Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor)

 photos from Wikipedia 

World War Z? How about World War 2?

Remember the faces of your grandfathers and grandmothers, for today we celebrate the Day of Valor, or "Araw ng Kagitingan" as we say it in Tagalog. We shall never forget the sacrifice of those who fought in Bataan and Corregidor.

My grandfater, my mom's dad, was at the Battle of Bataan. Their orders were to resist the Japanese invaders "to the limits of human endurance". Completely surrounded and outnumbered, he and his comrades were bombarded by tanks, artillery, and Japanese fighter craft for three whole months. They were starving, disease stricken, and were practically holding the mountain fortification with no hope for reinforcement.

Reminder: The Japanese are our friends today. Remembering what happened in the past is part of any real friendship between cultures. Dig?

Unable to bear further losses, Major General Edward P. King, Jr. surrendered more than 76,000 soldiers. Of these were 68,000 Filipino troops, and 11,796 Americans.

The survivors were then forced to march 80 miles from Bataan to Camp O'Donnel. Hundreds never made it as the weak and injured were shot by the invader's soldiers.

Their sacrifice was not in vain. This stand against the invaders bought precious time for Allied forces to gather their strength in the Pacific. This directly contributed to the success of the battle of Midway which was a turning point in the war.

Granddad made it, and he went on to have 8 kids. I've got a bunch of cousins as a result.


Fast forward to today, Japan is now one of our closest allies. We've patched things up quite well, I could even say that our people get along the best compared to our other Asian neighbors. Better times have indeed come along.

Still, the Day of Valor is an important day to remember how ordinary men and women fought against impossible odds. I can't imagine what it would have been like to be there when Bataan fell.

When the horde of undead rise up to threaten us with extinction, I wonder if we will fight as hard as our elders. They faced death fully believing that they may not survive and that each day would be their last.

We're so soft and spoiled compared to them! We complain on Facebook about every little thing. We've got our First World Problems, and daily rants. We're really our own worst enemy WTSHTF.

As I write this, cozy in my office chair, in an air-conditioned glass tower, I wonder if I can do what my grandparents did. They survived. I should do my best to do the same.

This one's for you granddad Andres and grandma Anastasia. Thank you for everything.

Stay vigilant!


  1. I know a place here where you can buy WW2 artifacts particularly our "Micky Mouse money". The currency given by the Japanese during their reign. I think its 2 USD per pack.

    Yes, Japan has become our ally but I fear for them not defending themselves against a current threat from North Korea. Because of the previous war involving the Japanese, they are currently not allowed to increase budget in military power.

    My grandma told me that they evacuated their houses and went to the forest to hide. One of the places they(HUKBALAHAP) hide is in a cave (Hoyop-Hoyopan) that I explored myself in the middle of a forest. I think this place can be our refuge if ever WTSHTF happens. The place is more or less isolated and has 2 exits if ever a horde comes in and some portions are very narrow which can slow down the zombies.


  2. @HunkRider Black

    Bro, finding some of those artifacts would be really cool! lol

    As for Japan, I believe they have the right contingencies in place in case an accidental or deliberate escalation happens with North Korea. I've had the pleasure of visiting Tokyo and have seen how fast their government responds to any emergency.

    The SDF (wish it was the SDF-1. lolz) can certainly engage an invasion and evacuate people. Yep, unfortunately that is what they are limited to right now as you mentioned. If NK does something stupid, the UN and the usual guys will act. And I share your worry for the Japanese people, they are most likely to be NK's target along w/ SK, and any casualties on their sides will be a tragic loss.

    I've heard of folks hiding in caves during the war, those are very defensible. And I really dig your trip in Sorsogon! If only I wasn't such a chicken with riding bikes and fast vehicles in general. I gotta see the country more, thats why I really dig your travel guides!

    If the undead hordes do come, I'm sure you'll do fine. Our old hiding places during the war will serve us well.