After consultation with the business and labor sectors as well as the Saudi Arabian embassy, our President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo officially declared November 27 and 28 as national non-working holidays in celebration of Eid al-Adha, Feast of Sacrifice, which is the culmination of the Islamic world's Hari Raya Haj annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
Eid al-Adha is an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to Allah. However, Allah provided a ram in place as he acknowledged Abraham's sacrifice to prove the latter's willingness to follow Allah's commands.
Before the declaration, the Eid al-Adha is only observed as a regional holiday in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
This will be the first time that the entire Philippines will be joining the Muslim community in observing this holiday. Accordingly, Eid al-Adha is the second major Islamic festival celebrated by an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, including the 10 million Muslim Filipinos in the country.
Eid'l Fitr or the Festival of Breaking the Feast is the first Muslim holiday being nationally observed in the Philippines.