April 9 2013 – Araw ng Kagitingan holiday

The Philippines will be marking the 71st anniversary of the Fall of Bataan this coming April 9, Tuesday. The day is a regular national holiday as stipulated in President Benigno Aquino III’s Proclamation 459, which he signed last year. Read the full text of Proclamation 459 here.

According to the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Handbook on Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits, employees “are entitled to at least 100% of his/her minimum pay” even if he/she did not report for work on this day. The labor department however stressed that employees “must be present or is on leave of absence with pay on the work day” immediately preceding the holiday (April 8, in this case). Read the above mentioned DOLE handbook in this link.

On that day back in 1942, Filipino and American fighters in Bataan under the leadership of Major General Edward P. King of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) surrendered to the Japanese invaders after realizing the “futility of further resistance.” Allied forces had been fighting the Japanese for four months already prior to the Fall of Bataan, and thousands of them had already died by that time.

PS: The term “isinuko ang Bataan,” apparently rooted from the events of 1942, has gained sexual connotation in recent years. How an event commemorating the surrender of Filipino World War II combatants came to mean giving up one’s virginity is kinda perplexing.

Surrender on Bataan

Surrender on Bataan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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