NHCP to lead 22nd Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Celebrations

SAN MIGUEL, BULACAN – The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) will lead the nation in celebrating the 22nd Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day and commemorating the 126th Anniversary of the Start of the Siege in Baler, Aurora on 1 July 2024.

An earlier commemoration and equally significant remembrance will be done at the Simon Tecson house, San Vicente, San Miguel, Bulacan on 26 June 2024, 8:00 a.m. to honor the role Simon Tecson played in securing Filipino victory in Baler. NHCP Chairperson Lisa Guerrero Nakpil will lead the wreath-laying rites together with His Excellency Miguel Utray Delgado of the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines. They will be joined by the Municipality of San Miguel, PNP San Miguel, the Province of Bulacan and descendants of Simon Tecson.

For the second part of the program, the invocation will be led by the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of St. Michael Archangel with messages given by San Miguel Municipal Mayor Roderick Tiongson, Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando, Chairperson Nakpil and Ambassador Delgado. Banda ng Biak na Bato 24 will perform the recessional hymn.

Lt. Col. Tecson was put in charge by President Aguinaldo to lead the siege. Along with other soldiers from Bulacan, he helped end it, received the surrender of Spanish soldiers, and made sure they could leave unharmed. The Siege of Baler tells the story of Spanish soldiers who held out in Baler Church, 15 days after the proclamation of Philippine independence. Despite informing them that the war had already ended, the soldiers barricaded themselves for 11 long months. Only when President Emilio Aguinaldo passed a presidential decree – commending their heroism, allowing them safe passage, and that they be treated as friends – did they finally come out.
In 2003, Republic Act No. 9187 created the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day to be observed on 30 June of every year. This reminds us that the simple act of benevolence of Filipinos in Baler then, paved the way for better relations between the Philippines and Spain today.

The NHCP is the national government agency mandated to promote Philippine history through its museums, research, and publications, and to preserve historical heritage through conservation and the marking of historic sites and structures.

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