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Culture and society

‘Freedom Trail’ set up to commemorate Bataan Death March

Between 5,000 to 18,000 prisoners of war died during the forced march.


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Updated: February 6, 2019

A “Freedom Trail” was set up to trace the actual route of the Bataan Death March and commemorate the camaraderie, bravery, and sacrifice of Filipino and American freedom fighters 77 years ago.

The trail will be 140 kilometers long and will cover the original route of the Bataan Death March.

A two-day march along this trail will take place from March 2 to 3, 2019 ahead of the commemoration of the Philippine Veterans Week. It will start from Kilometer Zero in Mariveles, Bataan and will end at the Capas National Shrine in Tarlac.

“Participants may register as an individual or as a group of [10] and the [m]archers will relay the Freedom March Symbolic Guidon (flag),” the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) said.

According to the PVB, there will be three events. One of these is the “Kagitingan Tour” from March 1 to 3. A chartered bus will take participants to the different sites of Battle of Bataan where a historian is assigned at each stop.

Meanwhile, participants may trace the entire route of the Bataan Death March in a competitive bike tour dubbed as the“Ride for Valor,” which will be held on March 10 from Kilometer Zero in Bataan to Capas, Tarlac.

The final event will be a freedom run scheduled on April 14. Running enthusiasts are invited to follow the route of the death march starting at the Balanga Capitol and all the way to Mt. Samat.

The event will also include a 21-kilometer half-marathon, but there will also be different courses — 10 kilometers, five kilometers and 1 kilometer —for all types of runners from kids to pro-runners as well as pets.

“These events, which challenge runners through gruesome and gritty courses, are our way of remembering, honoring, and emulating the bravery and sacrifices of our World War II veterans during one of the darkest chapters of our country’s history,” Dr. Roberto de Ocampo, PVB Chairman, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Proceeds from the events will be used for the restoration and maintenance of historical markers along the route of the Bataan Death March.

Participants may register by visiting the Veterans Bank Freedom Trail Facebook page, downloading the Blimo app, or visiting the website.

 



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