TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 25 (PIA)—If you have this luxury of whiling your time in an extended weekend August 27, basking in the holiday sun, frolicking in some unmapped beach of simply in a hammock under the palm-fringed beach, thank a Boholano, who pounded a grand event which would make the first National Heroes Day distinct from a similar holiday in November.
But did you know that this holiday used to be commemorated on a Sunday?
The first celebration of the National Heroes Day had then Secretary of Education Cecilio Putong, a Boholano, taking charge to make the celebration grand, after breaking off from a seemingly similar celebration on November 30.
November 30 then was in the memory of Andres Bonifacio and those who knew how to sacrifice the interests of self and the rich pleasures of living for the sake of the dignity and welfare of the greatest number.”
This then makes it a duplicate with the holiday on the last Sunday of August.
It was accordingly in the American Colonial Period that the celebration of the National Heroes day began, a celebration pegged every last Sunday of August.
By Act 3827, the Philippine Legislature first enacted the holiday into law declaring the last Sunday of August of every year as a national holiday, in honor of unnamed heroes who have braved death, persecution for home, nation, justice and freedom.
The Act however appears to be a duplicate of the holiday in November 30 by virtue of Act 2946 which celebrates Bonifacio Day and of Filipino heroes. This was in 1943.
In fact, to make matters even more confusing, then President Jose P. Laurel signed Executive Order No. 20, which set the National Heroes Day on November 30, placing celebrations in Mount Samat in Bataan, which commemorates the bravery of the Filipinos and the Americans who fought it out with the Japanese Imperial forces in Corregidor and Bataan.
A decade later, President Elpidio Quirino reverted the holiday to the last Sunday of August, and appointed Boholano Education Secretary Cecilio Putong to head the committee to take charge of the National Heroes Da, which at that time fell on August 31, 1952.
And just as the country got used to the holiday falling on the last Sunday of August, President Corazon Aquino’s Executive Order 292 adopted the Administrative Code which lists the national holidays and special days but presented a manner of modifying these by law, order or proclamation.
On July 24, 2007, using the provision to modify the holidays, by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s holiday economics to reduce work disruptions by moving holidays to the nearest Monday or Friday of the week, allowing for longer weekends and boosting domestic leisure and tourism, Republic Act 9242 amended the Administrative Code and placed the National Heroes Day on the last Monday of August.
The holiday has since then stuck to the last Monday of August.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Proclamation 555, dated August 15, 2018 which declared the regular and special (non-working) days for 2019.
Regular holidays for 2019 are January 1 (Tuesday) as New year’s Day, April 9 (Tuesday) Araw ng Kagitingan, April 18 (Thurday) Maundy Thursday, April 19 (Friday) Good Friday, May 1 (Wednesday) Labor Day, June 12 (Wednesday) Independence Day, August 26 (Monday) National Heroes Day, November 30 (Saturday) Bonifacio Day, December 25 (Wednesday) Christmas Day and December 30 (Monday) Rizal Day.
Special (Non-Working) Days in 2019 are February 5 (Tuesday) Chinese New Year, February 25 (Monday) EDSA Peoples Power Revolution Anniversary, April 20 (Saturday) Black Saturday, August 21 (Wednesday) Ninoy Aquino Day, November 1 (Friday) All Saints Day, December 8 (Sunday) Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion, December 31 (Tuesday) Last Day of the year, and additional non-working days: November 2 (Saturday) and December 24 (Tuesday).
Also to be declared national holidays are Eid’l Fit’r and Eid’l Adha, which dates can only be determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar and with the recommendation of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos to the Office of the President. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)