Senators OK bill declaring April 28 a holiday in Aurora

Published May 17, 2021, 7:02 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Members of the Senate approved on third and final reading Monday, May 17, a bill that would make April 28 of every year a special working holiday in the province of Aurora, to commemorate the death anniversary of Aurora Antonia Aragon-Quezon, the Philippines’ first official first lady.

Twenty-two senators voted to pass House Bill No. 5944, which seeks to declare April 28 of every year a special working holiday in Aurora in honor of Aragon-Quezon.

Senator Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Senate local government committee and sponsor of the local bill, said the wife of former President Manuel Quezon, more known as Doña Aurora, advocated for women’s right to suffrage.

“Doña Aurora Antonia Aragon-Quezon is truly inspiring for all Filipinos for her dedication and serving the nation and fighting for equality,” Tolentino said in a brief speech following the bill’s approval.

Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, a former representative for Aurora province, lauded the passage of the bill and thanked his colleagues.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Sen. Richard Gordon hailed the measure honoring the first chairperson of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) from 1947 to 1949.

Aragon-Quezon died in April 28, 1949 in an ambush by members of the rebel group Hukbalahap in Nueva Ecija while on the way to Baler, Aurora.

She was with her eldest daughter Maria Victoria, son-in-law Felipe Buencamino III, Quezon City mayor Ponciano Bernardo and several others.