Why do Filipinos celebrate Rizal Day every December 30?

Every 30th day of the year marks the death anniversary of the Philippines' national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. This day is also where high-ranking government officials would visit Luneta Park and initiate a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies. This is also the same for other areas commemorated to the national hero such as the Rizal Shrine in Laguna and Zamboanga and the Rizal Monument in Baguio City.

Historical Background

In 1896, Dr. Jose Rizal was arrested by Spaniards as he was allegedly involved in starting a revolution during Spanish times. Other crimes were also charged against him to makes his execution possible. He was then detained in Fort Santiago until he was executed in Bagumbayan (now Luneta Park) on December 30, 1896, by a firing squad.

Two years after, upon the creation of the First Philippine Republic, then-President Emilio Aguinaldo issued a decree to make December 30 of every year the national day of mourning. Several laws related to this holiday are then enacted by succeeding Philippine Presidents.

The Impact of Jose Rizal on the Filipinos

There are several impacts the national hero made to the Filipinos. His works, letters, and even his life are being taught in all levels of education. Novels such as Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo are his notable works. He also wrote a letter entitled "Mi Ultimo Adios" before his execution.

His death truly marks a sense of nationalism to every Filipino. His love for the country makes the reason for the Philippine Revolution to be possible. In commemorating December 30 as a National Holiday, his sacrifice will never be disregarded and will always be remembered by Filipinos.