How to Celebrate Philippine Independence Day amidst the Pandemic

Independence Day 2021 | Camella Manors

The year 2021 marks the 123rd anniversary of the Philippine Independence from being colonized by Spain. And despite the spike of the cases of the COVID19 virus in the country, it is not a hindrance for the Filipino people to celebrate the national holiday at home.

Philippine Independence Day, also known as “Araw ng Kalayaan” or “Day of Freedom,” is celebrated on June 12 annually. This is because, on that day in 1898, the Philippines declared independence from Spain and became a free country.

Since then, Independence Day traditions and customs have grown in size and spectacle over the century.

It remains a time to celebrate being Filipino with friends and family, eating good food, singing, and playing music. And if you’re fortunate, perhaps you may be able to play a good game of Sipa, a traditional native sport that predates the Spanish colonization. 

Interesting Facts about Philippine Independence Day

Araw ng Kalayaan | Camella Manors
Araw ng Kalayaan | Camella Manors | Photo by Mara Rivera on Unsplash

The History

On June 12, 1898, independence was declared in Cavite el Viejo, now famously known as Kawit, at the ancestral home of the Philippines’ first President, Emilio Aguinaldo. However, things did not get any easier from there. Both Spain and the United States refused to recognize the Declaration of Independence, resulting in a diplomatic struggle for our freedom.

The Philippines was surrendered by Spain in 1898, as part of the treaty that ended the Spanish-American War. Fighting erupted between the United States and the Philippines as the government refused to recognize the legitimacy of the United States’ treaty with Spain.

As a result, the Philippines did not formally gain independence from the United States until the end of World War II. Eventually, The Treaty of Manila was signed on July 4, 1946. For many years, July 4th was observed as Independence Day.

Before “Lupang Hinirang”… 

President Emilio Aguinaldo was unsatisfied with an earlier version of the Philippine National Anthem, so he asked Julian Felipe to change it, and the “Marcha Nacional Filipina” was formed. At first, you won’t be able to sing the National Anthem. It was only been celebrated by marching.

Our national anthem, then known as Marcha Nacional Filipina, was first played as marching music with no lyrics on June 12, 1898. Afterward, the verses of the national anthem were changed from a Spanish poem written by Jose Palma a year later. In 1938, the hymn’s official name was changed to “Lupang Hinirang”.

The Philippine Flag During Wars

The Philippine Flag is a war flag as well. During times of conflict, Aguinaldo commanded that the red band of flag is placed on top. Panay, not the Visayas, is the original symbolism of one of the stars on the flag, as Panay was originally mistaken for the whole Visayas and was also the first province outside of Luzon to hoist the flag.

Origin of our National Symbol

Our National Flag was intricately knitted in Hong Kong, with Marcela Agoncillo, Delfina Natividad, and Lorenza Agoncillo worked for hand in hand on creating the flag for five days straight. The three of them created it at Hong Kong’s 535 Morrison Hill and were quite precise with it, having to, and we quote “unstitch what had previously been sewed just because a ray of the sun was crooked, or because the stars were not… equidistant.” When they made the flag, Lorenza Agoncillo was just 7 years old.

Araw ng Kalayaan original celebration day

United States of America isn’t the only country that has ever celebrated July 4th as its independence day. Filipinos had also celebrated July 4th as the day they declared independence from a colonialist nation in the mid-twentieth century. This was not really a surprise though, since the nation was briefly colonized by the United States at that time. However, the overlap was only temporary. In 1962, the Philippines changed the date of their Independence Day holiday, signaling another break with a long history of western influence.

It is the largest celebration of Filipino culture in the world.

The World’s largest celebration of Filipino culture is the Philippines Independence Day. People in various Filipino communities dress up in clothes inspired by their region or tribe, attend local commemoration events, and construct Philippine flags at home. Folksongs and other OPM music that depicts the story of the country’s freedom is often sung by many in karaoke on this day.

Cool Ways To Celebrate Independence Day amidst pandemic

Instead of the annual in-person commemorations, from parades in the streets, celebrations of “Araw ng Kalayaan” are going virtual this year due to the global pandemic.

