The Philippines, consisting of more than 7,000 separate islands in the western Pacific, declared independence from Spanish rule over 120 years ago. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was responsible for making this claim but it wasn’t until 1962 that then-President Diosdado Macapagal made it a public holiday through a presidential proclamation. The Filipino flag was unfurled for the first time on this day June 12 in 1898 at an inspiring celebration, which also featured the first public playing of the Philippines national anthem. The nation has made great strides. It’s considered to be an emerging market and a newly industrialized country. Tourism also makes a large impact on the Philippines economy.