By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Two holidays will be celebrated on August 21 after Malacañang issued Proclamation No. 556 which declares said date as a regular holiday across the country in observance of Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice.
Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go confirmed Wednesday night that Duterte signed the proclamation which declares the holiday.
Eid’l Adha is one of the greatest feasts of Islam and Republic Act No. 9849 provides that it would be observed as a regular holiday.
Based on the proclamation, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos has recommended that the occasion be observed on August 21.
Last year, Duterte declared September 1, 2017 a holiday in observance of the Feast of Sacrifice. The date of Eid’l Adha is up to Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body.
Eid’l Adha is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year and is considered to be holier than Eid’l Fitr which marks the end of Ramadan.
The feast honors the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. It also marks the culmination of the Muslim’s annual pilgrimage to Mecca, or the Hajj.
The Philippines has been observing Eid’l Adha as a national holiday for nine years. In 2002 RA 9177 declared Eid’l Adha only a regular holiday in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Aside from Eid’l Adha, the country will also observe the Ninoy Aquino Day, a special non-working holiday to commemorate the death anniversary of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
August 21 was declared Ninoy Aquino Day by virtue of RA 9256 signed by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on February 25, 2004, the anniversary of the downfall of the Marcos regime through the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.
The law, sponsored by former Senate President Franklin Drilon and former House Speaker Jose de Venecia, requires the EDSA People Power Commission to hold activities in observance of the occasion.