Labor Day in the Philippines

Holiday- No work, all rest! This is Labor day for most Filipinos but little do we know that this day is more meaningful than that.

Labor day is celebrated on May 1 every year in the Philippines nationwide. It’s always a holiday! Some enjoy this day and literally rest from all the hard work that everyday brings while others choose to see this opportunity to voice their rights as workers and join workers’ rallies and demonstrations (they usually head to Malacanang Palace – the President’s residence) for higher wages and more rights for workers. Others see this as a chance to spend time with their loved ones. Some still choose to work for the higher pay this holiday brings for those who will be working.

However people want to spend this day, it still doesn’t remove the fact that this day honors the people in the labor sector for all productive efforts they have done for the economy, country, its people, and their own families too.

As a previous employee of several companies and since I grew up seeing a lot of our family’s workers working so hard, I have so much respect for all employees and people who perform beyond what’s needed. I have utmost respect for the honest, patient, and dedicated workers (regardless of the task they do).

History Bites

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I’ve read a couple of articles on the history of this special day and it has been said that the first recorded labor day in the Philippines is on May 1, 1903 (some will say May 1, 2013 though) when the Philippines was still under the rule of the Americans. The first organized labor group was the Union Obrera Democratica de Filipinos. May 1 was later on (April 1908)  declared as of national holiday. On May 1, 1913, the 8-hour working day was implemented, child labor was abolished, and fair labor standards for women was also implemented. (Source: khimyang.com)

Here’s the latest minimum wage chart today:

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How you can celebrate Labor day

In the Philippines, there are many ways you can spend labor day. Here are some ideas to make your labor day relaxing and stress-free.

  • Plan ahead. If you plan to have a long weekend or if labor day falls on a long weekend (like this year), plan ahead on what you want to do. It is best to plan weeks and even months before labor day so everything will go smoothly – no cramming and you got more choices if you’ll book a trip and hotel stay.
  • Staycation. We all deserve a good break from work and if you want to enjoy in a nearby place, (eliminating travel efforts) there are so many places (hotels and serviced hotels) now that you can stay for a night or 2 with your family. Hotels in this feature months back is a good idea.
  • Out of town or country travel. Book this in advance since anyway we all know that labor day falls on May 1 every year. Locally, there are so many places you can go to like beaches (since it’s always summer on Labor day- well, unless there’s a typhoon). Keep your travel plans relaxing and enjoyable.
  • Stay home and relax. Do your favorite pastime or hobby. You can save a lot of energy and money by doing this. Read a book, catch up on your series and movie-watching, clean your room (if you enjoy tidying up), or do something in the home that you don’t get to do during work days.
  • If you don’t like crowded places, stay away from Boracay or the other labor day parties or if you want parties, go to those then (Laboracay!) . I personally don’t like crowded places so Boracay is the very last place to go in my list (but my husband is going this year for work so we could go if we wanted to. But NO for me).
  • Stroll in the mall. If you can’t do this on work days, enjoy and stroll around the mall. Buy what you want or go to places you rarely visit for a change.
  • Pamper yourself. Go to a spa, spend the day at a salon, watch a movie,
  • Catch up with your family, a family member, or a friend. This is always a good idea. Maybe over coffee, snack, a good meal, or unique bonding moment like jogging, salon time, movie time, etc. The possibilities are endless.

You can be creative when you celebrate Labor Day. What’s important is you  know what we are celebrating and spend it in the most meaningful relaxing way you can.

As for us, this is the first time we are joining the people who will be going on a trip. An exciting one actually since this will be another milestone for the family. It’s our first time to travel out of town as a family of 4! The activities and experience will surely be exciting. It’s not where we’re going that I’m excited about, it’s because we have the whole gang to experience new things ❤

How will you spend Labor day? 

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