Pilar, Bataan -- The Provincial Government of Bataan will lead the whole nation in the commemoration of the 72nd Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) on April 9, 2014 with this year's theme: "Balik-Tanaw sa Sakripisyo ng Beterano, Gabay sa Landas ng Pagbabago" (Remembering the Veterans' Sacrifices, Our Guide in Our Path Towards Change).
The annual event salutes the heroism and sacrifices of Filipino and American soldiers who fought the Japanese Imperial Army during the World War II particularly at the exact site of the battle in Mount Samat in Barangay Diwa, Pilar, Bataan known in history as the "Fall of Bataan."
Last Monday, the Bataan Tourism Office released the official program for the week-long celebration from March 30 to April 9, 2014 through the "1Bataan" Facebook page.
On March 30, biking enthusiasts are invited to join in the 9th Padyakan sa Bataan, a mountain bike circuit race, at the Karagatan Bay View Peaks in Mariveles town.
On April 3, the "Galing Bataan" (made in Bataan) Trade Fair that features Bataan native products will be held at the Bulwagan grounds in front of the Bulwagan ng Bayan that houses the Provincial Governor's offices and some of its major departments.
The next day, April 4, the Bataan Senior Citizens' Chorale will serenade their audience and guests at the Bulwagan II Compound at the back of Bataan People's Center.
On Saturday morning, April 5, eleven municipalities and one city will highlight their floats depicting scenes in the Second World War in the "Parada ng Kagitingan" (parade of valor) Parade of Floats in Balanga City's major roads and highways namely the four-lane highway in Barangay Tuyo, JJ Linao Avenue in Pilar town, to the Capitol quadrangle. At 2p.m., a foot parade street play will be performed by student/actors from Balanga City Elementary School to the Capitol grounds.
At 4p.m. on the same date the "Parangal sa mga Bayani" (salute to the heroes) will be staged at the Capitol grounds.
On April 6, a 50 km fun run will be held from the Capitol to Mt. Samat in Pilar while others will run on short distance from the Capitol to Balanga City proper.
Meanwhile, a drum and lyre competition will be staged at the Capitol quadrangle on April 7 at 1p.m. Also, on the same date as part of the celebration, the provincial government of Bataan, in cooperation with the Bataan Tourism Council Foundation Inc., will present Pilipinas Got Talent finalist El Gamma Penumbra and the BPSU Chamber Chorale at 6 p.m. at the Bataan People's Center. The event is free of admission.
On April 8, students from various public and private schools will compete on the Tagisan ng Diwang Bataan history quiz and symposium that will take place at the Bulwagan II.
The main event will be on April 9 when the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III will lead the wreath-laying ceremonies at the Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor) in Mt. Samat, Pilar along with United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg and Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe.
They will be joined by key officials of the different national agencies concerned in the celebration namely the Department of National Defense, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and Bataan local officials headed by Governor Albert Raymond S. Garcia along with living war veterans and their spouses, other distinguished guests, tourists and students.