Rizal Day is a Philippine national holiday celebrating the life and contribution of the revolution against the Spanish of José Rizal, a national hero of the Philippines. It is praised each year on December 30, the anniversary of Rizal’s 1896 execution at Bagumbayan (present-day Rizal Park) in Manila.
Rizal Day History
The first president of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo, celebrated the first Rizal Day in 1898. Born on 19 June 1861, José Rizal is considered as one of the best heroes in Philippine history and is credited as beginning the Philippine revolution against the Spanish colonizers.
Rizal Day was first initiated with an announcement by President Emilio Aguinaldo gave December 20, 1898, and celebrated December 30, 1898, as a national day of mourning for Rizal in Malolos and all casualties of the Spanish colonial rule of the Philippines.
Daet, Camarines Norte was the first town to follow the declaration, building a landmark planned by Lt. Col. Antonio Sanz, led by Sanz and Lt. Col. Ildefonso Alegre, and financed by the townsfolk of Camarines Norte and the rest of the Bicol Region.
Completed in February 1899, the three-tiered stone pylon inscribing Rizal’s novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, and Morga, for Antonio de Morga, writer of Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, a book about the beginning of the Spanish colonization in the Philippines.
Numerous scholars and historians would concur that it was the thoughts in these two books that impacted the already disappointed Filipinos to act against the Spanish.
In this way, he was arrested for treason and for being related to the revolutionary forces (even though he didn’t participate in any type of warfare). He was indicted on the grounds of rebellion, sedition and plotting against the government, and was condemned to execution by a firing squad on 30 December 1896. His demise was the last straw for the Filipinos and therefore started the end for the Spanish colonizers.
With the triumph of the Americans against the Spaniards in the Spanish–American War, the Americans took responsibility for the Philippines. With an end goal to exhibit that they were more pro-Filipino than the Spaniards, the American Governor-General William Howard Taft in 1901 named Rizal a Philippine national hero. After a year, on February 1, 1902, the Philippine Commission ordered Act No. 345, which made December 30 a public holiday.
To underscore the seriousness of the occasion, President Elpidio Quirino signed Republic Act No. 229 into law on June 9, 1948, that denies cockfighting, horse racing, and jai-alai every December 30. The law likewise necessitates that flags across the nation stay at half staff for the day.
How to celebrate Rizal Day?
To stamp the day, the Philippine flag is flown at half-mast the nation over, and service is led by the president at the Rizal Monument in Manila. Wreath laying-ceremonies are likewise held at the Rizal Shrine in Calamba and the Rizal Monument in Baguio City.
In recent years there have been endeavors to move this holiday to Rizal’s birthday, 19 June as the proximity of Christmas and New Year lessens the significance of the holiday and it would be seen by some as more fitting to commend his birth to the world as opposed to recognizing his death.
On 20 June 2011, a special one-off non-working holiday was announced out of appreciation for Rizal’s 150th Birthday.
The vast majority of the official ceremonies performed on Rizal Day are performed at Rizal Park in the city of Manila. During this official ceremony, flags are flown at half-mast and the President of the Philippines lays a wreath on the shrine devoted to Jose Rizal.
Most workers have the day off as a completely paid workday. Be that as it may, the individuals who do need to deal with Rizal Day get twice their normal day of wages.
Official events centre around the main Rizal shrine, in Rizal Park in Manila. Flags are at half-mast and the President of the Philippines lays a wreath at Rizal’s shrine, as a symbol of the country’s appreciation and reverence. As it is a public holiday, a great many people take the day off from work and invest time with loved ones.
Both December 30 and June 19 are significant dates to the Filipinos and ought to be recalled and celebrated by the Filipinos as June 19 denotes Rizal’s birth and December 30 his martyrdom, symbolizing his incredible love for the nation, the reason he surrendered his life.