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After 333 years of Spanish reign, the Philippines celebrated the 124th year of independence under the Spanish rulers on this day today. Today, June 12, commemorates of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo's declaration of the Philippine Republic as an independent country.
The Spanish colonial period in the Philippines began in 1521, when explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived on the islands and claimed them as a colony for the Spanish Empire. The Spaniards have made many changes in the lives of Filipinos, both good and bad, and we have benefited from what the Spaniards have established on the island of the Philippines. There are many things that we still do, such as culture, tradition, and practices. For more than 300 years, the Spaniards have had a profound impact on our lives by introducing the Catholic Church, which has converted nearly every Filipino to Christianity.
Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards on the island of the Philippines, the Filipinos had a thriving civilization and were trading with the Chinese and Japanese. Historically, the people of the Philippines were Muslims who preached Islam to others. However, Spanish colonization impacted almost everything about the Philippines, and this is true as we can see now. Aside from bringing the Catholic religion, the Spanish also influenced current Filipino culture. The Spanish conquest finally brought about major changes in the life of the indigenous peoples. The Spaniards brought new habits and religion with them. From their previous colonial experiences in Latin America, they brought new behaviors and institutions with them.
However, the lives of our forefathers and the Filipino people during those times were not peaceful, as certain Spanish people were crueler than others, particularly the friars. Throughout the Philippines' colonization, the Spanish gained monetarily while hindering the natives socially and through taxation. Finally, the drawbacks outweigh the positives since being economically successful is not more important than losing cultural identity and the Church putting natives in debt. And if you've read Dr. Jose Rizal's novel "El Filibusterismo," you'll know who the country's true enemy is.
The Philippine colony was ruled by Spaniards, according to Spanish by-laws, and for the sole benefit of the mother nation and its representatives in the colony. Filipinos only occupied minor positions. They have forbidden the benefits of public education, and their rights and desires were almost entirely neglected. Worse, the abusers and manipulators are mostly dominated by the government and the churches during those periods. The Filipino people are manipulated and abused by unscrupulous authorities and friars. What's more, guess what? Doesn't history repeat itself? Lol.
To my non-Filipino friends here and to my Filipino friends who don't like history that much, I highly recommend and suggest to you guys reading Jose Rizal’s two novels, which are "Noli Me Tangere" and "El Filibusterismo". You will undoubtedly learn a lot about the Philippines from these novels.
It's been a hundred and twenty-four years since Philippine independence, yet why do we still feel enslaved and unfree?
Still, I am thankful for the culture and traditions that the Spaniards influenced to us that we are enjoying right now. MAALIGAYANG ARAW NG KALAYAAN PILIPINAS!