MANILA – Amid the country’s battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) on Thursday urged Filipinos to exhibit the “bayanihan” (teamwork) spirit to arrest the spread of the new pathogen.
As the entire nation commemorates the 78th Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), the NHCP said uncertainty, while it brings about “fear and panic”, does not stop Filipinos from rising to the challenge “with hope.”
The commission made the remark as it paid its respects to the estimated 80,000 Filipino and American troops who surrendered to Japan in Bataan
on April 9, 1942 after their relentless efforts to fight for Philippine democracy.
It said the steadfast hope was the Filipinos’ source of courage and teamwork to “do good even when our very survival is at stake” and “choose to do what is right even when it is difficult.”
“Just as we had 78 years ago, with verve and optimism in braving new solutions, we hold on to the collective strength of our national character, our innate compassion, our faith, and our bayanihan spirit – ideals that have always defined what it means to be Filipino,” the NHCP said in a press statement.
Filipinos observe the Day of Valor every April 9 to pay tribute to war heroes’ sacrifices to protect and restore the Philippines’ freedom.
This year, the celebration’s theme is “Kagitingan ng Beterano, Inspirasyon ng Bagong Bayaning Pilipino” (Veteran Valor, Inspiration of Modern Filipino Heroes).
The NHCP noted that the “bayanihan” spirit is still alive in the country, especially now that the fight against Covid-19 continues.
“This heritage of bayanihan is still with us today, with our fallen health workers who stood fast, and those who continue to resist and contain the invisible enemy – Covid-19,” it said.
The commission expressed gratitude to the medical workers, state forces, lawmakers, personnel of national and local governments, media practitioners, business firms, members of religious groups, and others who have made significant contributions to the fight against Covid-19.
It expressed confidence that the country would be successful in arresting the spread of Covid-19.
“As with all darkness that our country has faced, this too shall pass. And we shall emerge victorious,” the NHCP said, prodding everyone to pray for the front-liners amid the pandemic.
“May we continue to unite and persist in hope, as our nation calls all of us to stay in our homes, and in our own way, encourage, support, and pray for our front-liners and the economically vulnerable, and even those in the line of duty at this pandemic battlefield,” it said.
The Philippines has 3,870 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 182 deaths and 95 recoveries.
The government continues to implement counter-measures against Covid-19, including the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon, which was extended until April 30.
Other parts of the Visayas and Mindanao have also imposed an ECQ. (PNA)