Aurora Day is a founding anniversary celebration held in the province of Aurora, Philippines held every 19th of February. It also remembers one of its illustrious residents, the former first lady Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon, whose birth date falls on the same day.
History of Aurora Day
Aurora Day honors the history of the province which was composed of Baler and Casiguran during the Spanish rule. These areas were part of Tayabas, presently called province of Quezon, for years. In 1856, they were absorbed into Nueva Ecija district called El Principe. When the Americans came, the district was dissolved and Aurora was annexed to Tayabas once again.
The sub-province of Aurora was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 648 on June 14, 1951. Its constituent localities included the towns of Baler, Casiguran, Dipaculao, and Maria Aurora. Through the years, the sub-province grew as more territories were added through a series of legislation. Then on November 21, 1978, Aurora separated from Quezon and became an independent province through Batas Pambansa Bilang 7 and plebiscite in May 1979.
Aurora Day is celebrated every February 19th as the founding of the province. It is also the birthday anniversary of Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon, former first lady and wife of Philippine Commonwealth president Manuel L. Quezon. Her hometown is Baler, the capital of Aurora.
In 2020, some activities were cancelled because of coronavirus pandemic. Celebrations in 2021 were also conducted in accordance to the minimum health protocols set by the health department and were made available for people online.
Aurora Day Schedule of Activities
Aurora Day has a full schedule of activities. Competitions are open such as battle of the bands and drum and lyre. It also dedicates time for specific sectors of society such as indigenous people IP youth day, LGBT Day, and Senior Citizen Day. Other activities include clean-up, pet shows, fireworks, and raffles.
Here are some of the highlights.
Araw ng Agrikultura
Araw ng Agrikultura translates to Day of Agriculture. It is a part of the festival that is dedicated to one of the economic drivers of the province. A considerable portion of the population are involved in the agricultural industry, and the province is a producer of such crops like banana, coffee, and rice.
The anniversary program is one of the mainstays and held in the last day of the festival.
Binibining Aurora is a beauty pageant and considered the most prestigious in the entire province. Each of the municipalities send representative to the competition. It is a search for the “next icon of beauty” in Aurora.
Cultural shows include parade, street dancing, anniversary program, and street party. These are usually conducted as culminating activities.
Dangal ng Aurora Award
Dangal ng Aurora Award is a the highest award given by the Aurora provincial government. It is given to individuals who excelled in their respective fields that bring honor to the province. Awardees include actor John Arcilla and politician Edgardo Angara.
Dayana is the opening activity on February 19, the birthday anniversary of Doña Aurora. Also called Dayana para kay Doña Aurora, it is a kick-off activity of the special occasion for the entire day that starts early morning hours with the participation of a marching band.
The festival likewise has a lively sportsfest in different events. A few of the competitions that are opened include cycling, 4×4 extreme challenge, skateboarding, surfing, fun run, etc.
Trade fair is usually located in Capitol Compound. Different richly decorated booths display for sale different food and miscellaneous items that are locally made.
Where to go
Most activities happen in Baler particularly in Provincial Capitol and Capitol Grounds.
How to reach Aurora
Aurora is about five to six hours travel on land from Metro Manila. Bus trips ply the route on regular basis.
Aurora Day Summary
|Organizer||Provincial Government of Aurora|
- Aurora Day Celebration 2020 Program. Provincial Government of Aurora. 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2022
- History. Provincial Government of Aurora. 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2022
- First Lady Aurora Aragon-Quezon. Provincial Government of Aurora. Retrieved August 17, 2022
- Republic Act No. 648. Senate of the Philippines. June 14, 1951. Retrieved August 17, 2022
- Batas Pambansa Blg. 7. Senate of the Philippines. November 21, 1978. Retrieved August 17, 2022
- Galvez, Manny. Aurora lives in hearts of Aurorans. The Philippine Star. February 23, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2022
- Ebalo, Francis. Araw ng Agrikultura celebration in Aurora Kicks Off. Regional Field Office III – Department of Agriculture. February 20, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2022
- Galvez, Manny. Angara proposes staggered VAT increase. The Philippine Star. February 20, 2005. Retrieved August 17, 2022
- Aurora marks 28th anniversary. The Philippine Star. February 19, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2022
- De Asis, Jason. Aurora marks 41st foundation anniversary. Philippine News Agency. February 20, 2020. Retrieved September 12, 2022