Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor is being commemorated every 9th of April , signifying one of the most important events in Philippine History. Historically, the Day of Valor is also known as Bataan Day or Bataan and Corregidor Day in which the Filipino and US military forces joined forces to fight against the Japanese in order to prevent the Japanese from building their naval base here in Manila and launching attacks to Australia, thus denying these people entry into our land. The Japanese troops, however, wreaked havoc on the Pearl Harbor even after they have surrendered, thus causing the Philippine conquest to take longer than expected.
This is to celebrate the bravery of those war veterans who gallantly defended Corregidor of Bataan and to educate the younger generations , reminding them of the atrocities that the Japanese had inflicted upon the Filipino soldiers during the Death March, an event where these soldiers were to march 87 miles from Bataan heading to Camp O’ Donnell without any food or water and with their belongings mercilessly taken away from them by the Japanese troops. It all started when more than 76,000 starving and disease ridden soldiers (consisting of 67,000 Filipinos, 1,000 Chinese Filipinos and 11, 976 Americans) were surrendered by Major General Edward King to the Japanese people against General Douglas McArthur and Jonathan Wainright , at the dawn of April 9, 1942. Throughout the march, thousands have perished due to dehydration, untreated wounds , heat and execution while walking while some who got lucky to travel were forced to endure more than an additional 25 miles of marching and were beaten randomly or even denied food and water. What’s worse, those who fell behind were being executed or left to die, leaving the dead bodies sprawled over the road sides and only a number of 54,000 people reached Camp O’ Donnell.
“To live in freedom’s light is the right of mankind”
May this quote give an impact to every mankind. Everyone deserves the right to enjoy freedom. When one doesn’t fight for freedom, he/she will never get to have and enjoy it. Quoting a line from the song “Do You Hear The People Sing?” , it says , “Then join in the fight that will give you the right to be free!” . What happens when we don’t fight for freedom? What would have happened if these war veterans didn’t defend Bataan?
“They will see the people rise”/”Let others rise to take our place until the earth is free”
The Filipino and US soldiers rose and fought against the Japanese in defense of the Corregidor of Bataan, even if it means death.