(MANILA BULLETIN) By Madel Sabater–Namit  - Malacañang has declared today, Wednesday a holiday as the nation commemorates the 30th death anniversary of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

August 21 or “Ninoy Aquino Day” is a special non-working day.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said he has not yet been informed on President Benigno S. Aquino III’s schedule for August 21.

It can be recalled that President Aquino signed Proclamation No. 459 on August 16, 2012, declaring the public holidays for 2013.

There are three holidays in August – the Eid’l Fitr, which was celebrated last August 9, the Ninoy Aquino Day (August 21), and the National Heroes’ Day (August 26), which are regular holidays.

Other remaining holidays are in November and December. For the month of November, there will be three holidays – the All Saints’ Day (November 1), which is a special non-working day; November 2, which is an additional special non-working day; and November 30, which is the Bonifacio Day, a regular holiday.

HONORING NINOY – Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aguirre Aquino IV offers a wreath at the Ninoy Aquino bust inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 on Aug. 21, 2013, to commemorate the 30th death anniversary of his uncle, former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. (Anjo Perez)


Noy: Let the hero in each of us thrive (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 22, 2013 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

A bust of Ninoy Aquino was unveiled yesterday at the NAIA-Terminal 3, where flowers were offered by relatives and friends of the former senator to commemorate his 30th death anniversary. RUDY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines - One man can change the course of history, President Aquino said yesterday as he led commemorations of the 30th anniversary of the assassination of his father, former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

The President also urged Filipinos to let the hero in each individual thrive in everyday life.

The 1983 assassination on the tarmac of what at the time was called the Manila International Airport unleashed a storm of mass protests that culminated in the people power revolt, which ended the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos on Feb. 25, 1986.

President Aquino attended mass at the Meralco Theater in Pasig yesterday to mark his father’s 30th death anniversary.

His sisters visited the tomb of their father at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque yesterday morning, while he visited flood victims in Biñan and San Pedro in Laguna and Mandaluyong in Metro Manila.

Speaking at the commemoration, Aquino said each Filipino carries the potential to bring about a lasting transformation in society.

“As we celebrate his courage and patriotism, may we be reminded that individual choice can change the course of our history,” he said.

“On Aug. 21, 1983, my father made the difficult decision to return to his ailing nation. No exile could lull him into comfort amidst the pleas of his kababayans for a peaceful life; no distance could make him neglect the duties he swore to his motherland.

“Instead, he headed home, alone, heart burning with fervor, to fight for the democracy he dreamed of reclaiming for his country.””

Aquino said 30 years after his death, Ninoy continues to inspire Filipinos to cope with the challenges of maintaining the country’s restored freedom.

“This was the choice that led to his martyrdom, and the turning point of our continuing narrative: In grief, the indomitable Filipino spirit was awakened,” he said.

“This spurred the People Power that brought back our people’s liberty and our national dignity.

“Let the heroes in each of us thrive in our everyday words and action, in service of the greater good; exercise the freedom we enjoy today to spark a revolution for positive change and cast our stake in forging our destiny as a nation. Time and again, we have proven that no challenge is too daunting and no task too great for a united Filipino nation.”

Aquino said recent history attests to the power of Filipinos’ solidarity to steer the nation towards the straight and righteous path.

“Let us remain steadfast in our journey of renewal and bestow the legacy of an even more mature democracy upon coming generations,” he said.

Yesterday, flowers were offered at the bust of Ninoy at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 3.

Offering the flowers were the August Twenty-One Movement, EDSA People Power Movement, Chino Roces Foundation, Laban, Metro Manila Development Authority, Yellow Ribbon Movement and the Aquino family.

During this year’s commemoration, Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Honrado, Deedee Siytangco and the EDSA People Power Commission collaborated on a tribute to serve as a unifying link with the “old guards” of Ninoy.

HONORING NINOY -- Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada leads the wreath-laying ceremony at the Ninoy Aquino monument in P. Burgos St., Manila during the commemoration of the 30th death anniversary of former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. on August 21, 2013. (Ali Vicoy)

In Quezon City, Mayor Herbert Bautista led local officials in the wreath laying at Ninoy’s monument at the corner of Timog and Quezon Avenues.

Bautista said: “It’s just right to honor him even with this kind of weather,” following the short activity.

“(This is just a) small sacrifice for what he did. Ninoy is a national hero, a contemporary hero... And his famous words, ‘The Filipino is worth dying for,’ reverberates until now.”

Present were Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, City Administrator Vic Endriga, public order and safety chief Elmo San Diego, Quezon City police director Chief Superintendent Richard Albano, and other city officials.

The office of President Aquino sent a wreath.

In Bacolod City, Ninoy’s death anniversary was marked at his statue in Araneta St. yesterday afternoon.

In a statement, Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said: “Thirty years ago, the world witnessed the fall of a great Filipino leader, who offered his life for the restoration of our democratic institutions. “That incident at the tarmac of the then Manila International Airport transformed us as a nation. The international community suddenly looked at us differently: with highest respect.

“Sadly though, three decades later, the same issues that Aquino had set forth continue to hound us. Let Senator Aquino’s heroism, therefore, be a reminder to us to remain firm in our commitment for a free nation, whose people are accorded equal opportunities, and freed from the bondage of poverty. “As we revisit this sad episode in the country’s history 30 years ago today, let us renew our resolve to do our share, in ways big or small, to continue the fight against poverty and the struggle for a better Philippines.”

Andres Hagad, of the Liberal Party in Bacolod City, said Filipinos, especially the younger generation, will recall and appreciate the hero that Aquino is: a hero who, like Jose Rizal, voluntarily and consciously made the supreme sacrifice of his life for the Filipino people. – Delon Porcalla, Rudy Santos, Janvic Mateo, Danny Dangcalan

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