PBBM: Emulate bravery of Bataan heroes to overcome present challenges

By Darryl John Esguerra

April 9, 2024, 8:50 am Updated on April 9, 2024, 5:27 pm

<p>President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. <em>(File photo)</em></p>

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – As the country marks the 82nd Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan), President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday called on all Filipinos to emulate the bravery and resilience of the heroes and heroines who defended Bataan during World War II to overcome the country's present challenges.

In his message, Marcos said that while the commemoration marks the end of the more than three grueling months of valiant defense of the Bataan peninsula against the invading Japanese forces in 1942, the observance also conveys the indomitable Filipino spirit and resilience.

“For from the ashes of that defeat, we would rise even harder to secure the eventual freedom of our nation,” Marcos said.

The Day of Valor commemorates the heroism and sacrifice of Filipinos during World War II and recalls the 1942 Fall of Bataan when Filipino and American forces surrendered to the Japanese Imperial Army after resisting for months with limited weapons, ammunition, and supplies.

According to the President, Filipinos now live in a completely different age, but the “challenges before us are in no way less grave.”

“Foul forces continue to threaten us outside and within, endangering the hard-fought gains we made for our country,” Marcos said.

“There are times when our struggles seem too complex or too daunting. Still, these are precisely the moments that we must stand by our cherished freedoms and principles, perform our tasks with utmost dedication and diligence, and fight fiercely for a better life and a brighter future,” he said.

“Thus, on our commemoration of the Day of Valor or Araw ng Kagitingan, let us emulate the bravery, integrity, and resilience of the heroes and heroines of Bataan so that, like them, we may emerge triumphant in the trials of our time,” he added.

With the great sacrifices of Filipinos in Bataan in mind, the Chief Executive called on Filipinos to be inspired and follow their legacy by working together to realize the Bagong Pilipinas that the administration aspires for the people.

Marcos is expected to lead the Day of Valor commemoration ceremony in Pilar, Bataan on Tuesday morning.


The country’s security sector also joined the nation in commemorating the valor of Filipino soldiers who fought the Japanese invaders during World War II.

"Magsilbi nawang inspirasyon ang kanilang kagitingan sa pagkakaisa ng sambayanan at sa pagtugon sa mga hamon ng panahon, tungo sa mapayapa, matatag, at maunlad na Bagong Pilipinas (May their valor serve as an inspiration for us so we will be united in meeting present-day challenges on the way to a peaceful, strong and prosperous new Philippines)," Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said in his message.

Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. honored the indomitable spirit and unwavering courage of Filipino troops who valiantly fought for the country’s freedom.

"As we commemorate this historic day, let us not only reflect on the sacrifices of the past but also reaffirm our commitment to upholding the principles of democracy, peace, and freedom for which our forefathers fought so valiantly," he stressed.

Brawner also urged Filipinos to honor the legacy of these patriots by standing united in the face of challenges and working tirelessly towards a brighter future for the country.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) also paid tribute to the heroes of Bataan.

"We pay homage to the Filipino and American soldiers who bravely defended our homeland, enduring unimaginable hardships during the Bataan Death March. Their sacrifices serve as a reminder of the true price of freedom and the importance of standing against tyranny and oppression," PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said in a statement.

Fajardo also said the PNP remains committed to protecting the rights and well-being of all Filipinos to ensure that the sacrifices of the country's heroes are never forgotten.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) also paid tribute to the sacrifices of Filipino war veterans.

In a statement, CSC chairperson Karlo Nograles called on the country’s 1.9 million government workers to draw inspiration from the sacrifices of Filipino war veterans “to promote preserve, and live up to the principles, ideals, and deed of the lingkod bayani in public service.”

Nawa’y patuloy nating pahalagaan ang kanilang naging sakripisyo sa pamamagitan ng paglilingkod ng matapat, mahusay at may malasakit sa ating bayan at kapwa Pilipino. Sa pag-alala ng Araw ng Kagitingan, lagi nating tandaan na ang sebisyo publiko ay hindi instrument sa pagpapa-unlad ng sarili, kung hindi ay para sa kabutihan ng ating bayan at ng mamamayan (Let us always honor their sacrifices by serving our nation and fellow Filipinos with dedication, honesty and devotion. In commemorating the Day of Valor, let us always remember that public service is not an instrument for enriching ourselves, but rather for the welfare of our country and its people).” (with Priam Nepomuceno and Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)