SAN FRANCISCO, 9 APRIL 2020 – Philippine Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. led the Consulate General in San Francisco in honoring Filipino heroes, including the Filipino soldiers who fought in the Pacific theater of World War II and the frontliners in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Philippine Consulate General sang the Philippine National Anthem, after which, the Consul General read a message on the occasion of the Araw ng Kagitingan. “Today, as we celebrate Araw ng Kagitingan or the Day of Valor, we remember not only the heroism of our World War II veterans and our heroes of old but the fresh heroism of our modern-day heroes — Filipino frontliners in the Philippines, in the United States, and elsewhere,” Consul General Bensurto said. “From our doctors, nurses, medical technologists, and other medical practitioners, law enforcers, transportation and logistics personnel to grocery attendants, our kababayans are out there braving the risks and delivering vital services so that the greater populace may survive.”
In his message, Consul General Bensurto underscored the significance of the occasion as it coincides with a few important celebrations — Araw ng Kagitingan, Christendom’s Maundy Thursday and the upcoming Easter, and the Jewish Passover, among others — while the whole world battles the Coronavirus Pandemic. He said that one element that is common among all the commemorative activities and the current pandemic is sacrifice. Consul General Bensurto led the online ceremony to honor the COVID-19 frontliners who make daily sacrifices to contain the virus and save lives. He emphasized that heroism is translated in doing small things and making sacrifice from the ordinary to the extraordinary settings, whether through people staying at home and keeping their families safe or the frontliners continuing to do their work.
“As we pray and work for this health emergency to cease, we pay tribute to the frontliners who make it possible for the rest of us to thrive,” Consul General Bensurto said. At the end of the ceremony, the Consulate personnel watched an online video that pays tribute to Philippine heroes and World War II veterans and Filipino American frontliners, prepared by the Consulate.