Virtual Cook-off

People have embraced virtual meetings for anything from birthdays to happy hour in the previous few months. Independence Day may be a lot like that.

It doesn’t imply you can’t beat the same meal just because you’re in different areas! Sharing the same signature dish recipe with the people you’ll be Zooming with ensures that everyone has a shared experience. Find a broadcasted fireworks show to play in the background for a celebratory party.

Virtual Cook-off - Independence Day - Camella Manors
Virtual Cook-off – Independence Day – Camella Manors | Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Prepare a Playlist

Whether virtual or socially distanced, setting the mood is more important than ever in a year that many are finding it harder to celebrate. Here is some new OPM Music that is great to keep on deck at the festivities in this celebration:

Tayo’y Pilipino – EZ Mil

Mga Kababayan Ko – Francis M

Go Up – SB19

Raise Your Flag – KZ Tandingan and Catriona Gray versions

Spotify Playlist - Independence Day - Camella Manors
Spotify Playlist – Independence Day – Camella Manors |

Flex Your Specialty Dish

Today, no one will be traditionally sharing communal dishes. It’s not the best way to keep a safe distance and avoid spreading germs. But that doesn’t mean that gathering over food can’t be enjoyable. Prepare ingredients for guests to make their dish, such as ceviche, for a small gathering. This is an excellent socially distanced and interactive group activity.

Cook Your Specialty Dish - Independence Day - Camella Manors
Cook Your Specialty Dish – Independence Day – Camella Manors | Photo by Farhad Ibrahimzade on Unsplash

Hold Mini-Parties Within a Larger Party

You can be together while maintaining your distance. It is the current situation, and we can make the best of it. Set up outdoor individual blanketed areas six feet apart, for example. You can have a picnic basket or cooler full of food in to-go containers, beverages, and disposable items ready for when guests arrive on each blanket.

Brass would serve kettle potato chips and tortilla chips with various dips, charcuterie, and cheese. If you are celebrating in the same city, you can make these baskets and deliver them to several households.

Limit your party attendance - Independence Day - Camella Manors
Limit your party attendance – Independence Day – Camella Manors | Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

Add some touch of red, white & blue

Mix in some red, white, and blue.

Giving a strong resemblance to our national flag, Araw ng Kalayaan is all about celebrating the colors red, white, and blue, so why not take it a step further with your cocktails?

A great way to spread the party love is to batch up some cocktails in mason jars and leave them at the front door of your friends’ homes so they can celebrate with you and the nation.

This can also apply to the dishes. Encourage participants to use red, white, and blue food to compete in a virtual “cook-off.” The food, however, does not have to be cooked; guests can make something as simple as cupcakes or your specialty mixed drinks.

Because the other guests will not be able to sample everyone’s creations, points are awarded for the most creative ideas. Strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream are traditional ingredients for something like this.

Customized Cake - Independence Day - Camella Manors
Customized Cake – Independence Day – Camella Manors | Photo by Deva Williamson on Unsplash

Hold a grilling “class”

Does your family or circle of friends have a designated honorary grill master? Have them set up a live stream for family and friends where they share tips on their favorite ways to grill! Guests can grill simultaneously or take notes for next year when it’s their turn to make the Fourth of July hot dogs.

Virtual Grilling Competition - Independence Day - Camella Manors
Virtual Grilling Class – Independence Day – Camella Manors | Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Don’t forget to set up a supply station

Summer parties have always needed mosquito repellent and sunscreen. That remains the case as bug bites and sun damage haven’t stopped being an issue. Of course, this is a different sort of summer, too. Keeping everything sanitized is important for everyone, especially if you have guests in your home. If people are touching each other’s phones and devices to check out music or photos throughout the night, that can be a problem if people do not stay on top of sanitizing!

Keep hand sanitizer, alcohol, wipes, and extra face masks readily available for your guests. Their safety is your safety as well.

COVID19 Vaccination - Sanitize your hands - Camella Manors
COVID19 Vaccination – Sanitize your hands – Camella Manors | Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

What does it mean to be independent?

