Aquino to mark 117th PH Independence in historic Iloilo town

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III will lead the celebration of the 117th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence on Friday, June 12, in the historic town of Santa Barbara in Iloilo province.

It is where the Philippine flag was first raised outside Luzon in November 1898. 

Aquino will start the celebration at the Santa Barbara Church, where he will be given arrival honors. The church served as the headquarters of Filipino revolutionaries who plotted against their Spanish rulers. 

The flag-raising ceremony will be held at the Santa Barbara Municipal Hall, a stone's throw away from that marker indicating the location of the freshly cut bamboo that was used to hoist the Philippine flag in the Visayas town. 

Aquino will also lead the wreath-laying ceremony at the monument of General Martin Delgado, the man who led the revolution there.

A day before the celebrations on Friday, Aquino will also lead the inspection, project briefing, and inauguration of infrastructure projects in Iloilo. 

For years, Aquino has deviated from the tradition that presidents celebrate the Philippine Independence Day at the Rizal Monument in Manila, where national hero Jose Rizal was executed by the Spaniards.

2011 – Kawit town in Cavite, where Philippine Independence was declared

2012 – Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan, where the Constitution of the First Republic was drafted

2013 – Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila, the site of the monument of revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio

2014 – Naga City in Camarines Sur, where  the martyrdom of 15 Bicolano Martyrs – Quince Martires – led to the civil guard revolt that ended Spanish rule in Camarines Sur.