December 30 2012 Philippine holiday – Rizal Day

Filipinos all over the world will mark the 116th anniversary of the execution of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal this December 30, 2012. The day, which this year falls on a Sunday, is a national holiday according to Proclamation 295 which was signed by President Benigno Aquino III in 2011.

The annual commemoration of Rizal’s martyrdom began even before he was officially declared the county’s national hero by the Americans. According to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo made a decree in 1898 which made December 30 of each year a national day of mourning not only for Rizal but also for all victims of the Spanish government during their three century reign in the country. American Governor General William Howard Taft officially made the said day a public holiday in 1902 by signing Act No. 245 in 1902.

Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippin...

Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three years ago, House solons led by Reps. Raul T. Gonzales Jr. (Lakas-Kampi, Iloilo) and Jaime Lopez (Lakas-Kampi, Manila) filed a bill that would have moved the commemoration of Rizal Day from December 30 to June 19, which is his birth date. Supported by then-National Historical Institute Chair Ambeth Ocampo, the bill was approved by the House of Congress but it did not get any traction in the Senate. As the country marked the hero’s 150th birth anniversary, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. filed a similar proposal but just like in the previous attempt, his bill seems to be gathering dust too.




Mark Madrona

Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here:

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