The Philippines proudly displays an array of beauty and diversity, reflected through their lively holidays and treasured traditions. From commemorating their national heroes who forged the path to freedom, to joyfully singing carols during Christmas, their celebrations never fail to leave an impression. With more than 600 of our team members originating from the Philippines, we are deeply enriched by their diverse cultural backgrounds. This motivates us to honor their holidays and traditions.
New Year’s Day (1 January): All around the world New Year’s celebrations bring joy and hope for the upcoming year, and in the Philippines, this is no exception. Celebrations range from visiting nightclubs to attending parades. Other traditional activities include performing rituals to bring good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year.
Second Day of the Year (2 January): (Not proclaimed yet) It is a special non-working day in the Philippines, which means that schools and businesses observe this holiday by being closed.
Chinese New Year (10 February): (Subject to change) The Chinese culture is very influential in the Philippines due to its large community of Chinese Filipinos. Chinese New Year became a notorious holiday as it honors their heritage and fosters a sense of solidarity among communities.
EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary (25 February): (Subject to change) This holiday commemorates the EDSA Revolution where millions of people gathered to protest in Metro Manila to end the authoritarian regime of President Ferdinand E. Marcos and mark a new era of democracy.
Maundy Thursday (last week of March): This date marks the beginning of a three-day religious observance known as Easter Triduum. Maundy Thursday refers to the event of the Last Supper of Christ. During this period many businesses start to wind down operations to observe the holy week.
Black Saturday (last week of March): Named after the color that represents mourning, Black Saturday commemorates the day that Jesus lay in his tomb. This day was named a public holiday, meaning that it is a day off for the general public.
Good Friday (first week of April): Due to the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines, there is a large Christian community, which is why Good Friday is now a significant holiday. It is observed with street processions, prayers, and by attending church.
Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan) (9 April): It is part of the country’s culture to observe the heroism of Filipinos and American soldiers during WWII when the Japanese occupied the Philippines. On this day, the Day of Valor is celebrated with parades and family activities.
Eid’l Fitr (9-10 April): (Subject to change) This is a Muslim celebration that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. There is a great presence of Muslim Filipinos in the country. To honor their Islamic heritage, the Filipino government established Eid’l Fitr as an annual holiday in 2002.
Labor Day (1 May) The first Labor Day celebration took place on May 1st, 1903. More than 100,000 employees gathered in the streets of Manila to protest for their labor rights and fair wages. Today Filipinos across the country celebrate by throwing parades organized by labor movements or mostly relaxing with friends and family. Because we value our team members so much, this is a special day for us, too.
Independence Day (12 July): There are two events attributed to the Independence of the Philippines. The first happened on the 12th of July. On this day they commemorate the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain that occurred in 1898. Then came the American occupation period, which lasted for 48 years, until the 4th of July in 1946, when the US government granted the country its independence.
Ninoy Aquino Day (21 August): (Subject to change) Every year, on August 21, the Philippines observes Ninoy Aquino Day, a notable national holiday. This holiday pays homage to the memory of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. His assassination played a pivotal role in the downfall of the authoritarian regime of Ferdinand Marcos by the People Power Revolution.
National Heroes Day (29 August ): A public holiday in the Philippines created to pay tribute to the country’s heroes who played a vital role during the revolution that would help establish the country’s independence. People celebrate across the country by attending events at local shrines and watching fireworks displays.
All Saints Day (1 November): As the world’s third largest Catholic country, the Philippines celebrates All Saints Day (also referred to as “Araw ng mga SantoUndas”) to remember all saints and martyrs during Christian history.
All Souls Day (2 November): Traditionally, Filipino culture is very family-oriented. As such, All Souls Day is a day to honor those who have passed. It is celebrated in a very similar way to other former Spanish colonies, like Mexico. Celebrations include visiting cemeteries and gathering with family to remember loved ones.
Bonifacio Day (27 November): Designated as a public holiday, Bonifacio Day commemorates the birthday of one of the country’s most important heroes, Andrés Bonifacio. He was the leader of a secret society which led to the Philippine Revolution of 1896 against the Spanish regime.
Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (8 December): A Christian holiday celebrated around the world to commemorate the Virgin Mary. Upon the request of the Bishops in the Philippines in 1942, Mary was declared as the principal patroness of the country.
Day before Christmas (24 December): (Not proclaimed yet) The day preceding Christmas in the Philippines is a day filled with anticipation for the Noche Buena feast. Families gather to dine together while children wait excitedly for the arrival of Santa Krismas. Because Filipinos spend months preparing for the Christmas holidays, their spending behavior increases as everyone flocks to the shops.
Christmas Day (25 December): One of the most awaited holidays of the year in the Philippines is Christmas Day. From guessing gifts while singing songs (Manito/Manita) and lighting parols to receiving a red or blue envelope with money from relatives, Christmas time is filled with joy.
Rizal Day (30 December): This day mourns the execution of José Rizal, the hero whose life served as an inspiration for the nationalist movement in 1861.
Last Day of the Year (31 December): (Not proclaimed yet) New Year’s parties are celebrated all around the Philippines. Traditions include parades, fireworks, midnight parties at social clubs, and family gatherings. This day is filled with traditions and rituals such as wearing the lucky color of the year to bring in good luck for the new year.
If you are looking to expand your team and explore the benefits of working with multicultural teams, reach out to us here. Or you can read more about how we celebrate holidays with our team members in Canada, Mexico, and South Africa.
Aitana Rangel Garibay is Boldr’s creative writer and she is passionate about writing purpose-driven stories.