Press Release
April 5, 2009


Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor celebrates the heroism of Filipino soldiers who fought, against seemingly invincible odds, to defend our people from foreign enslavement in World War Two.

This year's commemoration becomes even more meaningful because the great sacrifice our soldiers made, not only in the battlefields of Bataan and Corregidor but in the ensuing resistance campaigns, has finally been recognized, however late in the day, by the United States.

The heroism of our soldiers is especially inspiring because most of them were in their 20s, inexperienced in the art of warfare, who answered the call of the motherland with unflinching courage - so very much like the revolutionaries who won freedom and founded Asia's First Republic.

While today no foreign invaders threaten our sovereignty, there's another front that is on the line - our economy. Like a pandemic plague, worldwide recession now engulfs all nations. If stable, prosperous democracies are floundering in its wake, what more of developing countries such as ours?

We need then to pull together, like the defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, and take stock of the situation. For, today is not business as usual. The times demand that we set aside personal agendas for the urgent task at hand: that of leading our people in overcoming the difficult times in the days ahead.

Let the sacrifices of our heroes serve as an example and inspire us to come together, and teach us that our personal interests and well-being should always give way to the collective good of the Filipino people and the betterment of the country we all love.

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