"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

75 Years Ago: Signing of the Treaty of Manila July 4, 1946

Philippine Presidential Museum and Library

Philippine Republic Day (Tagalog: Araw ng Republikang Pilipino), also known as "Philippine–American Friendship Day," is a commemoration in the Philippines of the signing of the Treaty of General Relations and Protocol, aka Treaty of Manila of 1946, which gave recognition to the Philippine independence on July 4, 1946 after forty-eight years of American occupation. It was signed the following month by US President Harry Truman on the first anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific on August 14, 1946, aka Victory over Japan Day or Victory in the Pacific Day. Two months later the treaty entered into force on October 22, in that same year, when ratifications were exchanged. The treaty was accompanied by a "provisional agreement concerning friendly relations and diplomatic and consular representation." The photo above captures the historical event when the Flag of the United States of America is lowered while the Flag of the Republic of the Philippines is being raised during independence ceremonies.

July 4 used to be the Philippine Independence Day until 1962 when President Diosdado Macapagal changed the country's day of freedom to June 12. Let me quote the President's public address, "It is proper that what we should celebrate is not the day when other nations gave recognition to our independence, but the day when we declared our desire to exercise our inherent and inalienable right to freedom and independence." Moreover, it would have been very strange for a country to share an Independence Day with its colonizer's own Independence Day on July 4. The new date, June 12, is the day in 1898 on which General Emilio Aguinaldo issued the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain.

The practice of celebrating Philippine–American Friendship Day and Republic Day on July 4 as a non-working holiday was formally abolished in 1987 under President Corazon C Aquino. In 2013, President Benigno Aquino III (son of President Aquino) issued Proclamation No 533 declaring January 23 as "Araw ng Republikang Pilipino" (Philippine Republic Day—special working public holiday), the anniversary of the proclamation of the First Philippine Republic. (Source: Wikipedia)

To listen to the speech of General Douglas MacArthur watch this video footage of that historic event, courtesy of archive.org.

Video Narration: After forty-eight years of American Sovereignty, the people of the Philippines assume the status of an independent Nation. The transfer was made on the 4th of July, a day full of significance for these Yanks.

Huge crowds jammed Manila to watch the birth of the Republic, which regains its independence through the voluntary actions of the American people. In a message, President Truman assured our continued support.

The new nation looks forward to prosperity. Exceedingly poor after Japanese occupation, the Philippines will receive reparation and free trade concessions from the United States. Manuel Rojas, newly elected to the presidency, takes the oath of office as Ambassador Paul McNutt looks on.

An old Philippine resident, General Douglas McArthur, arrives with a special message:
Forty-eight years ago, the mantle of American sovereignty held over this land and this people with the magnificent sovereignty of a liberator, pledged to be withdrawn as soon as the well-being of the people would safely permit. America never wavered in that purpose. America today redeems that pledge. This land and this people, that I have known so long, and loved so well.

Fr JM Manzano SJ 


  1. I like the last sentence. Staying for a time makes deeper knowledge and loving more of the Beloved just like in prayer.🙏🙏🙏

    Thanks for sharing this historical moment. This is one of the things I like in your blog learning from past so to live meaningfully at present. You inspires us not only to Be MakaDiyos at Makakalikasan but also Makabayan. Maraming Salamat po, Fr. JM! Pagpalain tayo at ang ating bayan ng ating Diyos mapagmahal at mapagkalinga.❤😇❤

    1. I affirm very much what you have observed. "Maka Diyos, Maka Tao, Maka Bayan, Maka Kalikasan" (Love of God, fellow human beings, country and creation). God redeems us as a people! May God bless us always as a free people!

    2. Thanks Fr JM! 😀 4M to take into ❤ and to live by. Love the English translation. Salamat po uli, Fr JM!


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