LOS ANGELES – The Filipino community joined the Philippines in celebrating Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) on April 9.
"It's important that every Filipino remember Bataan and Corregidor and how the Filipino soldiers really sacrificed their lives so we can enjoy the freedom and liberty that we are now enjoying," said Deputy Consul General Imelda Panolong.
On April 9, 1942, American soldiers, together with their Filipino counterparts, surrendered to Japanese forces. The prisoners of war were forced to walk the infamous Bataan Death March.
Filipinos celebrated the annual Bataan Day with documentaries, authentic uniforms, and music. Many of the relics, now over 70 years old, belong to community leader Gil Mislang.
"It's a part of our history. They got to know their history. They got to know especially modern day history about men who actually tried their best to make sure that we were free during that time," Mislang said of the Philippine Scout Heritage Society.
Mislang said a group of community members are now in the process of creating a monument in Los Angeles to honor Philippines scouts.
"We're still on early planning stages but with a number of us having enough contact and having the drive we will get it built," he said.
Mislang added that while there is a variety of World War II related monuments throughout the US, only a handful honor the Philippine scout.