Expats Guide: 2018 Philippine Holidays

Holidays is a welcome respite for many Filipinos so they can rest a bit longer, plan a weekend getaway, spend more time with family and friends, and catch up on household chores.

However, the expat community is usually caught flat-footed whenever there is a holiday celebration in the Philippines. Fret not, you can now mark your calendars as President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 269 declaring the regular holidays and special non-working days in 2018.


Regular Holidays
Regular holidays do not need a declaration these are celebrated worldwide or nationwide.

  • January 1 (Monday) – New Year’s Day
  • March 29 – Maundy Thursday
  • March 30 – Good Friday
  • April 9 (Monday) – Araw ng Kagitingan
  • May 1 (Tuesday) – Labor Day
  • June 12 (Tuesday) – Independence Day
  • August 27 (Monday) – National Heroes Day
  • November 30 (Friday) – Bonifacio Day
  • December 25 (Tuesday) – Christmas Day
  • December 30 (Sunday) – Rizal Day


Special Non-working holidays

Special non-working holidays have to be declared or waiting for an announcement from the concerned group. There are 2 pending Islamic holidays for proclamation, Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha, which will be issued after the dates in the Islamic calendar have been determined.

  • February 16 (Friday) – Chinese New Year
  • February 25 (Sunday) – EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary
  • March 31 – Black Saturday
  • August 21 (Tuesday) – Ninoy Aquino Day
  • November 1 (Thursday) – All Saints Day
  • December 31 (Monday) – Last Day of the Year


Additional Special Holidays

  • November 2 (Friday)
  • December 24 (Monday)


Holiday pay

Working on a holiday has perks in the salary for an employee. You may not feel good about it but it will make you smile when the paycheck comes in.

Personnel who report for work on regular holidays will receive at least 200 percent of the daily rate and cost-of-living allowance (COLA).

Those who work on special non-working days are paid at least 130 percent of their daily rate and COLA. No work no pay for those who did not report for work during non-special working holidays.

Long Weekend

Looking at the 2018 holiday schedule there are 4 periods that have long weekends, 4 successive days without work. An expat should expect heavy traffic along South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) with the exodus of people going to the provinces. Metro-Manila has less traffic and not too many people on these days.

  • March 29–April 1, 2018
  • November 1-4, 2018
  • December 22-25, 2018
  • December 29, 2018 – Jan. 1, 2019

The Philippines is a Catholic country and many Filipinos embark on a pilgrimage called “Visita Iglesia” during Holy Week, March 29 to April 1. They visit at least 7 churches on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. This is also the start of the summer break, beaches will be teeming with people,

If you’re from Metro-Manila you don’t have to go to Baguio City for a nice Christmas vacation with the family. Tagaytay City is a great alternative with a lot of amenities for foreign and local tourist. There are a lot of places to visit and things to do and of course, there’s the delicious bulalo, beef broth, from the nearby Mendez market. Feast your eyes on the breathtaking Taal volcano in all its splendor

So there, we hope that an expatriate can use this guide to enjoy the moment as Filipinos do during holidays in the Philippines.

Expats in the Philipppines

Expats in the Philipppines

Expat.com.ph is a platform that aims to help Expats living and working in the Philippines and expats-to-be. It provides free information and also encourages them to share their experiences. Let's help making life in Philippines that much more fun!

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