That July Day When We Became Free

Have you ever wondered what the Independence Day was like in Cebu on July 4, 1946?

Cebu City during the time on or before July 4, 1946

Introduction: A Tapestry of History and Struggle

As a province nestled within the heart of the Philippines, Cebu always had a rich historical tapestry woven with threads of conquest, colonization, and the unyielding pursuit of freedom. From the time of Lapulapu's defiant stand against Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 to the triumphant declaration of independence from Spanish rule on June 12, 1898, Cebu has been at the forefront of the struggle with key personalities, like Arcadio Maxilom and Pantaleon "Leon Kilat" Villegas, leading the charge. The subsequent period of American colonization (1901-1946), the Commonwealth era (1935-1946), and the turbulent years under Japanese occupation (1941-1945) laid the foundation for the monumental events that transpired during the Independence Day celebration on July 4, 1946.

Although the main celebration was held in war-torn Manila with most of the American and other diplomatic dignitaries present at the festivities, Cebu has its own celebration as well. What was life like during that faithful fourth day of July?

The answer can be pieced together on old newspapers documenting what happened days before, during, and after that historic day. News stories during that time period paint a colorful story of that day that most people, who witnessed it then, would probably have forgotten about it.

'Adlaw sa Kagawasan': A Day of Jubilation

The "Adlaw sa Kagawasan" or Day of Freedom in Cebu marked the celebration of the Philippines' long-awaited liberation from American colonial rule. The streets of Cebu bustled with activities that ranged from parades and cultural performances to flag-raising ceremonies and patriotic speeches. Similar celebrations reverberated throughout the capital city of Manila, signifying a united nation in the quest for genuine independence.

At this significant juncture, the United States made political pledges to support the newly independent nation both politically and economically. American businesses showed their solidarity by extending their support, ushering in the hope of a robust economic relationship between the two countries. Foreign nations, recognizing the Philippines as a bulwark of democracy in the midst of the Cold War, offered their congratulations and extended their hand in friendship. Just two days before that, the Americans had recently tested an atomic bomb on Bikini Atoll sinking the form IJN cruiser Sakawa.

Activities in Cebu

Veterans from bringing flags on the streets

According to the official program for the Independence Day celebration, there was a whole host of activities being prepared for the day.

Just before the city-wide celebration, radio sets were installed at various places so that the public could hear the broadcast from Manila. Arches were constructed at various places in the city through the management of Engr. Juan G. Peralta.

Thanksgiving masses were being held from 6 AM to 7 AM throughout all city churches. By 8:30 AM, all radio stations will by then broadcast the Proclamation of Philippine Independence by American High Commissioner Paul McNutt, the speech of President Manuel Roxas, and the playing of the national anthem and raising of the Philippine flag. After that, all church bells would have been ringing and all factory and ship whistles would have been blown led by the Visayan Electric Company, under the auspices of the Chief of Police.

In the afternoon, a grand parade graced the main thoroughfare. Educational, commercial, and other private and government participations were represented in the parade that started in Plaza Washington under the management of Provincial Provost Marshal and Lt. Amando B. Ruiz.

The civic parade passed through Magallanes, Jakosalem, P. del Rosario, and Jones Avenue and then terminated at Fuente Osmeña where the speeches were made. Leading the parade will be as follows:
- 1st Division: Military organizations and provincial and city officials
- 2nd Division: Government employees, schools, and colleges

After that parade, speeches were delivered by Atty. Martina L. Arnoco, Filemon Sotto, and Judge Felix Martinez. Meanwhile, serving as master of ceremonies was Atty. Bernardo Teves. Prizes were given to the most symbolic floats and representations.

After the speeches, there was a symbolic Independence tree planting by Bataan Death March survivors under the management of Lt. Pastor Tenchavez on Plaza Independencia grounds.

The night is highlighted with a reception and ball at the Club Filipino under the management of Dr. Jose Castillo, Buenaventura Veloso, Rafael Ramos, Agustin Jereza, and Dr. Jose Nolasco.

Elsewhere in the province:
The town of Alcantara celebrated the day with Mayor Marcial Ugbinar at the municipal building. Nanie Llenos was chosen as the muse of the night representing "Miss Independence."

