Tag Archives: Events

Ninoy Aquino Day (Assassination video here)

The Filipino is Worth Dying For 2Ninoy Aquino Day is a national non-working holiday in the Philippines observed annually on August 21, commemorating the anniversary of the 1983 assassination of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr.. He was the husband of Corazon Cojunagco Aquino, who was later to become Philippine President; both are treated as two of the heroes of democracy in the country. His assassination led to the downfall of the Dictator Ferdinand Edralin Marcos on February 25, 1986, through the People Power Revolution.

Unlike other dates reserved for national heroes of the Philippines (like Bonifacio Day, Rizal Day, Araw ng Kagitingan, and National Heroes Day), the date is not a “regular holiday” but only a “non-working holiday”. (Wikipedia)


Ninoy 2Aquino was a well-known opposition figure and critic of the then-President Ferdinand Marcos. Due to his beliefs, he was later imprisoned for about eight years after martial law was declared in the country. Even in his imprisonment, he sought a parliamentary seat for Metro Manila in the Interim Batasang Pambansa, under the banner of the Lakas ng Bayan (LABAN). He eventually led in the opinion polls and was initially leading the electoral count but eventually lost to the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) slate led by First Lady Imelda Marcos. Aquino remained in prison but continued to fight for democracy in the country and against the oppression of the Filipino people. After suffering from a heart attack in March 1980, he and his family moved to the United States for medical treatment, eventually leading to his self-imposed exile for about three years. There, he continued his advocacy by giving speeches to the Filipino-American communities.[1] Later, he planned to return to the islands to challenge Marcos for the parliamentary elections in 1984. Though some did not feel this was a good idea, he still did so in 1983. Ninoy on Tarmac 21 Aug 83Upon returning to the Philippines at the Manila International Airport (now renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport in his honor), he was shot and died on August 21, 1983 as he was escorted off an airplane by security personnel. This led to several protests at his funeral that sparked snap presidential elections in 1986, which led to the 1986 EDSA Revolution, catapulting his wife, Cory Aquino, to the presidency.

Actual Video of Aquino’s assassination

    Ninoy's wake


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Remembering EDSA 1: February 22-25, 1986

remembering-edsa-people-power-1986For those asking if February 25, 2013 is a holiday, YES, it’s a national holiday. But whether you’ll be sad or happy depends on whether you’re still in school. While EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary is a national holiday, it’s only for schools. It means no classes for students. It also means it’s a regular working day if you’re no longer a student. Gone are the days when February 25 was a national holiday for all.

What was the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution (EDSA 1) all about?

EDSA in 1986 was a nationwide civil uprising against then dictator President Ferdinand E. Marcos, with President Corazon “Cory” Aquino succeeding in a revolutionary government.

edsa 1cEDSA 1 is extra-constitutional. EDSA 1 involves the “exercise of the people power of revolution which overthrew the whole government”. The Aquino government was the result of a successful revolution (although a peaceful one) by the sovereign people. No less than the Freedom Constitution (Proclamation No. 3) declared that the Aquino government was installed through a direct exercise of the power of the Filipino people “in defiance of the provisions of the 1973 Constitution, as amended.

The original People Power, the one which inspired the whole world and became a model for peaceful transitions of governments, was the culmination of the years of protest against the government of President Ferdinand Marcos.

edsa 1aThe protests were already existing before September 21, 1972, the date when President Marcos declared Martial Law throughout the Philippines. Many people died as a result of the abuses by the military. Many opposition personalities were arrested. One of those arrested was Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. Ninoy became a unifying force of the people’s opposition against Marcos.

Ninoy was allowed to be released from jail to undergo a heart bypass in the United States. He was warned not to go back to the Philippines. Ninoy was assasinated on August 21, 1983, as he was going down the plane upon his return to the Philippines. Instead of diffusing the mounting unrest against Marcos, the assasination of Ninoy only served to add more fuel to the highly combustible and raw emotions against Marcos.

edsa 1bTo put some semblance of legitimacy to his government, President Marcos called for a snap election in February 1986. His opponent in the elections was a simple housewife with no government experience. The opposition Presidential candidate goes by the name of Corazon “Cory” Aquino, the wife of Ninoy. Some say the 1986 Presidential election was the most corrupt and deceitful election in Philippine history.

