Just over a week ago, a local expat (Aussie) and friend who lives here in Calbayog asked if anyone knew whether the Americans where planning anything for the 4th of July holiday. No sooner than the day after he suggested it, it was quickly determined that any get together should be located in Calbayog City so it could be convenient for all expats located in either direction to attend. And I don’t think John (aka “Texan in the Philippines”) was one of the first to realize his location had been nominated. It didn’t take long for John to get permission from the boss and immediately begin putting together a music party-mix for the occasion. It was decided to be a pot-luck and John offered to buy the beer, and there would be dancing-girls! Okay, there would be no dancing-girls, but it would be a big surprise to have one pop out of a giant red, white & blue cake topped with sparklers. Okay, that wasn’t going to happen either. We were resigned to having raw fish (kinilaw) for hors d’oeuvres (salo-salo), beer, and listening to John’s music selection. Okay, and there was some good food. Note that “Was” is past tense!
So Many Philippines Holidays
While the “Fourth of July” is the U.S. Independence Day and is celebrated by its citizens around the world, it is mostly without much fanfare (including fireworks), and here in the Philippines it is no different. Mostly quiet get-togethers among friends. Initially, this nation’s Independence Day holiday (Araw ng Kalayaan) was also held on 4 July. President Diosdado Macapagal adjusted the date to 12 June, the date in 1898 which was when the original Declaration of Independence from Spain was issued. Philippine Republic Day was created in its place and kept as a holiday under Macapagal, to coincide with the United States’ own Independence Day. That’s not all! In 1955, then President Ramon Magsaysay issued a Presidential Proclamation which established the observance of Philippine-American Day every 15 November – which recognized the anniversary of the inauguration of the Commonwealth. During the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos, Philippine–American Day was renamed “Philippine–American Friendship Day” and moved to the 4th of July, overshadowing the observance of Philippine Republic Day. They do like celebrating with us, don’t they?
Any way you look at it I suppose, there is a lot of history just in creating holidays here. I mean they sure have enough of them. And on this date, regardless of what it is called, Filipinos and Americans alike can all have good reason to celebrate alike. How conveniente! As far as our little potluck get-together was concerned, It went off without a hitch. We had our greets, a few new meets, some good conversation and a few good laughs. Everybody ate well, drank their share of liquid refreshments, and all made it home safely. And there were no fireworks.
And, to that certain Calbayog Aussie who created all the chatter last week that was responsible for creating this holiday gathering (who was more than welcome to attend) and then disappeared… Thanks! And we will do it again next year.
Check out the video below…