In Argao, three days of celebration occurred that included different games and other cultural programs. A literary contest was held with C. Ripase and Joven Puerto winning the singing event, M. Rodriguez and Diosdado Lanutan winning the poetry event, and Pedro Llenugas and Gaudioso Alberca won the oratory event. There was a swimming contest as well as field games while a drama was staged too. By Independence Day, a solemn high mass was held with the Philippine flag blessed. The flag ceremony was held at the town plaza with the American flag lowered and the Philippine flag raised. A parade was held in the afternoon participated by students, teachers, and veterans. It was followed by the planting of the Independence Tree, a literary-musical program, and a grand ball.

Activities in Manila

As the American flag is lowered down, the Philippine flag is raised up

Official delegates of the city and province of Cebu were flown into Manila to witness the inaugural ceremonies led by City Mayor Vicente del Rosario, Municipal Board Members Catalina Solidum-Ybañez, Cresencio Tomakin, and Jovito Abellana while Teresita Cuenco, Virginia Faelnar, and Luz Teves also joined them. The provincial delegates included Governor Manuel Cuenco, Board Members Miguel Raffiñan and Placido Villacarlos, and Municipal Mayors Eustaquio Rosal, Santos Abarquez, and Mariano Dimataga. Also joined were Teodoro Arnoco, Jose L. Abad, Vicenta Escaño, Pilar Urgello, and Amelia Castillo.

The amount of P3,000 was set aside for the Cebu delegates' expenses that came from the wages of firemen, insurance of the police department, city street lighting, and other services. The money was expected to cover the transportation and incidental expenses of the delegation.

Official Program of the Independence Proclamation

The inaugural program was as follows:

7:10 AM - All guests who have reserved seats were requested to be at their assigned places.

7:20 AM - Officials and distinguished guests assembled at the reception hall of the inaugural platform and then escorted to the platform during the ceremony: General Douglas MacArthur and staff, visiting members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the representatives of foreign governments, members of the U.S. cabinet, state governors of the U.S., chiefs of U.S. armed services, former governors-general, former high commissioners, and many others.

7:40 AM - President Manuel Roxas and Vice President Elpidio Quirino left Malacanang Palace preceded by a cavalry escort of the Philippine Army. The U.S. High Commissioner left his residence preceded by a cavalry escort of the U.S. Army.

7:55 AM - Arrival of the ceremonial platform with a bugle call signals for the public to rise.

8:00 AM - Invocation by Rev. Robert F. Wilmer, address by Senator Tydings, Gen. MacArthur, and High Commissioner McNutt.

Flag ceremony and gun salute accompanied the lowering of the American flag and the playing of the American national anthem followed by the raising of the Philippine flag and the playing of the Philippine national anthem to go with a gun salute.

President Roxas receiving a congratulatory handshake from Gen. MacArthur

Administration of the oath of office to Vice President Quirino and then followed by that of President Roxas.

Address made by President Roxas followed by a public signing of an agreement for the promotion and establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries.

The independence hymn was sung by 1,000 members from the Arellano Colleges and the Conservatory of Music of the University of the Philippines.

The closing invocation was made by Rev. Gabriel Reyes, archbishop of Cebu.

10:00 AM - The ceremony ended with a military and civic parade led by Major General Rafael Jalandoni, chief of staff of the Philippine Army.

US Political Pledges

Despite repeated assurances of American support, the Philippines has to figure out how to reconstruct the country after a devastating four years of brutal Japanese occupation. The Americans have washed their hands clean of the responsibilities of helping the country recover. We were just part of the pawn in the brewing Cold War.

Former Governor-General and Secretary of War Henry Stimson said that the American people will "continue to watch with sympathetic interest and affection the progress of their friends in the Philippines." He added, "As they take their place among the free peoples of the world, the Filipino people will face grave responsibilities and even dangers." In other words, we're on our own.

Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace offered "everything possible" to assist the new republic in reestablishing its economy. The truth of that matter is that the Americans ended up focusing their Marshall Plan on postwar Europe so it could recover faster to circumvent the growing Soviet influence in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, Secretary of the Treasury Fred Vinson reiterated that the United States will honor pledges of assistance to the country. "During the nearly half of a century of United States sovereignty in the Philippines, goodwill flourished between our peoples. The Filipinos elected to adopt the institutions of American democracy as the keystone of self-government," he added.

