I hear many of my fellow Filipinos asking or shouting at me "WHAT?"
Yes, it is ONLY the 60th Philippine Independence. The REAL Independence Day of the State of the Philippines and the Filipino Nation is on July 4, 1946, this is the real thing, the real date.
From hereon, when I refer to "true Philippine Independence", I am referring to the mandated Philippine Independence by the Philippine Constitution. When I refer to "real Philippine Independence", I am referring to the July 4, 1946 Independence of the Philippines.
So what's happening here? Why do we have two very different independence declaration? Is the June 12, 1898 "Aguinaldo" Independence declaration not real?
Let's cover some historical facts, but first, let's all agree that history has the final say on this matter, agreed? Good.
The 5th President of the Republic of the Philippines, President Diosdado Pangan Macapagal, the father of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said during his Independence Day adderss at the Luneta Park in Manila on June 12, 1962, of which the guest of honor was Aguinaldo:
A nation is born into freedom on the day when such a people, moulded into a nation by a process of cultural evolution and sense of oneness born of common struggle and suffering, announces to the world that it asserts its natural right to liberty and is ready to defend it with blood, life, and honor.
(Macapagal, The Philippines Turns East, op. cit., pp.1-2. Full text of the speech is in pp.1-8.)
If we are going to follow the President's speech, then we can argue that the Philippines Independence was on 1896 and not 1898, for the "people, announced to the world... ready to defend it with blood, life, and honor" that year.
The war for independence in 1898 actually began in 1892 when the Katipunan (official name: Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan or KKK) was founded, on July 7, 1892, before the execution of Dr. Jose P. Rizal on December 30, 1896. Then there was the so-called "First Cry of Philippine Independence" on April 10, 1895 in Montalban, Rizal, the "Cry of Balintawak" on August 26, 1896, the "Battle of Pinaglabanan" in San Juan, Rizal (now San Juan, Metro Manila) on August 30, 1896, which spread widely in the island that on September 2, 1896, Mariano Llanera rose up agains the colonials in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija.
So why July 12, 1898? Why General Emilio Aguinaldo? Is it all because of his "act" and the waving of the Philippine flag? Have we forgotten that Emilio Aguinaldo ordered the assassination of Andres Bonifacio, the founding leader of the Katipunan or KKK and his followers? Isn't that act synanymous to killing the Philippine "Cry for Independence"?
General Aguinaldo declared Philippine "independence" over the dead bodies of the Katipunan founder, Andres Bonifacio, his brothers and their followers. Aguinaldo's goons murdered these freedom fighters. History has it that Aguinaldo ordered also the assassination of Gen. Antonio Luna in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. These were among the reasons the Aguinaldo proclamation of "independence" was parochial in scope. He had only limited support in his native province of Cavite and some neighboring areas.
Then on May 1, 1898, the Americans controlled the walled City of Intramuros, Manila, after their naval victory at Manila Bay. Much more, there was not even a single country that recognized the proclamation of "independence" made by General Emilion Aguinaldo. What General Aguinaldo proclaimed simply paved the way for the establishment of a revolutionary government on June 23, 1898, to get the recognition from other countries that the Philippines is an independent nation.
September 29, 1898, the Malolos Congress ratified the declaration of the Philippine Independence which led to the approval of the Malolos Constitution by the Malolos Congress on November 29, 1898. General Aguinaldo spread the so-called Philippine Constitution on January 21, 1899. Still, the Philippines is under Spanish rule and other countries sees it as such.
Next was the Philippine-American War, which ended by the signing of the 1898 Treaty of Paris where majority of the Filipino people and their leaders took their oath of allegiance to the United States of America's sovereignty overy the Philippines and the Filipino people. In other words, the Philippines is under a new ruler and thus, the Malolos Republic many historians call the Philippine Republic ceased to exist - the historians' "Philippine Republic" was conquered by the United States of America.
Before we move on nearer to the real Philippine Independence, it is good to note that the move to June 12 from July 4th carried with it serious historical, political, and legal implications on the struggle of the Moro people for self-determination, and on the macro level, the Moro-Filipino relations. June 12, 1898, as provided by the Maura Law of 1893 wherein it stated that the territorial jurisdiction of Las Islas Filipinas covered only the area of Luzon and Visayas. Thus, the independent territories of the Bangsamoro people which were not colonized by Spain and is respected by General Emilion Aguinaldo were excluded from the jurisdiction of the Republica Filipina.
