Must-Visit Historical Places on Philippine National Heroes Day

Updated as of July 2021

Every last Monday of August, the Philippines will again be celebrating their annual National Heroes Day. It's the one day of the year where Filipinos get to celebrate all the country's heroes, both the glorified ones and the countless unsung ones.


But, have you ever wondered when the National Heroes Day first celebrated? Well, here's a quick trivia for ya'll! It was first celebrated during the American Colonial Period but it was originally scheduled on the last Sunday of August. It was only until the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Republic Act No. 9492 which moved National Heroes Day on every last Monday of August.


Some will see this holiday as an opportunity to go on vacation because why not? It's going to be a long weekend after all!


If time-traveling is your thing, then Ilocos is where you should be. This place is known for its old-world charm from well-preserved old Spanish houses, hundred-year-old churches, cobblestone streets, to amazing lighthouses! There are also several museums here that showcase Ilocos' history and culture as well as prominent families' memorabilia.

One notable attraction here is the Calle Crisologo in the Heritage City of Vigan. It was named after Marcelino "Mena" Crisologo, which is a prominent Ilocano Poet, writer, and politician. Everywhere you lay your eyes on in this street will make you forget that you're living in the modern world! Check out the old Spanish-style houses here that remained as it is while some were turned into hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants, and even museums. 

Enjoy an insightful Walking Heritage tour at Calle Crisologo either by foot or by riding a horse-drawn calash or Kalesa!

Sights to See: Calle Crisologo, Paoay Church, Juan Luna Shrine, Sinking Bell Tower, Paoay Church



 When it comes to the best long weekend destinations in the Philippines, Cebu is always on top of the list. This place has a handful of places that will feed you with adventure and knowledge from the past!

Especially on the National Heroes Day, one cannot afford to miss the place where the first hero of the Philippines from! Who is it? It's none other than, Lapu-Lapu! He was a native and ruler of Mactan who initiated the very first resistance against the Spaniard's occupation.  It was him that defeated and killed the Portuguese conquistador, Ferdinand Magellan.

His bravery inspired lots of locals and is widely celebrated up until now. To commemorate his triumph, he has his own bronze statue that stands tall at Mactan Island where the infamous Battle of Mactan took place. Make sure to pay a visit there to take a closer look!

Sights to See: Mactan Shrine, Fort San Pedro, Magellan’s Cross, Colon Street, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House


When in Manila, you've probably seen its towering skyscrapers, modern malls, and even its lively nightlife, however, beyond this bustling metropolis are several remarkable historical sites that had been witness to both the dark and glamorous past of the Philippine.


If you can't travel far this holiday, Manila is your best option! You can start off by visiting the famous "Walled City of Intramuros". From there, check out Fort Santiago, Rizal Shrine, Bahay Tsinoy, and even Manila Cathedral! All these spots exude an amazing appeal that will surely leave you in awe!

There are also some places here such as Rizal Park and Mausoleum for Veterans of the Revolution (Mausoleo Delos Veteranos de la Revolucion) at the Manila North Cemetery, that'll host various events to acknowledge the brave Filipinos who fought for the independence of the country.

Historic delights aside, Manila also has a great options of hotels where you can savor a relaxing staycation experience!

Sights to See: Intramuros, EDSA Shrine, Rizal Park, National Museum of the Philippines, Escolta Area



Often underrated but Bataan is one of the best places in the Philippines to learn more about World War II; It was the American's last stronghold and location of the infamous Death March.

As you explore Bataan on National Heroes Day, you'll get to see markers, museum, and statues that holds more than just history, but also all the memories of the brave heroes who fought fearlessly for their beloved country!

One of Bataan's iconic sites is the Mount Samat National Shrine or Dambana ng Kagitingan. It's a cross-shaped edifice erected to commemorate our fallen heroes. Aside from this, you can also have a historical adventure at Las Casas de Filipinas de Acuzar -  an open-air museum of antique mansions, brick streets, balsa transport, and other structures that are well-preserved from the Spanish Colonial period.

Sights to See: Bataan World War II Museum, Zero Kilometer Death March Marker, Mount Samat National Shrine, Las Casas Filipinas de Azucar 


Top of the list is Cavite! In here, you'll get a good glimpse of the what Filipinos did during the Philippine Revolution as well as the previous wars inside parks, ancestral houses, museums, and at historical landmarks. Good thing, Cavite is just a stone-throw away from Manila, so it can be a great place for a quick weekend drive.


Cavite is also known as the birthplace of the Philippine Independence and apart from that, many Filipino heroes are known to be born in here including the first president of the Philippine Republic, Gen Emilio Aguinaldo. His home in Cavite was turned into a museum where the public can find his personal memorabilia and more artifacts. From the outside, there is a park with a promenade, pools, and a garden where Aguinaldo’s 1924 Packard limousine car and the tomb where he was interred are displayed. There are also a number of monuments here worth visiting such as the Battle of Binakayan, Battle of Zapote, and Battle of Imus.


Whether you're a history geek or just want to rediscover your Filipino identity, make sure to visit Cavite!


Sights to See: Corregidor Island, Aguinaldo Shrine, Battle of Binakayan, Battle of Binakayan Monument


Have you decided which destination you’ll go to? Well, if that’s the case, make sure to start planning your long weekend trip now! 



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