Book launch with Araw ng Kagitingan activities

BAGUIO CITY – A Baguio-Benguet veterans' directory and memoirs shall be launched this week, a prelude to the commemoration of Philippine Veteran's Week on April 5 to 11, 77th Araw ng Kagitingan on April 9; and 74th Liberation of Baguio on April 27.

The project which aims to enliven native World War II soldiers' acts of heroism, was realized with contributed articles from veterans assisted by their widows, sons, daughters and even grandchildren. Documented reminiscences from veterans of USAFIP-Northern Luzon's 66th infantry who passed on are included in the directory.

In a coordination meeting last week, Council committee chair on education, culture and historical research Peter Fianza urged for activities to continue the veterans' legacy of sacrificial heroism and gallantry, years after World War II ended in 1945. Another book on veterans' family remembrances is also planned for printing.

A clean-up for liberation markers along Marcos highway, Naguilian road and Kennon road is also underway, after inspection with personnel from the City Engineers Office. The markers were put up as tribute to soldiers who liberated the city on April 27, 1945. Adjacent Benguet towns; Sablan was liberated on April 10, Tuba on April 26 and La Trinidad on May 3.

The battle went on until mid-August in Buguias, Benguet after which Yamashita, Tiger of Malaya gave up to allied forces. He later signed the documents of surrender on Sept. 2, at Camp John Hay, Baguio City; now tagged as "Victory Day."

As to the commemoration program on April 9, the 21-gun salute and traditional wreath-laying ceremony is led by city-based police and military officials.

City officials led by Congressman Mark Go, Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP), Philippine Veteran Affairs Office (PVAO), Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB), Sons and Daughters of Veterans (SDAI), and USAFIP –NL officials with the guest of honor and speaker lay flower wreaths.

A floral offering by veterans' families follow.

Living WWII veterans; Rizalino Balangcod Alingbas, Camilo Dacali Atas, Tuacan Barian, Alberto Bugtong, Pio Doro, Esteban Esco, Marciano Miles, Garcia Wakit, Mateo Bakian and others who could attend the program shall be honored as World War II reminiscences from the directory are read during the program.

The theme for this year is,"Pamanang Kalayaan ng mga Beterano: Isabuhay at Pagyamanin ng Lahing Pilipino."- juliegfianza

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