IMPULSES: Valor beyond Bataan By Herman M. Lagon

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As we commemorate the Fall of Bataan this April 9, I invite you to review with me the complex web of the history and heroism of our people. This pivotal day reminds us to pause, contemplate, and act in the midst of the present issues on sovereignty disputes, economic uncertainties, and the specters of kleptocracy and oligarchy, in contrast with our vibrant youth eager to stake their claim in politics and the voting process.

Day of Valor—also known as the Araw ng Kagitingan, the Bataan Day, or the Corregidor Day—

extends beyond its calendar date. The steadfast will of the Filipino troops, who showed bravery in the Battle of Bataan during WWII, is shown crystal clearly. Their heroism—a testament to the courage required to defend a nation’s sovereignty—is haunted by the current territorial conflicts and dangers to our nation’s stability.

Remembering the grave threats to our nation’s independence, personal freedoms, and human rights is of the utmost importance as we honor this Day of Valor. There must be an unwavering defense of our interests both at home and abroad in the face of threats to our independence. The fight for our freedom has just begun. This is why safeguarding our nation’s autonomy is of the utmost importance.

In addition, the perseverance needed to triumph over economic challenges is symbolized by Araw ng Kagitingan. Even though it may seem like an impossible goal for many, remembering the sacrifices our forefathers made for us helps us strive for everyone’s financial independence and prosperity. The day encourages us to break free from reliance and poverty and build a future that is fair and rich.

Furthermore, this day offers a chance to highlight the ongoing struggle against graft, kleptocracy, and the concentration of power among a select few. It is a sobering reminder that the fight for transparency, accountability, and equitable leadership has only just started. As we celebrate Corregidor Day, let us remember that power should not belong to a few but to everybody. Let us resist the temptation to let corruption win and stand firm against injustice.

Amist all these, our youth, as shown in the recent elections, are showing a clear interest and giving hot stake in participating in the electoral and legislative processes. On this Day of Valor, let us remember the legacy of the bygone generations in the hopes that it may inspire the next wave of social justice warriors. It calls on young people and their allies to use their limitless energy, creativity, and determination to build a fair, democratic, just, and flourishing society.

A powerful call to Filipino patriotism and unity, this day also has another purpose. Right now, as a society, we need to set aside our disagreements, come together, and remember the brave people whose beliefs and sacrifices have shaped our nation. The significance of genuinely uniting in order to forge a common future that honors our past while courageously tackling the challenges that await us is brought to light today.

Remembering how significant this day is forces us to remain vigilant. It is our duty to ensure that the freedoms that our forefathers battled so hard for will be preserved for the benefit of generations to come. The present moment is not only for contemplation, but also for the excited anticipation of what the future may bring.

The Day of Valor represents optimism in the face of contemporary challenges such as economic instability, oligarchy, kleptocracy, and sovereignty issues. It calls on us to remember the sacrifices our soldiers made for us and to do what we can to help our country right now. We shall achieve even more success in the future by maintaining the same level of bravery, candor, and devotion as our ancestors.

Let us remember the traitors who have betrayed and are still betraying our nation. They continue to betray us by giving away our political integrity, economic freedoms, and sovereignty with contempt on this day that marks the anniversary of the Fall of Bataan. We must never lose sight of the bravery and vigilance required to safeguard our heritage from individuals who would sell it for naught.

Even after 82 years have passed since the American and Filipino armies surrendered at Bataan, the Day of Valor remains highly significant. Being a continual reminder that the struggles we face today are consequences of the battles our forefathers waged, this historical commemoration acts as an active call to action.

All throughout history, courageous Filipinos have battled for the defense of our nation, and we proudly carry on this great tradition. This legacy demands courage, action, and firm commitment to the ideas that have shaped our nation, not merely reminiscence. We are committing ourselves to the future while also honoring the past. Our goals for the future include safeguarding sovereignty, achieving economic independence, eliminating corruption, and providing a strong platform for youth voices. As a nation, we hope to truly unite one day and build a legacy to our soldiers, one that will endure long after April 9 has passed.

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