Valenzuela City Charter Day commemorates the cityhood of Valenzuela, Metro Manila, Philippines every February 14. It celebrates the historic transformation of the town to a city on February 14, 1998 through Republic Act No. 8526 that was signed by Fidel V. Ramos.
The date is a special non-working holiday by virtue of Republic Act No. 9428 approved on April 10, 2007 which declares the celebration to be known as Araw ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela.
History of Valenzuela City
During pre-colonial period, Valenzuela was formerly included in a large territory that encompassed some parts of Metro Manila such as Quezon City and Bulacan. It was settled by the natives engaged in farming and harvesting the bounty of the sea.
It was often referred to as a pulo, a word which means an islet or island. While strictly speaking it is not a landmass surrounded by water in all sides, it has a number of bodies of water such as the Tullahan River and Rio Grande de Pampanga. By the time the Spaniards came, it was called Polo.
When Miguel Lopez de Legazpi embarked on the grand plan to conquer Manila in 1571, its people threw their support to Rajah Sulayman and fought bitterly against the colonizers but they were defeated in June 3. Opposition to foreign rule would break out every and now throughout its history, particularly during the Philippine Revolution and World War II. In fact, Polo was renamed after Pio Valenzuela, one of the prominent Katupineros who was exiled and imprisoned in Spain and whose birthday is celebrated by the city every July 11.
The town of Polo was established on November 12, 1623 when it ceded from Catangalan, the present-day Meycauayan, through the initiative of Fr. Juan Taranco and Juan Monsod. Monsod would become the first head of the town.
During World War II, the guerilla movement provided intelligence about and conducted ambushes against the occupying Japanese military. The Japanese threw down a bridge and effectively split the town into two, the south and the north. The northern part was the first to be freed by combined American troops and the first Brigade of Valenzuela Regiment led by Lt. Col. Santiago Castro on February 3, 1945. The southern side was liberated when the Japanese abandoned it eight days later.
In the aftermath of the war, a number of the colonial-era buildings was burned by the liberation forces who used flamethrowers in pursuing Japanese soldiers.
On July 21, 1960, President Carlos P. Garcia signed Executive Order No. 401 that divided Polo into two, the other being the town of Valenzuela where the village of Caruhatan was the its center. Yet the issuance would be reverted three years later. President Diosdado Macapagal issued Executive No. 46 and Valenzuela absorbed the municipality of Polo on September 11, 1963.
In the succeeding years, the municipality saw tremendous growth and development that it ceded from Bulacan and was annexed to Metro Manila. This was made possible through Presidential Decree No. 824 that was signed on November 7, 1975.
On February 14, 1998, Fidel V. Ramos approved Republic Act No. 8526, otherwise known as An Act Converting the Municipality of Valenzuela into a Highly Ubranized City to be Known as the City of Valenzuela. This is the date that Charter Day celebrates every year. The law, a bill of which was authored in the Lower House of Congress by Representative Antonio Serapio, was enacted by a plebiscite held on December 30, 1998. As a result, Valenzuela City became the twelfth city in Metro Manila and the 83rd city in the entire country.
Valenzuela City Charter Day Activities
The calendar of Valenzuela City Charter Day varies year to year which can be as short as three days (as in 2016) or as long as two weeks (as in 2012, with kick-off activities occuring in the first of February). Some of the mainstays in the commemmoration are concerts, jobs fair, mass wedding, inaugurations of new buildings and facilities, medical mission, and awards (such as top taxpayers and top job providers).
How to reach Valenzuela City
Travel time to Valenzuela City from Ninoy Aquino International Airport is about an hour or so via Manila Skyway depending on traffic. Using public commute might add more to the travel time.
- City Government of Valenzuela Citizen’s Charter 2022 1st edition. City Government of Valenzuela. 2022. Retrieved February 8, 2023
- Holidays – Valenzuel City. Retrieved February 8, 2023
- Republic Act No. 9428. Official Gazette. Retrieved February 8, 2023
- Early History. City Government of Valenzuela. Retrieved February 9, 2023
- Liberation of Valenzuela. Philippine Veterans Affairs Office. Retrieved February 9, 2023
- From Polo to Valenzuela: A Brief Historical Background. Museo Valenzuela. September 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2023
- Republic Act No. 8526. Supreme Court of the Philippines. Retrieved February 9, 2023
- Executive Order No. 401, s. 1960. Official Gazette. Retrieved February 9, 2023
- Executive Order No. 46, s. 1963. Official Gazette. Retrieved February 9, 2023