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.
Good Friday is part of the Christian Easter Week celebrations (also known as ‘Holy Week’). Good Friday is two days before Easter Sunday, which normally coincides with the March Equinox and may also coincide with the Jewish Passover.
Good Friday in the Philippines is a national public holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The crucifixion is symbolised by the Cross and, according to the Biblical Gospels, it was by this ancient form of death penalty that Jesus Christ sacrificed himself and died so that he could save humanity from their sins.
Easter is a solemn holiday season and many Filipinos abstain from activities they may deem as ‘worldly’ (e.g. drinking alcohol). On Good Friday, many choose to abstain from eating meat and often pray and fast as part of their religious traditions.
Masses are held in the early afternoon to commemorate and reflect on Jesus’ crucifixion. According to Christian scriptures, Jesus died on the cross at 3pm, so it is at this time in the mass that people become silent and meditate on Jesus’ sacrificial death.
Catholic Filipinos observe the Stations of the Cross as part of the Good Friday mass. These ‘stations’ are often paintings or sculptures that depict specific moments of Jesus on his way to be crucified. They are also often re-enacted by actors as part of an Easter procession. In the Philippines in particular, some people even go so far as to crucify themselves on a wooden cross to symbolise their devotion, as part of their penance or vow.
Maundy Thursday is the start of the main Easter celebrations in the Philippines, which is part of the larger Holy Week celebrations. According to Biblical tradition, Jesus was crucified on the Cross on a Friday (hence, “Good Friday”), and Maundy Thursday commemorates the events leading up to the Crucifixion.
Maundy (also known as the “Washing of the Feet”) is a religious rite. A re-enactment of the Lord’s Supper and Jesus washing his disciples’ feet are often observed on this day. Filipinos traditionally visit either seven or 14 churches (this tradition is called visita iglesia or “to visit churches”) where this re-enactment is held.
Online celebration of 172nd Founding Anniversary of San Juan, Batangas and Lambayok Festival on December 12, 2020.
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.
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.
Celebration of Fiesta De Los Toros at Nasugbu, Batangas on December 1-3, 2020.
December 10, 2020 Maria Katigbak 28th Death Anniversary Commemoration
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
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.
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.