republic Act 4166, changing the date of Philippine Independence from July 4 to June 12, when General Emilio F. Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite in 1898. July 4 was called Philippine Republic Day.
Last year, Carl and I went to Corregidor, an island is tadpole-shaped, about three miles long, and in the entrance of Manila Bay in southwestern part of Luzon Island. It faces the West Philippine Sea and is sandwiched by the provinces of Bataan and Cavite.
During World War II, Corregidor played an important role during the invasion and liberation of the Philippines from Japanese forces. Heavily bombarded in the latter part of the war, the ruins left on the island serves as a military memorial to several American, Filipino and Japanese soldiers who served or lost their lives on the island.
The Filipino-American tandem during the World War II is being commemorated in this park. Its main feature is the ten-foot high statues of a Filipino and American soldier which symbolizes the two races’ unity in times of war.
Today, Corregidor Island is one of the favorite spots of tourists who have thirsts for Philippine history, particularly for relics of war. Today, what was left of the island are the silent witnesses to its bloodiest and most ferocious events – the national treasures, the ruins of the war.
Sun Cruises, Inc. (SCI) provides daily guided trips to the historical island of Corregidor. Sun Cruises traces its beginnings in August 1988 as a ferry service to the historical island of …