Philippine Independence Day Regatta 2011 Subic Bay
Image courtesy Martyn Willes
The Philippine Independence Day Regatta 2011 will be held in Subic Bay to celebrate the Philippines’ declaration of independence from Spanish Rule on 12th June, 1898. The regatta will attract racing and cruising yachts from around the country for two days of sailing in one of the most notable of Philippine sailing venues.
The actual Act of the Declaration of Independence was read in public for the first time at the residence of General Emilio Aguinaldo – the self-proclaimed leader of the Filipino revolutionary forces – in Kawit, Cavite. The act of reading the Declaration consolidated the power base that he had amassed by virtue of removing other notable Filipino revolutionaries such as Andres Bonifacio – hailed by many as the true hero of the revolution – by accusing him of treason.
Notwithstanding the Declaration of Independence, Aguinaldo immediately went to war with the United States of America because they failed to recognize his declaration and instead they arranged for Spain to cede the Philippines to them. Aguinaldo lost the war with the United States of America and the Philippines was managed by the Americans until the Japanese took it off them in 1942.
It is perhaps interesting to note that whilst the Philippines nationally celebrates the birth of Andres Bonifacio on Bonifacio Day (30th November) there is no corresponding national holiday for Aguinaldo, although the province of Cavite has recently started celebrating Aguinaldo Day in March, around the date of his birthday on 22nd March, 1869.
Fittingly perhaps, this year’s Independence Day Regatta will not be held on 12th June as in previous years, but will instead be held on 18-19th June because 20th June is a public holiday and celebrates the undisputed motivator for the revolution against 370+ years of Spanish rule: Jose Rizal
Whatever the rationale for the timing of the regatta the fact is that every participant will be striving for excellence on the water, to honor in part the Philippine national heroes and in part the sport of sailing.
Out near the front of the fleet will no doubt be 2010 regatta champion Doni Altura trading tacks with Philippine international racing champion, Jun Avecilla and relative newbie (but no less determined) former Subic Bay Yacht Club commodore, Ricky Sandoval – see picture.
To make sure that the fleet represents the spirit of the hour when the Declaration was first read, there will be a few Americans on the water and some of Spanish decent. There will also be a few Germans no doubt, to reiterate their nation’s part in the surrender of Subic Bay to the American fleet (ostensibly on behalf of the Philippine revolutionary forces) and there will definitely be some British there to rue their forefathers’ stupidity in giving the country back to the Spanish in 1764. I would not be surprised if couple of Japanese will be joining in the fun as well, just to confirm historical balance. Whatever the final mix of nationalities of the yachts and crew, the celebration is for the Philippines and the nation’s eventual liberty from everyone else.
The Independence Day Regatta is organized by Subic Bay Yacht Club in cooperation with Subic Sailing or SAGS and Lighthouse Marina Resort.
Kalayaan o Kamatayan!
(Liberty or Death – the battle cry of the Katipunan under Andres Bonifacio)
For more information visit the Subic Sailing website
For the best view of some of the racing action visit the Lighthouse Marina Resort.