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Top Ten Philippine Holidays

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A negative feature associated with having a business in the Philippines is holidays.  Businessmen complain that there are too many holidays; be it legal or proclaimed as needed.  They believe that they are short changed because of such holidays, not to mention that employees also avail of several benefits in order not to report for work such as birthday leave for example.

Filipino employees relish this aspect of employment and are always looking forward for such holiday dates to come.  In a random survey this author conducted from friends, relatives, and co- workers, Filipinos have their own favorite holidays.  Here are the top ten of them:

1.        On top of the list is of course Christmas Day.  Employees always look forward to it as it is their chance to reunite with friends and families. 

2.       New Year’s Day – Celebrations during December do not end after Christmas day is over.  It continues until the New Year.  Filipinos celebrate this holiday not through a list of resolutions but with a trip to homes of friends and families for another round of reunions.

3.       The Holy Week is definitely in the top three.  It is a four day vacation from work and Filipinos take advantage of this long holiday to enjoy a vacation in resorts nearby or spend time at their dream vacation places. 

4.       All Souls Day and All Saints Day – The two are inseparable because Filipinos tend to confuse which particular day falls on a specific date.  Nevertheless, these are two of the most anticipated holidays in the country since it allows them to visit their departed love ones’ grave.

5.       Local holidays to celebrate foundation day or revered festivals such as Ati-Atihan in Aklan, Kadayawan in Davao, Maskara in Bacolod, to name a few.  The fiesta atmosphere surrounding these festivities is one best reason why Filipinos look forward to these dates.

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6.       Labor Day ranks in the middle as some people always cringe at the thought of new wage issues and work perks to be announced by the government as well as businessmen and entrepreneurs.  But among the millions of lowly paid workers, this is an important event as they anticipate the possibility of favorable work packages. 

7.       December 30 Rizal Day is supposed to commemorate the birth of the national hero of the country.  Companies are forced to declare December 31 as a non-working day if it falls on a weekday because it is sandwich between two holidays.

8.       November 30 which is Bonifacio Day is another hero holiday. But some people do not even care what the day is supposed to be about.  What they care is the fact that this day is a payday and millions of Filipinos are expecting their bonuses during the same date.

9.       Muslim Holidays such as the beginning and end of Ramadan Festival is not only a favorite among the 20 million Muslim inhabitants in the country but also among Christians.  They get to enjoy rest days after months with no holidays such as August to October. 

10.   Valentine’s Day is not a legal holiday but February 14 always feels like a holiday as people are expected to celebrate the day with their partners.  Business is good during this day, particularly in restaurants, flower shops, and motels as examples. 

There you have it the top ten Philippines holidays, legal or not.

*This post was written by Alden Bula

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