Sunday, May 4, 2008

Death March

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April 9 here is Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Heroes, a national holiday. Great battles, campaigns, victories or losses are celebrated with a day long fest in Balanga, Bataan, and the Bataan Death March parade is the main event. The organizers have acquired replicated uniforms, both GI and Japanese, with authentic Filipino garb, and they paint blood, wrap wounds, everything for realism, then they march in a parade, complete with floats depicting battles in progress, with the Bataan Death March as the finale, complete with uprisings, riots, and punishments. They especially appreciate the American and Canadian Missionaries, for the realism, they are fed before and after the parade, all the makeup and uniforms are provided. It is held in April as was the actual march, and even with all the festivities, you can still feel at least a bit of the pain felt by the real POWs, as they made their way in the heat of summer. But if you've read the history, it doesn't take much imagination to remember the actual brutality.

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