Malacañang hailed Filipino war veterans for their patriotism and gallantry in defend the country’s freedom as Filipinos marked “Araw ng Kagitingan” (Day of Valor) yesterday.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson Martin Andanar expressed hope that Filipinos would emulate the heroism and bravery of the country’s soldiers who fought in Bataan during World War II.
“We join the entire Filipino nation in commemorating Araw ng Kagitingan or Valor Day,” Andanar said in a statement.
“Let us be inspired by the valor, heroism, and patriotism of our soldiers who fought
during the 1942 Battle of Bataan for the freedom and liberties we enjoy today, and let us contribute towards achieving genuine self-determination for our nation,” he added.
Apart from war veterans, Andanar also praised the country’s modern-day heroes amid the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
Among them are medical and health care professionals, farmers, government workers, and officials, law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and front-liners from the food service, transportation, and other essential sectors, he said.
Andanar lauded their dedication to serve the country and ensuring continuity in the delivery of services and assistance to their fellow Filipinos despite the “great personal risk” amid the pandemic.
“As we adapt to the new normal brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to praise the selflessness, hard work, and commitment of our present-day heroes,” he said.
“May the sacrifices of our patriotic veterans and our modern-day heroes continue to ignite within us the desire to contribute towards nation-building for our continuous recovery from the impacts generated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Andanar said.
“Araw ng Kagitingan” is marked every April 9 to honor the thousands of Filipino and American forces who fought for the country’s liberty and democracy during World War II.
On April 9, 1942 or after 93 days of resistance, an estimated 60,000 Filipino and American troops were taken prisoners of war by the Japanese.
They were forced to walk some 112 kilometers from Mariveles, Bataan to Capas, Tarlac with no food and water for days, which became known as the Bataan Death March.
Around 18,000 Filipino soldiers and 650 Americans died during the Death March.