Araw ng Biñan, also called Biñan Charter Anniversary, is the yearly commemoration of Biñan’s transformation from a town to a component city. Held in Biñan, Laguna, Philippines, it is a three-day affair that begins from February 2 to 4 and each date corresponds to different celebrations: February 2 for its cityhood, February 3 is known as Biñan Liberation Day, and February 4 for its establishment as a pueblo.
The city also celebrates the Puto Latik Festival in the month of May.
History of the City of Biñan
Spanish colonizer Juan de Salcedo reached the lands surrounding Laguna de Bay in 1571. Initially, he challenged the resistance shown by the inhabitants of Cainta and Taytay, and after he subjugated their people, he and his men moved farther.
They set foot along the populated coastline of the bay, putting them under the foreign rule of the Spanish monarchy. And one by one, the towns of Nagcarlan, Lilio, Mayjayjay, Pila, Pangil, Bay, and Tabuco fell. Biñan was once part of Tabuco, which is the the present-day Cabuyao.
Together with the conquest of the lands, Christianity was introduced to the natives when Fr. Alonzo Alvarado who accompanied Juan de Salcedo’s exploration planted a cross and began the works of evangelization. It is believed that the name Biñan comes from binyag, a word that means baptism, although there is a competing claim that it was derived from a plant found growing in profusion in those parts.
When the capital of Laguna was transferred from Bay to Pagsanjan in 1688, Cabuyao was separated from Biñan and Sta. Rosa. Sta. Rosa become a town on January 15, 1792 as it separated from Biñan a year earlier.
The founding year of Biñan being used in the annual commemoration is 1747, an information lifted from Agustin de Cravada’s book. It was in 2020 that the city government began using 1747 in reckoning the beginning of its township, and February 4 is dedicated to remember this event.
Biñan Liberation Day
Another celebration is the historic event of Biñan towards the end of World War II. As the American liberation forces were making their way to Manila, they fought in various points in the south of the city.
They pursued and defeated the Japanese in different fronts such as in Muntinlupa and Cavite, and they secured the thoroughfares of Zapote-Alamanza and Alabang-Laguna. The 47th Regiment liberated Biñan after they conquered the Japanese garrison in the town on February 3, 1942.
This yearly observance pays tribute to war veterans who fought for freedom such as Sixto Almario who was the last living World War II veteran in Biñan until his death in 2018. In the past, the annual commemoration is held every February 5.
It has since been moved to February 3 upon confirmation of the date’s historical accuracy through the book entitled Terry’s Hunters. The day is marked with the activity called Araw ng Pasasalamat sa mga Beteranong Biñanese (A Day of Thanksgiving for the Veterans of Biñan).
By the efforts of Congresswoman Len Alonte, February 3 is a special non-working holiday upon a presidential proclamation when Republic Act No. 1142 was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on August 29, 2019.
Biñan, component city of Laguna
Biñan is a component city of Laguna through the passage of Republic Act No. 9740, otherwise known as An Act Converting the Municipality of Biñan in the Province of Laguna into a Component City to be Known as the City of Biñan. It was approved by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on October 30, 2009. Its cityhood is remembered every February 2.
Araw ng Biñan Activities
Activities of the Araw ng Biñan are observances of different historic events that shaped the city. There is a Grand People’s Parade that takes place on the first day, a heroes memorial called Pasasalamat sa mga Beteranong Biñanese on the second day, folk dance festival, recognition and awarding of outstanding individuals, job fair, and concerts.
The city has also ramped up activities that highlights its rich history, culture, tradition, and heritage.
How to reach Biñan, Laguna
Regular bus trips are available from Manila to Biñan, Laguna such as JAC Liner Bus and JAM Liner Bus. The trip takes about an hour or so depending on the traffic situation.
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