The nation will be marking the 161st birth anniversary of legendary writer and revolutionary propagandist Graciano Lopez-Jaena this December 18 2017.
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 was signed by then-President 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 Monday.
December 18 is also a special public working holiday nationwide by virtue of Republic Act 9070, and was enacted during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2001. Read the final version of RA 9070 in this link.
Born in 1856 in the town of 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. He used the pen name “Diego Laura.”
Lopez-Jaena’s most famous work is Fray Botod, a story about a fat Spanish friar who came to the Philippines as a poor man but suddenly lived in power and luxury. He succumbed to tuberculosis in 1896, the same year Del Pilar and Rizal also died.