Bataan Death March

Noong Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig (WWII) ika-9 ng Abril 1942, pagkatapos ng ilang buwang giyera ay napipilitang sumuko ang mga sundalong Amerikano at Pilipino sa ilalim ng hukbo ng mga Hapon. Tinatayang binubuo ng humigit-kumulang 68,000 Pilipino at 11,796 Amerikano ang sapilitang pinaglakad ng humigit kumulang 60-milya mula Mariveles hanggang San Fernando. Pagkarating ng San Fernando ay sapilitan silang isinakay sa loob ng mainit na bakal na tren papuntang Capas, at saka pinaglakad muli papuntang Camp O’Donnell kung saan sila ikinulong ng ilang buwan.

Maraming sa mga bilanggo ang kalaunan ay namatay dahil sa uhaw, gutom, sakit, at pagkapagod. Maliban dito, ang iba sa kanila ay pinaslang sa daan. Ang karumaldumal na pangyayaring ito ay tinaguriang “Death March of Bataan”.


Sa larawang ito, makikitang nagbubunyi ang mga American Prisoners or War (POW) sa Cabantuan, Nueva Ecija dahil sa kanilang pagkakalaya sa tulong ng 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion at mga Pilipinong guerilla noong ika-30 Enero 1945.


Tuwing ika-9 ng Abril, ipinagdiriwang sa Pilipinas ang Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) bilang isang pambansang araw ng pag-alala, na kilala rin bilang “Bataan Day”. Ang okasyon na ito ay isang pagkilala sa kabayanihan ng mga Pilipino at Amerikano para sa kalayaan ng ating bansa. 


During World War II on the 9th of April 1942, after months of fighting against the invading Japanese, the depleted Philippine-US armies, was forced to surrender to the Japanese Forces. Overwhelmed by the large number of prisoners, the Japanese decided to move them by foot from Bataan to another base located 140 kilometers (90 miles) away in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Popularly known as “Death March of Bataan”, the prisoners of war consisted of 68,000 Filipinos and 11,796 Americans. Many prisoners eventually died due to starvation, disease, dehydration and exhaustion. Others were also murdered along the way. 

In this photo, American Prisoners or War (POW) celebrates in Cabantuan, Nueva Ecija, for their freedom with the help of the 6th Ranger Infantry Battalion and the Filipino guerrillas on 30 January 1945.

Every 9th of April, we celebrate Araw ng kagitingan (“Day of Valor”) as a national public holiday in the Philippines, also known as “Bataan Day”. This horrible passé during the war is a reminder of the heroism and strong will to sacrifice to the point of death, by the Philippine and American soldiers for the sake of freedom for our country.

Photo Source: U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center
Colorized by: Bilog Bilugan


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