THE HISTORIC INDEPENDENCE BALCONY

The author took the image in May 2013.

The image above is the window-turned balcony where General Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy officially unveiled the first Philippine flag manually and mechanically sewn by Doña Marcela Mariño de Agoncillo et al., during the declaration of Philippine Independence in Cavite II El-Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite Province on 12 June 1898.

The declaration of independence transpired nineteen days after General Emilio Aguinaldo established a Dictatorial Government, which existed from 24 May 1898 to 22 June 1898. The proclamation of independence was a noteworthy achievement under the short-lived Dictatorial Government.

As the first adviser to first Philippine President, Lawyer Ambosio Rianzares Bautista aka Don Bosyong read in a public manner the Act of the Declaration of Philippine Independence he authored in Spanish. Ninety-eight delegates signed the Acta de la proclamacion de independencia del pueblo Filipino (Act of the Declaration of Philippine Independence) to declare the sovereignty and independence of the Philippines from Spain. However, under this act, the Philippines placed under the protection of the United States, which Malolos Congress revised later as implored by Apolinario Mabini.

During the proclamation, Marcha Filipina Magdalo performed and San Francisco de Malabon Band played Marcha Nacional Filipina, which is known these days as Lupang Hinirang. Contrary to popular belief, Don Bosyong waved the first Philippine Flag between four and five in the afternoon of 12 June 1898.

Aside from other high ranking Filipino officials like Apolinario Mabini, Representatives of US President William Mckinley likewise attended the ceremony. This was the second time Gen. Aguinaldo unfurled the said flag after their victory in Battle of Alapan—-15 days earlier on 28 May 1898.

On this remarkable day, Kapitan Miong, as his compatriots fondly called him, and the brilliant young lawyer, Apolinario Mabini, had finally met in the flesh for the first time. Before, Aguinaldo used to solicit advice remotely from Mabini for his newly established government.

Rare footage of Aguinaldo rehearsing speech on 11 February 1929—two years after the invention of television.

Arguably, the first Philippine flag is stored, preserved, and displayed in the Aguinaldo Museum in Baguio City.

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