The nation will be commemorating the 159th birth anniversary of prolific writer and revolutionary propagandist Graciano Lopez-Jaena this December 18.
The day is a special non-working holiday in Iloilo province including its capital Iloilo City. This is stipulated in Republic Act (RA) 6155, which came into effect during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos. The full text of RA 6155 can be read here. The holiday will give Ilonggos a three-day weekend since it falls on Friday.
December 18 is also a special public working holiday throughout the country by virtue of Republic Act 9070, and was signed into law by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2001. Read the final version of RA 9070 in this link.
Born in 1856 in Jaro, Iloilo, Lopez-Jaena is part of the triumvirate that initiated the Propaganda Movement, alongside national hero Jose Rizal and journalist Marcelo H. Del Pilar.
Also known for his unmatched rhetorical skill, Lopez-Jaena served as the first editor-in-chief of La Solidaridad, which is the official newspaper of the reform movement.
Lopez-Jaena’s most famous work is Fray Botod, a story about an obese Spanish friar who lived in power and luxury despite coming to the Philippines as a poor man. The Ilonggo propagandist succumbed to tuberculosis in 1896, the same year Del Pilar and Rizal also died.