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Filipinos urged to honor Veterans on 81st Araw Ng Kagitingan and 2023 Philippine Veterans Week

The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), together with its partner agencies, urge all Filipinos, especially the youth, to honor the Filipino veterans and actively participate in this year’s commemoration of the 81st Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) on April 10, 2023 and the 2023 Philippine Veterans Week (PVW) from April 5 to 12, 2023. A series of commemorative and special events will be held to memorialize the valor and heroic deeds of the Filipino veterans.

Anchored on the theme Kagitingan ng mga Beterano, Pundasyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino, this year’s observance aims to remember the veterans whose courage and sacrifices became the very foundation of the country’s freedom. Their stories of heroism and of working together for a singular purpose will also be highlighted to remind every Filipino of the value of solidarity and unity in nation-building.

In accordance with Proclamation No. 466, s. 1989, the country celebrates the Philippine Veterans Week from April 5 to 11 of every year to promote, preserve, and memorialize the principles, ideas, and deeds of the war veterans as a means to enhance patriotism and love of country, especially among the youth of the land.

Meanwhile, April 9 of every year is designated by Executive Order No. 203, s. 1987 as Araw ng Kagitingan.

The observance of the Philippine Veterans Week will commence on April 5, 2023 with the Sunrise Ceremony at 6:00 am, and the Wreath laying Ceremony at 7:00 am at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Taguig City. It will be followed by the Review in Honor of the Veterans at 9:00 am at the Hunters ROTC Guerilla Field, Philippine Army Headquarters, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Meanwhile, the celebration of Araw ng Kagitingan will be moved to April 10, 2023 in accordance with Proclamation No. 90, s. 2022, signed by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. The commemoration will start at 8:00 am at the Mt. Samat National Shrine, Pilar, Bataan where the Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor) proudly stands.

The Tribute to all Filipino Heroes, which was traditionally held at the Corregidor, will be observed along with the Paggunita sa Capas on April 11, 2023 at 8:00 AM at the Capas National Shrine, Capas, Tarlac.

The Philippine Veterans Week will be capped with the Sunset Ceremony on April 12, 2023, at 5:00 pm at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. The Veterans Community will gather amidst the setting sun to share stories about the veterans and recite a Pledge of Patriotism.

In addition to these commemorative events, supporting activities will also be held in different parts of the country to further promote the legacies of the Filipino veterans and heroes.

Among the activities include the Ride for Valor, a motorcycle/big bike riders’ tour event traversing the route of the Bataan Death March, on April 9, 2023. The Philippine Veterans Bank’s Traveling ExhibitWar of our Fathers, will also be open from April 3 to April 18, 2023 at The Bunker in Balanga City, Bataan, and an Awarding Ceremony of the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal will be held on April 12, 2023 in Capas, Tarlac to recognize the Filipino World War II Veterans residing in Region 3.

The Department of Education, in partnership with PVAO, the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) and the VFP-Sons and Daughters Association, Inc. will also conduct several national competitions for students nationwide including a Poster Making Contest, an Essay Writing Contest, a Songwriting Contest and an Oratorical Contest in April 2023 to encourage youth participation and develop deeper awareness about the Philippines’ history.

All the events for the national observance of the 81st Araw ng Kagitingan and 2023 Philippine Veterans Week are open to the public however, minimum health protocols shall continue to be observed for the safety of all the attendees. Those who will not be able to attend the activities are encouraged to support these events online.

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