Public Holidays

Other public holidays may be announced upon the discretion of the President. On July 25, 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act (RA) 9492 also known as "An Act Rationalizing the Celebration of National Holidays", designating 11 Regular Holidays and three Nationwide Special Holidays. Specific dates or days for celebration are designated. The law provides that holidays falling on a Wednesday will be observed on the Monday of the week and that holidays falling on a Sunday, the holiday will be observed on the Monday that follows. Three holidays (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Eidul Fitr) are designated as having movable dates, and the law provides that for movable holidays the President shall issue a proclamation, at least six months prior to the holiday concerned, the specific date that shall be declared as a non-working day.

There is also some hype for commercial occasions like Valentine’s Day on February 14th and Halloween on October 31st, especially in bookstores, department stores, restaurants and shopping malls. A number of Filipinos enjoy celebrating these events too.

1 January  -  New Year's Day / Araw ng Bagong Taon

Filipinos usually welcome the New Year on the evening before January 1. Hence, at midnight of December 31, there is merrymaking and revelry with fireworks and with a lavish feast, called media noche (literally, "middle of the night").

6 January or 1st Sunday  -  Three Kings Day

The holiday season lasts until the first Sunday of January. This date commemorates the visit of the Three Wise Men to the baby Jesus. It is also called The Epiphany and often viewed as the last day of the Christmas season (the end of the 12 days of Christmas).

25 February or Monday nearest February 25  -  EDSA Revolution Day (People's Power Day)

A special national holiday, the celebration marks the anniversary of the EDSA People Power I, which toppled a dictator and restored democracy to the Philippines in February 1986. It is believed that the EDSA People Power Revolution ushered in meaningful political, social and economic reforms.

March/April*  -   Holy Week

*Holiday : Maundy Thursday, Holy Friday, Black Saturday and Easter Sunday (moves each year : based on Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar)

Holy Week is observed either in March or in April. It is also called the Lenten Season, a time for spiritual cleansing and a time to commemorate Christ's death on the cross. Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday when Christ's triumphant entry to Jerusalem is remembered. The peak of the occasion are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday, and Easter Sunday. The practice is nationwide and has varying undertones of religious significance that is both moving and touching in its entirety. There are countless "Cenaculos" and "Pabasas" reciting and reenacting the passion and death of Jesus Christ in traditionally written verse form and dramatized version of the original sacrifice two thousand years ago.

9 April or Monday nearest April 9  -   Bataan Day / Araw ng Kagitingan

The Day of Valor ("Araw ng Kagitingan" in Filipino) is a national holiday in the Philippines which commemorates the fall of Bataan when the Filipinos and Americans fought against the Japanese during World War II, followed by the infamous Death March where many Filipino and American prisoners of war walked from Bataan to Capas, Tarlac.

1 May or Monday nearest May 1  -  Labor Day / Araw ng Manggagawa

This commemorates the role of peasants and laborers. It is a day of total rest for all Filipino workers.

Learn this Filipino word:

kamáy na bakal