[Holiday] Philippines’ Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor)

A lot of people hate History. Yes, the subject. You get complaints here and there, like “Bakit pa kailangang pag-aralan yan eh patay na yang mga yan” or a “Ano namang silbi niyan sa buhay ko kung malaman ko kung sino yang mga yan at mga nangyari sa date na yan?”

I cringe whenever I hear those words. I get where people are coming from with all these words, given the way how History has been taught in most schools — the memorize-all-the-dates-and-people-from-that-period approach. That kind of approach which fails to impress upon the students how relevant studying History is.

Today in the Philippines is a holiday. We call it the Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan) to commemorate the sacrifices of our fellow Filipinos who fought for our independence, especially during the World War II against  the Japanese. I remember the first time I’ve read about the Japanese invasion of Asia in the 1940’s. I was teary-eyed when I read about the Japanese invading the Philippines. At that point in time, the Philippines had just attained independence from the United States (this topic is debatable, I know. but we can talk about that on a different post). The Filipinos, who have just come close to touching liberty, fought back. They fought. And fought.  They fought until they were pushed back to Corregidor. They were low on supplies and there were no reinforcements.  These unsung heroes fought until the only decision left was to surrender.

The fall of Bataan. April 9, 1942.

Remember fellow Filipinos, these people whom you refuse to read about? They fought for our country’s independence. They fought for the future of the Philippines. They fought for you.

Don’t even dare credit MacArthur for our independence.

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