In 1987, the late president Corazon Aquino, the mother of the current President Benigno Aquino III, issued Executive Order 23, declaring April 9 of every year a regular holiday for the observance of Araw ng Kagitingan.
In 1989, she issued Proclamation 466 designating April 9 to 11 of each year as Philippine Veterans Week in recognition of the gallantry of Filipino war veterans.
The defense department, along with other government agencies and non-government organizations organize series of events during the period to promote, preserve and recognize the heroic deeds of Filipino veterans.
On April 9, 1942, 75,000 Filipino and American soldiers surrendered to the Japanese at the tip of the Bataan Peninsula, which juts into Manila Bay in the Philippines. For nearly five months, the troops had fought ferociously against overwhelming odds until they ran out of food and water, medical supplies and ammunition. As prisoners of war (POWs), they and thousands of Filipinos were taken to a camp run by the Japanese army. This grueling series of marches are now known as the Bataan Death March.