Day of Valor in modern times

April 9 in the Philippines marks the Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan), where in 1942, Bataan as the strongest opposition to Japanese invasion fell. To many of us, it’s just another day off from work. On a side note, it kind of feels weird for me to be writing about topics related to Bataan twice in a row.

Aside from honoring the people who died that day 70+ years ago, why don’t we also remember the people who are, in a way, fighting and dying for their country men in this era? I’m talking about the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), who have had to endure their own version of the Bataan Death March, albeit much farther in foreign lands. These countrymen of ours have had to endure inhospitable working conditions, and the idea of surrendering their better-off life, just to keep their countrymen back home afloat. Yet how do most of the recipients respond to their hard work? By becoming even more parasitic and dependent on their remittances. If you ask me, this is a slap in the face to the sacrifices that the OFW’s have made.

Wag mo ako i-pilosopo. (Don’t be a smart-aleck on me.) You might probably say that this day is supposed to commemorate the people who died fighting against foreign oppression. Then, all the more reason we need to not just honor, but help the OFW’s, because this time, they’re fighting to keep us from succumbing to our self-inflicted oppression.

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The people who died at Bataan must surely be turning in their graves. They would be aghast to see that their valiant sacrifice has been reduced to nothing but a holiday and an excuse to freeload by their countrymen off their own compatriots’ hard work.

Ironic as it may seem, the best way to honor the sacrifice of the OFW’s is to lessen our dependence on them. Give them a reason to come back home permanently. This would also be keeping the sacrifice of the Bataan troops from going to waste. That means for us Filipinos stuck here in this wretched wasteland we call “home”, it means getting our act together. Get off our asses and look for work. Stop contributing to the problem of ever-ballooning population, and stop taking “go forth and multiply” literally. Stop wasting your money on things you don’t need. Your needs aren’t being met? Cut down on some of your “needs”!

In other words, we just need to use our brains, and fight the urge to say pwede na yan.

For the government, while they’re really not in a position now to create more jobs, they can create the environment that can do so. All roads lead to abolition of the 60-40 ownership clause in the current Constitution. Stop coddling your oligarch friends and open up the Philippines more to foreign companies. Let’s see if they still can put their money where their mouths are.

Manufacturing is the base upon which many societies have prospered. We just can’t be consumers and rely heavily on imports forever; if one day other countries just decide to lift the finger on us and stop exporting goods to us our economy would crash.

For the Roman Catholic Church of the Philippines, stop getting in the way of progress. Their obsolete way of thinking has had majority of Filipinos denouncing any effort towards development and progress as “evil”. They encourage them to go forth and multiply while they themselves remain impotent. They encourage them to do and be nothing in life because supposedly a great award is waiting for them in heaven. They encourage them to surrender their fate to their god (bahala na ang Diyos) instead of taking responsibility for their own fates.

If you ask me, why don’t we crucify all our clergymen on that big cross in Mt. Samat?

Honoring dead heroes is not a hard thing to do. Keeping the ones that are alive from dying is much more difficult. Keeping them from losing morale during their battle is what we need to do. We have come so far yet we still have a lot to go. Let not the sacrifices of all our countrymen be in vain.

“Wars come and go, but my soldiers stay eternal.” – Tupac Shakur

28 Replies to “Day of Valor in modern times”

  1. I guess you could say that anyone who applies the “if you can’t beat, join them” are those who renounced a just cause the entails opposing a powerful person who is more ways than one wrong. Just look at the the Yellow minions, they’re a collection of deserters, collaborators, profiteers, warmongers, war criminals and traitors.

    1. You forgot to mentioN the other mOdErn day heroes namely Pacman, Charice, Arnel Pineda, Apple d Ap, Maria Aragon, which tells the world what pinoy pride is and Tito Noy and his government that is fighting against graft and corruptioN.

      And the AquinO supPorterS are the oNes that madE us free again.

      1. the names you mentioned excelled in foreign lands, except for pacman…charice loose in a talent search in RP but made it in the US, apple d ap is a poor boy, abandoned by her mother in the philippines, arnel pineda made a hit when journey found his video in youtube…
        ano ang special sa kanila?…
        saka yung tagumpay nila ay hindi mo dapat ipagyabang bilang sayo…tanungin mo ang sarili mo kung ano na ba nagawa mo para sa pagbabago…

        the aquino supporters are the ones that made us free again?…
        nasaan ang utak mo Vincenzo?…
        freedom at what cost?…

        i can trade my freedom for prosperity and honor for my country…hindi yung ikakabit ko lang ang sarili ko sa tagumpay ng ibang kababayan ko…isa ka sa mga parasite na lalong nagpapahirap sa bansa!

      2. ang mga pangalan na binanggit mo ay papaano naging hero diba ang hero ay yung mga taong lumaban sa gera .sila ay kumikita ng malaking pera tapos hero pa ano ang nagawa nila sa bansang pinas lalo na si pacman puro kayabangan nawalang kasiyahan may pera na naging military opiser parati na lang isinasama ang mga news media tapos ngayon ay kinausap daw siya ng dios at english speaking pa.maysira na ang ulo iningles siya ng dios kayangayon nagmiministro pa inwanan na ang pagka katoliko niya ang toung mahirap nga naman walang kasiyahan at bayani pa

  2. Passionate article for the OFW cause.

    I agree with giving reasons for OFWs to stay in the country. Come to think of it tuloy, this country will eventually have to compete for the labor it exports.

    The baby of the Marcos era, labor export, can become a little monster that’ll swallow us whole in the years to come. We’re giving up valuable assets for real estate, iPhones, iPads and cars.

