Cavite City relives historic 1898 Philippine Flag-waving

As part of the kickoff of the National Flag Days, the City Government of Cavite recently held a commemorative program to relive the first waving of the Philippine flag on its soil 125 years ago.

The observance traces its roots to 28 May 1898 when revolutionary troops defeated the Spanish forces in the Battle of Alapan in Imus, the first major encounter of the Philippine Revolution since the return of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo from exile in Hong Kong in mid-May.

The Filipinos captured around 300 Spanish soldiers, including their commander, Gen. Leopoldo Peña. The prisoners of war were marched to Cavite Puerto and were presented by the victorious troops to Aguinaldo at Teatro Caviteño, where he first unfurled and waved the Philippine flag which was sewn in Hong Kong by Marcela de Agoncillo.

The highlight of the observance is the historical reenactment of the flag waving by the Republica Filipina Reenactment Group at a replica of the Teatro Caviteño at the Samonte Park.

The flag-waving event has been misinterpreted to have taken place immediately after the victory of Filipinos in the Battle of Alapan. The said battle is the basis for Executive Order 179 in 1994 declaring the National Flag Days which culminate on Independence Day on 12 June.

According to Cavite City mayor Denver Chua, the people of the city should take pride of this lesser-known historic detail and popularize it through regular annual celebrations and continuing education.

He said that this first-ever observance will put the spotlight back to the city’s rich history and culture being the Spanish-era provincial capital and center of socio-economic life.

National Historical Commission of the Philippines chairperson Emmanuel Calairo, the program’s guest of honor, swore in the new officers of the Cavite City Historical Society, a private group which will be the local government’s partner in its heritage-oriented initiatives.