By Hanah Tabios
Seventy-eight years since the deadly attack of Japanese forces in the Philippines during the most destructive World War II, yet the spirit of “Bayanihan” and source of courage lives on in this time of distress, according to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
In more than seven decades of commemorating the annual National Day of Valor or “Araw ng Kagitingan”, this was just among the very few instances when the country had to postpone the formal celebration of the event amid the ongoing global health scare.
But NHCP said even without the gathering, what matters is that the heritage of “Bayanihan” had been passed on through generations.
“The 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,” NHCP said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the health department reported that 252 healthcare workers in the country have already tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus disease. Of the figures recorded, 152 or 65% of them are doctors, while 63 or 25% are nurses. More than 10 medical workers have also died since the pandemic erupted.
But the commission said same with the nameless Filipino soldiers and civilians who fought for the freedom of the country, the various frontline workers from the essential workforce have been risking their lives, too , to be of service to the nation.
NHCP said that despite the situation, the country will soon overcome the crisis, the same way how we have done it 78 years ago from the devastating war that killed hundreds of thousands of Filipinos and Americans.
“We, too, shall rise. After we have paid the full price of our redemption, we shall return to show the scars of sacrifices that all may touch and believe,” it said, recalling the line that was broadcasted over the underground radio “Voice of Freedom” in 1942.
The commission said the battlefield may have changed over time, but the spirit of unity from the infamous Fall of Bataan and Corregidor Island continues to persist, especially at this trying times.
“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 frontliners and the economically vulnerable, and even those in the line of duty at this pandemic battlefield,” it added.