April 9

Dscf0100_2 As it turns out, the Kilometer 0 marker we were looking for was right at the last junction on the road to the resort, in Bagac town, Bataan. This, we had found out only recently, was one of the two surrender sites of April 9, 1942 (the other was somewhere in Mariveles); it was where the Death March started.

The valiant effort by US and Filipino forces to keep the Japanese Imperial Army at bay (which delayed the invaders by as much as four months, despite the defenders’ lack of preparation and resources) was punctuated by military successes. We found this simple, moving memorial to one such engagement. Dscf0080

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We were also struck by the enormous mango trees that lined the road, some of them weighed down by hundreds of mangoes, ripe for the picking. I wonder: Did the peninsula’s famous fruit help feed the Battling Bastards of Bataan? Dscf0091

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