On February 15, 1986, the Batasang Pambansa declared Marcos as the winner, with 10,807,197 votes as against Aquino’s 9,291,761. The rest of the country, however, was convinced that massive cheating marred the elections. The tally of the accredited poll watcher, the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), was 7,835,070 votes for Cory and 7,053,068 votes for Marcos.

On February 22, 1986, a group of renegade soldiers led by Juan Ponce Enrile, then Defense Minister, and Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, then Vice-Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, made a public declaration that they are withdrawing support from the government. They holed up at Camp Aguinaldo, along EDSA. Knowing that they will be annihilated by the superior forces of Marcos. Minister Enrile and Gen. Ramos called for the people’s help.

edsa 1dThe late Jaime Cardinal Sin, then Catholic Archbishop of Manila, aired his appeal through Radio Veritas, for the people to support Gen. Ramos and Enrile.

And help they came. By the thousands, and towards the end, an estimated 6 million were on the streets.

Between February 22 to February 25, the people flocked to EDSA, facing tanks with nothing but prayers. They offered flowers and food to the battle-equipped government soldiers. Helicopters and fighter planes flew overhead. The people, though scared, stood their ground.

President Marcos left Malacanang on February 25, heading for Hawaii.

And so the world witnessed the People Power.

“The Filipino is worth dying for.”

by Ninoy Aquino
a Philippine Hero

The Filipino is worth dying for - Ninoy

Original posting here


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Philippine holidays for 2013: Proclamation 459

RP holidays 2013

2013 Calendar Holidays Philippines

President Benigno Aquino III has issued Proclamation 459 which lists all national holidays for the year 2013. The proclamation was signed last August 16, 2012. Filipinos will enjoy at least 15 holidays for 2013, regular holidays and special non-working days combined. They are the following:

Regular Holidays

January 1, 2013 – New Year’s Day (Tues)

March 28, 2013 – Maundy Thursday

March 29, 2013 – Good Friday

April 9, 2013 – Araw ng Kagitingan (Fall of Bataan) (Tues)

May 1, 2013 – Labor Day (Wed)

June 12, 2013 – Araw ng Kalayaan (Independence Day) (Wed)

August 26, 2013 – National Heroes Day (Mon)

November 30, 2013 – Bonifacio Day (Sat)

December 25, 2013 – Christmas Day (Wed)

December 30, 2013 – Rizal Day (Mon)

Special non-working days

February 25, 2013 – EDSA People Power Anniversary (for schools only) (Mon)

March 30, 2013 – Black Saturday

August 21, 2013 – Ninoy Aquino Day(Wed)

November 1, 2013 – All Saints’ Day (Fri)

Additional non-working days

November 2, 2013 – All Soul’s Day (Sat)

December 24, 2013 – Christmas Eve (Tue)

December 31, 2013 – New Year’s Eve (Tue)

Two additional holidays will be declared in the second half of the year in connection with the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha. The dates for the said Islamic feasts, which are both national holidays, will be determined by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos based on the Islamic calendar (Hijra) or the lunar calendar, or upon Islamic astronomical calculations.

The anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power, which is commemorated every February 25, is a holiday for all schools only. Interestingly, the Chinese New Year is no longer listed as a special non-working holiday.


Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Events, News, Issues & Politics


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North Rail ‘reconfigured’

Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II Thursday told Filipino journalists here that the problematic North Rail project, which has a Chinese contractor, would have to be “reconfigured.”

“The Chinese ministers said that they are open to discussing it,” Roxas said. Roxas, who was among the handful of Cabinet secretaries who accompanied President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III in his visit to the historic Forbidden City in the Chinese capital, said that only through reconfiguration would North Rail move forward. He was quick to differentiate “reconfiguration” from “renegotiation,” the latter being the operating word that Philippine authorities had been in connection with the project just prior to President Aquino’s state visit in the People’s Republic of China (PROC).

“In diplomatic terms, renegotiation means seeking changes to the existing contract; reconfiguration means that the project itself is going to change,” Roxas said. “Our intent is to write up a whole new project.”

The former senator said the topic was brought up during the bilateral meeting between President Aquino and President Hu Jintao of China on Wednesday afternoon. Approved by the previous government, the railway project has been plagued by cost overruns: from an original price tag of $503 million, it would now apparently require $1.8 billion to complete. Asked about what was said by Chinese officials on the project, Aquino on Wednesday said: “They emphasized that a Chinese entity did spend time, effort, finances, and that the rights of this Chinese corporation should be respected.”

