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Press Release



Chicago, 13 April 2023 – In commemoration of the 81st Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago is holding a photo exhibit at its consular area for the entire month of April. Available for viewing by its consular clients and visitors, the photos depict some of the events that happened in the Philippines during World War II, such as the Bataan Death March and Japan’s surrender to the Allied Forces.

Under Republic Act No. 3022 which was passed and signed into law in 1961, the Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) was officially proclaimed as a Philippine holiday every April 9 to honor the sacrifices made by Filipino and American soldiers during World War II, particularly those that endured the Bataan Death March which started on 09 April 1942.

According to historical accounts, approximately 70,000 Filipino and American troops laid down their weapons and were taken as prisoners of war (POWs) after the Fall of Bataan. Due to lack of vehicles to move the prisoners, the Japanese made the prisoners walk 67 miles from Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga. Their final destination was Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac.

Only an estimated 50,000 soldiers survived the death march and made it to Camp O’Donnell, but many eventually died.

In 1945, the Philippines was finally liberated from Japanese occupation after Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces.

In her remarks, Consul General J. Susana V. Paez stated, “As we reflect on the heroism valiantly displayed by both Filipino and American veterans who stood side by side as friends and allies against all odds, we are reminded of the special bond between the Philippines and the United States. Together, let us continue to work for a more peaceful, progressive, and compassionate world where we can achieve our common goals and aspirations. We owe this not only to ourselves, but also to the next generation of Filipinos and Americans.” END.

Photo sources: Wikipedia, Department of Defense/Wikimedia Commons, Bettman/Getty Images, The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images