National Heroes' Day – August 31, 2020

Mon Aug 31

A country is built upon the sacrifices of many heroes.  In the Philippines, National Heroes’ Day on August 31,  pays tribute to all heroes, known and unknown.  During solemn ceremonies, officials will lay wreaths honoring all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

As this is a national holiday in the Philippines, families will gather to visit deceased loved ones in cemeteries or they will attend memorial services.  For one brief moment, everyone will pause to reflect on the selflessness of these heroes who put nation above all else. 

National Heroes' Day timeline


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo passes a decree

After 2007, National Heroes' Day is celebrated on the fourth Monday of August.


A hero is defined

The National Heroes' Committee defines a national hero as someone who has a "concept of nation" and therefore "struggles" for it. Nine Filipinos get short-listed as National Heroes.


The first commemoration of the Cry

The Cry of Pugad Lawin was first commemorated in Balintawak in 1908. National Heroes' Day was later decreed to mark this important historical event as the beginning of the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire.


The official day of the Cry of Pugad Lawin

On this day, Andrés Bonifacio, the Supremo of the Katipunan, began the Philippine Revolution.

How to Observe National Heroes' Day

  1. Pay your respects

    Visit a shrine or a monument and honor your favorite hero by laying a wreath or flowers. Be inspired by their stories.

  2. Don't miss the parade

    Several cities in the Philippines go all out with parades honoring the nation's heroes and sheroes. If you're lucky enough to be there in person, check out a parade during National Heroes' Day.

  3. Plan the weekend around your family

    National Heroes' Day, a paid national holiday, always takes place on the fourth Monday in August. That means you get a few days to spend with your family. So, make the most of it!

5 Facts To School You About National Heroes' Day

  1. Date change results in long weekend

    Surprising as it may sound, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo decided to hold this day on Mondays because that was in line with her "holiday economics" program.

  2. Short-listed heroes not declared

    A formal declaration was never made to proclaim anyone as a National Hero, even though nine brave men were initially chosen by the committee.

  3. Some receive their own days

    From the list of nine undeclared heroes, only Rizal and Bonifacio have their own national holidays.

  4. Date and place of the Cry is debatable

    Different sources give different accounts of the Cry of Pugad Lawin. All we know is that it happened — somewhere.

  5. Formerly a Sunday holiday

    Before 2007, National Heroes’ Day was celebrated every last Sunday of August. The celebrations took place as far back as 1931, even before the Philippines became a republic!

Why National Heroes' Day is Important

  1. There are no unsung heroes

    No hero is left behind. National Heroes' Day reminds us that for every hero we know, there are countless heroes that work diligently in the shadows with little recognition and little thanks. This is their day, too.

  2. It's a day of appreciation

    On such a day, we remember that heroes like activist Ninoy Aquino or the writer Jose Rival and the revolutionaries, Andres Bonifacio and Gabriela Silang, have all been instrumental in leading the efforts to liberate the Philippines. They fought against all odds to bring freedom to the people.

  3. It's a day spent with family

    Filipinos have strong family bonds. National Heroes' Day families and friends also pay homage to family heroes (and heroines) who have made great sacrifices.