Public Holidays - Page 2 of 2

12 June  -  Independence Day / Araw ng Kalayaan

This is celebrated every year in commemoration of Philippine Independence as declared by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in 1898.

21 August or Monday nearest August 21  -  Ninoy Aquino Day

It marks the anniversary of assassination of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. Returning to the Philippines after three years of self-imposed exile, Aquino was shot in the head and killed on August 21, 1983 as he was escorted off an airplane by soldiers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Aquino was a staunch opponent of then-President Ferdinand Marcos. Aquino's death sparked anti-Marcos sentiment that led to the 1986 EDSA Revolution.

Last Monday of August  -  National Heroes' Day / Araw ng mga Bayani

Also called the Cry of Pugad Lawin, this day commemorates Andres Bonifacio's call for revolution against Spain, which began in 1896.

1 November  -   All Saints' Day / Undas / Todos Los Santos

Also known as Undas, All Saints Day in the Philippines is observed in remembrance of the dead. Families return to their respective provinces to clean and repair the tombs of their deceased loved ones and to pray for them. Most Filipinos visit the cemeteries on this day rather than November 2, which then makes all the memorial parks in the Philippines literally full of people. Families laden with the favorite foods of the deceased loved ones gather to spend the night snacking and strumming guitars. The atmosphere is surprisingly festive.

2 November  -   All Souls' Day / Undas / Araw ng mga Namayapa

Some Filipino families prefer to gather together at cemeteries or memorial parks to remember their departed loved ones during this day.

(date varies based on Islamic Calendar)  -  Eid ul-Fitr or Id-Ul-Fitr / Wakas ng Ramadan

Marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. It was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 9177 and signed on November 13, 2002. The law was enacted in deference to the Filipino Muslim community and to promote peace among the major religions in the Philippines.

30 November or Monday nearest November 30  -  Bonifacio Day

Bonifacio Day is November 30, a date that is sometimes confused with National Heroes Day. Bonifacio is remembered on his birthday, rather than the date of his death, May 10, 1897, for historical reasons. Unlike Rizal who was executed by the enemy, and other heroes who died in battle, Bonifacio was executed by fellow Filipinos. This was done on the orders of the first President, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, since he was considered an enemy of the state, after the occurrences at the Tejeros convention.

24 December  -  Christmas Eve

A mass is offered on Christmas Eve. Families attend this special mass dressed in their finest clothes. The holidays are a big time for family reunions. The whole clan spends Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together feasting on the finest food, talking, laughing, and opening gifts.

25 December  -  Christmas Day

It is said that Filipinos celebrate the longest Christmas season in the world. As early as September, preparations for the Yuletide Season begin, ending on the feast of the Three Kings on the first Sunday of January.

In celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, there is merrymaking, gift-giving and an abundance of food. The date as a birthdate for Jesus is traditional, and is not considered to be his actual date of birth. It is also a Filipino tradition for children to visit their godparents and elderly relatives on Christmas day.

30 December  -  Rizal Day

This commemorates the execution by firing squad of the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. José Rizal, in Bagumbayan (Luneta/Rizal Park) in 1896.

Learn this Filipino word:

takíp-silim