Unknown Citizens’ Day – January 8, 2023

Unknown Citizens’ Day takes place on the second Sunday of January each year in the Philippines. This year, it takes place on January 8. It was established in 1936 via the Commonwealth Act No. 152 to honor the “rank and file” of Filipinos who have labored for the uplifting and progress of the country, fulfilling their duties as Filipino Citizens. These people are ordinary members of society, as opposed to leaders. They form the foundation of any organization. Their commitment to their duty, be it following traffic rules or respecting elders, ensures that Filipino society is functioning as it should. Unknown Citizens’ Day is a date marked to celebrate the everyday person.

History of Unknown Citizens’ Day

Nestled in Southeast Asia, in the western Pacific Ocean, is the island nation of the Philippines. It is home to over 7,000 islands and islets. The country takes its name from Philip II, the king of Spain at the time of colonization. The country remained under Spanish rule for over 300 years, followed by U.S. tutelage for nearly 50 years.

Political turmoil did not cease with its independence, however, as the end of the 20th century was especially marked by political struggle. The country and its people endured over a decade of dictatorship at the hands of Ferdinand Marcos. However, 1986 saw a public uprising against the regime, orchestrated by the People Power movement, that restored democracy to the republic.

The Philippines today continues to be a rather collectivist society, with a focus on community, culture, and family and how the individual relates to those. Unknown Citizens’ Day was established in 1936 via the Commonwealth Act No. 152 to honor the “rank and file” of Filipinos who have labored for the uplifting and progress of the country, fulfilling their duties as Filipino Citizens. These people are ordinary members of society, as opposed to leaders. They form the foundation of any organization. Their commitment to their duty, be it following traffic rules or respecting elders, ensures that Filipino society is functioning as it should. Unknown Citizens’ Day is a date marked to celebrate the everyday person.

Unknown Citizens’ Day timeline

1521
Ferdinand Magellan Arrives

Magellan reaches the Philippines.

1898
American Colonization

The U.S. colonizes the Philippines.

July 4, 1946
Independence

The Philippines gains independence from the United States.

1936
The Commonwealth Act No. 152

The Commonwealth Act No. 152 establishes Unknown Citizens’ Day.

Unknown Citizens’ Day FAQs

What do Filipinos speak?

The official languages of the Philippines are English and Filipino.

Is education free in the Philippines?

Education at public schools is free.

What is the nickname of the Philippines?

It used to be referred to as the “Pearl of the Orient.”

How to Observe Unknown Citizens’ Day

  1. Understand what the holiday means

    Unknown Citizens’ Day focuses on celebrating the common Filipino. Spend the day understanding the impact they have on society.

  2. Appreciate a rank and file individual

    A glitzy life of wealth and excess may be aspirational to many. However, don’t forget to appreciate those who form the lifeblood of society.

  3. Understand how you can be a better citizen

    Perform your civic duties. You can do so by better understanding what they are and how to do them.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Philippines

  1. Text capital

    Because of the large volumes of text messages sent in the country, the Philippines is known as the “Text Capital of the World.”

  2. Religion

    About 86% of the population is Roman Catholic.

  3. Coconuts

    The country is one of the largest coconut producers worldwide.

  4. Basketball

    Asia’s first basketball league was born in the Philippines.

  5. Nurses

    The Philippines is the largest nurse supplier in the world.

Why Unknown Citizens’ Day is Important

  1. It’s an opportunity to appreciate

    It acknowledges the unsung heroes. Unknown Citizens’ Day is a perfect opportunity to appreciate the people who ensure that society is functioning.

  2. It highlights the importance of common people

    A wealthy lifestyle may be appealing to some. However, Unknown Citizens’ Day highlights the importance of the day-to-day individuals.

  3. It offers an opportunity to review yourself

    Take a step back and review your role in society. Unknown Citizens’ Day is a good opportunity to understand if you are contributing as much as you want to, to society.

Unknown Citizens’ Day dates

YearDateDay
2022January 9Sunday
2023January 8Sunday
2024January 14Sunday
2025January 12Sunday
2026January 11Sunday

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