Why Do We Celebrate The Day Of Valor?

By: Phinalope Chandumal
day of valor

The Day of Valor or also known as ‘Araw ng Kagitingan’ is recognized in the Philippines as it commemorates the fall of Bataan to the Japanese troops during World War II. This day is aimed for the people to remember the veterans for their courage and sacrifices that were made, which has aided in the building the foundation of this nation’s freedom.

As the nation gathers to pay homage, let us rekindle the flame of unity and strive to uphold what they so valiantly defended. Their sacrifice inspires us to forge a brighter future, guided by the spirit of valor and determination. Through this article, learn more on the day of Valor.

History Behind the Day of Valor or ‘Araw ng Kagitingan’

During the World War II, the Japanese soldiers occupied the Philippines. The general at the time, Major General Edward King, was forced to surrender 76,000 soldiers, with the nationalities of Filipino, Chinese, and American soldiers to the Japanese at dawn on April 9, 1942. They were forced to take a 90-mile hike to Camp O’Donnell in San Fernando. This is also known as the Bataan death march or the the fall of Bataan. This was due to the thousands of prisoners that died during the hike from starvation and dehydration before they could even get to the camp’s location.

Amidst the trials of defeat, the captured soldiers did their best to stand tall, while there were also heroes that emerged from this tragic event. The surrender of Bataan speeded up the fall of Corregidor. Without this event, the Japanese probably would have rapidly overrun all of the US bases in the Pacific. Bataan has been able to forcefully slow them down, giving their allies valuable time to prepare for facing other challenges, like the Battle for the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, which followed closely after. American and Filipino liberation forces eventually retook the Bataan peninsula on the 8th of February 1945.

The Day of Valor was just considered as a national observance before, until a Letter of Instruction No. 1087, dated on November 26, 1980, made “Araw ng Kagitingan” a national public holiday. The Araw ng Kagitingan is the day to honor the people who helped bring democracy and freedom in the Philippines during the World War II era. With the Executive Order No. 203, dated on June 30, 1987, it has proclaimed April 9 as “Araw Ng Kagitingan” to pay tribute to the heroes of Bataan, Corregidor and Bessang.

Why do people need to take part in commemorating the Day of Valor?

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Pay homage to the victims and heroes

Araw ng Kagitingan is really the day to remember and pay respect to the victims and heroes that were a part of the event. It is to reflect on how it has been a big contribution as to the development of the Philippines’ freedom today. The Bataan Death March is an event where both the Filipino and American troops are recognized, where history has been made.


As the Bataan Death March during world war II has played a significant role in nation-building, it has made ‘bayanihan’ (being a community) and ‘pagkakaisa’ (unity) known for Filipinos. It has awakened a sense of identity for the country as its own. It aids in fostering a sense of belonging in communities.

Cultural Awareness

Raising cultural awareness for fellow Filipinos to be able to grasp their sense of nationality. Knowing the roots of Filipino history is essential in order for the people to continue to know the value of freedom and the hardships that fellow Filipinos have gone through for them to enjoy what is being offered in today’s society.

Unity and Resilience

It highlights the resilience of the Filipino people in the face of adversity and serves as a reminder of the unity that can be achieved when faced with common challenges. By coming together to commemorate the Day of Valor, Filipinos reaffirm their commitment to solidarity and strength as a nation as one.

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How to Celebrate Day of Valor

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Participate in Parades

There are many Filipinos that celebrate events through their creativity of organizing parades in their community, even those that go around your subdivision along Daang Hari. Being a part of the parade shows that you take the time to be one with the people.

Most parades in the Philippines consist of marching bands, military units, veterans and activities, and some would even do a historical re-enactment to honor those who have stood up to portray bravery during the war.


Government officials, veterans, military personnels, and civilians gather at monuments and memorials, but they particularly go to Mount Samat National Shrine in Bataan, to lay wreaths and pay respect to the fallen soldiers.

Social Media Campaigns

In recent years, the rise of social media campaigns have the goal of raising awareness about the day and honoring the sacrifices made by the soldiers. Through social media platforms, you would see people share stories, photos, and videos that are related to it by using hashtags like #ArawNgKagitingan2024 or #DayofValor2024.

Incorporating its Celebration at Organizational or School Events

In the Philippines, schools, universities, and communities do organize programs and activities that are related to the current or historical events. There are historical lectures, film screenings, art exhibits, and essay writing contests to educate people, especially the new generation about its significance in the world today.

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The Araw ng Kagitingan is celebrated in its own ways. As long as you remember its history and take the day to reflect on this meaningful event, then you are already showing your patriotism. This is a solemn yet proud day for Filipinos, a yearly reminder of the courage and resilience of their ancestors and the importance of freedom and national sovereignty.

After the day ends, it is important to continuously carry the spirit of valor with you wherever you go. may their legacy inspire us to uphold the principles of peace, justice, and unity.

Read more: Celebrate Philippine Independence Day in Your Own Way

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