MANILA — Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor is significant because it showed the Filipinos' resilience as they were the last in Southeast Asia to surrender to Japan during World War II, according to a historian.
The Philippines on Monday marked the 81st anniversary of the Day of Valor or Araw ng Kagitingan, which commemorates the Filipino and American soldiers who stood up against Japanese forces during the war.
"This event was so important because we became the inspiration of the world," Professor Xiao Chua of the De La Salle University told ANC's "Rundown".
"We were the last to fall in Southeast Asia that's why they had slogans before to get people to support the war effort in the United States 'Remember Bataan.'"
On April 9, 1942, some 76,000 Filipino and American troops surrendered to Japan as Bataan province fell to invaders.
Thousands of captives died, as they were forced to march about 140 kilometers to Capas town, Tarlac from Mariveles town, Bataan.
"We were able to show our valor despite all the odds," Chua said.
"The Americans were supposed to deploy food supplies and medicine to us. They weren't able to do it.
"We were left to our own defenses and we started dying that's why we have to surrender," he added.
In his message, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. reminded Filipinos to honor the sacrifices of the country's soldiers who fought during World War II by "speaking up against discrimination, extending help to those in need, and working towards a better future."
The President earlier signed a resolution moving the commemoration of this year's Day of Valor to April 10 as the holiday coincided with Easter Sunday.