Week-long 70th observance of Araw ng Kagitingan rolls off Wednesday

April 3, 2012 11:53 pm 

By Ben Cal

MANILA, April 3 – The week-long celebration of the 70th anniversary of the “Araw ng Kagitingan” formally rolls off Wednesday during a Sunrise Ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City in honor of the thousands of Filipino and American soldiers who died in World War II in defense of freedom and democracy.

Retired Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina, administrator of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), said the Sunrise Ceremony will have Lt. Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista, commanding general of the Philippine Army, as the guest of honor and speaker.

This year’s them is: “BETERANO: Tagasulong ng Tunay at Walang Humpay na Pagbabago.” The ceremony will start at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Carolina said this will be followed with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Libingan nga mga Bayani with Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin as guest of honor.

The first day observance will be capped by a parade and review in honor of the veterans. Members of the Hunters ROTC guerrillas who are still alive are expected to grace the occasion.

Carolina has encouraged “the active participation of the public, especially the youth, to make them experience how the nation manifests its gratitude to its heroes as it pursues the essential task of preparing the future defenders.”

The “Araw ng Kagitingan” celebration will be suspended on Holy Thursday and Good Friday and will resume on Black Saturday with a program dubbed as a “Tribute to all Filipino Heroes” to be held at Corregidor Island.

The grand observance of the Araw ng Kagitingan will be at Mount Samat in Bataan on Monday with President Benigno S. Aquino III as guest of honor and speaker.

On April 10, a program called “Paggunita sa Capas” will be held at the Capas National Shrine in Capas, Tarlac to commemorate the “Death March” from Bataan to Tarlac by thousands of Filipino and American soldiers who were held prisoners of war by the Japanese Imperial Army following the fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942.

A final tribute of the week-long celebration will be a Sunset Ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on April 11. (PNA) scs/RBC/utb

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