Senator Millard Tydings, the co-author of the Philippine Independence Act, reiterated the independence as an opportunity for the Philippines to be a leading exponent of a new form of government in the region where men enjoy equal civil rights and the blessings of equal representation by their elected public officials.

Congressman Jasper Bell, chair of the House Insular Affairs Committee, is predicting a permanent United States-Philippine friendship. Governor-Generals Frank Murphy and William Cameron Forbes both offered the same thoughts that the Philippines deserved their freedom. All these American officials never mentioned that they actually colonized the islands but used euphemisms of 'sovereignty,' 'Commonwealth,' and 'opportunity' instead.

As a show of force, Admiral of the Fleet Chester W. Nimitz and Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal sent their best wishes to the independent country while at the same time offering America's naval might.

Business Support

Many businesses have advertised in the newspaper showing their support for the new Philippine republic

Among the many prominent businesses and organizations, major ads featured that of the Manilenan Jewelry Store of A. Sards Purino, Rainbow Refreshments & Pacific Beauty Parlor by Victor Ricahuerta, the Marcelo Rubber & Lates Products, The Jewel - Expert Watchmaker & Goldsmith by A.E. Bacus, Wilsands, the Cebu Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Times Kitchen, Chua Constuction, Cebu Institute, United Merchants Corp., Cebu Portland Cement, San Miguel Beer, Plancoya Philippine American Corp., The Rotary Club of Cebu, Tabla Athletic Supply, Visayan Electric Company, Americal Trading Co., Botica Boie, Southern Movies Corp., Far Eastern Air Transport, Metro Drug Corp., Philippine Airlines, Melody Family Theatre, Victoria Hotel, and Colegio de San Carlos.

Felipe Lorenzana Sons were the exclusive distributors of Sun Flame kerosene lamps (Petroleo) that were widely used to light up homes then. The Jewel, located at T. Padilla Street, is known for their silver seal curling solution, face campan cream balm and other cosmetics. They also sell watches and clocks while also providing top-notch watch repair.

Just before we had the big shopping malls, there was Wilsand's with its large selection of goods from electric appliances to imported goods. Times Kitchen must have been a favorite place for American servicemen to hang out then since it was dubbed as the "stars-spangled" establishment in the city.

The San Miguel Brewery plant along Martires Street still existed way back then.

Operated by a Chinese-Ilonggo management, the De Luxe Hotel along Sikatuna Street is advertised as cool, clean, comfortable, and quiet while also showcasing its specialty in Chinese, American, and Filipino cuisine. Cafe Astoria Restaurant on F. Ramos Street serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as short orders of ice cream, and cakes. Adrasi Panciteria may have the best pancit in the area.

Before there was Mercury Drug or Watson's, there was Botica Boie where you buy a wide variety of your daily needs.

Looking for the best fashion in town? Go to Men's Mode Tailoring, New Model Tailoring, or Royal Tailoring. Get your smartest American footwear at the White House Shoe Emporium on D. Jakosalem Street. If you want to get your photo taken, you may stop by Souvenir Studio at D. Jakosalem Street, Tropic Studio at Sanciangko Street, or Modern Photo Craft at P. del Rosario Street.

Foreign Support

Many overseas Filipinos have pledged support for rehabilitation for their countrymen back home. Many of these are from the large Filipino communities in Hawaii, where many have relatives back in Cebu. Interestingly, about 52,000 of them were not in favor of immediate independence yet they remained united in their fervent expressions of goodwill.

They have hosted an elaborate series of celebrations in observance of the Philippine independence. Many of the plantation workers have joined the festivities. A Miss Philippine Republic queen of the community was even announced.

Strings Attached? Sovereignty Amidst Compromises

The celebration, while a beacon of hope, was not without its complexities. The United States continued to exercise a degree of control over the Philippines' foreign affairs, leading some to question the true extent of the nation's sovereignty. Moreover, the lingering presence of American military bases on Philippine soil raised concerns about the true nature of the newly gained independence.

