Labor Day in the Philippines

Labor Day, known as Araw ng Manggagawa in the local language, is an important public holiday in the Philippines. It is a day dedicated to honoring and celebrating the contributions and achievements of Filipino workers. Labor Day is observed annually on May 1st, coinciding with International Workers' Day.


The Philippines started to celebrate Labor Day on May 1st in 1903. The first celebration was organized by the Union Obrera Democratica (UOD), the first labor union in the country. The UOD was founded by Isabelo delos Reyes, a Filipino writer, journalist, and labor activist. The event was held at Plaza Moriones in Tondo, Manila, where thousands of workers rallied for improved working conditions, fair wages, and an eight-hour workday. In 1913, the Philippine Assembly officially declared May 1st as Labor Day, making it a public holiday.


National customs for Labor Day in the Philippines

On Labor Day, various activities and events are held throughout the country to celebrate and honor Filipino workers. Labor unions and other organizations often hold rallies and demonstrations to advocate for workers' rights and address issues concerning labor policies, wages, and working conditions. Some businesses and companies also use the day to recognize their employees' hard work by providing special incentives or bonuses.

Aside from the demonstrations and rallies, Labor Day is also a time for families to spend time together. Since it is a public holiday, many people have the day off from work and use this opportunity to relax and enjoy leisure activities with their loved ones. Parks, malls, and recreational centers are usually filled with families and friends celebrating the day.

Local customs for Labor Day in the Philippines

While there are no specific local customs for Labor Day in the Philippines, the celebration of the holiday may vary from region to region. Some areas might have their own unique ways of observing the occasion, with local government units, labor groups, and non-government organizations organizing events and activities catering to the needs and interests of their communities.

In recent years, the government has also launched various programs and initiatives to help Filipino workers, such as job fairs and livelihood assistance, which are often held during Labor Day celebrations.


Labor Day in the Philippines, or Araw ng Manggagawa, is a significant public holiday that pays tribute to the hard work and dedication of Filipino workers. Held annually on May 1st, it is an opportunity for the nation to come together to celebrate the achievements of its labor force while also advocating for workers' rights and improved working conditions. Through various events, gatherings, and demonstrations, Labor Day in the Philippines serves as a reminder of the importance of the country's workforce and their contributions to society.