The country will be observing the 74th anniversary of the Fall of Bataan this coming April 9, Saturday. The day, known locally as “Araw ng Kagitingan” (Day of Valor) is a legal holiday nationwide as stipulated in Republic Act 3022 which President Carlos P. Garcia signed in 1961. Read the full text of RA 3022 in this link.
According to the Department of National Defense and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, the theme for this year’s commemoration is “Isabuhay ang Kagitingan, Kapayapaan ay Pagkaisahan, Kamtan ang Mithing Kaunlaran.” The Araw ng Kagitingan is the highlight of the Philippine Veterans Week, which is from April 5 to 11.
RA 3022 calls on all Filipinos particularly their public officials to observe a one-minute silence at 4:30 o’clock in the afternoon of April 9 and to hold appropriate rites in honor of the veterans of the Fall of Bataan in particular and World War II in general.
The Fall of Bataan happened in April 9, 1942, when Filipino and American fighters isolated for months in Bataan surrendered to the Japanese Imperial Army under General Masaharu Homma.
This came after Major General Edward P. King of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) came to the conclusion that further attempts to stop the Japanese from advancing will be useless. Most of the survivors of the Japanese offensive were then forced to march from Mariveles, Bataan all the way to San Fernando, Pampanga before traveling via bpx train to Camp O’Donnell in Tarlac.
Addendum: In contemporary times, the expression “isinuko ang Bataan,” obviously derived from the historic events of 1942, has gained sexual connotation. How an event marking the surrender of Filipino and American World War II combatants also mean giving up one’s virginity is just odd.