Baybay City Charter Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: June 16, 2024

Baybay City Charter Day in the Philippines Baybay City Charter Day (Araw ng Pribilehiyo ng Lungsod ng Baybay) is a special working holiday in the Philippine city of Baybay celebrated annually on June 16. It commemorates the day when Baybay was officially granted city status.

Baybay is a first class component city in the Philippine province of Leyte, situated on Leyte Island in the Eastern Visayas region. It is the second largest city in the province in terms of population (after Ormoc and not counting Tacloban, which serves as the provincial capital but is autonomous from the province) and the third largest in terms of land area after Abuyog and Ormoc.

It is believed that Baybay was the only settlement on Leyte’s western coast known to the first Spanish conquistadors who arrived in the region. The native name of the settlement used to be Pangasugan, which still is the name of one of the city’s barangays (barrios). When Spaniards arrived in the area, the asked a native what the place was called, and the native answered in Visayan, “Ang suba nagbaybay sa Pangasugan.” The Spanish shortened the phrase to “Baybay”, and the new name eventually stuck.

Among the first Europeans in the area were Jesuit friars, who arrived there around 1620, which is considered the official founding year of Baybay. By the late 1830s, Baybay was created an independent parish. Soon the Jesuits were expelled from the area, and Augustinian friars took over. They built the first school in town and constructed a road connecting Baybay to Palompon and bringing it closer to the neighboring municipalities. Of course, the town also had a civil administration assigned by the Spanish colonial authorities.

Following the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution, the town’s Spanish residents began to move away, and Filipino officials took over the local government. During the Philippine-American War, the residents of Baybay fought against the Americans; in fact, the town was one of the places where Filipino nationalists made their last stand. However, they were overpowered, and the Philippines surrendered to the United States. During World War II, Baybay was occupied by the Japanese Imperial Forces in 1942 and liberated in 1944.

Baybay was converted from a municipality to a city on June 16, 2007. The following year, the League of Cities of the Philippines petitioned the Supreme Court to declare the conversion of Baybay and 15 other cities unconstitutional because certain legal requirements were not met. Several years of legal battle ensued; the cityhood of Baybay and the rest of the municipalities was revoked in November 2008, reinstated in December 2009, revoked again in August 2010, and finally reinstated for good in February 2011.

Baybay City Charter Day was created to celebrate the history and culture of the city through organized programs, ceremonies and festivities organized by the municipal government in coordination with civic and religious organizations, NGOs, and private businesses. It is a working holiday, which means that local employees are not entitled to a day off.

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Baybay City Charter Day, holidays in the Philippines, special working holiday, regional observances