The Philippines will be commemorating the 154th birth anniversary of our national hero Jose Rizal this June 19, Friday. The day has been declared by President Benigno Aquino III as a special non-working holiday in Calamba City, Laguna through Proclamation 999 (you can read its full text in this link). Calamba of course is Rizal’s hometown.
The declaration is intended to give the residents of Calamba City the “full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies in keeping with (Rizal’s) ideals and teachings.”
It must be emphasized however that a holiday announcement intended for the entire province of Laguna has not been released yet. There’s a reason for optimism since President Aquino has declared June 19 a province-wide holiday in the years 2012, 2013, and 2014. The date was declared a special non-working holiday nationwide in 2011 because it was Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary.
If ever, residents of Laguna may enjoy two consecutive long weekends since this year’s Independence Day also falls on a Friday. The Filipino Scribe will update this post as soon as new information becomes available.
As noted in previous posts, there had been legislative initiatives to move Rizal Day from December 30 to June 19. Apart from the fact that other heroes (most notably Andres Bonifacio) are remembered on the day of their birth, one compelling argument for this proposal is that moving Rizal Day to June will allow students to engage in more activities as regards the occasion. Nevertheless, the proposal seems to have lost steam in recent years.