June 21, 2024

KIANGAN, Ifugao – The province celebrated the 78th Victory Day on Sept. 2 by paying tribute to Filipino soldiers who contributed to the Philippines’ liberation from Japanese forces in 1945.

Guest of honor Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr., together with Governor Jerry Dalipog and 5th Infantry Division Assistant Division Commander B/Gen. Danilo Benavides led the wreath-laying ceremony at the Kiangan National Shrine.

The 54th Infantry Battalion also performed a 21-gun salute to honor and give respect to the war heroes.

“This commemoration is a call to remember, honor, and draw inspiration from the valiant efforts of our veterans, including the brave Ifugao guerillas and women of the Women’ss Auxiliary Service who stood as pillars of resilience during a tumultuous time,” Adaci said.

He said the sacrifices of the war heroes paved the independence that Filipinos enjoy today and their legacy serves as a reminder that unity and determination can endure even the greatest of challenges.

The top Navy officer added the historical significance of Sept. 2, 1945, not only serves as a reminder of struggles but also offers valuable lessons that can guide Filipinos in addressing the current challenges particularly in safeguarding national sovereignty.

“Let us look back at the struggle that brought us liberation and remind ourselves that we have the capacity to take action, drive change, and contribute to the development of our nation. Through resilience, we can withstand any trial, through resurgence we can revive hope, and through triumph, we can shape a brighter future for our nation,”  Adaci said.   

In the same event, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office honored nine WWII veterans in recognition of their contributions to the cause of freedom and democracy in the rich history of the country.

The surviving awardee, 97-year-old Private Mary Torres personally received her PVAO medallion, Philippine liberation medal, WWII victory medal and plaque of recognition at the Kiangan National Shrine.

For posthumous awardees Sgt. Juan Dumlao, Private First Class (PFC) Ernesto Buminaang, PFC Leon Habiling, PFC Dulnuan Mundiging, Private Munliting Tayaban, Private Geronimo Cariño, Pvt.  Agahel Bohol, and Pvt. Ambrocio Binwag, their awards were received by their family or representatives. – Florida B. Robles