On April 9, 1942, officials in command of Bataan—where Filipino and American forces maintained the main resistance in the war against the Japanese—formally surrendered. Through the Voice of Freedom radio broadcast, Third Lieutenant Normando Ildefonso Reyes—reading a message prepared by Captain Salvador P. Lopez—informed the Philippines and the world from Malinta Tunnel in Corregidor: “Bataan has fallen.”
“Bataan has fallen. The Philippine-American troops on this war-ravaged and bloodstained peninsula have laid down their arms. With heads bloody but unbowed, they have yielded to the superior force and numbers of the enemy.”
The siege and defense of Bataan lasted 93 days—or just four months after the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE: later renamed USFIP) retreated to Bataan.
President Benigno S. Aquino III delivered his last speech in celebration of Araw ng Kagitingan as commander in chief of the Armed Forces, at Mt. Samat National Shrine, Pilar, Bataan, on April 9, 2016.
By virtue of Executive Order No. 203, s. 1987, April 9 of every year is Araw ng Kagitingan. Proclamation No. 466, s. 1989 on the other hand, designated April 5 to 11 of every year as Philippine Veterans Week in order to “promote, preserve and memorialize the principles, ideals and deeds of the Filipino war veteran as a means to enhance patriotism and love of country, especially among the youth of the land.”
The week-long observance is an occasion to honor not only the Filipino war veterans who died or served the country but also to remember those who rendered honorable military service in defending the country in times of war or peace. This is to gratefully acknowledge their contributions in preserving our sovereignty and defending our national security.
The theme for this year’s observance is, “Isabuhay ang Kagitingan, Kapayapaan ay Pagkaisahan, Kamtin ang Mithing Kaunlaran.”
The Japanese occupied the Philippines from 1942 to 1945. The Empire of Japan was the dominant Axis power in the Pacific Theatre of World War II
View archival photos of the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines, uploaded on flickr.com
View footage of some scenes of World War II in the Philippines
View maps detailing troop movements during World War II
On April 9, 1942, officials in command of Bataan—where Filipino and American forces maintained the main resistance in the war against the Japanese—formally surrendered
April 9 is Araw ng Kagitingan. We pay tribute to the heroism of the veterans of World War II, and honor the depth of their sacrifice made in the name of their country and their countrymen
The Filipino men who served in World War II are now in the twilight of their lives: their average age is 85 and often they surpass this mark
This collection is a library of surviving important papers, letters, and memoirs that cover the life of the late Major General Basilio J. Valdes during the Commonwealth, World War II, and Postwar eras of the Philippines.
Learn more about the historic significance of the fall of Bataan; attend commemoration activities organized by participating institutions
The Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) and the Presidential Museum and Library (PML) would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their invaluable contribution to this project: The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office [LtGen. Ernesto G. Carolina AFP (Ret)], the Department of National Defense, the Araw ng Kagitingan and Philippine Veterans Week Technical Working Committee, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, the Mario Feir Filipiniana Library, Mr. Jose Antonio Custodio, and the Javier family.