Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 02:44:35 -0400
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <>
From: Alex G Bardsley <bardsley@ACCESS.DIGEX.NET>
Subject: Fwd: PH: 100 anniversary of independence from Spain (HKStandard)
To: Multiple recipients of list SEASIA-L <>


Flag raising and parades launch two weeks of independence revelry

AP, Hong Kong Standard, [13 May 1998]

MANILA: Flags were raised nationwide yesterday in rites kicking off two weeks of revelry, culminating in the 12 June centennial of the country's declaration of independence from 300 years of Spanish colonial rule.

The flag day ceremonies, marking the 100th anniversary of the first display of the Philippine flag, were followed by parades that caused huge traffic jams.

President Fidel Ramos led a re-enactment of the first unfurling of the flag in Alapan in Cavite province, south of Manila, where Filipino revolutionaries won a major battle against Spanish forces 100 years ago.

The flag was not actually raised until two weeks later, when General Emilio Aguinaldo, a former mayor who became the republic's first president, declared independence from Spanish colonisers at a house in Kawit, also in Cavite.

Before the Philippines could gain its independence, however, the United States acquired it after winning the 1898 Spanish-American War. The Philippine government is spending 98 million pesos (HK$20 million) on the centennial celebrations, which are highlighted by a trade and historical exposition at the Clark Special Economic Zone, a former US air base in northern Pampanga province.

More than half of the money is going for the renovation of 16 historic shrines and the construction of historical markers and monuments along the freedom trail, areas where Filipinos put up resistance against Spain.

At a Manila park named after Jose Rizal, a Filipino patriot who was executed in 1896 by Spanish colonisers, Philippine officials raised a giant flag before a monument of Rizal.

Joseph Estrada, likely to be declared the Philippines' next president tomorrow, will break with tradition and give his inaugural speech in Pilipino instead of English, officials said.

Mr Estrada will also break another tradition by holding his inauguration at a historical church instead of in Manila's Rizal Park.