Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) 2014: War is ‪complicated‬. It is seldom black and white. But always gray and bloody. As Commonwealth of the Philippines, we were on our way to independence and self-determination from our “benevolent assimilators”. By the time the 1940s rolled in, we were “co-opted into a Pan-Asian sphere” by our new liberators, this time from Western colonialism.

Today we remember our gallant Filipino and American forces who fought in World War II. We salute and extol the bravery and sacrifices of our living veterans of the War. In Mt. Samat, we remember the last line of organized resistance and the last organized battle in Bataan. When Mt. Samat fell, Bataan fell. As the first line of the engraved story of Battle of Bataan states: “On this lonely mountaintop when the fall of Bataan seemed inevitable, the young officers and men, both Filipinos and Americans, pledged that they would rather die than surrender.”

Image: Editorial cartoon of the 3 January 1942 ‘Farewell Issue ‘ of the Free Press. The issue appeared on the streets of Manila just as Japanese troops were entering the city from the north. For Lopez Library research inquiries please call 6212425.