BALANGA CITY, Bataan — A day before the commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan in Mt. Samat in Pilar town, Bataan held a parade of colorful floats about World War II.
A parade of colors participated in by soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines led the parade that started in Pilar and ended at the Bataan capitol grounds here
A beautiful float about a replica of a nipa hut brought memories about happy days during peacetime when young women in slippers and traditional dress were in their happy moments.
Terror filled the air and replaced merry-making as war broke out and when Bataan was attacked and civilians killed in 1942 as depicted in the next float.
Filipino soldiers held on and tried to repulse the advancing Japanese forces in the float about the First Line of Defense Monument in Layac, Dinalupihan.
Other floats shows heavy fightings that took place in many areas in the province like in the Points and Pockets and finally, in blood-stained Mt. Samat.
When Bataan fell on April 9, 1942, more than 70,000 of Filipino and American soldiers were forced to surrender and forced to join the dreaded Death March starting April 10, 1942 in Mariveles town and April 11, 1942 in Bagac town.
The Death March was depicted in a float showing the hardships encountered by Filipino – American soldiers in the hands of the Japanese invaders on their long way of 160 kilometers to Capas in Tarlac.
A float showed a cramped box car where soldiers in the Death March were loaded like from San Fernando, Pampanga to Tarlac where they hiked again for some kilometers to the Capas garrison.
Thousands were killed while walking, inside the box car and in incarceration in Capas.
War, however, how devastating and cruel it might have been, Bataan has risen from the ashes like a phoenix as shown in the last float. PNA