Bataan Death March was commemorated by Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) kicked off the 76th anniversary of the commemoration with the Mariveles-San Fernando-Capas Freedom Trail last March 24 to 25, 2018.
The two-day, three-province-wide event, aimed to instill the values of bravery, sacrifice and love for country, was highlighted by a retracing of the actual Death March 160km route by AFP reservists and personnel, 160-km run relay, motorbike tour, march, float parade, and poster-making contest awarding.
Mr. Reymar Borja of Pablo Roman High School won first place in the poster art making contest. His art work was displayed at the stage area together with 6 other finalists.
Veterans Bank’s Freedom Trail honors Filipino World War II heroes and survivors by involving the public in this solemn remembrance of heroism. Organizers have prepared different categories to accommodate civilian, military and police units by running, walking or riding in two wheels while retracing the steps of our fallen heroes during the Bataan Death March. “It is our generation’s responsibility to commemorate and honor the bravery and heroism of our veterans during the war.
It will be a sin to forget how valiantly they fought and how they looked out for their fellow soldiers amid torture, injury, and starvation. History will hold us accountable if the next generations forget the Bataan Death March,” said Mr. Mike Villa-Real, Head of Veterans Bank’s Corporate and Consumer Relations Division.
President Fidel V. Ramos ( 1992 to 1998 term), retired Col. Guillermo Parayno , Dr. Mina Gabor were among the special guests
The Death March, considered as one of the darkest days in Philippine History, is the forcible transfer of 60,000 to 80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war (POWs) from Mariveles and Saysa in Point, Bagac, Bataan to Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac.
The prisoners were loaded onto trains in San Fernando, Pampanga. The march began sometime on April 11, 1942 and left thousands dead and seriously wounded after enduring torture under the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army.
Capas National Shrine
The Death March route stretches from Mariveles in Bataan to Tarlac via San Fernando, Pampanga via the old roads. Since 2014, the Philippine Veterans Bank, with PVAO and the Provincial Government of Bataan along with other partners, have held the Bataan Freedom Run in honor of WWII veterans who endured the death march in 1942.
Please visit https://www.facebook.com/BataanFreedomRun/