The Philippines' commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor April 9 appeared to take on a deeper meaning as citizens paid tribute to healthcare workers, recognized as frontliners in the fight against COVID-19.
Filipinos from all walks of life and ages paid tribute to frontliners ahead of Araw ng Kagitingan amid the threat of the coronavirus disease that had millions on lockdown in the main Luzon island until April 30, 2020.
Also known as Bataan Day or Bataan and Corregidor Day, April 9 is a national observance to commemorate the fall of Bataan during World War II, when thousands of prisoners of war were forced to walk what came to be known as the Death March.
On Wednesday, April 8, the government enjoined citizens to recognize the frontliners.
But even before the call, citizens had held up signs and placards, sang, recited poems and clapped to honor medical workers and others who have been helping prevent, fight or contain the disease.
Clad in their signature green uniform, cheerleaders from De La Salle Santiago Zobel's Animo Squad held placards that read "Pilipinas go, fight, win, laban frontliners" as they smiled to boost the morale of Pinoy frontliners.
Also sending cheers to frontliners were the six-time UAAP cheerdance champions from the National University and various cheer dancing groups -- from high school pupils to college students, as seen on posts on the National Cheerleading Championship Facebook page.
Filipinos across the country also showed appreciation for the effort of frontliners.
Paolo Parayno from Pangasinan province said that he is thankful to frontliners for continuously heeding the call of duty. He also called them the country's "modern day heroes."
Jay-ar Reyes from Legazpi City, Albay saluted the frontliners for their sacrifices.
"Sa lahat po ng frontliners natin salamat po sa inyong pag-aalaga at sa inyong sakripisyo. Nawa'y ibalik ng Panginoon ang kabutihan ninyong lahat," Reyes said in a video sent to ABS-CBN's Bayan Mo, Ipatrol Mo (BMPM).
Ralph Guieb from La Union also thanked frontliners for providing essential services while most Filipinos are required to stay at home.
"Para sa mga frontliners natin, napakalaking pasasalamat namin sa mga serbsiyo ninyo. Sana lahat ng sakripisyo at pagod niyo ay pagpalain ng ating Panginoon kasama ang inyong mga kapamilya," he said.
The Adventist Medical Center, meanwhile, shared with BMPM a touching tribute by citizens giving healthcare workers a round of applause.
ABS-CBN's Corporate Communication Management, the team behind the company's Christmas station IDs, meanwhile, produced a video titled "Pag-ibig ang Hihilom sa Daigdig."
The video featured healthcare workers in hospitals and facilities, and citizens expressing gratitude to them.
Those who want to show their appreciation to healthcare workers may go to the Facebook page of ABS-CBN News to post their own messages.