National Holiday: National Heroes Day in the Philippines, August 26th

Graves of Unknown Soldiers, marked with Philippine flags

Philippine flags on the graves of Unknown Soldiers mark the celebration and remembrance on National Heroes Day

What is National Heroes Day in the Philippines?

National Heroes Day is a national public holiday established to honour and remember the courageous men and women of Philippine history, whose acts played a significant part in making the Philippines nation what it is today. In 2013 National Heroes Day will be celebrated on Monday August 26th.

The National Heroes Committee

A National Heroes Committee was set up in 1995 to recognize people from Philippine history who should be honoured for their deeds. While National Heroes Day in the Philippines also remembers the thousands of unnamed heroes, the official National Heroes are:

  • Jose Rizal
  • Andres Bonifacio
  • Emilio Aguinaldo
  • Apolinario Mabini
  • Marcelo H. del Pilar
  • Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat
  • Juan Luna
  • Melchora Aquino
  • Gabriela Silang

Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio were both given their own special holidays, December 30th and November 30th, respectively.

History of National Heroes Day

National Heroes Day was fist signed into law through Act No. 3827 of the Philippine Legislature. The Act declared that, from October 28, 1931, National Heroes Day always be observed on the last Sunday in August. The most recent amended by, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law the Republic Act No. 9492 on July 24, 2007, and thus the celebration of National Heroes Day now falls on the last Monday of August.

On August 29, 2011 (the last Monday of August) President Benigno S. Aquino III led an offical ceremonial wreath-laying on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, to honor the unnamed heroes who have died for the country.

President Aquino’s National Heroes Day 2011 Speech

President Aquino’s speech in celebration of National Heroes Day, August 29, 2011

Why National Heroes Day in the Philippines might be important to your employees

Countries across the world all have National Heroes Day or a Remembrance Day of their own. National Heroes Day in the Philippines honours the courageous acts of men and women from events dating back as far as the the Philippine Revolution in 1896 and as recent at WWII. Many Filipinos will have family and friends who served in WWI or WWII; and therefore National Heros Day can be a very personal time that they wish to spend honouring the memory of their loved ones.

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