Issue of September 6, 2020
Mt. Province
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17 surviving WWII veterans honored
by Julie G. Fianza / PIO

Seventeen surviving World War II veterans were honored with commemorative medals, during the remembrance of the end of World War II, 75 years ago.

Pre-recorded congratulatory messages from U.S. Amb. Sung Kim, ret. Gen. Ernesto Carolina, Rep. Marquez Go and Mayor Benjamin Magalong were delivered together with tokens and medals to veterans in the comfort of their homes.

Among the living veterans honored are: Angelo Viloria Andrada, Epifanio Besuayan, Timoteo Boado, Filomeno Caburao, Francisco Bogalon Castillo, Romeo Marcelino de Guzman, Gregorio de la Paz Lopez, Ernesto Luis, Dominador Madarang, Carlito Millado, Diego Opena, William Pasiwen, Eduardo Peralta, Orlando Pimentel, Sixta Favila, Florence Marasigan, and Cecilia Torres.

All served fearlessly in the military, medical and auxiliary forces during critical years of the war, with reminiscences recorded in diaries, notes and memoirs, now used as history materials.

In Baguio, simple wreath-laying ceremonies at the Veterans Park were done in coordination with the City Tourism and Special Events Office and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Sept. 3, Thursday.

Camp John Hay was carpet-bombed on Dec. 8, 1941 by Japanese forces, which disrupted the lives of Filipinos, including the city and neighboring municipalities.

In 1942, U.S.-Philippine forces surrendered and joined the Bataan Death March which claimed thousands of soldiers’ lives. The Japanese Imperial Army was eventually defeated in 1945 as American and Filipino soldiers combined forces against them.

For the liberation of Baguio, United States Army Forces in the Philippines-Northern Luzon soldiers with members mostly from Baguio and Benguet worked in four strike forces: two from La Union, Pangasinan, and Kapangan.

Battles were fought in Sablan; near the Baguio cemetery; Dominican-Mirador observatory; Camp Allen; and Ansagan, Tuba; which led to the liberation of Baguio on April 27, 1945
General Tomoyuki Yamashita then withdrew his forces and surrendered in Kiangan, Ifugao, Sept. 2, with the formal signing of surrender in Camp John Hay, Baguio City on Sept. 3, 1945 in the presence of U.S. and Filipino authorities.

September 3 was institutionalized as Victory Day, through city council Resolution 229, s. 2016.

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