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AFAB honors World War II heroes, supports Death March tribute

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MARIVELES, Bataan – The Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), in cooperation with the Bataan Provincial Government and Tourism Council, vows full support to the plan of the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) to rehabilitate and maintain the death march markers in Bataan, as part of the celebration of the 75thAnniversary of the World War II – Bataan Death March.

The funds of the project will be raised through the Bataan Freedom Run and Mariveles-San Fernando-Capas Freedom Trail, two athletic events that aim to relive the heroism and valor of the Filipino and American soldiers by tracing the route of the Death March.

“This event is a good venue for the AFAB to show its gratitude to our heroes. Their courage to fight for our country will always be remembered. We are proud to say that the whole area of the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) has once witnessed the heroism of our fellow countrymen,” AFAB Chairman and Administrator Emmanuel D. Pineda said in a statement.

“The AFAB and the FAB Investor, Locator Association (FABILA) are thankful to PVAO, PVB and the organizer, Without Limits Consultancy, for giving us the opportunity to host the Bataan Freedom Run and Freedom Trail,” Chairman Pineda stressed.

“We will, once again, witness another milestone in the Philippine history as thousands of Filipinos, relatives of American veterans and international partners gather for this momentous event,” he added.

Slated on April 2, 2017, the Bataan Freedom Run will feature a 42-kilometer full marathon, a 21km half-marathon, and 10km, 5km and 1km courses for running aficionados, kids, and pets. The Freedom Run follows the route of the Bataan Death March and will start at Kilometer Zero in Mariveles.

DistanceAssembly TimeGun Start
42km2:20am3:00am
21km2:30am4:30am
10km5:00am5:30am
5km5:00am5:35am
1km Kids6:00am7:00am
1km Dogs6:00amAfter the kids

On the other hand, the Freedom Trail will feature a punishing 160-kilometer run with individual and team relay categories for marathoners, as well as similar-distanced bike trail. The new event will be held from April 10 – 11 and will cover the Death March route from Mariveles, Bataan to Capas, Tarlac.

DistanceAssembly TimeGun Start
160km10pm (April 9)12:01am
160km relay10pm (April 9)12:01am
160km Bike Tour5:00am6:00am

“Once again, Philippine Veterans Bank, together with our partners, is putting a segment of our nation’s history into the forefront of our national consciousness with the Bataan Freedom Run and the Freedom Trail,” said PVB Chairman Dr. Roberto F. de Ocampo, OBE, in a press statement. “These events are not only challenging physically but also mentally to the runners and bikers but they are doing this to honor the World War II veterans who endured and made the ultimate sacrifice during the Death March 75 years ago.”

The 75th Anniversary of the Bataan Death March will be celebrated worldwide and the twin events are PVB’s contribution to the worldwide remembrance of this infamous chapter in WWII history.

Through the efforts of Bataan Governor Albert Raymond S. Garcia and the Bataan Tourism Council, the tribute to the World War II heroes will also be held simultaneously in Mexico. Sons and daughters of the American WWII veterans are also expected to join the commemoration – anniversary in the FAB.

“We don’t call it the fall of Bataan anymore. We call it the heroism in Bataan, valor in Corregidor. We are celebrating the values that the Death March represent,” PVAO Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina said during the press launch of the Freedom Run and Trail.

Since 2014, the PVB, its partners, and the Provincial Government of Bataan as well as PVAO have held the Bataan Freedom Run in honor of WWII veterans who endured the death march in 1942. With the new Freedom Trail event this year, organizers expect to bring together an estimated 5,000 participants apart from local spectators, mostly from Bataan, Pampanga and Tarlac, and in Manila, as well as descendants of the Death March survivors here and abroad.

The Freedom Run and Freedom Trail, organized by Without Limits, is presented by the PVB in partnership with the PVAO, Provincial Government of Bataan and Bataan Tourism Council, the AFAB and the FABILA, History Channel Asia, ANC News Channel, and WhenInManila.Com. 

To register, and find out more about the Bataan Freedom Run and the Mariveles-San Fernando-Capas Freedom Trail and the route, visit http://www.withoutlimits.ph/component/k2/item/66-bfr2017.html.

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