On September 3, 1945, General Tomoyuki Yamashita signed the instrument of surrender to the Americans in Baguio after being defeated by the Filipino guerillas of the USAFIP-NL. The veterans joined the young to commemorate the 70th anniversary of this historic event through a whole day symposium “Images of Valor and Victory: Hour of Redemption, The End of World War II in the Philippines” organized by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and the Philippine Historical Association in cooperation with the Spyron-AV Manila on September 3, 2015 at the Plenary Hall of the Baguio Convention Center. The event was attended by 600 veterans, cadets, teachers and students.
The president of the Philippine Historical Association, Dr. Emmanuel Franco Calairo, welcomed the guests through a message read by Prof. Xiao Chua, Public Relations Officer of the PHA, “We are very proud about the heroism of our veterans who fought the enemy in order to regain our freedom. This event is a fitting way to commemorate such heroism and we thank the organizers for bringing to us the values and good deeds that we can learn from the past.”
Then, a Xiao Time episode was shown “Ang Makasaysayang Labanan sa Bessang Pass at ang Pagsuko ni Yamashita.”
The program proceeded with a talk by the Acting Chief of the Veterans Memorial and Historical Division of the PVAO, Retired Brigadier General Restituto L. Aguilar on the Koga Papers that was recovered from Cebu by the guerillas. These papers coming from a top Japanese military official helped in planning the liberation of the Philippines.
After the lunch break, the short documentary by the PHA and the PVAO, “Mapalad Ang Inyong Mga Apo: Sulat Para Kay Lolo at Lola Beterano” was shown.
Then, Xiao Chua talked about his paper, “HEALING IN THE MIDST OF RAPE: Medical Professionals during the Battle for the Liberation of Manila (3 February – 3 March 1945), which was followed by a film showing by Spyron-AV Manila “Manila 1945: The Rest of the Story” which recalled the forgotten atrocities and the cultural and humanitarian impact of the war to the Filipinos.
Retired Lieutenant General Ernesto G. Carolina, undersecretary and head of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office gave his closing remarks.
The event also celebrates the already 5-year partnership of PHA and the PVAO in proliferating the story of victory of our veterans through collaborative documentaries and fora.