The vibrant month of March

>> Thursday, March 16, 2017

Aside from the fact that it is the birth month of me, my son and many friends; March is a multi-faceted month as it hosts events, sad and happy.    
The more popular date in the month is the “Ides of March” that is celebrated on March 15. It is the first day of spring in the Roman calendar and the first day of the Roman New Year.
It was said that many days before March 15, in 44 BC; clairvoyants cautioned Julius Caesar about people around him and to “beware of the Ides of March”. As he was then in a happy mood in a courtyard meeting, he forgot all about the warning and was stabbed by Marcus Brutus, one of his trusted confidantes.
Take note, while our congressmen and senators are still undecided on whether to pass the Freedom of Information law, the US signed theirs in 1966 and celebrate the Freedom of Information Day on March 16, the birthday of James Madison, the 4th president of the USA.
It now allows ordinary citizens to access public information from governmental agencies based on the principle of “openness in government”. Public documents that were once considered sensitive and classified have been made available to the public.
The United States also celebrate a “National Pig Day” on the first day of March. The celebration recognizes domesticated pigs as big, pot-bellied pigs in zoos are the symbol of the day. Like humans, pigs are clever and intelligent animals as they can be trained to do tricks. In the USA and in many parts of Europe, people keep them as pets and sleep with them.
Another weird celebration on March 5 is the “Multiple Personality Day”. It is the opportune day to “get in touch with yourselves.” A split personality guy has two personalities while someone with multiple personalities has more than two.
On March 5, people are not surprised at all to find people talking to themselves. If you are one of them who have that personality, you might find yourself talking to yourself, too!
So when you greet a guy “Happy Multiple Personality Day", you may have to do so more than once – or once for each personality. Doctors believe this as a psychological disorder that we hope none of us in in Baguio have.
Then the Americans celebrate the “Be Nasty Day” on March 8. There are “have a nice day” days and all sorts of other days but they also celebrate negative types of days. We do not celebrate this day in the Philippines until Facebook arrived. Now, netizens send all sorts of nasty messages, and that is done not only on March 8 but every minute of the day.
And then there is “Panic Day” that is always celebrated on March 9. Be at peace with yourself on this day for today is Panic Day. Hopefully, everything was just fine with you last Thursday. Nobody wants this day but if difficulties arise on this day, do not panic. Don't worry, the day will pass.
Reading the phrase “International Women's Day” makes me wonder how an “international woman” looks like. Maybe her legs have different lengths, arms are of different colors and the brain thinks differently everytime. Maybe it is better to delete the word “international” and let it just be known as “Women’s Day”.
It is celebrated on March 8 and sponsored by the United Nations Org although it is not an original celebration by the UN. Celebration goes back to the late 1800s during the start of women's socialist movements and early women's trade union groups.
The first International Women's Day was celebrated on March 19, 1911 although women socialists and trade unions celebrated an earlier Women's Day in February of 1908. The celebration has been celebrated annually since. The focus is upon women workers and advancing women's rights in the workforce and in politics.
International Earth Day is celebrated on Vernal Equinox or on March 20. Obviously, this was introduced to make us earthlings take good care of our planet. In September, 1969, John McConnell of Iowa proposed the establishment of Earth Day where, after approval, the proposal gained support from many other states and countries.
In 1970, McConnell wrote an Earth Day Proclamation which was signed by UN Secretary General U Thant on March 21, 1971. It is sometimes called Sun-Earth Day in some parts of USA and Asia.
The “Fire Prevention Month” of March or Proclamation No. 115-A, s. 1966 was proclaimed as such by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos and also proclaimed the year 1967 every year thereafter as Safety and Accident Prevention Year.
This reminds me scenes of forest fires that usually occur in March. Take note, these are not natural occurrences as reported but are actually fires started by kaingin farmers. If these are natural fires, cattle and farm houses should have been burned, but no. It is because the animals are kept away before the fire is started.
Everytime mother’s day or father’s day come around, I ask myself if there is one celebration for lolos and lolas. I was not aware that there was such a celebration. Then President Ramos on March 6, 1996 declared March 11-18, 1996 and every year thereafter, as “Grandparents’ Week”.
In his declaration, President Ramos mentioned about the tradition of fostering love and care for the “lolos” and “lolas” that needs to be preserved and inculcated in our youth and in the succeeding generations of Filipinos.
Last but not the least, “Environmental Week” under Proclamation No. 975, s. 1972 has been declared by President Marcos to be observed every first week of March of every year to “focus national attention on the need for environmental planning and the control of pollution, deforestation and other threats to a balanced ecology essential for human progress and survival.”
A vibrant month to all, but beware of the Ides of March!


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