National Heroes Day Philippines

National Heroes Day in the Philippines

On March 16, 1521, Ferdinand Magellan sighted Samar island from the deck of his ship and decided to sail for land. He would be dead within a few short weeks, killed in action against Lapu-Lapu, the local ruler regarded by many Filipinos as the first national hero of the Philippines.

What is National Heroes Day?

National Heroes Day is a national holiday that celebrates the people who helped the Philippines win independence and grow as a nation. In 1993 a government commission defined national heroes as those who:

  • Have a concept of nation and thereafter aspire and struggle for the nation’s freedom.
  • Define and contribute to a system or life of freedom and order for the nation.
  • Contribute to the quality of life and destiny of the nation.

What date is National Heroes Day 2020?

This year the day falls on Monday 31 August. To celebrate, Azimo is offering £30 off money transfers to the Philippines for all new customers. All you need to do is register for Azimo and then add the promo code HERO30 to your account. Existing customers can earn £30 by referring their friends to Azimo.

Why do Filipinos celebrate National Heroes Day?

National Heroes Day is strongly associated with Philippine independence and the Philippine revolution. The day honours the people who freed the country from Spanish rule and later secured independence from the USA. 

While Lapu-Lapu may have killed Magellan, the Spanish colonists who followed him from Europe were not so easily deterred. Within a few years the territory had been claimed by the Spanish and named for their king, Phillip II. 

By 1896, an anti-colonial organisation called the Katipunan, led by Andres Bonifacio, had started to influence the country. Bonifacio is one of the people honoured on National Heroes Day each year, as he is considered one of the architects of Philippine independence.

Who is Jose Rizal?

Jose Rizal is perhaps the most famous of the Filipino heroes. Rizal was a writer and polymath whose works influenced Bonifacio and contributed to the surge of Filipino nationalism in the 1890s. 

When the nationalist movement grew from a secret society into a full-blown revolution, the Spanish were quick to try and regain control by stamping out any sign of sedition. Rizal was arrested in Barcelona while en route to Cuba, where he had planned to volunteer as a doctor. He was tried for conspiracy, rebellion and sedition and sentenced to death. A few months later, Andres Bonifacio met the same fate. 

Who are the other Filipino heroes?

Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio are the two people most associated with the history of National Heroes Day, but they are not alone. In 1993 a special presidential committee was assigned the task of recommending a selection of Filipino heroes. 

In 1995 the committee proposed Rizal and Bonifacio along with seven others:

Emilio Aguinaldo (1869-1964)

A revolutionary, military leader and the first President of the Philippines. 

Apolinario Mabini (1864-1903)

The first Prime Minister of the Philippines.

Marcelo H. del Pilar (1850-1896)

Writer, lawyer and journalist. Influential in the Philippine independence movement.

Muhammad Kudarat (1581-1671)

Seventh Sultan of Maguindanao.

Juan Luna (1857-1899)

Painter, sculptor and political activist during the Philippine revolution.

Melchora Aquino (1812-1919)

Filipina revolutionary known as “The grand woman of the revolution”. She tended to and counseled sick and injured revolutionaries, as well as holding meetings of the Katipuneros in her house. 

Gabriela Silang (1731-1763)

Leader of an early nationalist movement against Spanish rule. 

When is National Heroes Day celebrated?

The day is celebrated on the last Monday of August each year. It was declared a public holiday by the Philippines legislature in 1931 and was originally celebrated on the last Sunday of August. 

In 2007, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed an act that moved the celebration to a Monday, to stimulate the domestic leisure and tourism industry. 

How do Filipinos celebrate National Heroes Day?

The day is marked by parades and the laying of wreaths in honour of those who lost their lives bringing independence to the Philippines. 

If you want to send money to someone you love this National Heroes Day, Azimo is offering £30 off to all new customers. Just use the code HERO30 after you register to receive three £10 vouchers. 

Even better, you can earn another £30 when you refer a friend to Azimo. They’ll get £30 as well.

*New customers have until 31 August to make their first transfer to be eligible for the full offer. The second transfer must be completed by the 30th September. The third transfer must be completed by 31 October.