The headline says it all, The United States is still in control

Despite the long promise of independence, the United States has firm control of Philippine foreign policy and a major foothold on key military bases and important business interests in the country. We're at the start of the Cold War between the West and the Communist bloc countries of the Soviet Union and soon, to be victorious, China. The Philippines is forced to choose a side in this conflict.

While the Philippines was still transitioning to becoming fully independent, the United States, through its State Department, agreed to represent the country's interests abroad pending the organization of its own diplomatic and consular establishments.

Political Climate: Leadership, Events, and Scandals

The political landscape of the Philippines during this period was a mixture of promise and turmoil. Leaders emerged to steer the nation towards progress, but the road was marred by various political events and scandals. The legacy of the Commonwealth era was visible as Manuel Roxas, the first president of the independent Philippines, assumed office. However, his untimely death cast a shadow over the nation's leadership, leading to the ascent of Elpidio Quirino.

These were the key political leaders of that time

Although there was great optimism by former colonial officials and current American political leaders, it was not the case for some. The Pioneer Press editorial warns Cebuanos (represented as Iyo Hantoy) about the hangover of celebration and the disappointment of what this "independence" will bring about. There is a growing concern about the provisions of the Property Rights Bill and the Rehabilitation Bill.

Key local leaders like Governor Manuel Cuenco, Cebu City Mayor Vicente del Rosario, Cebu Mayors League president Eustaquio Rosal, and Municipal Board president Marcos Morelos all issued statements celebrating the Independence Day. Cuenco compared independence with that the Americans secured from the British Empire. Del Rosario recalls the great heroes who fought for the country's independence and the political leaders who spearheaded law and diplomacy. Rosal emphasized the important role every person has to play in the reconstruction of the country. Morelos believed that the country should spearhead progress, peace, and democracy across the Pacific.

It was not smooth sailing for the newly independent country. There were widespread corruption scandals and controversies involving local and national political figures.
  • There was political intrigue and drama brewing when ex-President Osmeña did not receive an invitation to the Republic's inauguration or the Malacanang State Ball.
  • Congressman Vicente Logarta opposed the Bell Bill as it would place the country under a colonial economy and mortgage its future destiny. Supporting him were Floor Leader Cipriano Primicias Sr. and Congressman Felixberto Serrano. However, the bill was approved by the House 57 to 19.
  • The Cebu public works scandal was in full bloom as a complaint alleged that the District Engineer's office used P1.2 million in Bureau of Public Works funds for electioneering purposes.

Post-War Reconstruction: Struggles and Hurdles

The aftermath of World War II left the Philippines grappling with the challenges of post-war reconstruction. Communist rebels sought to exploit the vulnerabilities, while lawlessness and criminal gangs posed threats to the nation's stability. The journey towards progress was fraught with obstacles, but the Filipino spirit remained unbroken.

The backdrop of the Cold War shows

The postwar era saw the rise of communist rebels and criminal gangs in the countryside due to a large cache of loose firearms lying around. Many of the ex-guerillas later became warlords by extorting businesses, farmers, and ordinary folks alike.

The military police were investigating a criminal band of 300 well-armed men in the vicinity of Sudlon. Conflicting reports said that the men were members of Moncado's Crusaders Army who were waiting for their "master" to move when he assumed as President of the Philippines. Other reports suggested that these were discontented elements and former guerillas disillusioned by the failure of promised back pay.

All demobilized officers and enlisted men of the Cebu Guerilla Forces were requested to report at the "Times Kitchen" at the corner of Jones Avenue and Sanciangco Street.

What Life Was Like?

Socio-cultural events played a pivotal role in shaping the nation's identity. The Philippines witnessed a surge in artistic expressions, including movies, theater, radio shows, and music, which resonated with the people's aspirations. However, the period wasn't entirely peaceful, as the rise of crime and the persistent threat of rebels reminded the nation of the challenges that lay ahead. The cost of goods and the evolving trends reflected the nation's attempt to adapt to a transformed economic landscape.

Cebu was still reeling from the impact of war. As a result, rice distribution by the National Rice and Corn Corporation (NARIC) was delayed for a week as the ration card forms were yet to arrive from Manila. Yes, rice supplies were still being rationed to address food shortages throughout the country. Ration cards that were delayed were expected to give every Cebuano P0.13 milk tin can or P1.17 rice ganta.

