Jacksonville, FL (May 24, 2022) – This evening, the Jacksonville City Council unanimously passed Resolution 2022-421, which recognizes June 12 as Philippine Independence Day. The bill was introduced as an “in-and-out” Emergency Upon Introduction as Council Member Danny Becton identified the need to celebrate this very important event in the Philippines history in a timely manner. The resolution honors the sacrifice of the many Filipinos who fought for independence against Spain as well as the contributions Filipinos have made both here in Jacksonville and to our country.
On June 12, 1898, General Emilio Aguinaldo publicly read the Act of Declaration of Independence proclaiming the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Island from Spain after more than 300 years of Spanish rule. This was the culmination of many efforts during the 19th century to break the island from colonial rule, which prior to 1872 was mostly organized by the Filipino clergy. By 1892, resentment towards the Spanish government became even more widespread, and by August of 1896, an organized resistance force of over 100,000 Filipinos began their efforts of armed rebellion. Over the next two years, Filipino rebels and Spanish soldiers would fight with little gains on either side. While a pact was signed on December 15, 1897, to bring the revolution to an end, neither the rebels nor the Spanish acted on their end of the agreement, and thus fighting continued. In June of 1898, Spain had been defeated, and the Philippines had gained their hard-fought independence from Spain.
Duval County has the distinction of being home to the largest Filipino population in Florida, with more than 25,000 residents of Filipino decent residing with the county. The first wave of Filipino immigrants came to Jacksonville in the 1940’s because of the mass influx of enlistment by Filipinos in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Philippine Independence Day is both a holiday to be celebrated for the freedom, liberty, and independence of the Philippines, but also a day to celebrate and recognize Jacksonville’s Filipino Americans’ contributions not only here in Jacksonville but to our country.
At the Philippines Independence Day Gala on Sunday, June 12, CM Becton presented the framed resolution and stated the following:
“It is my honor this evening, as the City Council Member for District 11 and with support by the unanimous approval of my City Council colleagues, to have the distinct pleasure of presenting this proclamation in recognition, and celebration of, this momentous occasion of the 124th Anniversary of Philippine Independence. Please allow me now to read the resolution.”
“WHEREAS, on June 12, 1898, General Emilio Aguinaldo publicly read the Act of Declaration of Independence proclaiming the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain; and
WHEREAS, on June 12, 2022, the Filipino American community will celebrate the 124th Anniversary of Philippine Independence, in recognition of the establishment of the Philippine Republic by the Revolutionary Government; and
WHEREAS, Philippine Independence Day is a special public holiday throughout the Philippines in celebration of freedom, liberty and independence, inherent rights of all people; and
WHEREAS, Filipino Americans have served with distinction as members of the Armed Forces for over a century and sacrificed their lives in many wars. The first wave of Filipino immigrants to Jacksonville began in the 1940s as a result of enlistment of Filipinos in the U.S. Navy during World War II; and
WHEREAS, Jacksonville is now home to the largest Filipino population in Florida, with more than 25,000 residents of Filipino descent. Philippine Independence Day is an opportunity to recognize Jacksonville’s Filipino Americans and appreciate their cultural, economic, and political heritage; now therefore
BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Jacksonville:
Section 1. The City of Jacksonville hereby honors Philippine Independence Day on June 12, 2022. Jacksonville City Council celebrates the multitude of contributions that Filipino Americans have made to enrich the culture of our city, state, and nation.”
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