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The Day of Valor in Philippines

Araw ng Kagitingan, also known as the Day of Valor, marks the greatness of Filipino fighters during World War II. It is marked on or around April 9 in the Philippines each year.

Is The Day of Valor a Public Holiday?

The Day of Valor is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

World War II tank
Pictured above is a Japanese World War II tank in the Philippines. Araw ng Kagitingan, also known as the Day of Valor, remembers important events that occurred in the Philippines during World War II.
Pictured above is a Japanese World War II tank in the Philippines. Araw ng Kagitingan, also known as the Day of Valor, remembers important events that occurred in the Philippines during World War II.
©iStockphoto.com/joeygil

What Do People Do?

Araw ng Kagitingan is a non-working holiday that is part of a long weekend in the Philippines. World War II veterans parade in different cities in the Philippines on this day. There are small parades in different localities in the Philippines but the Araw ng Kagitingan’s main highlight occurs when the country’s president gives a speech at the Mt Samat shrine, in the Bataan province, to commemorate the heroism of the Filipinos and American troops during the World War II.

Public Life

Araw ng Kagitingan is a regular holiday in the Philippines and occurs on or around April 9. Many streets are closed and public transport routes may be redirected to give way for parades. Malls and other leisure areas remain open and most people may go to these places and use this day as a family day.

Background

The Day of Valor, also known as Araw ng Kagitingan, commemorates the heroism of Filipinos and American Soldiers when the Japanese occupied the Philippines during World War II. Major General Edward P. King, of the United States Army, was forced to surrender more than 76,000 Filipinos, Chinese and American soldiers to the Japanese at dawn on April 9, 1942. The soldiers were forced to take a 90-mile (about 145 kilometers) hike to Camp O’Donnell in San Fernando. Thousands of prisoners died during the hike (also known as the Bataan Death March) due to starvation, dehydration and diseases before they could reach the camp.

Despite the trials of defeat, the captured soldiers stood strong and heroes emerged from the event. The surrender of Bataan hastened the fall of Corregidor. However, without this stand, the Japanese might have quickly overrun all of the US bases in the Pacific. Bataan forced them to slow down, giving the allies valuable time to prepare for conflicts such as the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway, which followed closely thereafter. American and Filipino liberation forces eventually retook the Bataan peninsula on February 8, 1945.

The Day of Valor was a national observance until a Letter of Instruction No. 1087, dated on November 26, 1980, made “Araw ng Kagitingan” a national public holiday to honor the people who helped bring democracy and freedom in the Philippines during the World War II era. Executive Order No. 203, dated on June 30, 1987, further proclaimed April 9 as “Araw Ng Kagitingan” to pay tribute to the heroes of Bataan, Corregidor and Bessang.

The Day of Valor Observances

Note: Employees covered by the Holiday Pay Rule are entitled to their daily basic wage for any unworked regular holiday.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010FriApr 9The Day of ValorRegular Holiday 
2011SatApr 9The Day of ValorRegular Holiday 
2012MonApr 9The Day of ValorRegular Holiday 
2013TueApr 9The Day of ValorRegular Holiday 
2014WedApr 9The Day of ValorRegular Holiday 
2015ThuApr 9The Day of ValorRegular Holiday 
2016SatApr 9The Day of ValorRegular Holiday 
2017SunApr 9The Day of ValorRegular Holiday 
2018MonApr 9The Day of ValorRegular Holiday 
2019TueApr 9The Day of ValorRegular Holiday 
2020ThuApr 9The Day of ValorRegular Holiday 

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