What's with August 21?

It has been declared a holiday every 21st day of August to commemorate the life and death of the former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.. Aquino together with his wife Corazon made history in the Philippines paving a way for democracy.

In 1972, The Philippines was placed under Martial law led by President Ferdinand Marcos making him the dictator. The military became his allies and were fearfully followed by the people because any person who will go against them will be imprisoned. This power given to them by the said law was then abused making them to commit human rights abuses.

Aquino, Marcos' number one opponent was very vocal in his opinions against the President's leadership. He was never afraid to express his thoughts about what Marcos has been doing and because of this, he was also imprisoned.In 1980, Aquino suffered a heart attack and was allowed to move to the United States to receive medical treatment. While in U.S, he still continued to advocate for the Philippine's freedom.

To challenge Marcos in the 1984 elections, Aquino took the risk of returning to the Philippines in August 1983 fully aware that he might automatically be arrested or worst, could be killed outright. On the 21st of the month, he landed in Manila International Airport where he was assassinated, many believe, under the orders of Marcos. Instead of people getting more afraid of the situation, that event even led to the downfall of Marcos and inspired by the people's support and love for Aquino, Corazon took over and was elected as the first woman president of the Republic of the Philippines.

Looking back to Aquino's heroism, a holiday was created by Republic Act 9256 known as the "Ninoy Aquino Day" which was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 25, 2004, twenty years after his death. The EDSA People Power Commission holds activity on that day to commemorates Aquino's fight for democracy which he even had quoted,"The Filipinos are worth dying for."

I hope this article has somehow answered your query why August 21 is holiday in the Philippines.