Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 9, 2013 is Holiday in the Philippines

  


The holiday celebration this Tuesday April 9, 2013 is a commemoration of the fall of Bataan during World War II. This holiday is also known as Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor).

As declared by the President under Proclamation No. 459, April 9, 2013 is a regular holiday and may be the only holiday in the Philippines for this month of April. This year's commemoration marks the 71st anniversary of the fall of Bataan.

Araw ng Kagitingan


It was April 9, 1942 when more than 76,000 Filipino and American soldiers surrendered to the hands of Japanese forces. It was the largest surrender in American and Filipino military history. This marks the end of a 3-month battle against the Imperial Japanese.

What followed is what we call now as the Bataan Death March, where the captive soldiers where forcibly transferred from Bataan to Tarlac. The 128 km (80 mi) march was characterized by wide-ranging physical abuse and murder, and resulted in very high fatalities inflicted upon prisoners and civilians alike by the Japanese Army.

Only some 54,000 of the 76,000 prisoners reached their destination; the exact death toll is difficult to assess because thousands of captives were able to escape from their guards. Approximately 5,000-10,000 Filipino and 600-650 American prisoners-of-war died before they could reach Camp O'Donnell.

Let us join the families of our war veterans in looking back at the heroism of their loved ones.

Click here for the List of Philippine Holidays 2013

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