“Heroism has many forms, but wherever and however you are tasked to make a difference, take heart and keep the fire burning.”
Araw ng Kagitingan, also known as the Day of Valor, marks the greatness of Filipino fighters during World War II. It is marked on or around April 9 in the Philippines each year.
On the last days approaching April 9, 1942, it is said that for the first time in history, Filipino soldiers from all over the archipelago came to Bataan to defend the liberty of the Philippines. If not for them, Corregidor Island would not have lasted a month more (6 months all in all) as the last holdout of Filipinos and Americans against the Imperial Japanese, who by then had conquered almost the entire Southeast Asian region.
Tomorrow, April 9, 2013, is the 71st Anniversary of the Fall of Bataan. Now known as “Araw ng Kagitingan,” so as to put emphasis on valor rather than on defeat and surrender, we remembered the courage and the bravery of our soldiers who fought a war not of their own making.
The Day of Valor was a national observance until a Letter of Instruction No. 1087, dated on November 26, 1980, and made “Araw ng Kagitingan” a national public holiday to honor the people who helped bring democracy and freedom in the Philippines during the World War II era. Executive Order No. 203, dated on June 30, 1987, further proclaimed April 9 as “Araw Ng Kagitingan” to pay tribute to the heroes of Bataan, Corregidor and Bessang.
Let us continue to honor the valor and the bravery of the Filipino soldier. But perhaps, what is needed is to refocus our attention on battlefield victories, on our achievements as a nation, rather than dwelling on the tragedies of the past.
To the Filipino Soldiers who are Fighting Valiantly to protect and serve the Citizens of the Philippines, for keeping Peace, for serving Justice.
Araw ng Kagitingan, is not only for the Soldiers who fought with Valor during the Fall of Bataan, but also for the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in the name of Justice and Peace.