National Heroes Day 2021: Everything to Know About This Holiday in the Philippines

a filipino warrior holding a flag for national heores day

National Heroes Day, also known as Araw ng mga Bayani, is celebrated to honor the bravery of all the heroes of the Philippines who have fought and struggled for the country’s freedom. The heroes don’t only include the popular ones like Jose Rizal but also those whose names have been forever lost to history.

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If you want to know more about this special event, read this blog about National Heroes Day 2021.

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About National Heroes Day

National Heroes Day holiday is an annual celebration pursuant to the Republic Act No. 9492, declaring the last Monday of August of every year as an official national holiday that honors all the known and unsung heroes of the Philippines who have fought for the nation’s freedom.


National Heroes Day Date

The National Heroes Day 2021 will be celebrated on August 30, 2021 as it is the last Monday of the month.


History of National Heroes Day Celebration

It was during the American Colonial Period that the celebration of National Heroes Day began. When it was first declared as a national holiday through Republic Act No. 3827, the occasion was held every last Sunday of August. However, according to the Official Gazette, “as far as research has been able to determine, November 30, while already celebrated as Bonifacio Day by virtue of Act No. 2946 s. 1921, was also held to commemorate anonymous heroes of the nation in that same year. It appears that the practice of celebrating Bonifacio Day concurrently with the commemoration of Filipino heroes on November 30 was carried on in subsequent years. For example, on November 30, 1936, President Manuel L. Quezon himself was the guest of honor at the National Heroes Day celebration held at the University of the Philippines.”

While National Heroes Day and Bonifacio Day were on the same day, these two events had separate celebrations. It was on November 30, 1941, the last Happy National Heroes Day commemoration before the beginning of World War II in the Pacific. During the Japanese Occupation of the country, the holiday was still celebrated on the same day. Then-President Jose P. Laurel signed Executive Order No. 20 on March 20, 1942, which set the date of National Heroes Day on November 30. 

In 1952, President Elpidio Quirino reverted the date of National Heroes Day back to the last Sunday of August. During President Corazon C. Aquino’s term, she set National Heroes Day as a regular holiday celebrated on the last Sunday of August. Then on July 24, 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act No. 9492, which amended Aquino’s declaration about the celebration of National Heroes Day and change it to the last Monday of August. Official Gazette said that the rationale behind the move was President Arroyo’s “Holiday Economics” program, which aimed to reduce work disruptions by moving holidays to the nearest Monday or Friday of the week, thus allowing for longer weekends and boosting domestic leisure and tourism.

Our national heroes are often portrayed as a pantheon of distinct and powerful personalities who have managed to get their names published in our history books by virtue of their words or actions. But National Heroes Day specifies no hero; the law that put into practice the celebration does not name a single one. And this lack of specifics offers an opportunity to celebrate the bravery of not one, not a few, but all Filipino heroes who have braved death or persecution for home, nation, justice, and freedom.

Frequently Asked Questions About National Heroes Day

Q: Why is August 31 National Heroes Day?
A: Heroes Day holiday in the Philippines is not celebrated on August 31 but every last Monday of August.

Q: Why do we celebrate National Heroes Day in the Philippines?
A: The Philippines celebrates National Heroes Day 2021 to remember the bravery of our heroes, including those who vanished in anonymity, in fighting for the Philippines’ freedom against the colonizers.

Q: What law declared National Heroes Day?
A: On July 24, 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act No. 9492, which amended Book 1, Chapter 7 of the Administrative Code. By virtue of R.A. 9492, the celebration of National Heroes Day thus falls on the last Monday of August.

Q: Is National Heroes day a regular holiday?
A: Yes. National Heroes day is a regular holiday. The celebration of National Heroes Day is pursuant to Republic Act No. 3827, passed by the Philippine Legislature October 28, 1931. The Act declared the last Sunday of August of every year as an official national holiday.

This national holiday honors all the heroes of the Philippines, including those whose names have been forever lost to history.

Q: What is National Heroes day in tagalog?
A: National Heroes day in tagalog is Araw ng mga Bayani.

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