Ninoy Aquino Day in the Philippines
Ninoy Aquino Day, also known as Araw ng Kabayanihan ni Ninoy Aquino, is a significant event in the Philippines that commemorates the life and contributions of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., a national hero and political icon in the country. This annual observance is held on August 21, which marks the anniversary of Aquino's assassination in 1983.
The Philippines started celebrating Ninoy Aquino Day in 2004, following the signing of Republic Act No. 9256 by then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The law declared August 21 as a special non-working holiday in the country to remember and honor the life and heroism of Ninoy Aquino. Aquino was a prominent opposition leader during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and played a vital role in restoring democracy in the Philippines. His assassination upon returning from exile in the United States triggered massive protests and a strong opposition movement, which eventually led to the People Power Revolution in 1986 and the ousting of Marcos.
National customs for Ninoy Aquino Day in the Philippines
On Ninoy Aquino Day, various activities and events are held across the nation to pay tribute to the late senator and his contributions to the country's democracy. These events include wreath-laying ceremonies at the Ninoy Aquino monument in Manila, as well as other monuments and memorials dedicated to him. The Aquino family, government officials, and various non-government organizations typically participate in these ceremonies.
Educational institutions also organize programs and discussions that focus on Aquino's life, works, and legacy. Television and radio stations often broadcast documentaries, interviews, and special features about Ninoy Aquino and the history of the Philippine democracy movement.
Local customs for Ninoy Aquino Day in the Philippines
In addition to the national customs, local communities also observe Ninoy Aquino Day through various activities, such as art exhibits, essay-writing contests, and theatrical performances that depict the life and struggles of Aquino. Some cities and provinces, particularly those with strong connections to the Aquino family, hold commemorative masses and prayer vigils in honor of the late senator.
Ninoy Aquino Day is a significant event in the Philippines that commemorates the life and heroism of a national icon who fought for democracy and freedom. Through various national and local customs, the Filipino people remember and honor the sacrifices and contributions of Ninoy Aquino, whose legacy continues to inspire the nation.