Ninoy Aquino Day is a national holiday in the Philippines. On August 21 It is celebrated all over the country. This very significant day commemorates the assassination of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr was the husband of Corazon Aquino, who was on the way to become the President of the Philippines. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr and Corazo Aquino are considered to be two of the heroes of democracy in this country.
The holiday was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 25, 2004 through the Republic Act 9256. This holiday was created twenty-one years after his death. The holiday was included as part of President Arroyo’s special program of holiday economics. The day was adjusted o be celebrated on the nearest Monday to boost the tourism industry of that place as a holiday in Monday meant long weekends. In 2010, Aquino’s son, President Benigno Aquino III moved it back to its original date. Initially EDSA People Power Commission (EPPC) needed funding from Budget of the Office of the President and from private donations to hold activities to commemorate and observe this day. Even Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Jose de Venecia sponsored this holiday
The assassination of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr led to the eventual downfall of Ferdinand Marcos on 1986.The downfall was brought upon by the People Power Revolution. This holiday was made official in 2004 through commemoration ceremony which was attended by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Fidel V. Ramos.
Aquino was a very unequivocal critic of the President Ferdinand Marcos who was the then President of the Philippines during the early 1970’s. The President didn’t take it lightly at times. Through the declaration of Martial law in 1972, Aquino was imprisoned. But even in prison, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr kept his protest campaign for democracy alive.
Sadly enough he suffered two heart attacks in the year 1908. The Filipino government authorities took this chance and sent him to the United States for medical treatment. During the course of the next three years he was forced to remain in exile.
Benigno Aquino had his target set to return to the country and challenge President Marcos in the parliamentary elections of 1984. But as fate would and conspiracies would have it, on 21st August 1983, he was shot and killed while he was being escorted off the plane at Manila International airport.
The assassination changed the running course of politics existing at that time there. This led to a major political uprising in the Philippines. Even after a lot of political conspiracies in 1986 after the presidential election, Corazon Aquino was elected president. Manila International Airport, where this assassination happened has since been renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
On this very significant day, EDSA People Power Commission holds different activities on the day to commemorate the life of the great political leader Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. They celebrate Aquino’s brave and fearless fight for democracy against the failure of a President. From the inception of this day, the activities which are held on this day are funded by the Office of the President and by private donations. A commemoration ceremony is also held at the People Power Monument every year to commemorate the life of this great leader.
Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr will always remain in the hearts of the people of Philippines for his heroic leadership and fight for Democracy. Hence this day will always be celebrated with utmost honor till this country exists.