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Laguna Travel Guide - Happy Birthday Dr. Jose P. Rizal!

Happy Birthday Dr. Jose P. Rizal!

Statue of Jose Rizal in Calamba, LagunaOn June 19, 1861, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the Philippines' National Hero, was born in Calamba, Laguna.

This year (2010) marks Jose Rizal's 149th birthday. Annually, Rizal's birthday is celebrated in Calamba, Laguna and the entire Laguna province to honor the life and works of this great man. June 19 is also "Laguna Day" (Araw ng Laguna) and is a special non-working holiday in the province of Laguna.

On the other hand, Congress already approved of House Bill 5408 last year that "seeks to amend the Administrative Code of 1987 to move the annual observance of Rizal Day from December 30, the date of his execution, to his birthday" on June 19. HB 5408 is still pending approval in the Senate; as such, Rizal's birthday on June 19, 2010 is still considered a local holiday and Rizal Day will be observed on December 30, 2010 (scroll down for the complete list of Philippine holidays and long-weekend schedule for 2010).

This is the complete report on HB 5408:

Bill moving Rizal Day to June 19 approved
June 19, 2009, 6:24pm

The century old practice of observing Rizal Day on Dr. Jose Rizal’s death anniversary is expected to end soon following the final- reading approval of a bill moving the national holiday to June 19, the national hero’s birth date.

Before adjourning its regular session early this month, the Lower House disposed of House Bill 5408, unanimously approving the measure on third and final reading and sending it to the Senate for its action.

HB 5408 seeks to amend the Administrative Code of 1987 to move the annual observance of Rizal Day from December 30, the date of his execution, to his birthday.

Rizal's statue as a child at Rizal Shrine

Rizal's statue as a child at Rizal Shrine

Authored by a group of solons led by Reps. Raul T. Gonzales Jr. (Lakas-Kampi, Iloilo) and Jaime Lopez (Lakas-Kampi, Manila), approval of the measure was supported by the National Historical Institute which disclosed that the December 30 observance of Rizal Day traces its historical roots to a decree issued on December 20, 1898 by President Emilio Aguinaldo.

NHI Chairman Ambeth R. Ocampo said the decree actually declared December 30 of each year as a day of national mourning and was intended to honor Rizal and other Filipino patriots during the Spanish period.

According to Ocampo, Rizal Day was declared one of the official holidays of the country with the enactment of Act No. 245 of the Philippine Commission. It was signed on February 1, 1902.

Ocampo supported Gonzales’ contention that commemorating June 19 as Rizal Day is more appropriate, considering that birth anniversaries are celebrated than the death anniversary of heroes.

“The NHI maintains that the observance of Rizal Day should be done on June 19, his actual date of birth. If Rizal Day is observed on June 19, classes have just started and students would be able to actively participate in the commemorative activities,” said Ocampo.

On the other hand, Lopez noted that the Rizal’s death alone did not trigger the 1896 revolution that Filipinos thought catapulted the country to independence.

“It was his life-long accomplishments done during his lifetime that inspired and pushed us Filipinos to fight and work for our greatness as a race,” Lopez said.

Other authors of the bill include Reps. Justin Chipeco (NP, Laguna); Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado (Lakas, Bulacan) and Ma. Evita Arago (LP, Laguna).

“It is only proper, and it is about time that the country bestows this great man with deference and honor by marking the day of his birth as a National Holiday, and to call it ‘The National Hero Day,” said Chipeco, who represents Calamba City, Dr. Rizal‘s birthplace.

Philippine holidays and long-weekend schedule for 2010

Here is the schedule of Philippine holidays and long-weekends for 2010 based on RA 9492 and Proclamation 1841:

* January 1 (Fri) - New Year's Day (five-day long weekend from December 30 to January 3)
* February 22 (Mon) - EDSA Revolution Anniversary
* April 1 (Thu) - Holy Thursday
* April 2 (Fri) - Good Friday (four-day long weekend from April 1 to 4)
* April 9 (Fri) - Araw ng Kagitingan (three-day long weekend from April 9 to 11)
* May 1 (Sat) - Labor Day
* June 14 (Mon) - Independence Day (three-day long weekend from June 12 to 14)
* August 23 (Mon) - Ninoy Aquino Day (three-day long weekend from August 21 to 23)
* August 30 (Mon) - National Heroes Day (three-day long weekend from August 28 to 30)
* September - Eid'l Fitr (to be announced, calculated September 10, possible three-day long weekend from September 10 to 12)
* November 1 (Mon) - All Saints Day (three-day long weekend from October 30 to November 1)
* November - Eid 'l Adha (to be announced, calculated November 16)
* November 29 (Mon) - Bonifacio Day (three-day long weekend from November 27 to 29)
* December 24 (Fri) - Non-Working Holiday
* December 25 (Sat) - Christmas
* December 27 (Mon) - Rizal Day (four-day long weekend from December 24 to 27)
* December 31 (Fri) - Non-Working Holiday
* January 1 - (Sat) New Year's Day (three-day long weekend from December 31 to January 2)

Taken from the Manila Bulletin Travel blog's post.

UPDATE: President Gloria Arroyo declares June 30, 2010 as a special non-working (national) holiday for the inauguration of president-elect Benigno Aquino III.