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TueJul 4

Filipino-American Friendship Day – July 4, 2023

Filipinos celebrate Filipino-American Friendship Day on July 4 every year to mark their historical alliance with the U.S. The relationship between the two countries started as a hostile one and then, with the intervention of another force, to a friendly one. Filipinos believe the good they enjoyed from America outweighs the bad they suffered from them. They decided to celebrate their friendship with the country. Did you know that America greatly assisted the Philippines to fight the invading Japanese forces during WWII? Well, now you know why their friendship is worth celebrating.

History of Filipino-American Friendship Day

The celebration of Filipino-American Friendship Day follows more than 100 years of shared history between the two nations. The beginning of a good relationship between the two countries could be said to have started in 1946 when the Philippines gained their complete independence from the U.S. To show appreciation for the assistance offered to them when Japan attacked, the Philippines’ government designated July 4 as Independence Day. It is also Filipino-American Friendship Day. The country had previously obtained independence from Spain years back.

Subsequently, the Independence Day celebration was moved to July 12 by President Diosdado Macapagal, and Philippines Republic Day was arranged to be the new July 4 holiday. Rightly, Republic Day is another name for Filipino-American Friendship Day. And so, we can say that the celebration of the day unofficially began at that time. With a charge toward solidifying the relationship between Filipinos and Americans, President Ramon Magsaysay issued a proclamation, establishing the celebration of Philippine American Day in 1955. And in 1984, under the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos, July 4 was designated as a non-working holiday to celebrate Filipino-American Friendship Day. For this, we can say that the first official celebration of Filipino-American Friendship Day under the name it is known began in 1984.

The overthrow of President Marcos led to the ascension of the Philippines’ first female president, President Corazón C. Aquino in 1987. The non-working holiday status of the day was abolished. A list of special and regular holidays was released under the Administrative Code of 1987 and did not include July 4. Notwithstanding, the relationship between the Philippines and the U.S. remains good. For example, basketball was introduced into the country during its American occupation and today the country boasts of having Asia’s first basketball league, which is also the second oldest in the world after the American N.B.A.

Filipino-American Friendship Day timeline

1946
Independence From America

The country gains complete independence from America after the surrender of the Japanese, who occupied.

1955
Philippine American Day

President Ramōn Magsaysay issues a proclamation establishing the observance of Philippine American Day.

1984
Official Proclamation of Filipino-American Friendship Day

President Ferdinand Marcos issues a proclamation that declares July 4 as Filipino-American Friendship Day.

1987
Cancellation As a Non-Working Holiday

Celebration of the day as a non-working holiday is abolished under the regime of the first female president; President Corazón Aquino.

1996
Celebration As a Republic Day

President Fidel V. Ramos celebrates July 4 as Republic Day.

Filipino-American Friendship Day FAQs

Who declared Philippine American Friendship Day?

The day was initially named Philippine American Day by President Magsaysay and changed to Filipino-American Friendship Day by President Marcos.

When did the U.S. give the Philippines back?

On July 4, 1946, after the occupying Japanese forces surrendered in 1945 to end WWII.

What is the relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines today?

The relationship between the two countries remains a strong one, with a healthy trade relationship and good alliance.

How to Observe Filipino-American Friendship Day

  1. Read up the history

    There's no better way to understand the significance of the holiday than reading and getting informed about it. Open your history books and read.

  2. Reach out to an American friend

    With the long history that the two countries have, citizens most probably have acquaintances on two sides of the ocean. Call, text, or mail a friend in America today. Reiterate your friendship.

  3. Take it online

    Celebrate it online with popular hashtags. Don't forget to tag your friends.

5 Facts About The Philippines That Will Interest You

  1. A special flag

    The Philippines' flag is the only flag in the world that can indicate whether the country is at peace or war, depending on how it is flown.

  2. National bird

    The country's national bird is the Monkey-Eating Eagle, and no, they don’t eat monkeys but rather moderate-sized animals like pigs, snakes, and bats.

  3. Home to an iconic river

    Puerto Princesa Subterranean River – the world's longest underground is found in the Philippines.

  4. A distinct island

    Camiguin Island in the country is the only island on earth that has more volcanoes than towns.

  5. Home to large shopping malls

    Three of the world's largest shopping malls are located in the Philippines.

Why Filipino-American Friendship Day is Important

  1. It strengthens intercontinental bonds

    Nations feel more inclined toward one another with days like Filipino-American Friendship Day. Ties between countries become stronger. In a world of turmoil, this is necessary.

  2. It promotes good international relationships

    Both Filipinos and Americans consider each positively. This results in the prompting of their governments to establish firmer, stronger, and better relationships between each other.

  3. It reenacts history

    The history of the longtime relationship between the two countries is retold and reenacted on this day. It proves to both countries how closely linked history made them.

Filipino-American Friendship Day dates

YearDateDay
2023July 4Tuesday
2024July 4Thursday
2025July 4Friday
2026July 4Saturday
2027July 4Sunday

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