Monday, July 4, 2011

Filipino-American Friendship Day Celebrated Today, July 4

To honor the bond of friendship between Filipinos and American for over a century now, the “Filipino-American Friendship Day” is celebrated on July 4 every year. July 4 is also the date of independence of the United States of America.

Until the early 1960s, July 4 was the date on which the country celebrated its independence day, until President Diosdado P. Macapagal moved the celebration to June 12, the date President Emilio F. Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine Independence in 1898, and proclaimed July 4 as Philippine-American Friendship Day. Decades later, President Fidel V. Ramos declared July 4 each year as Philippine-American Friendship Day.

Historically, the bond of friendship between the Philippines and the United States started when American missionaries, notably the Thomasites, and professionals arrived on Philippine shores to lay the groundwork for the formal educational system and the building of basic infrastructures. Early Filipinos migrated to the US, to particularly work in farms in California and Hawaii. Their contributions to US labor and technology have since expanded, and they are now a significant part of the workforce in medical, engineering, information technology, education and other fields of endeavor. Today, Filipino workers are considered one of the biggest groups in the US.

The bond continues to grow as friendship between the two countries is shored up by over a century of strong cultural relationship, in their sharing of a common language –English – and development in the arts, education and history.

In celebration of Philippine-American Friendship Day, the Philippine government, led by President Benigno S. Aquino III, is offering a firm handshake to its partners in progress and development, led in the Philippines by United States Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr.

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