Rizal Day is a national holiday in the Philippines held to commemorate the life, works, and great contributions of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, one of the Philippines’ national heroes. The Rizal Day is celebrated every 30th of December which is the anniversary of Jose Rizal’s execution at Bagumbayan Manila, which is now called Rizal Park in the country. Being one of the greatest heroes in the country, Jose Rizal remains a symbol of excellence for Filipinos. You should read more below to find out more about this special day.
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What is Rizal Day?
Rizal Day was celebrated in the Philippines since 1898. It commemorates the life of Jose Rizal – a man who is considered to be one of the greatest national heroes of the Philippines. During this day, many Filipinos celebrate the life and works of Jose Rizal. Many go to parks dedicated for Jose Rizal. Many also go to his former house in Calamba, which is now turned into a museum-like place with things really used by Jose Rizal and his family when he was still living.
Since Rizal day is a national legal holiday in the Philippines, workers get paid double if their employers make them work. Students have no classes so they take the day off to rest at home, bond with their families, or go out and celebrate Rizal Day.
Who is Jose Rizal?
So far, we have discussed some general information about Rizal Day. But who is Jose Rizal? Why is there a holiday in the Philippines dedicated just for him?
His full name is Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda. He was born on June 19, 1861. He was a Filipino nationalist and propagandist who orchestrated a non-violent type of revolution by writing two highly influential novels that reflected the society of the Philippines during the Spanish occupation of the country. Aside from being a prominent writer, Jose Rizal is also a doctor. He even operated on his own mother to treat her eyesight.
Jose Rizal is considered to be a great thinker even when he was still a kid. He has written several short stories, most of which are for children, that contain useful lifelong lessons. His two novels, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and its sequel El Filibusterismo (Reign of Greed), inspired the revolutionary movement in the country. Many Filipinos got enlightened and awakened by the harsh reality they face and experience under Spanish colonialization.
Because of that, Jose Rizal was proclaimed a rebel by the Spanish government. He was sentenced to death and got executed by a firing squad at Bagumbayan Manila. His place of death is now the Rizal Park, one of the most popular parks in the Philippines.
Jose Rizal’s great contributions, including his novels that sparked the Philippine revolution which eventually led to the country’s independence, are the things being celebrated and commemorated during Rizal Day. Filipinos hope that Rizal will be a great inspiration to many citizens, especially the young ones. Jose Rizal even said that the youth are the hope of the country.
History of Rizal Day
When Jose Rizal wrote the two novels mentioned above, achieving Philippine independence through violence was nowhere in his mind. In fact, he advocated for the Philippines to become a part of Spain so that Filipinos will be able to get equal rights as that of the Spaniards living in the country. However, the two novels he wrote greatly contributed to enlightening the minds of Filipinos and that they are now ready to fight for justice and their independence. A massive revolt by the Katipunan group eventually followed. Even without affiliation to that group, Jose Rizal was arrested for rebellion. And for that, he was ordered to be killed by the Spanish government under an army of firing squad. This day happened on December 30, 1898. Thus, being declared as the Rizal Day.
When is Rizal Day?
Rizal Day happens every 30th of December. The formal declaration of Rizal Day was when the Philippine Commission enacted Act number 345 declaring December 30 as a national public holiday in the Philippines in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal.
Is Rizal Day a Legal Holiday?
Yes, Rizal Day is a legal holiday in the Philippines. Employees are not required to go to work, but if they do, they get paid double. Government offices are closed as well as some private businesses and companies. Students have no classes because schools and universities are closed. Most shopping malls are, however, open for public. These malls take advantage of the day off to attract more people to shop during the holiday.
Rizal Day in the Philippines
Since Rizal Day is an important day in the Philippines, Filipinos celebrate the day to its full potential. First, there are Rizal Day ceremonies held at different parts of the country. The primary one is held in Rizal Park Manila. It is usually held in the morning and is led by the President and the Vice President. The national flag is raised while singing the country’s national anthem. A wreath is also laid at the Rizal monument. The President then gives an address that is broadcasted on television nationwide.
Since Rizal Day is a legal national holiday in the country, most people don’t have work during the day. Some take the day off to rest while others go to the malls to shop, go to parks to bond with their friends and families, or go on a long vacation since the day is followed by December 31 (New Year’s Eve), and January 1, (New Year celebration). These people often book Rizal Day Tour Packages in advance for their resort trips to various places around the country.
Rizal Day in Calamba
Rizal’s hometown, Calamba, also celebrates big during the Rizal Day. People there hold parades to commemorate Rizal. Many people, not only those from Calamba, but also from different parts of the country, take their time to visit Jose Rizal’s former house, which is now turned into a museum-like place displaying various things owned by Jose Rizal and his family while they were still living. Most of these things are preserved. They aim to inspire Filipinos about the life of Rizal and perhaps may follow a path of life similar to his because of his dedication in the country, priority for studying, passion for writing, and more.
Rizal Day Tour Package
As mentioned, Rizal Day is a legal national holiday in the country and is followed by New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebration, which are also holidays as usually declared by the President. Because of the long vacation opportunity, many people celebrate Rizal Day by going on a trip and booking trips under the Rizal Day Tour Package. Many resorts around the country offer packages that contain transportation, meals, lodgings/accommodations, sites to visit, and more for a specific destination of your choice. If you want to go on a trip or vacation during the Rizal Day, then you better book these tour packages in advance so that you can plan ahead and prepare for the trip.
Rizal Day Messages, Quotes, Greetings Whats App Status Facebook Status
Rizal himself is a writer who has written various inspirational and motivational quotes. Filipinos remind themselves of these during the Rizal. Hence, this is one simple way that you can do to celebrate Rizal Day. You may want to share some Rizal Day quotes, messages, and greetings with your friends and family to inspire and motivate them during the Rizal Day. Here are some ideas:
- The youth is the hope of our future.
- He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.
- He who does not love his own language is worse than an animal and smelly fish.
- The Filipino embraces civilization and lives and thrives in every clime, in contract with every people.
- The divine flame of thought is inextinguishable in the Filipino people, and somehow or other it will shine forth and compel recognition. It is impossible to brutalize the inhabitants of the Philippines!
- It is a useless life that it is not consecrated to a great idea. It is like a stone wasted on the field without becoming a part of any edifice.
- I may be what my enemies desire me to be, yet never an accusation are they able to hurl against me which makes me blush or lower my forehead; and I hope that God will be merciful enough with me, to prevent me from committing one of those faults which would involve my family.
- I do not write for this generation. I am writing for other ages. If this could read me, they would burn my books, the work of my whole life. On the other hand, the generation which interprets these writings will be an educated generation; they will understand me and say: ‘Not all were asleep in the nighttime of our grandparents.’
- No one ceases to be a man, no one forfeits his rights to civilization merely by being more or less uncultured, and since the Filipino is regarded as a fit citizen when he is asked to pay taxes or shed his blood to defend the fatherland, why must this fitness be denied him when the question arises of granting him some right?