Orani Foundation Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: April 21, 2024

Orani Foundation Day in the Philippines Orani Foundation Day (Araw ng Pagkakatatag ng Orani or Araw ng Orani) is a special non-working holiday celebrated in the Philippine municipality of Orani on April 21 every year. It commemorates the town’s founding anniversary.

Orani is a first-class municipality in the Philippine province of Bataan. Like with many towns and cities in the Philippines, its name is believed to derive from a misunderstanding between a Spaniard and a native. According to legend, a Spanish explorer encountered a local resident who was chopping down a large tree in a dense forest in what is now Orani. When the Spaniard asked what the name of the tree was, the local replied, “Narra.” However, the Spaniard misheard and though the answer was “no ira”, which meant “unselfish”. The Spaniard then rearranged the letters from the reply to make up the word “Orani”, which became the name of the settlement.

The history of Orani as a settlement dates back to the time when Spanish missionaries established a chapel here. This chapel was a so-called visita, meaning it had no rectory for a priest, so the parish priest would drop by every now and then to perform sacraments and evangelize. Orani was established as an independent missionary center with its own church on April 21, 1714. This date is now celebrated as the town’s foundation day. The church was built by Dominican friars, who used it as their quarters in Bataan.

The growth of Orani into a prosperous town was consistently impeded by disasters. First, the town suffered damage during an earthquake in 1852, which destroyed the town hall, church, and multiple residential buildings. They were rebuilt over the next decades, and the town began to grow again. However, a major fire that occurred in March 1938 burned nearly three-quarters of the town, including the town hall, church, and several schools. The town began to rebuild again, but its reconstruction was halted due to the outbreak of World War II, which brought more destruction.

After the war, Orani began rebuilding again. Today, it is a municipality with a population of more than 70,000, which relies on agriculture and aquaculture as its main sources of income. Orani produces rice, coffee, vegetables, citrus fruit, peanuts, cutflowers (aster, chrysanthemum, gerbera), and fish and seafood (crabs, milkfish, mussels, oysters, prawn, tilapia).

Orani Foundation Day was officially established in November 2018 and celebrated for the first time on April 21, 2019. The main goal of the holiday is to commemorate the town’s founding anniversary and to highlight the historical significance of its establishment. Since it is a special non-working holiday, employees in Orani are entitled to a day off work or to appropriate compensation if they are required to work on this holiday.

Orani Foundation Day is marked by festive events and activities celebrating the municipality’s history and cultural heritage. They include a special mass at the Minor Basilica and Shrine Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary of Orani, cultural performances, sports and street dancing competitions, colorful parades, a trade fair, food festivals, and more.

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Orani Foundation Day in the Philippines, holidays in the Philippines, regional holidays, special non-working holidays