Philippines: The Land of Multiple Independence Dates

Shed blood lined the streets of the Philippines in the largest massacre to the Filipino people. The United States massacred over 200,000 natives who were part of an independence movement. Later, the United States imposed a law which deferred talk of independence and claimed it could be punishable with incarceration. People were excited when there was talk to ending relations with America. Everyone swarmed the streets, in support for newly found freedom.

TIME Archive.( July 8,1946). "Manuel A. Roxas." Retrieved January 26,2011.

For those 400,000 people and many others as well, July 4, 1946 is believed to be the independence day of the Philippines. TIME magazine featured President Manuel Roxas on the July 8, 1946 cover, bringing in even more sources that agreed this was the real date. The dictionary definition is as follows: “Independence: When a state is free from reliance on another” (1).

After numerous wars, the states decided there was an easier way to maintain power. Soon after they started implementing vigorous rules including the Bell Trade Act which stated the Philippines couldn’t produce or sell products which caused competition with American products; this was a hindrance for the Filipino economy. At the time, many found inspiration by witnessing “the first Asian uprising against imperial power” (2). The United States eventually got tired of pretending the Philippines were free and bought the islands for 20 million dollars. Some say the real Independence Day is in 1902 when President Roosevelt confirmed the Philippine-American war over. The most accepted date however, is September 16th, 1991 when the American troops were “kicked out” of the Philippines. The Filipino people protested an “unfair relation” between them. American was forced to step out ending the Subic Bay Naval Station lease.


1. Famous Quotes at BrainyQuote. (n.d.). “Famous Quotes at BrainyQuote.” Retrieved January 26, 2011, from

2. Berlow, A. (n.d.). “The Independence Day That Wasn’t. Bibingka: A Philippine Treat.” Retrieved January 26, 2011, from


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