A total of 304,139 pounds of flour and 20,000 canned goods were left at the provincial treasurer's warehouse. An additional 734 bales of clothing that were to be distributed to the people for free were also stocked up.

Further compounding the problem is the fact, that there was a massive locust plague ravaging the province and the arrival of 50 kilos of highly-concentrated DDT and arsenic was delayed as well. It would have been a big help for the Cebuano farmers looking to produce more rice for the province.

Water shortage was expected for the next three to four months if the city can't install new pumping units. The City Engineer has requested the mayor to ask the national government to have the P100,000 allotted for the Osmeña Water Works released.

Eventually, U.S. Army Air Force planes carried out aerial spraying of pests over Opon and Cordova while another one from Lahug to Talamban, Mandaue, Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, Danao, Carmen, Oslob, Malabuyoc, Bogo, and Sogod.

Lottery results on July 4, 1946

We all love the lottery, right? The biggest prize at that time was P500,000 for one lucky ticketholder of #576690. The second and third prizes will get you P200,000 and P100,000 respectively.

It is interesting to know that the "Voice of the People" section gives us great insights as to how people lived their lives then. This section showcases letters sent by ordinary citizens to the editors complaining about certain things. A certain Camilo Villa wrote to the editors complaining about the suspension of the sale of rice that resulted in the rise of price in a short period of time. Alfredo Ordona complained about the delay of mail service in the Dumanjug area because of an erring mail carrier.

Repair of eight streets and ten barrio roads commenced after the P45,000 appropriation was approved. Streets included were Villagonzalo, Andres Bonifacio, Bag-ong Bayan, Tres de Abril, Katipunan, P. del Rosario, F. Llamas, and Tuti. Also included were roads in Banawa, Inayawan, Pardo, Mabolo, Cadre-Talamban, Pit-os Dit, Talamban Pit-os Binaliw, Dita-Adlawon, and Busay-Canmunggo.

Socio-Cultural Events

About 300 men and women have applied for enrollment in the Southern Islands School of Nursing with only 40 of them getting the chance of being accepted. Classes were expected to resume once the fiscal year budget is approved.

The Cebu Institute has opened its school with its kindergarten, elementary, and high school. It was led by Dr. Arthur Curson of Silliman University, Nicanor Santos, Felix Sun, Natividad Logrono, and Jose Diao.

The Visayan School of Hairdressing and Dressmaking has opened its doors to new students and my late mother may have gone there as well. That's where she learned how to make clothes for all of us when we were young.

See the tuition fee at USC back then

Colegio de San Carlos, my alma mater, has opened the school with full primary and intermediate classes, a high school for boys and girls, and a collegiate department. Its boarding house for boys is located in the former Little Flower building along Gomez Street. The College of Commerce has day and night classes. Tuition fees then were like: P4.00 per month for elementary, P5.00 per month for intermediate, P7.00 per month for 1st/2nd-year high school, P8.00 per month for 3rd/4th-year high school, P12.00 per month for college, and P15.00 per month for law school.

Meanwhile, the United States Information Service library on Jones Avenue (now Osmeña Boulevard) has extended its opening hours to accommodate more visitors. About 800 new books have been received by the library.

The newspaper's "Society" section, edited by Aurelia Balagot, covered certain social events happening on that date. Mayor del Rosario was honored by a Luzon group with a lunch at the Top Hat. The UP Cebu Junior College had an election of their "Lex Circle" for pre-law students. Elected were president R. Bornia, vice president Tim Derecho, secretary Lydia Barro, and treasurer Adelina Sugatan.

The Philippine Commercial Corporation also elected its officers with Manuel Ponce as president, Aproniano Bacus as vice president, Narciso Sinco as secretary, Marcial Borromeo as treasurer, and Tomas Borromeo and Victoriano Reynes as members of the board.

The Talisay Brothers and Sisters Association had their new sets of officers with Gerardo Basilote as president, Remedios Cabalan as vice president, Cenona Campo Lazo as secretary, Olimpia Deiparine as treasurer, Maximo Fernandez and Segundo as sergeant at arms.

Marcelo Bas from Talisay celebrated his birthday at a downtown restaurant with a simple dinner. Among present were Juan E. Yap, Benito Deiparine, Aproniano Bacus, Celestino Sybico, Jose Ybanez, Romeo Andaya, and Jose Demetrio.

