The Philippines lies in the Southeast Asia as a tropical country rich with natural resources. This destination is very popular not only for its outstanding beauty but hospitable people. Known as the “Pearl of the Orient Seas’, the Philippine archipelago prides itself as a unified country amidst diverse culture, tradition and languages.
Get a trip at the Philippines and witness its spectacular beauty especially during holidays. The Malacañan Palace through the President’s Proclamation No. 831, series of 2014, announces public holidays for 2015.
The following are special and public holidays observed in the Philippines for the year 2015:
A. Regular Holidays
New Year’s Day – January 1, Thursday
For many Filipinos, this is not only a day to celebrate the coming of the New Year but oftentimes a venue for family gatherings and reunions. They celebrate the New Year with blasting and colorful fireworks, delicious foods prepared for the whole family and visitors as well as attractive decorations in homes and streets. It is believed that creating noise through firecrackers will drive away bad spirits and omen. New Year’s resolution is also another way to face the year with renewed attitude and leaving bad traits in the previous year.
Maundy Thursday – April 2
As Christian nation, this da is considered important as they commemorate the day before Crist was crucified. Organized by Catholic churches, there is re-enactment of the last Supper where Jesus had his final dinner with his apostles. Fasting is done by the Catholic community and also refrain themselves from activities such as sexual intercourse, alcoholic drinking and eating meat.
Holy Friday – April 3
This is a very important religious event in the country especially to Roman Catholics. This is the very day that the Lord sacrificed himself and died in the cross to redeem the world. Catholics are commemorating this day with the suffering of the Lord. Masses are held. Also, penance and fasting are observed for repentance of sins. Re-enactment of Christ’ crucifixion on the cross is also done. This day is filled with solemnity and silence refraining from worldly pleasures.
Araw ng Kagitingan (The Day of Valor) – April 9, Thursday
This celebration commemorates the heroism, bravery and greatness of the Filipino and American soldiers during the World War II. Parades are held in small cities and localities anywhere in the country. The highlight of this event is the speech of the Republic’s President in Mt. Samat Shrine, Bataan to honor the veterans and their families during the World War II.
Labor Day – May 1, Friday
This is the day of rest for most workers and is celebrated by most countries around the world. This is also an event when workers are celebrating. In some parts of the country, some labor unions demand for salary increase and other additional benefits.
Independence Day – June 12, Friday
The Philippine regained her independence from Spanish colony last June 12, 1898. This day is considered highly significant in the Philippine history. Nationwide parades are held participated by government officials, employees, teachers and various civic organizations. The highlight of this event is the police and military parade in manila headed by the President of the Republic along with a 21-gun salute.
National Heroes Day – August 31, Monday
This is one of the most important holidays in the Philippines. Heroes of the country are acknowledged for their patriotism and love for the country that they offered their lives for the country and its people’s freedom. OFWs are also given recent recognition for their contribution in the country and are considered living heroes.
Bonifacio Day – November 30, Monday
Andres Bonifacio is one of the bravest heroes of the Philippine history who fought for the country’s freedom. He is considered as the father of Katipunan and the Great Plebian. His contributions are recognized through commemorating his birthday as holiday.
Christmas Day – December 25, Friday
The day the Christ was born is celebrated around the world by the Christian community. This celebration is being looked forward by Filipinos with enthusiasm and happiness. Masses are held which highlighted the nativity of the Lord. Colorful decorations fill the air with Christmas lights, Christmas trees as well as gift giving. There is a luxurious festive meal in every home. Also, kids believe in Santa Claus who drops gifts especially to those who have been good boys and girls.
Rizal day – December 30, Wednesday
Jose Rizal is the national hero of the Philippines. He fought against the country’s oppressors not by sword or shields but through the power of paper and pen. He wrote novels such as “El Filibusterismo” and “Noli Me Tangere” which awakened Filipino’s consciousness to rise against the Spaniards and fight for independence. He died on this day with bravery and hope that the country will regain her freedom.
B. Special (Non-Working) Holidays
Chinese New Year – February 19, Thursday
Anywhere in the world, Philippines too celebrate Chinese New Year with Filipino-Chinese communities in the country. This day provides hope for stronger family ties, prosperity and peace. Dragon dances and parades are held particular in China towns. Red envelopes enclosed with money, fruits and sweet foods are served on top of the table for good fortune.
Black Saturday – April 4, Saturday
This day is part of the Lenten celebration observed by Roman Catholics. This is the day when Christ was laid in the tomb after dying in the cross. Fasting, solemnity and masses are observed.
Ninoy Aquino Day – August 21, Friday
Senator Benigno Aquino III died on this day with bravery when he came back in the Philippines to end the dictatorship of the authoritative rule of Marcos regime. The pronounced that “Filipinos are worth dying for”.
All Saints Day – November 1, Sunday
Christian churches honor the contribution of Christian saints on this day. This is also known as “All Hallows Day” and is celebrated by holding masses in Protestant, Angelican and Roman Catholic churches. Lighting of candles and prayers are offered by Christian devotees.
C. Additional Non-Working Holidays
January 2, Friday
This is the day after New Year is proclaimed as special non-working holiday. This will give more time for Filipino families to strengthen their bongs and togetherness.
December 24, Thursday
The day before Christmas Day is also a holiday because everyone is busy for the preparation of the Christmas Eve celebration.
December 31, Thursday
This is the last day of the current year and a day before the New Year. This will give enough time for Filipino people to face the year with many preparations and activities.
Mark your calendar and evaluate what time of the holiday you plan to visit the Philippines and witness its festivity as part of your memorable journey.