Roxas Thursday assured that the present builder would be compensated for their total work output thus far, although it may not be much based on his assessment. “Out of the 90-kilometer line, I think they’ve just put up one kilometer.” Roxas said the government is now eyeing the construction of an even longer train line, from Clark in Pampanga to the Manila’s “Central Business District.”

He said that the reconfiguration of North Rail was vital in three aspects. “First, the Philippines will be the one to write the terms of reference. Second, we will determine first the accomplishments before paying the builders and third, the contract would be bid out (as opposed to being designated) to a Chinese company that is experienced and accredited in railway construction.”

As for the cost of the new project, Roxas said that they would be leaving it to the hands of the engineers. The constructions on North Rail were halted last April to make way for a review of the contract.


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Posted by on September 2, 2011 in Events, News, Issues & Politics, People


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Marathon du Medoc

A 26 mile médoc wine tasting marathon

The Marathon du Médoc is steeped in folklore – most of it true. 26 miles of fine wining and dining around south western France? Yes. Fancy dress costumes and dancing girls holding up numbers to count down to the start? Yes. Feed stations around a route that reads more like a wine list than a race course: fabulous Medoc wine – Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Lynch-Bages, Pichon Lonqueville, Beychevelles among others?

However, despite the emphasis on fun, and the gastronomic and viticultural aspects of the race, the ” Médoc ” is nonetheless a real Marathon – 26.2 miles or 42.195 km measured officially. The records for the race, at 2h 19’20” for men and 2 h 38’34” for women, are not to be sniffed at (unlike many of the exquisite Medoc wine vintages these athletes must have abstained from on their way past). Nevertheless, record breaking is low down the list of this marathon’s objectives. It describes itself as the longest, i.e. slowest marathon in the world. The registration form explicitly discourages entries from individuals obsessed with speed records or from anyone “sad, unfriendly or stressed out.” Unlike other marathons, which typically reward the fastest finishers with certificates or trophies, this one presents the winner with their body weight in Medoc wine and gives you a medal if you cross the finish line within six and a half hours.

2009’s fancy dress theme was a beach party, and I spoke to Melanie McCullagh, one of the British contingent lucky enough to get a place in the event, and who in her Hawaiian-themed running regalia was one of the more soberly dressed participants. “I’ve run several marathons before in London and Nottingham which have had good atmospheres, but the marathon du Médoc is a fantastic event! I didn’t sample absolutely all the wines, but the atmosphere was amazing. People had really gone to town on their costumes and the organisers had gone to a huge effort to make it a fun event!”

Any medical risks which derive from the combining of alcohol with exercise appear to be of small concern, least of all to the doctors who founded the marathon. The race which has been held every September since 1985 was dreamt up to celebrate ‘pleasure not pain’, and every year a medical conference is convened in conjunction with the race that focuses on the physiological effects of endurance sport. By way of example, past seminars have included expositions on “Meat and Long Distance Running.”

Meat made a more than minor appearance at the pre race pasta-party the night before the race itself. It is de rigueur for runners to load up on carbohydrates on the eve of a marathon, however, at the start village of Pauillac the event, called “Soirée Mille-Pâtes,” goes beyond the promised pasta. In fact, for a pasta-based event the attitude to carbohydrate is distinctly French – i.e. why waste time on that Italian nonsense when there is a delicious meaty stew and a good slug of red Medoc wine to wash it down instead?

During the race itself protein rather than carbohydrate was again in good evidence but the gastronomic temptations built to a crescendo with the passing miles. Official snacks in the earlier stages included bananas, raisins and oranges, plus little cocktail crackers resembling mini pizzas. Almost the perfect canapé to begin with, starting gently in the knowledge that oysters await at mile 23… Sure enough 22,000 molluscs shucked by a dedicated team of over 40 volunteers were piled high in dozens of tubs, slices of fresh lemon alongside at the ready. Bivalves as sports fuel? Not everyone was convinced, but perhaps a subject worthy of next year’s pre-race medical symposium? Mind you, the volunteers weren’t too shy at testing and tasting their own handiwork – all in the interests of quality control – and washed down with a glass (not a paper cup) of crisp white.

For main course freshly grilled beef at mile 24, followed a mile later by the cheese course for those with the cast iron constitution to take it. And at the finish? A goody bag containing – a bottle of Médoc wine of course!

By Marie Dwivkidz
more here
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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Events, Food & Drink, Travel


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