The nation will be marking the 153rd birth anniversary of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal this June 19, Thursday.
In line with this, President Benigno Aquino III has declared June 19 a special non-working holiday throughout Laguna, Rizal’s hometown.
President Aquino made the announcement through Proclamation 798. Read the full text of Proclamation 798 in this link.
The only time that June 19 was declared a special non-working holiday nationwide was in 2011, when Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary was commemorated (the proclamation is actually for June 20 since June 19 was a Sunday).
As noted in a previous blog post, there were efforts in recent years, particularly during the 15th Congress (2010 to 2013) to move the country’s commemoration of Rizal Day from December 30, the date of his martyrdom, to June 19.
After all, we are marking Bonifacio Day not on the date of Andres Bonifacio’s death but on the date of his birth. The same goes for other heroes like Emilio Aguinaldo and former President Sergio Osmena.
However, the legislative proposals to have Rizal Day moved to June 19 never really took off despite having the backing of then-National Historical Commission Chair Ambeth Ocampo.