* From the ‘turn the other cheek’ department:
MANILA,Â (STAR) with thanks to ZIP
Â President Arroyo has declared Oct. 1 as a regular non-working holiday in observance of Eid’l Fitr or the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
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The declaration of the annual holiday was contained in Proclamation No. 1625, issued by the President last Friday.
After a month-long period of sacrifice highlighted by day-long fasting, Muslims around the world celebrate the end of the Ramadan with a three-day feast called Eid’l Fitr.
Republic Act 9177 paved the way for the observance of Eid’l Fitr as a regular holiday throughout the country.
The actual date of the start of Ramadan varies every year as it is dependent on the first sighting of the new moon.
For Eid’l Fitr, the main date for the celebration for this year was determined by the Office of Muslim Affairs, in accordance with the Islamic calendar called the Hijra.
“To promote cultural understanding and integration, the entire Filipino nation should have the full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in the observance and celebration of Eid’l Fitr,” the Proclamation stated.
“In order to bring the religious and cultural significance of Eid’l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness, it is necessary to declare Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008 as a regular holiday throughout the country,” it added.
In deference to Muslims observing Ramadan, the Armed Forces of the Philippines came out with revised guidelines regarding military operations against armed groups particularly in Mindanao.
It was necessary for the AFP to come out with the revised guidelines as it was engaged in a manhunt for elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that attacked and pillaged civilian communities in Central Mindanao last month. â€“Â Marvin Sy