Metro Manila · Bataan Day / Araw ng Kagitingan (April 9)
On Bataan Day or Araw ng Kagitingan (Filipino for "Day of Valor"), the Philippines commemorates the fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942, and the subsequent death marches. The regular public holiday is an occasion to honor the Filipino soldiers in World War II.
Bataan was the last retreat of the Americans on the Philippine archipelago. After surrendering, 68,000 Philippine and almost 12,000 American soldiers became prisoners of the Japanese army. They were forced to march to another camp, some 140 kilometers away. Thousands died on the way from dehydration, starvation, injuries, exhaustion, and executions, which is why it became known as the Bataan Death March.
On April 9, Philippine war veterans parade in several cities all over the country. Streets are closed along the parade routes and public transport needs to be redirected. The main commemoration takes place at the Mount Samat National Shrine on the Bataan peninsula, located on the opposite side of Manila Bay, a two-hours drive from the Megacity. The Philippine President and other dignitaries hold speeches at the shrine.
For more details on the program during Bataan Day and Veterans Week, visit the website of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.
Parks and shopping malls remain open on April 9 and are popular venues for families to spend the non-working holiday.