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PGMA declares Sept 7 and 21 as non-working holidays

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
September 6, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY  Ė  Two non-working holidays await the Filipino people this month of September. The first is on September 7 while the other is on September 21.

September 7 has been declared as a National Day of Mourning on the burial of Iglesia ni Cristo Executive Minister Erano ďKa ErdyĒ Manalo, who died of cardio-pulmonary arrest on Monday, August 31, 2009.

President Arroyo also directed that all flags must be flown half-mast on Monday on the interment of the INC leader whose remains lie in state at the Central Temple of the INC at Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

Reports stated that he will be buried in the tabernacle near the Church groupís Central Temple while awaiting the completion of the construction of a mausoleum where his remains will eventually be transferred.

The said mausoleum will be built near the monument of the late (INC founder) Brother Felix Manalo, also within the grounds of the Iglesia ni Cristo Central Complex, the statement read.

On the other hand, President Arroyo declared September 21 as a non-working holiday in commemoration of Eidíl Fithr or the end of Ramadan.

This is provided by law as it is listed as one of the holidays stated in Presidential Proclamation 1869.

The implementation of RA 9177 was placed under the Office of Muslim Affairs which was tasked to promulgate rules and regulations pursuant to the provisions of the said Act.

The main date for the celebration of Eid'l Fitr this year has been determined to fall on September 21.

In order to bring the religious and cultural significance of the Eid'l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo deemed it necessary to declare September 21, 2009 as regular holiday throughout the country.

The celebration of Eid'l Fitr in Islam carries a "distinctive meaning and spirit as compared to other cultures." According to Islamic website, Muslims normally start each day of the three-day festival by "taking a bath and wearing their best clothes."

While Muslim families unite in simple gatherings, it is a prayer that brings them together "to remember Allah's bounties and celebrate His Glory and Greatness."

The about seven million Filipino Muslims take the occasion as an opportunity to do charity and good deeds. The feast is not an occasion to take a vacation from Islamic responsibilities and commitments or to waste time and money in extravagance.

It is a chance to multiply good deeds by bringing happiness and pleasure to the hearts of other Muslims by helping and supporting the poor and needy, and by getting involved in pastimes that emphasize the strong and serious Islamic character.

Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is of actual food to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration. This donation is known as Sadaqah al-Fitr (charity of fast-breaking).

Eid'l Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month that follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It is a time to give to those in need, and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy.