Bataan Death March, considered as one of Philippine’s darkest days in the country’s history, is the forcible transfer of 60,000 – 80,000 Filipino and american prisoners of war (POW) from Mariveles and Saysain Point, Bagac, Bataan to Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac. The prisoners were loaded onto trains in San Fernando, Pampanga. The march began sometime on April 11, 1942 and left thousands dead and seriously wounded after enduring torture under the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army.
The Death March route stretches from Mariveles in Bataan to Capas, Tarlac via San Fernando, Pampanga via the old roads.
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Commemorating the historic event, the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) kicks off countdown for the 76th anniversary of the Bataan Death March with the Mariveles-San Fernando-Capas Freedom Trail event last March 24 to 25, 2018.
The two-day, three provinces wide event, which aims to instill the values of Bravery, Sacrifice and Love for Country, was highlighted by a retracing of the actual Death march 160km route by AFP Reservists and Personnel, 160KM Run relay, Motorbike Tour, March, Float Parade, and Poster-Making contest awarding.
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No less than former President Fidel Valdez Ramos led the lighting of the torch signifying the commemoration of the 76th year of Bataan Death March at the Capas National Shrine in Tarlac last March 25, 2018. FVR served as the 12th President of the Philippines (1992-1998), is also a retired general, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (1986-1988), and Secretary of National Defense (1988-1991).
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Veterans Bank Freedom Trail likewise honors Filipino World War II heroes and survivors by involving the public in the solemn remembrance of heroism. Organizers have prepared different categories to accommodate civilian, military, and police units by running, walking or riding in two wheels while retracing the steps of our fallen heroes during the Bataan Death March.
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“It’s our generation’s responsibility to commemorate and honor the bravery and heroism of our veterans during the war. It will be a sin to forget how valiantly they fought and how they looked out for their fellow soldiers and amid torture, injury, and starvation. History will hold us accountable if the next generations forget the Bataan Death March,” said Mike Villa-Real, Head of Veterans Bank’s Corporate and Consumer Relations Division.
 

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