2013 trip planner

about 3 months ago, the office of the president issued proclamation no. 459, s. 2012, declaring the regular holidays, special (non-working) days, and special holidays (for schools) for the year 2013. although news stories that were spawned by the proclamation announced 16 holidays, there really is little to be celebrated for the peripatetic lot of filipinos always eager to leave town for a quick getaway, and still not worry about begging stubborn and uncooperative bosses for permission to use up leaves you're entitled to anyway. interestingly, RA 9492 already institutionalizes holiday economics (i.e., long weekends) for non-religious feasts by stating that they are moved to the nearest monday, but it has a colatilla: unless otherwise modified by law, order or proclamation. so PNoy, through this proclamation, has expressed his preference not to give the employed filipino more long weekends and his deference to the desires of the corporate sector, whose operations and finances were apparently affected by PGMA's tendency to generate domestic income through local tourism spending.

as a result of this difference in policy, there are actually only 4 real long weekends for 2013. but unless you have just been employed or work for the world's worst employer, industry standards (thanks to the the labor movement) dictate that you are entitled to at least 15 vacation leaves. so there is little reason for the normal pinoy not to enjoy a quick getaway far away from work. to make things easier when planning trips and vacations, i've prepared the matrix below, which i've color-coded: the green bands show the actual long weekends where no VLs are required. the yellow ones require only 1 day off, but the minimum length is 4 days. the red one needs a 3 day leave, but you get a 9-day vacation. all the rest need 2 days of approved leave. so assuming your employer follows the industry standard, you could actually theoretically embark on a trip during ALL of these extended long weekends and still have a 1-day VL which you could use just to stay home.

what i didn't include in this matrix is the holiday that falls on may 13. the 1987 constitution tells us that the local and national elections will take place on the second monday of may, which is a holiday so that we could actually go out and vote. what i did include, however, are the muslim holidays, based on a calendar i found online. i've compared it with other similar calculations of the lunar calendar, and they seem to agree at least on the dates when ramadhan ends (eid-ul-fitr) and the feast of sacrifice (eid-ul-adha). curiously, PNoy's proclamation makes no mention of the chinese new year, which by my recollection, was actually a holiday this year. and incidentally, airlines have been aggressively promoting low fares so you now at least have something very concrete to map out your peregrinations for 2013.