When I was a child, holidays were pretty cool. There was always something special – fireworks, candy (Easter, Halloween), gifts, great food, etc. Even if it was a holiday for the adults, Mother’s and Father’s day, there was usually cake or a nice meal to enjoy. As I got older those things mattered less.

During my early working years holidays were a break from the monotony of work. That three-day weekend to party and recreate was looked forward to with every bit the anticipation as those childhood years. When I got later into my working career, the holidays became more about a much needed rest. I still looked forward to each and every one, but mostly so I could slow down and relax, if given the opportunity.

Now that I’m retired, holidays don’t have much appeal. On occasion they still involve getting together with family, but often times they are just another day for me. Now these days are more to be tolerated then enjoyed. Often times the banks and stores are closed. If not, the traffic and crowds are much worse than normal.

It seems to me that the Philippines has a very generous allotment of holidays. The official national holidays alone are around twenty. Add in a few local holidays and it really adds up. I have a difficult time keeping track of them. It’s not easy, as the first year I lived here they added no less than five new holidays. I believe two or three of those were local, but it seems they keep popping up like weeds.

More often than not these holidays take me by surprise. They are not the holidays I grew up with, sans a few.

The following is a list of holidays for 2014, declared by virtue of Proclamation No. 655, s. 2013, unless otherwise specified:

January 1, 2014, Wednesday – New Year’s Day (Regular Holiday)

January 31, 2014, Friday – Chinese New Year (Special non-working day)

February 25, 2014, Tuesday – EDSA Revolution anniversary (Holiday for all schools)

April 9, 2014, Wednesday – Araw ng Kagitingan (Regular Holiday)

April 17, 2014 – Maundy Thursday (Regular Holiday)

April 18, 2014 – Good Friday (Regular Holiday)

April 19, 2014 – Black Saturday (Special non-working day)

May 1, 2014, Thursday – Labor Day (Regular Holiday)

Anki Bisaya Phrasebook Flashcards

June 12, 2014, Thursday – Independence Day (Regular Holiday)

August 21, 2014, Thursday – Ninoy Aquino Day (Special non-working day)

August 25, 2014, Monday – National Heroes Day (Regular Holiday)

November 1, 2014, Saturday – All Saints Day (Special non-working day)

November 30, 2014, Sunday – Bonifacio Day (Regular Holiday)

December 24, 2014, Wednesday – Additional special non-working day (Special non-working day)

December 25, 2014, Thursday – Christmas Day (Regular Holiday)

December 26, 2014, Friday – Additional special non-working day (Special non-working day)

December 30, 2014, Tuesday – Rizal Day (Regular Holiday)

December 31, 2014, Wednesday – Last day of the year (Special non-working day)

*Separate proclamations will be issued for the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha

In some cases it appears even the traditional holidays are changing a bit here. You don’t see Halloween on that list, but they are starting to adopt that tradition more and more. You also don’t see November 2nd on the list, but you can rest assured that will be honored for All Souls day, part of Undas, which is what we are observing today.

I figure if they keep adding five or so holidays a year, within 70 years every day will be a holiday. I’m not too keen on that idea, but then I won’t be around to deal with it either.