Filipino Independence Day

Happy Filipino Independence Day

The arrival of June sees the Philippines celebrate its independence. But with international travel currently limited, it’s more complicated than ever to get home to join the festivities. To mark Filipino Independence Day 2021, Azimo has put together this guide to celebrating the Philippines’ anniversary with your family, wherever you are.

What is Filipino Independence Day?

Filipino Independence Day is an official national holiday in the Philippines, celebrating the country’s independence from Spain. In Filipino, it’s called Araw ng Kalayaan, which means “Day of Freedom”.

While National Heroes Day celebrates the architects of the Philippines’ freedom from Spanish rule, Filipino Independence Day commemorates the anniversary itself. 

When is Filipino Independence Day?

The Philippines gained independence from Spain on June 12th 1898, that’s why Filipino Independence Day takes place every June 12th. On that day in 1898, the Philippines flag was raised for the first time by General Emilio Aguinaldo after he issued a decree marking the date as a proclamation of independence. 

Philippine flag meaning

The Filipino flag consists of a sun representing liberty, and its eight rays represent the original provinces that revolted against Spain. 

The three stars stand for the Philippines’ three largest islands; Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The white triangle represents hope for equality, while the blue stripe stands for peace, truth, and justice. Finally, the red stripe symbolises patriotism and valour.

Did you know? When the Filipino flag is upside-down, i.e. the red stripe above the blue one, it means the country is at war.

What happens on Filipino Independence Day?

Independence day celebrations start early in the Philippines. During May, flags and other decorations are raised across the Philippines in honour of the upcoming anniversary. Shops and other businesses will also start ‘Araw ng Kalayaan’ promotions to drum up sales and enthusiasm for the celebrations. 

On June 12th, however, festivities centre around the public parade in Manila. 

With schools, banks and government offices closed, the procession in the capital will feature President Rodrigo Duterte. The Police and the armed forces will join the President and oversee the official speech, 21-gun salute and fireworks display. 

Away from the parade, many Filipinos will spend the day in parks and malls or visiting loved ones. Filipino communities overseas will celebrate with traditional meals and catch-ups with those back in the Philippines via phone or video calls. 

How to celebrate Filipino Independence Day overseas

What is Filipino Independence Day?

If you can’t be in the Philippines, you can celebrate independence day from afar. While apps like Zoom and Skype make calling your loved ones easier, they can’t provide you with essential home cooking. 

Couple that with lockdown restrictions easing, and it could be time to visit a Filipino restaurant. The tables below highlight some of the best Filipino eateries in the UK, Australia and Canada. 

Whether you’re craving some crispy pata (deep-fried pork leg), a helping of bulalo (beef shank and bone marrow soup) or a hearty bistek Tagalog, get your taste of home away from home. 

Filipino restaurant in the UKAddress
Josephine’s Filipino4 Charlotte St, London W1T 2LP
Lutong Pinoy 10 Kenway Rd, London SW5 0RR
Romulo Café & Restaurant 343 Kensington High St, London W8 6NW
Filipiniana Restaurant 25 High Street, Lakenheath, Suffolk, IP27 9JS
Remy’s Cafe Kulinarya 21 Kings Rd, Saint Leonards-on-sea TN37 6DU

Best Filipino restaurants in Canada

Whether you’re a Filipino living in Canada or simply a fan of their cuisine, the restaurants below are some of the best in the business. With lockdown restrictions varying all over the world, get in touch and see if you can book a table or even get a takeaway for Araw ng Kalayaan

Filipino restaurants in CanadaAddress
Wilson’s Haus of Lechon365 Wilson AvenueM3H 1T3 Toronto, ON
Pinoy Pansitan5940 Victoria Avenue H3W 2R8 Montreal, QC
Jenmuel’s Lechon Cebu & Grill63 Euclid Ave, R2W 2W4, Winnipeg, MB 

Best Filipino restaurants in Australia

As of five years ago, there were nearly half a million Filipinos in Australia. And thankfully, there are more and more Filipino food spots popping up across the country. Below are some of the most recommended Filipino restaurants in Australia.

Filipino restaurants in AustraliaAddress
Rey’s Place163 Crown St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Yes Please41 Wellington Rd, East Brisbane QLD 4169
Lolo and Lola3 Watson Pl, Watson ACT 2602
GJ’s Grill 243 Franklin St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Want to send money to the Philippines in time for Independence Day? Download the app on iOS or Android and transfer funds to anywhere from Manila to Quezon City.