Crime Wave

Did you know that there was a jailbreak just before the Independence Day celebration?

An alarm was sounded out by the police headquarters for the apprehension of 22 prisoners of the city jail who escaped at around 8 PM by breaking down the board and cutting the barbed wire on the western end of their cell.

Among the escapees were Severino and Pablo Dionson, both with murder charges. They were believed to have headed for the hills of Adlawon where they lived. Most of the escapees were petty criminals with short sentences. It is believed that the remaining 39 prisoners would have also escaped had the absence of the 22 prisoners were not noted 20 minutes earlier. There was a roll call check and it was only discovered that there were missing prisoners.

It happened when the city guard and jailer were on the other side of the prisoners' cell when it happened. There was only one guard instead of two.

A 57-year-old Felipe Lopez was shot and killed after one of three unidentified men gunned him down on Mango Avenue. He was murdered six yards from his home and P800 was taken away from him. The criminals headed towards the vicinity of the Redemptorist Church. A 38-year-old Cipriano Planas was shot by a teenager as he was resting inside his parked car on Jakosalem-P. del Rosario Streets. Estanislao Solon was shot dead by one of the airstrip guards in Lahug Airport while caught in the act of loading some empty drums in a cargo truck along with some companions.

There was a gunfight between the 8th Military District guards and armed thugs when the latter attempted to break through the Regional Finance building at the extreme end of the camp area on Jones Avenue. The battle lasted for half an hour with the guards reinforced by reserves armed with automatic rifles. Around 50 guards held their ground and dispersed the undetermined number of bandits.

The guards of the restricted area of the Pahina River at the end of Colon Street were attacked by an undetermined number of men armed with automatic pistols and hand grenades. Many of the residents in that area moved to safer grounds. A military police patrol arrived later when the attackers had already left.

An arrest warrant was issued for Japanese Army sergeant Akira Takeshita for his role in the torture of 100 non-combatant Filipino civilians including the killing of five villagers in Talisay, Negros Occidental in April 1944.

An arsenal was found in the household of widow Eugenia Jumalon at Junquera Street as 71 pieces of Japanese land-mine blasting caps and a Remington automatic pistol with five rounds of ammunition were recovered.

Price of Goods and Services

Of course, we all think that the prices of good was still low then. Well, that's not necessarily the case as there was a shortage of key supplies even though the war ended a few months back. Transportation and logistics are still in shambles. The Americans have kept the economy afloat thanks to its supply line and large surplus left behind. There was inflation as well.

But for the sake of our unhealthy obsession with nostalgia, we can show the prices of products and services advertised in newspapers at that time.

The subscription rate for the Pioneer Press was P2.50 per month and P25.00 per year.

Subscription rates for "Pioneer Press"

There were two key competitors for the air transport service - Philippine Airlines and the defunct Far Eastern Air Transport. The latter has offices at the Lahug Airstrip and Jones Avenue with daily Manila, Iloilo, and Bacolod flights and weekly flights to key Mindanao cities. The former eventually resumed its operations by July 1946.

Passenger and freight airfares

Can't afford to take the plane? Go on a ship at De La Rama Lines on the S/S Luzon.

Going to Manila? Get on a steamship.

Glory Hardware & Auto Supply supplies spare parts for GI vehicles, tires and trailers from Ford, Dodge, GMC, and Diamond T. They also sell cargo trucks and jeeps. Nicanor Santos, who happens to be a board of trustee from the Cebu Institute, put up an ad that he's selling surplus American vehicles like cargo trucks, jeeps, and ambulances. The Unchuan Brothers put up an advertisement for a "weapons carriers" in perfect running condition for P1,800. Wondering what kind of vehicle was it? These are the same designs we used to make "owner-type" jeeps. There were a lot of these lying around at that time and many of these dealers made a lot of money reselling these surplus vehicles.

Weapons carriers for sale?

Nike shoes don't exist yet but the United Merchant Department Store has introduced Huaraches shoes imported from Mexico. Tabla Athletic Supply was the preeminent sporting goods store back then as they sell a variety of products from the United States. Americal Trading was probably selling a lot of discounted surplus goods at low cost.