    Basically, our skilled laborers are little enterprises in themselves. They have the power to decide where to go, and that’s usually where the price is right. I am glad that they still have a lot of love for this country. Who knows. It’s just a matter of time that they’ll realize that if the going gets good them abroad so much, they’ll just stay for good and just send a pittance back home.

    As for your other points:

    1. Manufacturing – what do you want to manufacture here? Is it for local consumption or for export? Are we prepared to trade what remains of our environment to become like China?

    Manufacturing should center on what we can do better and CHEAPER, and I don’t mean babies. 😀

    2. 60/40 abolition – while it is easy to say that “opening the doors” will lead to more investors, I’m for that, I think the more important question still is: Why will they invest here exactly?

    What will they invest in? Oil exploration and Power generation where the oligarchs and big 3 (Shell, Chevron and Petron) have a head start? Mining?

    1. 60/40.

      Just open it up, and their money will find the sweet spots, everywhere. The “why” is because the competition here is so weak, so customer-unaware, they can make real money.

      1. After soMe time,all the foreiGnerS will fully coNtrol all businesSes in the country and Philippines will oNce again lost its freEdOm, and the the worST cAse scenario, be goNE Forever

        1. Just tell that to Singapore and Malaysia. Actually, protectionism doesn’t help us at all. 26 years have passed and nothing happened.

          Economic freedom is what the country needs.

          Your grammar and typing skills shows you that you are dumb. 😛

    2. Iam nOt for full ownerShip for foreiGnerS becAuse our own locAl may nOt cAtch up with their cApital

      1. Yes, that’s another pathetic excuse to justify MEDIOCRITY. In reality, you don’t want to move forward and wants to cling on the status quo, favoring the ‘dictatorship of the oligarchy’. Lousy products + lousy services + lousy strategies = LOUSY ECONOMY.

        You are soooooo Pinoy!

        1. @nelson:


          My username was based on a fictional character and you are unleashing HELL by spamming plus your incorrect grammar and stupid typing skills.

          ENJOY HELL.

          *Daido thumbs down*

      1. Joe is so full of himself! He claims to be intellectually aligned with a GRP writer daw!

        Being a PNoy supporter already makes him intellectually bankrupt. 😉

        1. Dude, It means we agree, you who evidently prize being empty of self. You have problems with that? With me agreeing with a GRP writer? The term “intellectually aligned” is too hard to grasp? I can use smaller words just for you: It means I thought about all the things he said, and I thought about all the things I said, and I could not find anything that was juxtoposed . . . er, not alike in substance . . . er, for the most part.

        2. Plus, by way of background, he and I had just worked through a few minor issues on another thread, and came out agreeing with one another. So I was essentially saying there was nothing to argue about here. Did you ever consider that the viewpoint that is in your head might not have complete knowledge? That you might be a bulb or two short of a chandelier?

      2. I honestly found the article moving. Why do you seek to diminish my expression to Fallen Angel? You think he needs help discerning my honesty? You have no confidence in him?

  3. The Filipinos, of course, did not declare war against the Japanese during WWII; the Americans did. But, at that time in 1941, as we all know, the Philippines was still a territory of the United States, technically, “the unincorporated U.S. territory of the Philippine Islands” where the Stars and Stripes flew and the United States reigned as sovereign.

    As regards Catholic bashing, we should be reminded that freedom of religion does not include the freedom to mock, ridicule and make fun of the deeply-held religious convictions of people of faith in this country. For freedom of religion is “the freedom of individual conscience and of institutional integrity for all the many religious groups that shape our society.” So, let us afford these individuals and these institutions of faith the respect and tolerance our Constitution unqualifiedly guarantees.

    Coincidentally, April 9th is also the same day and month in 1865 that Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered the confederate army to Union Gen. Ulyssess S. Grant, officially ending the American Civil War.

  4. My father fought in the Battle of Bataan, as a young man. The Bataan Day is not honored, he told me, because the Japanese collaborators, like the Aquinos are now in power. Our OFW slaves/ Drug Mules are products of the government policies of Feudal Oligarchy, being coddled by politicians. Since the Oligarchs are themselves our political leaders. There’s no use honoring these OFW slaves/Drug Mules…they have done too much sacrifices to float the sinking Philippine economy…

  5. Nice article, really. Aside from the portion where you bashed the Roman Catholic church (and I’m even not a Catholic), I do feel your article. As an OFW, I tried looking for a job in the country a couple of years back after working for 4 years abroad, but to no avail. In the end, I went back to working here in abroad again.

    1. I agree with tonybac. The article has so much to commend it for but for the bitterness against the Church. After 47 years living and working abroad I have come back to help alleviate the poverty and ignorance of some of the most forgotten and underserved of our countrypeople. And I do this as a Catholic and a Filipino.

  6. thanks, im an ofw myself. been working abroad since 04. coming home for about 30days in a year. ive switched jobs from construction to sales. and it pays well. i doubt if i could find a job that would offer the same thing. and we, me and my girlfriend, who is also an ofw btw, did a bit of brainstorming if we would try and work in pinas. we checked the pros and cons. pro – it’s pinas, nandyand friends and family. malls, night life. con – mahal ang bilihin, 2-4 hours would be spent just to get to and from work. not earning as much dito. magastos, dahil sa mga shops, malls, etc na hirap naman iwasan, hehe.
    suma tutal, ang sweldo na kinita, mawawala rin bago pa man dumating ang katapusan ng buwan.

    buti sa pinas kinsenas ang sweldo. sa mga bansang napagtrabahuan ko na, puro katapusan lang sweldo nila. so budget wise, mas kailangan nila maghigpit. pero ganon talaga e, pinaplano namin ngayon ang pagbili ng bahay sa pinas, at ng kung ano ano pa. save enough to retire sa pinas.

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