On this day, May 1, 1903, Filipino labor leader Dominador Gomez, who headed the Unión Obrera Democrática Filipina, Philippine’s first labor union, led a demonstration of over 100,000 Filipino workers from Plaza Moriones, Tondo to the gates of Malacañang Palace.
They chanted slogans against American imperialism and called on Gov. Gen. William H. Taft to grant an eight-hour workweek and better working conditions for workers.
The demonstration led to Gomez’s arrest and incarceration for subversion. It was the first time Labor Day was observed in the Philippines.