April 9 – The Day of Valor in the Philippines

Posted on April 9, 2016

Today Filipinos have an opportunity to remember and honor the courage of their fighters during World War II. Most people have the day off for work, and it tends to be a family day. Also, there are parades for veterans and a presidential speech at a shrine on Mt. Samat.

It's an interesting choice of a date, since April 9, 1942, was a day of defeat and surrender. More than 76,000 Filipino, Chinese, and American soldiers were surrendered to the Japanese and were then forced to hike about 90 miles to a camp. Thousands died on that hike – and because of this it is called the Bataan Death March – but the captured soldiers dealt with the suffering in a downright heroic way. Also, the fighting before the surrender was seen as key to slowing down the Japanese progress in the Pacific. Eventually, of course, American and Filipino forces retook the Bataan peninsula, won the war, and released the prisoners who survived.

What makes the Philippines special?

The gorgeous Pacific islands that make up the Philippines are known for their beaches, rainforests, mountains, and diving. Take a peek:

Above, rice terraces
Below, the "Chocolate Hills" of Bohol

Above, the Hinautan Enchanted River
Below, Kawasan Falls

Above, Palawan Island
Below, one of the gorgeous reefs

Above, Taal Volcano's crater lake
Below, Tinago Falls

The Philippines are also known for people who have fun and carry on even during flooding and rainstorms:

Also on this date:

(A.K.A.) Finnish Language Day

Plan ahead:

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