Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day of Valor, 71st Anniversary

It's a holiday today as the whole country commemorates the 71st anniversary of the Day of Valor or "Araw  ng Kagitingan". It is also called Bataan Day or Bataan and Corregidor Day.

During World War II, Filipino soldiers together with their American counterparts fought valiantly against the Japanese invaders. On the early morning of April 9, 1942 Major General Edward P. King Jr., the commander of the Luzon command surrendered to the Japanese troops along with more than 76,000 (67,000 Filipinos, 11,796 Americans and 1,000 Chinese-Filipinos) disease-ridden and starving soldiers under his command defying the orders of General Douglas MacArthur and General Jonathan Wainwright.

The prisoners of war were then forced to walk 140 kilometers from Bataan to Camp O'Donnell in Capas, Tarlac. Thousands of them did not survive who either died from dehydration, untreated wounds or were executed on the spot by the Japanese. Of the 76,000 POWs, only 54,000 made it to the camp. This came to be known in history as the Bataan Death March.

The stamps featured above were released on May 5, 2012 by the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Day of Valor.

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