Rizal Day in the Philippines: How We Celebrate the Public Holiday?
Rizal Day in the Philippines is a national public holiday also known as ‘Araw ng Kabayanihan ni Dr Jose Rizal’. We celebrate it on the 30th day of December. The same day in 1896, was the execution of Dr Jose Rizal, the Philippines National Hero.
Rizal lived in Europe for many years, and while staying there, he became a member of the Propaganda Movement and initiated reform in the Philippines.
He wrote Noli Me Tangere, a novel that documented the cruelties under the country’s Spaniards colonial rule. It was a novel that made him a target when he temporarily returned to the Philippines.
What is Rizal Day in the Philippines All About?
In 1898, the first Rizal Day was commemorated by Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippine Republic. Jose Rizal was the instigator of the Philippine revolution against the Spanish colonizers.
Rizal was a multi-talented man and a notable novelist. Many scholars and historians believe that the ideas of his novels, Noli me Tangere (Touch me not) and it’s sequel El Filibusterismo, are about the many injustices and cruelties inflicted by Spaniards on the country. Thus, it influenced the already fed-up Filipinos to revolt against the Spaniards.
He was then imprisoned for rebellion and alliance with the revolutionaries. However, Rizal did not participate in any form of warfare. Still, he had to face accusations of an uprising, high treason, and conspiracy against the government. This eventually led to Rizal’s death sentence by public execution on December 30, 1896.
As for the Filipinos, his death would become the turning point in ending the Spanish colonization.
Things You Can Do During Rizal Day in the Philippines
A morning stroll at Rizal Park allows you to see local people on their early jog or enjoying a friendly chess match or a lawn tennis game. You may carry foods and beverages of your own, spread out a mattress, and enjoy a fun picnic.
Around noon as the sun is at its peak, you may take cover on the shady and wooded areas. The perfect places for this would be the Chinese and Japanese Parks.
While in the evening, residents and tourists get together to watch the lively dancing fountain. There are many food stalls and carts selling street foods around. Kalesa’s (horse-drawn carriages) are available for hire.
How is Rizal Day Celebrated in the Philippines
The official celebration is at the centre of the Rizal Shrine in Manila Rizal Park. The Philippine Flag is at half-mast, and the President lays a bouquet as a token of the country’s appreciation and respect. Since it’s a national holiday, most people take a break from work and go home to enjoy the day with family and friends.
Venues and Special Activities for Rizal Day Celebrations in the Philippines
Go For a Stroll In Intramuros
To appreciate and understand the Walled City history, you can ride a Kalesa (carriages driven by horses) around the streets of Intramuros. You can also take a bike, or simply have a walk. The Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, Baluarte de San Diego, and Fort Santiago are among the must-visit landmarks.
Experience a Picnic at Rizal Park
Dedicated to the Philippine national hero Dr Jose Rizal, Rizal Park is a 60-hectare land in Manila’s busy commercial and business district. It consists of green grasses and flowers. This public park has historical landmarks, shady gardens, a 3D Philippine Map of picnic areas, open-air concert halls, and grand stadiums.
The park is near other historical sites, such as The Intramuros and the National Museum, located next to the United Nations LRT station. More than just a public park, it served a significant role in Philippine history. You see, it was the place of Rizal’s public execution with the other 100 Filipino martyrs.
Visit Rizal Shrine In Calamba, Laguna
You can get to know Dr Jose Rizal by paying a visit to his home in the little town of Calamba. Taking a trip to his hometown will give you a peek of where he spent his childhood. It is a great experience to visit the place where he was groomed to be one of the Philippine’s greatest men. Replicated in 1950, Rizal Shrine is a two-story, Spanish-Colonial townhouse located in Calamba, Laguna. Old vintage pieces of items and memorabilia of his childhood are illustrated in the displayed portraits. There also are other things that will impress you.
Spend Your Break in Palawan
Take advantage of the day and stay in Palawan for your holiday. You may visit the breathtaking Coron’s Kayangan Lake. Furthermore, you can ride a kayak to the Big and Small Lagoons in El Nido or choose to take a tour on the Underground River of Puerto Princesa. You can never get bored of Palawan. It is more than possible that you will leave your heart there.