Today, March 5th, the start of Philippine Veterans Week.
The Philippines and Filipinos throughout the US will observe the 73rd anniversary of the Fall of Bataan this coming Thursday, April 9th.
The day, also referred to 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.
The law 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 would 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 in tiny box cars via train to Camp O’Donnell in Tarlac.
The 65-BATAAN DEATH MARCH killed approximately 8,000 Filipino and 600 American troops. At Camp O'Donnell thousands died. During the first 4 months 300 POWs died a day.
In Washington, a memorial will be held on April 9th at the World War II Memorial on the Mall and Embassy of the Philippines.
SCHEDULE PART I – WREATH LAYING CEREMONY
* VFW Washington Department Color Guard (Color Guard Commander – Jay Cabacar)
* Taps to be performed by James Cruzada Alleva
* Philippine Embassy Personnel
* FIL-AM Community of Metro DC
* Other Guests
* 4:45 – 5:15 PM : Assembly
* 5:15 – 5:30 PM : Wreath Laying Ceremony
HON. PATRICK CHUASOTO Chargé d’ Affaire, Philippine Embassy
* 5:30 PM : End of Ceremony
* 5:30 – 6:00 PM – DEPARTURE & PROCEED TO ROMULO HALL, PHILIPPINE EMBASSY
PART II – COMMEMORATION PROGRAM
VENUE: ROMULO HALL, PHILIPPINE EMBASSY
* Philippine & US National Anthem (James Cruzada Alleva- Trumpet)
* Invocation – (WW2 Veteran)
* Recognition of WW2 Veterans and families present
* Welcome Remarks & Introduction of the Speaker - MGen Delfin N. Lorenzana AFP(Ret)
* Remarks: HON. PATRICK CHUASOTO
Chargé d’ Affaire, Philippine Embassy
* Video/Film Clips Showing:
*Death March Recollection – by a veteran
*26th Annual Bataan Memorial March (3/22/2015)
Office of Veterans Affairs
Embassy of the Philippines
Tel: 202-467-9427; 202-467-9410