December 01, 2020 Danilo Atienza 31st Death Anniversary Commemoration – Batangas Province
Christmas in the Philippines celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ who, according to Biblical tradition, was sent by God to save people from sin and death. The holiday is held every 25 December.
The Christmas season in the Philippines is summed up in three words: faith, family and food – with the three intertwined in almost every event. Masses are held in churches leading up to Christmas Day, with many feasts held alongside them. The length of the season varies: Christmas can last from a few weeks to a few months. Christmas carols are played in the shopping centres and malls from as early as September until well into January.
A clear sign the Christmas season has truly begun is the hanging of star-shaped lanterns called parol in every public space and household. The parol, representing the Star of Bethlehem, is unique to the Philippines and is as quintessential to the season as Christmas trees and fake snow are to the Western cultures.
In the week leading up to Christmas, a series of masses called Misa de Gallo are held late every night. On Christmas Eve, there is (you guessed it) another mass held at midnight helpfully named, “Midnight Mass”, followed by a traditional family feast called Noche Buena running well into the early hours of Christmas morning.
A Christmas lunch is prepared for extended family where they open presents, eat, play games, sing karaoke, and eat some more. Older members of the family are revered and traditions, such as Pagmamano (taking the older family member’s hand and gently placing it on one’s forehead as a sign of respect), are practiced. The day ends only when people are too full to eat or are obliged to go to another household to eat some more.
Online celebration of 172nd Founding Anniversary of San Juan, Batangas and Lambayok Festival on December 12, 2020.
Every 8 December is Immaculate Conception Day in the Philippines, a holiday that is commemorated in many other Roman Catholic-majority countries around the world.
The devout in the Philippines attend special masses on this day in honour of the Virgin Mary and the belief in her having been conceived without sin. The day is also supposed to be a day when Catholics avoid any “unnecessary work”.
The main event on Immaculate Conception in the Philippines is the procession of Marian images from all over the country around the old walled city in Manila. There are 90 or more such images, many of them very ornate and associated with claims of miraculous appearances and healings or the like. This event is often dubbed, “The Grand Marian Procession”.
The carriages that carry the images of Mary, called “carrozas”, are also very ornate and are filled with flowers and lit candles. And a marching band may accompany the images “Marian parade”.
The first of these Immaculate Conception processions took place in 1619, was designed to promote the catechism, and lasted for 15 days. The modern ones are shorter, but have more images and are focused on reverencing the Virgin Mary rather than the catechism as such.
Eidul Adha is a Muslim celebration that honours the willingness of Ibrahim to obey Allah and also commemorates the end of the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). In 2019, Eidul Adha falls on Monday 12 August. President Duterte has signed Proclamation No. 789 to confirm the holiday throughout the country.
According to Islamic traditions, Allah tested the prophet Ibrahim’s obedience by commanding him to sacrificially slaughter his first, and then only, son Ishmael. Both Ibrahim and Ishmael’s willingness to obey Allah’s commands was rewarded by Allah sparing Ishmael’s life, but also led to the birth of a second son, Is-haaq.
In the Islamic calendar, Eidul Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of Zhul Hijja. As the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the date to celebrate Eidul Adha constantly changes. It is the duty of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to inform the Office of the President on which date in the Gregorian calendar it should fall.
Muslim Filipinos attend a mosque to pray special prayers for the occasion and to listen to a sermon. It is important to wear new clothes or the best ones available. Depending on the region, Muslim families, who can afford to, either buy a live animal to sacrifice (such as a goat, cow or sheep), or whole or large portions of meat to share around at the feast. It is important that this meat is shared with the poorer members of the community.
Independence Day in the Philippines is held every 12 June and commemorates the Philippines’ declaration of independence from Spanish colonial rule.
The original Independence Day was held in 1898 in present day Kawit, Cavite where General Emilio Aguinaldo read out the The Act of the Declaration of Independence. Whilst this was an important milestone for Filipinos, the Spanish government did not recognise their independence.
They then went on to give the Philippines to the United States after the Spanish-American war as part of the peace treaty. After a war and the Philippines’ own treaty with the United States, independence was granted to the Philippines on 4 July 1946, coinciding with the American Independence Day.
4 July was celebrated as Independence Day until 1964. After mounting pressure from the community, the government declared that 12 June would be The Philippines’ Independence Day and a national holiday. 4 July in the Philippines would then become the Philippines’ Republic Day.
