The country will be marking the 156th birth anniversary of national hero Jose Rizal this June 19, Monday. The day is a special non-working holiday in Rizal’s home province Laguna, including his birthpace Calamba City.
President Rodrigo Duterte made the declarations through Proclamation 222, which covers Laguna, and Proclamation 223, which covers the City of Calamba. The full text of the said proclamations can be read here and here.
According to the President, declaring June 19 as a special holiday aims to give the residents of Laguna the opportunity “to celebrate and participate in the occassion with appropriate ceremonies in keeping with Rizal’s ideals and teachings.”
One such event is the Buhayani Festival in Calamba City. “Buhayani” is a portmanteau of the catchphrase “Buhay ng bayani, buhay na bayani!” The festival aims to celebrate not only the life of Rizal but also the lives of everyday heroes. In the past years, the festival included kite-flying activities, film showings, as well as quiz bees.