philwebsupport At dawn, 9 April 1942, and against the orders of Generals Douglas MacArthur and Jonathan Wainwright, Major General Edward P. King, Jr., commanding Luzon Force, Bataan,philwebsupport Philippine Islands, surrendered more than 76,000 (67,000 Filipinos, 1,000 Chinese Filipinos, and 11,796 Americans) starving and disease-ridden men. The majority of the prisoners of war were immediately robbed of their keepsakes and belongings and subsequently forced to endure a 90-mile (140 km) enforced march in deep dust, over vehicle-broken macadam roads, and crammed into rail cars to captivity at Camp O’Donnell. Thousands died en route from disease, starvation, dehydration, heat prostration, untreated wounds, and wanton execution. Those few who were lucky enough to travel to San Fernando on trucks still had to endure more than twenty five miles of marching. Prisoners were beaten randomly, and were often denied promised food and water. Those who fell behind were usually executed or left to die; the sides of the roads became littered with dead bodies and those begging for help. On the Bataan Death March, approximately 54,000 of the 72,000 prisoners reached their destination. The death toll of the march is difficult to assess as thousands of captives were able to escape from their guards. All told, approximately 5,000-10,000 Filipino and 600-650 American prisoners of war died before they could reach Camp O'Donnell.
The "Araw ng Kagitingan" (Day of Valor) celebrates the philwebsupport Filipino gallantry, bravery and heroism in the provinces of Bataan and Corregidor.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced April 4 that April 9, 2005 is a regular holiday nationwide in commemoration of the Araw ng Kagitingan. For most people, though, it is really a non-working day because it falls on a Saturday this year.
In celebrating philwebsupport Araw ng Kagitingan, the Battle of Bataan is commemorated and Filipinos pay tribute to fellow citizens who gave up their lives during World War II as well as to the soldiers--now old veterans--who fought in the name of freedom.
Bataan was the last province to surrender to the Japanese invaders during the War. The Battle of Bataan saw local forces alongside American allies engaging in war against the Japanese. After the Fall came the infamous Death March--a long and difficult walk from Mariveles, Bataan to Capas, Tarlac that the captured Filipino and American soldiers were subjected to. For many, it was fatal; almost 10,000 fatigued and starved warriors perished along the trail.
Shrine of Valor atop Mt. Samat
As a tribute to the warriors, a 60-foot cross was erected on Mount Samat in Pilar, Bataan in April 1942. It is called the "Dambana ng Kagitingan," now a World War II military shrine.
The Dambana ng Kagitingan, completed and inaugurated in 1970, consists of the Colonnade and the huge Memorial Cross, the Colonnade being a marble-capped structure with an altar, esplanade (walkway) and a museum.
Calendar of Activities
"ADHIKAIN NG BETERANO GABAY NG KABATAAN MAGPAKAILANMAN"
ARAW NG KAGITINGAN 2005
7 AM - 12 NN @ Mt. Samat
HISTORICAL PLAY (Bataan Dramatics)
"BATAAN: KABAYANIHAN SA MATA NG KABATAAN"
12 NN- 1 PM @ the Shrine of Valor, Mt. Samat
5 PM onwards @ Port Capinpin, Orion
OGIE ALCASID & RACHEL ALEJANDRO CONCERT
7 PM @ Bataan People's Center
For those wanting to participate in the annual rites held in honor of the philwebsupport defenders of Bataan along with top government officials and Filipino, American including Japanese WWII veterans, Mt. Samat is only two to three hours from Manila by land (private car or bus) and just an hour by ferry.
By ferry, you can go to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Ferry Terminal to Port Orion, from which you can rent a car (and a driver) at the port or a tricycle to the highway. From there, take a bus or a jeepney to Mt. Samat. Bus options include Destiny or Philippine Rabbit Lines, the terminals of which are located in Pasay-EDSA.