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April 9 2014 – Araw ng Kagitingan holiday

The Philippines will be marking the 72nd anniversary of the Fall of Bataan this coming April 9,Wednesday. The day, referred to as “Araw ng Kagitingan,” is a regular national holiday based on President Benigno Aquino III’s Proclamation 655 which he signed last year. Read more about Proclamation 655 here.

The Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Handbook on Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits stipulates that 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 emphasized 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 expression “isinuko ang Bataan,” obviously derived from the events of 1942, has gained sexual connotation. How can an event commemorating the surrender of Filipino World War II combatants come to mean giving up one’s virginity? 😀

UPDATE: There is in fact a law which designates April 9 as a legal holiday. It is Republic Act 3022, signed by then-President Carlos P. Garcia back in 1961. Check it on this link.

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