Mt. Samat, Pilar, Bataan
April 10, 2023

“Many dismiss the commemoration of the Bataan siege as ill-advised, simply because it had ended in a most agonizing defeat. But we cannot agree more with our historians, because what we had lost in this incipient battle and had not finished the war, the war had yet to be won,” President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. expressed during the observance of the 81st Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan) held in Mt. Samat, Bataan.

According to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan) is commemorated to mark the defeat of Filipino and American forces in their hold out on Bataan from the hands of Japanese forces on April 9, 1942. This date also marked the beginning of the Japanese enforced march of Filipino and American soldiers on foot from Mariveles, Bataan to Capas, Tarlac; the day that would be called in history as the ‘Bataan Death March’.

The President added that while many great men and women were lost during that time, the country’s most important triumph was the will to fight and never losing hope.

Looking at the present time, he underscored above all that heroism is celebrated through the good deeds that uphold the spirit of patriotism, especially during the pandemic, where Filipinos rose to the challenge in facing an ‘unseen enemy’ and demonstrated compassion by willingly putting themselves in peril in the service of others.

“We can look to the future with confidence, girded with the knowledge the most noble Filipino quality of heroism is aflame and burns brightly in every true Filipino,” President Marcos Jr. conveyed.

The Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan) is observed on April 9th every year. By virtue of Proclamation No. 90, s. 2022 signed by President Marcos Jr., this year’s commemoration was moved to April 10 as it coincided with the celebration of Easter Sunday on April 9, 2023.

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