Education institutions in all levels across the Philippines will be celebrating the annual National History Month this August. According to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines or NHCP, the theme for this year’s celebration is “Celebrating Victory and Humanity” (“Ipagdiwang ang Tagumpay at Sangklatauhan“) which is in consonance with the still-ongoing 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines.
This year is extra significant because 2021 marks the 500th year anniversary of three major historical events that happened in 1521: the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan and his men in the Philippines, the first Catholic mass in the country, and the Battle of Mactan between the forces of Magellan and the local fighters led by Lapu-lapu.
In connection to this, the NHCP has lined up many activities for the entire month including different online lectures and webinars, commemorative events, and virtual historical exhibits. Interested parties may check the Facebook page of NHCP for more information.
August has been designated as National History Month through the late former President Benigno Aquino III’s Proclamation 339, which was signed in 2012. Prior to 2012, there was only a History Week, which ran from September 15 to 21 as stipulated in former President Ferdinand Marcos’ Proclamation 1304, signed in 1974.
In his proclamation, Aquino noted that one week “is not enough to undertake various activities given the richness and diversity of our nation’s history.” He also pointed out that many major events that shaped Philippine history happened in August like the start of the 1896 Revolution led by Andres Bonifacio, the birth anniversaries of former Presidents Manuel Quezon and Ramon Magsaysay, the death anniversaries of national hero Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and his wife and former President Corazon Aquino, among others.