Araw ng Kalayaan commemorates the day our country gained its independence. It is a wonderfully happy celebration that no one in this country should take for granted, particularly the younger generation.

The Philippines is known for its strong familial ties. Many Filipinos do not leave their parents’ homes until they marry. Other Filipinos even live in the same house as their parents. It is a cultural custom that is still observed today.

However, some people are making adjustments. Millennials who are now making a wage prefer to live alone rather than with their parents. This new requirement has resulted in significant changes in the Philippine real estate business. Developers continue to create new properties all across the Philippines in response to the increased demand for condominiums and flats, which is mostly driven by Millenials.

1. Quiet & Peaceful

Finally, you are alone! After a hard day at work, you may unwind on your fave couch, read a book, or binge-watch your favorite show all night.

2. Complete liberty

Because the home is yours, you can do whatever you want with it. You are free to customize the décor to whatever style you choose. You have the option of cleaning the property or not. You are the ruler of your domain, which is very amazing.

3. Sense of Pride

Living independently provides everyone a sense of accomplishment. Everyone, including yourself, should be pleased with the fact that you are already living alone and no longer rely on your parents for assistance.

4. Taking on more obligations

Living alone might help you develop your sense of accountability. It’s a chance to try new things, make errors, and learn from them. Your maturity level will undoubtedly rise. You’ll finally figure out how to make more sophisticated meals, pay your bills, and unclog your toilet.

5. Getting to know yourself

Independence implies that you can finally learn more about yourself. You’ll finally know how you’d react in difficult conditions. Finally, you can hear your thoughts and master what you truly desire in life.

Now that you’ve decided to live alone, what should you keep in mind when you decide to leave your parents’ nest? The following are some topics to think about:

Choose the ideal living: Of course, you’d want to live somewhere comfortable, somewhere that matches your lifestyle. 

Be financially prepared: Fix your budget for the numerous expenses that you will have to pay, such as the mortgage, utility bills, and other mandatory fees. Consider if you should rent or buy a condo. Whatever method you use is OK as long as it is within your financial constraints. 

Prepare your contacts: Keep phone numbers of repairmen on hand in case you have a housing problem that you can’t address on your own.

Amuse yourself: Living alone may be isolating at times. So stock your bookcases with literature, download those must-see movies, or better yet, get a dog or cat to keep yourself entertained.

Live Independently in an Affordable Condo in Bacolod

Camella Manors Bacolod is the first Camella Manors project in the Visayas to join the Vista Land community. Camella Manors is Vista Land’s newest mid-rise condominium brand, with locations across Metro Manila’s regions and neighboring provinces. It offers all-inclusive lifestyle needs and resort-themed amenities for young professionals, starting families, investors, and Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Camella Manors Bacolod, a midrise condominium development, offers the feel of a condo-resort community while pioneering a new level of hassle-free urban living in the middle of a thriving economy.

The condo starts accepting reservations for apartments in Buildings 1 and 2 in 2021. Camella Manors Bacolod is a 1.1-hectare mid-rise condominium complex comprised of four towers.

Affordable Bacolod Condo - Prime Location
Affordable Bacolod Condo – Prime Location | Camella Manors

This affordable condo in Bacolod, located along Cordova-Buri Road, Mandalagan, would provide investors the best value for their money with various facilities such as a swimming pool, kiddie pool, fitness facility, clubhouse, playground, and commercial strips. There is also 24-hour security to protect everyone’s safety. Animal enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that it is a pet-friendly neighborhood. Pet owners may now invest in Bacolod!

Choose an independently convenient living

Condominiums are ideal for singles seeking an urban lifestyle. The beautiful thing about living in a condominium is that it provides numerous advantages to its tenants, such as a gym, a swimming pool, and even retail malls.

If you believe that condominium prices are too high for you, look into studio flats, which are affordable and available for rent and sale in strategic cities across the country.

However, if you intend to create a family, it is preferable if you invest in 2 or 3-bedroom condo units for your future family. Just keep in mind that living independently does not require you to forget about your parents or your origins.

Living freely involves appreciating and discovering oneself, as well as one’s value.

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