Metro Manila · National Heroes Day (August 28)
National Heroes Day is a public holiday in remembrance of known and unknown Filipinos who fought for the nation's freedom and sovereignty throughout history.
Araw ng mga Bayani, as the holiday is called in Tagalog, always falls on the last Monday of August based on Republic Act No. 9492. It was on August 1896 when the secret society of Katipunan launched the revolution -a revolution that would lead to the Philippine Declaration of Independence two years later.
National Heroes Day is celebrated mainly with parades and wreath-laying ceremonies allover the country. In Metro Manila, many of the country's top politicians attend a wreath-laying ceremony in the morning at the Heroes' Cemetery (Libingan ng mga Bayani), in the southern part of Fort Bonifacio.
Schools, government offices, and other offices are closed on this public holiday, whereas shopping malls and restaurants remain open. There may be blocked roads and increased traffic in areas where commemorations are held. Elsewhere, traffic is expected to be less compared to the traffic experienced during working days.
While most Filipinos celebrate National Heroes Day with family and friends, some localities offer fireworks display on this special day. It is interesting to note that although the public holiday is a commemoration of all known and unknown heroes of the Philippines, a National Heroes Committee formed in the year 1995 determined that only very few should be called "National Heroes" based on a certain criteria.
The heroes who made it to the list include Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, and Gabriela Silang. The Palace maintains however that National Heroes Day specifies no hero and that it is a day of celebration and commemoration of all Filipino heroes who have braved persecution and death for the nation.