Huaraches do look comfortable

What's Trending?

On the auspicious day, the Finance Committee of the Joint Independence Day Committee issued special stamps and seals commemorating Independence Day. The proceeds were used to fund the expenses of the inauguration ceremonies. The souvenir issues carried the design portraying Columbia in the act of handing over the Philippine flag to Filipinas.

There was an ad running for a few weeks during that time from Metro Drug offering "Ascarol" bonbons for children. These were actually worm repellants for children suffering from infestation considering that there was no proper water sanitation then.

Many Cebuanos often went to watch movies as there was no television or Netflix then to keep them entertained. Downtown has a lot of moviehouses lining up like Vision Theater and Look. So what was shown on the big screens? American movies of course! On that date, the Paramount war classic "Wake Island" was shown on the former and the Columbia Pictures' Western gunslinger "Texas" on the latter. Pretty sure, the younger versions of your grandparents already know what movie they should watch on a first date.

What's on the movies?

Meanwhile, the Melody Family Theatre was showing the cult classic "The Spider Returns" while also lining up a series of movies that included Filipino films like "Walang Kamatayan" and "Ibong Adarna" and a whole host of American patriotic and war films as well.

Marvel superhero movies were not yet there but this one is interesting

The Days Ahead: Transition and Transformation

The sudden passing of Roxas and the ascension of Quirino marked a period of transition for the young nation. While challenges persisted, the Philippines continued to strive for progress and stability. Quirino's administration embarked on a path to uphold the ideals of independence and democracy, despite the hurdles that lay ahead.

Final Words: A Legacy of Struggle and Hope

Cebu's Independence Day celebration on July 4, 1946, encapsulated a nation's journey from the shackles of colonialism to the beacon of self-governance. The festivities in Cebu and Manila marked the culmination of decades of struggle and sacrifice, highlighting the Filipino people's indomitable spirit. While challenges remained on the horizon, the celebration served as a testament to the nation's determination to forge its destiny, mindful of its history yet eager to embrace the promise of the future.

Years later, President Diosdado Macapagal made the change to revert the Independence Day to June 12 instead of July 4, the same day as the American's 1776 independence. Interestingly, Andres Bonifacio shouted "Viva la independencia Filipinas!" on April 12, 1895. The Cry of Pudgadlawin in August 23, 1896 is also another alternate date as symbolized by tearing of the cedulas.

Interestingly, the Japanese also symbolically granted independence to the Philippines on October 14, 1943 with the establishment of the "puppet" government.

"America to Retain Properties in P.I." The Pioneer Press. July 4, 1946.
"Republic Day." The Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.



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shoal,2,scripts,1,sea games,1,seaside city arena,1,segunda katigbak ancestors,1,segunda katigbak descendants,1,seven years war,1,shoutout culture,1,showbiz,1,si goot da wanderpol,1,sick man of asia,1,sidekicks,1,silmido,1,sioktong,1,siomai,1,siomai sa tisa,1,siopao,1,skin color,1,skin tone,1,skin whitening,1,sm arena cebu,1,sm city cebu,1,sm malls,1,sm seaside city,4,sm seaside city arena,2,smart gilas,6,soccer,2,social commentary,2,south korea,1,southeast asian games,1,Soviet invasion of Japan,1,spaghetti,1,spain,6,spanish filipino,1,spanish flu,1,spanish in the philippines,1,spanish language,1,spanish-american war,1,speaking spanish,1,sports,4,sports uniform,1,spratly islands,2,spratly islands dispute,2,st malo,1,stable diffusion,1,star wars family tree,1,Star-Spangled Banner,1,Stephen Curry family tree,1,Stephen Curry genealogy,1,stereotypes,2,street fighter,1,street food,2,sulu sultanate,1,summer,1,superheroes,3,superheroine,1,superpowers,2,supporting actors,1,taegukgi,1,taisho 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language,1,written scripts,1,ww2,2,wwi,1,wwII,2,
Istoryadista | History Blog | Cebu Blogger: That July Day When We Became Free
That July Day When We Became Free
Have you ever wondered what the Independence Day was like in Cebu on July 4, 1946?
Istoryadista | History Blog | Cebu Blogger
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