We are all familiar with the celebration every February for sweethearts. But in the Philippines, February is more than about lovers.
Here are more reasons to celebrate this month:
Heart Month (Literally)
Under Proclamation No. 1096, s. 1973, February is declared as “Philippine Heart Month” to be devoted to the task of effecting the highest possible degree of health care among our people through intensive encouragement of research, experimentation and study of the human heart and its affliction, as well as community involvement in the task of nation building for a healthier citizenry by extensive mass continuing education.
The Department of Health and the Philippine Heart Association in collaboration with the Heart Foundation of the Philippines are mandated to jointly spearhead the above-outlined national effort on a year-round basis and for this purpose may call upon any department, office, Bureau, institution or agency of the Government as well as the private sector to render such assistance as may be necessary to carry out such programs as well as such other activities as may be undertaken pursuant to the provisions of this proclamation.
Presidential Proclamation No. 72 dated February 3, 1999 declares the first Saturday of February of every year as “Adoption Consciousness Day” to call public attention to create nationwide awareness of the growing number of orphaned, abandoned or neglected Filipino children in need of permanent alternative wholesome family environment.
This year’s celebration carries the theme, “Pagmamahal Palaganapin, Legal na Pag-aampon Ating Gawin! (Spread Unconditional Love Through Legal Adoption)”.
Safe Internet for Children
The Presidential Proclamation No. 417 declares every second Tuesday of February every year as “Safer Internet Day for Children Philippines” which is celebrated as a call to action to promote better and safer internet use for everyone. It was first introduced in 2004 in various countries in Europe and is currently being observed by more than 100 countries in the world.
This year’s theme is “Responsableng Paggamit ng Internet, SANA ALL!” which is in line with this year’s international theme, “Together for a Better Internet.”
Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
The Presidential Proclamation No. 731 series of 1996 declares the 2nd week of February of every year as the “National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation” or also known as the “Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Week (CSAAW).”
Leprosy Prevention and Control
Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 467, the third week of February of every year has been declared as Leprosy Prevention and Control Week. The observance aims to deepen public awareness on the disease, its prevention, and treatment.
Leprosy, also called Hansen’s disease is an infectious disease characterized by disfiguring skin lesions, peripheral nerve damage, and progressive debilitation. It is common in countries with tropical and subtropical climates
National Rare Disease
Presidential Proclamation No. 1989 by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, declared the last week of February in the Philippines, as National Rare Disease Week (NRDW) to create awareness about the nature and medical management of rare diseases; and instill awareness among the public about rare diseases to generate full support for the special needs of children affected by rare disease from both public and private sectors.
Philippine Dental Health
The Philippine Dental Health Month is observed in February. This annual observance started in 1951 as National Dental Health Week but in February 24, 2004, it was expanded into a month-long celebration, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 559 signed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Led by the Philippine Dental Association, the observance aims to strengthen public awareness on the importance of the good oral health. It encourages dentists, students, relevant government agencies, and professional organizations to reach out to more people with no access to dental services, especially those who are in countryside.
National Arts Month
February is National Arts Month (NAM), per Proclamation 683, in 1991 entitled “Declaring the Month of February of every year as National Arts Month”.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) spearheads the celebration of National Arts Month (NAM) through Ani ng Sining: Philippine Arts Festival.
Anchored on the theme “Ani ng Sining”, the NAM celebration aims to showcase and document excellent artistic expressions; promote the unique identity and values of local communities; rally local government support for fine arts and cultural programs; provide opportunities that harness and strengthen local artists.
The Province of Palawan is this year’s venue and the host of NAM, a month-long celebration of the Philippine Arts Festival for Luzon. It is dubbed locally as “SIKATUGYAW Festival” an acronym for Sining, Kanta, Tugtog, and Sayaw, which was graced by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.
Air Transportation Safety Month (Proclamation No. 115-A, s. 1966)
Civil Registration Month (Proclamation No. 682, s. 1991)
National Down Syndrome Consciousness Month (Proclamation No. 157, s. 2002)
National Health Insurance Month (Proclamation No. 1400, s. 2007)
National Intellectual Disability Week (Retarded Children’s Week) (Proclamation No. 1385, s. 1975)
EDSA People Power Commemoration Week (Proclamation No. 1224, s. 2007)
Lupus Advocacy Week (Proclamation No. 1435, s. 2007)
Public Administration Week (Proclamation No. 82, s. 1963)
Private Development Bank Week (Proclamation No. 343, s. 1968)
National TOYM [The Outstanding Young Men] Week (Proclamation No. 521, s.2003)
Rotary International Week (Proclamation No. 877, s. 2005)
World Wetlands Day (Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1971)
Do you know other observances every February? Let us know. Leave us a comment.