City celebrates liberation of baguio
Posted: 01-May-2014 / 3 years 5 hours ago
BAGUIO CITY – The “unwavering courage, honorable service and unselfish lives” of our World War II veterans should serve as inspiration to the younger generation, thus exhorted Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Superintendent Major General Oscar Lopez as speaker for the 69th aniversary of the liberation of Baguio
Lopez was ably represented by Assistant PMA Supt. Andrei Costales, who spoke before at least twenty surviving veterans, women’s auxiliary, widows, sons and daughters, city officials, and Veterans of Foreign Wars; at the Veteran’s Park, Harrison Road.
I am truly honored by their presence as I stand here on hallowed ground, Lopez, thru Costales, said. Military and police officers, boy and girl scouts, and some civilians were also present during the program.
Lopez however rued that though the Philippines played a crucial role in World War II in 1945, as taught in schools today, details of the Igorot warriors’ bravery are often not emphasized in books and other materials.
He expressed desire to document the Igorot veterans’ “admirable gallantry and bravery,” encounters and recollections of the war; most specially that of the “legendary 66th infantry.” They, who fought the war shoulder-to-shoulder with American forces, should inspire us to love our country more. The greatest honor we can bestow on them is to maintain peace in our city, he added.
Let us not forget their sacrifices for liberty and democracy, and may they be blessed with long life and good health, Lopez said.
A token of appreciation was presented to Lopez, thru Costales by Secretary to the Mayor, Rafael Tallocoy, Councilor Peter Fianza and staff of the Philippine Veterans Affair Office, led by Sherilyn Sabling and Marilyn Ngayodan.
A “March with Heroes” opened the program, with veteran Santiago Pitas, vice-commander of the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines-Northern Luzon (USAFIP-NL), and Col Napoleon Gojo of the Veterans’ Federation of the Philippines (VFP) in the wreath-laying ceremony.
A floral offering followed, with spouses, Sons and Daughters of veterans and boy and girl scouts. A gun salute, ruffles and flourishes was provided by the PMA, as with rendition of the National Anthem of the United States of America and Philippines.
Journalist May Anne Cacdac, Sunstar Baguio Daily editor-in-chief read some notes on Baguio war history
City councilor Fianza, chair of the Liberation Day program, stressed that the bravery and heroism of members of the 66th who fought in Bataan was noted in an article in the Feb. 23, 1942 issue of the New York Times.
The Sons and Daughters (of veterans) Association Incorporated and the Baguio City Police Office Band provided special numbers during the occasion. - juliegfianza