The paradox of National Heroes Day: It rightly remembers the heroes who fought in Asia’s first anticolonial revolution, but it does not commemorate an exact date. Rather, it refers to a notional period: sometime in August. Since the mid-1980s, the holiday has been celebrated as a moveable feast (the last Sunday of the month, until it was changed in the mid-2000s to the last Monday of August) in part to skirt the contentious issue that historians continue to debate until today. When did the revolution against Spain actually start?

Read on…


  1. For me,The exact date of our anti-colonialism revolution is inconsequential. What is important is that when we turn to the pages of history, our forefathers did their duty to liberate us from the 400 years of clerico-fascist rule which when remembering them makes us proud as the original and first self-govt struggle in this part of the world. A milestone that in this month of August we must not forget to teach our future generation.

  2. The article was good reading until the end. The anti-pork rally was a little irrelevant twitch and will be recorded in no history books. The end of patronage politics was duly recorded the day Filipinos cast their vote for Mr. Aquino as president. He has put in place systems of “management by objectives” that will eventually phase out the incompetency of power and favor politics, if his management principles remain in place. It will take maybe 20 years to go through the transition.

    • Hi Joeam, I agree. this is one of the basic principles in Human Behaviour in Organization 101 I learned from my MBA units at DLSU. Unfortunately, such management techniques is foreign to the bureaucrats and ward leaders whose objective is take political advantage from the resources of the govt. Such system mgt is an American invention that suits well in a business environment that solely concern on the bottom line or the profit motive. Social considerations are sacrifice to benefit the scale of economies, its orientation hardly touches the economic equilibrium to the disadvantage of the least contributor to achieve macro economic goal. How the end goal of trickle down benefits to the common tao will never be maerialize because the economic priorities are always geared towards minimizing social and economic costs.

      • Yes, that is indeed the difficulty, how deeply entrenched and natural it is for local leaders to play personal politics instead of profitable politics, where people get the “profits”. But at least we know the direction to take, clear numerical goals and FOI. I don’t know how to get people to demand that their city government be straightforward on goals and transparent on expenses, though. That does seem like a big, big hurdle.

        • Batang Genyo-Ala-eh

          That big hurdle is a big wishful thinking for good governance where the large middle class electorate is politically mature enough to be the decisive factor in choosing the most qualified leader.