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(Decree of December 20,1898)

In recognition of the aspirations of the Filipino nation and in proclaiming its noble and patriotic sentiments, I hereby decree.

Article 1. In memory of the Filipino patriots, Dr. Jose Rizal and the other victims of the past Spanish domination, I declare the 30th of December as a national day of mourning.

Article 2. On account of this, all national flags shall be hoisted at half-mast from 12:00 noon on December 29, as a sign of mourning.

Article 3. All offices of the Revolutionary Government shall be closed during the whole day of December 30.

Given in Malolos, December 20,1898

The truth it was General Aguinaldo, and not the second Philippines Commission headed by Civil Governor Taft, who first recognized Dr. Jose Rizal as "national day of mourning" in memory of Rizal and other victims of Spanish tyranny. Full text of these decree in two languages, Tagalog and Spanish, appeared in the government organ, El Heraldo dela Revolution on December 25,1898.

It is interesting to recall that the first celebration of Rizal Day in the Philippines was held in Manila on December 30,1898, under the sponsorship of the Club Filipino. This was In pursuance of General Aguinaldo’s Decree of December 20,1898. On the same date (December 30, 1898), the patriotic town of Daet in Camarines Norte, likewise celebrated Rizal Day, the festivities being climaxed by the unveiling of the Rizal monument, which was constructed at the expense of the townfolks. This was the first monument ever created in the Philippines-and still exists today.

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