By this act of shifting to June 12, 1898, the Philippines clearly showed to Filipinos, the Moro, and the rest of the world, that the territorial jurisdiction of the Republic of the Philippines is only within the areas of Luzon and Visayas, that the area of the Moro is a free state and a free nation. Additionallly, under the Royal Decree of February 26, 1886 and the Royal Decree of July 15, 1896, which affirmed the independence of the Moro territories from the Spanish-held territories of Luzon, Visayas and some Pacific islands.
Macapagal further spoke in that historic speech of an "entire nation" who came into being which was galvanized by Aguinaldo who brought to life the "aspirations of all Filipinos," and who declared Filipinas "free" from Spain. Alas, Macapagal's very tongue had spoken the truth behind the controversy. The Moros are grateful forever to President Macapagal for disclosing the fact that the Filipino nation Aguinaldo spoke of excluded the Moros whose Sultan in Sulu he would cordially address in January 1899 as "great and powerful brother," a diplomatic address befitting only heads of state and government like the Sultan of Sulu, for example.
By January 2, 1942, Manila was conquered by the Japanese and the last large resistance was overwhelmed on May 6, 1942. From hereon, the Philippines was under the Empire of the Rising Sun (or the Japanese Empire). On October 14, 1942, the Empire established a "Philippine Republic" with José P. Laurel as the President (who was the former supreme court justice). The puppet government gained little support from the Filipino people who were already tired from the brutality of the Japanese Empire. The US-led Philippine government set up a "government-in-excile" in Washington, USA with President Quezon who escaped with other high officials before the Philippines fell. He died on August 1944, and then Vice President Sergio Osmeña became the new president. He returned to the Philippines on October 20, 1944, at the Leyte landing, after months of US air strikes against Mindanao. President Sergio Osmeña then established the Philippine goverment on October 23, 1944 at Tacloban, Leyte.
On July 5, 1945, General Douglas MacArthur declared that "All the Philippines are now liberated" from the Empire of the Rising Sun (or the Japanese Empire). A year later, on July 4, 1946, the United States of America granted independence to the whole Philippine nation and islands.
From the Washington Watchdog"
INDEPENDENCE DATE ADVANCED
Section 3 of act June 29, 1944, ch. 322, 58 Stat. 626, provided in part that date of independence could be advanced prior to July 4, 1946, but it was not done.
PROC. NO. 2695. PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE
Proc. No. 2695, July 4, 1946, 11 F.R. 7517, 60 Stat. 1352, provided:
The United States of America hereby withdraws and surrenders all rights of possession, supervision, jurisdiction, control, or sovereignty now existing and exercised by the United States of America in and over the territory and people of the Philippines;
On behalf of the United States of America, I do hereby recognize the independence of the Philippines as a separate and self-governing nation and acknowledge the authority and control over the same of the government instituted by the people thereof, under the constitution now in force.
How about the area called Muslim-Mindanao? It was only in 1915 - the Carpenter-Kiram Treaty, that they accepted American sovereignty, after waging countless of wars with the American colonizers. By July 4, 1946, the whole Philippine group of islands gained independence from her colonizers once-and-for-all. The whole nation recognizes it and it is that date that truely shows and proves the territorial jurisdiction of the new Philippine Republic which we all are living in today.
Happy Real Independence Day to all Filipinos and Moros alike.
* Due to recent statements, discoveries and new information that surfaced, it is now even more unclear if the Moro was really  part of the July 4, 1946 independence; or  an independent nation and state. Unfortunately, I lost my other sources of information regarding the Moro plight, but I do remember them recognizing the July 4, 1946 independence as part of their region and the reason why they are actively requesting for the Philippine government to restore its claims of the region of Sabah, as historically proven, the whole region of Sabah is privately owned by the Sultan of Sulu and thus part of the Philippines.
* All these historical facts explain why the Moro are actively fighting for a self-governing region.
* If we Filipinos do not like colonizers ruling us, then give the Moros who have been fighting for decades their long sought independence from the Filipino colonizers.
My Personal opinion: This is the reason why I am in favor of a Federal form of government for the Philippines. (To be exact, a Socialism-Parliamentary-Federal Philippine government, State and Nation.)