A parade in Manila marks the official celebrations, attended by the President and government officials. The parade showcases the Philippines’ armed forces as well as some local organisations and the different ethnic groups of the Philippines. Firework displays are also held, particularly in Manila.
The Philippines celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January. Somewhat unusually, New Year’s Eve is also an official holiday here.
Fireworks, good food and good company, New Year’s resolutions, and greeting cards are all a part of the celebration in the Philippines. Attending midnight mass on 31 December is a practice of devout Roman Catholics. Firecrackers and loud noises are traditionaloy thought by some to scare off evil spirits, and leaving doors and windows open is supposed to let the good luck come in.
Parents may tell their children to jump as high as they can at midnight to help them grow taller. Others don polka dot clothes to make the new year more prosperous. And some put 12 fruits on display to symbolise the 12 disciples.
Eidul Fitr is an important celebration for Filipino Muslims, marking the end of the month-long fast during Ramadan. In 2020, Eidul Fitr falls on Monday 25 May. President Duterte has signed Proclamation No. 944 to confirm the holiday throughout the country.
Originated by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, Eidul Fitr is a celebration of thanksgiving to Allah. Eidul Fitr has been proclaimed a national holiday in the Philippines since 2002. This proclamation was made to foster peace and goodwill between major religions in the Philippines.
Eidul Fitr is celebrated using the Islamic calendar “Hijra” and is also dependant on the lunar calendar. The combination of these means that the date to celebrate Eidul Fitr constantly changes. It is the duty of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to inform the Office of the President on which date in the Gregorian calendar it should fall.
For Muslim Filipinos, Eidul Fitr marks the end of fasting during Ramadan. On this day, it is forbidden to fast as it is a day of celebration. Muslim Filipinos practice ritual washing before heading to a community gathering, usually in a mosque, and offer special prayers to Allah. On this day, they give the obligatory charity in the form of food known as “zakat al-fitr” and listen to special sermons on the occasion. After attending this gathering, many families choose to celebrate with a feast with their extended family and friends.
On “Black Saturday,” preparations are made for the late-night Easter vigil at church. There, the Gloria is sung, and some call it “Glorious Saturday.” In some places, an effigy of Judas is hung and burned up, though sometimes, he is blown to pieces by firecrackers. At midnight, the fasting and mourning ends because it is finally the day on which Christ arose from the grave in victory.
A 4am on Easter Morning, a ceremony commemorates the meeting of Mary and Jesus after the Resurrection. The black-veiled image of Mary is unveiled by one or more people dressed up like angels, and sometimes, the veil is tied to balloons or a dove to be carried away in the air. The image of Christ also is unveiled, and flowers and confetti fall down on the statues of both Mary and Jesus. Bells ring and fireworks explode in the sky. Legend has it, however, that if the veil is removed only with difficulty, bad luck will accompany the year to come.
National Heroes Day in the Philippines is a public holiday to honour and remember the country’s National heroes.
These heroes are the men and women in Philippine history whose acts of courage enabled the Philippines to grow as a nation. Whilst National Heroes Day celebrates both known and unknown heroes, a National Heroes Committee was set up in 1995 to recommend those who should be counted as ‘National Heroes’. Following certain criteria, they found a select group of people who, they believed, should be honoured for their deeds. These were:
- 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 two of the main proponents against Spanish rule. As a result, both were also given their own special days commemorating their lives and deeds.
National Heroes Day in the Philippines is held every last Monday of August. This date was chosen as it marked the beginning of the Cry of Pugad Lawin in 1896, the start of the Philippine revolution against the Spanish colonisers.
Filipinos celebrate National Heroes Day by attending local commemorations (e.g. parades, wreath laying at shrines, etc.). As it is a day off for most workers, people often spend the rest of the day with family and friends at parks, shopping malls and other public areas. Small firework displays may also be held during the evenings in some local areas.
Join us on the inauguration, blessing, and groundbreaking of Multiple Infrastructure Projects in San Jose Batangas.
Programs and Activities
March 08, 2021
6:00 AM | Holy Mass (Archdiocesan Shrine & Parish of St Joseph the Patriarch)
7:30 AM | Blessing of Improvement of Putol Bridge
8:00 AM | Inauguration & Blessing of San Jose New Public Market & New Parking Building
9:30 AM | Inauguration & Blessing of Santo Cristo Don Luis Bridge
10:30 AM | Groundbreaking of San Jose Cultural and Sports Center
11:30 AM | Inauguration & Blessing of San Jose Legislative Building