front page

2021 Philippine Veterans Week | Araw ng Kagitingan Remembered

April 5, 2021

The Philippines commemorates the 79th Anniversary of the Fall of Bataan and the Bataan Death March on April 9, 2021, now known as the Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor).   This day, also known as Bataan Day, commemorates the fall of Bataan, a pivotal event in Philippine history.   At dawn on 9 April 1942, against the orders of Generals Douglas MacArthur and Jonathan Wainwright, the commander of the Luzon Force, Bataan, Major General Edward P. King, Jr., surrendered over 76,000 starving and disease-ridden soldiers (64,000 Filipinos, Chinese and 12,000 Americans) to Japanese troops.   Unprepared for the number of prisoners, the Japanese decided to walk the prisoners 150 kilometers to a prison camp in San Fernando. Over 20,000 prisoners died on this march from dehydration, heat prostration, untreated wounds, and wanton executions at the hands of the Japanese. The trek became infamous as the 'Bataan Death March'. Only some 54,000 of the 76,000 prisoners reached their destination; the exact death toll is difficult to assess because thousands of captives were able to escape. Approximately 5,000-10,000 Filipino and 600-650 American prisoners-of-war died before they could reach Camp O'Donnell.   While the holiday marks an event which was a victory for the opposing forces, the heroic defense of Bataan by those soldiers was seen as a key event in the war, as it allowed the Allies time to prepare for later battles which stalled the Japanese conquest  of the Pacific, and eventually led to an Allied victory. The Bataan peninsula was eventually retaken by American and Filipino forces on February 8th 1945. In the Philippines, Araw ng Kagitingan is a nationwide holiday, commemorated through parades, featuring veterans of the Second World War. The most well-known celebration takes place at Mt. Samat Shrine, where the president gives a speech recognizing the bravery of those who fought.   In the United States, memorials are held across the country to commemorate the soldiers, but the day is celebrated in September rather than April. There is a special memorial in Maywood, Illinois, as many young soldiers from this village served at Bataan.  With Araw ng Kagitingan, we honor all Filipino heroes of the past and the present. In a special way, we honor our brave front liners who courageously fight for us in our battle against COVID-19. We also honor the countless Filipinos who have stepped up to help our brothers and sisters during these difficult times so that together, we heal as one nation.   Philippine Veterans Week By virtue of Proclamation No. 466 signed by former President Corazon Aquino in September 1989, Philippine Veterans Week is commemorated every April 5 to 11. The event is aimed at promoting, preserving and memorializing the principles, ideals and deeds of Filipino war veterans. This weeklong observance honors not only the Filipino war veterans who fought during World War II but also those who rendered honorable military service. This year's observance, anchored on the theme, Kagitingan ay Gawing Gabay, Pandemya ay Mapagtatagumpayan, is commemorated through a series of commemorative events virtually from April 5 to April 11, 2021. Metro Cagayan de Oro Times joins the nation in commemorating these two events in Northern Mindanao with this special 79th Araw ng Kagitingan & Philippine Veterans Week 2021 issue featuring stories celebrating the heroism of our patriots, as well as others which celebrate the valor and sacrifice of those who rose from the ashes of defeat to continue the fight against their imperial oppressors.   The Mindanao Death March The untold story of the Death March in Mindanao – one of the only two death marches recognized in the Tokyo war crime trials as evidence of the inhuman treatment of Filipino and American Prisoners of War (POWs) during World War II. On July 4, 1942, surrendered Filipino and American soldiers in Mindanao were forced to march on a rocky dirt road under the blazing tropical sun from Camp Keithley in Dansalan (Marawi) to Iligan in Lanao – a distance of about thirty-six (36) kilometers, for the purpose of joining them with the rest of the Mindanao POWs at Camp Casisang, Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Based on online research conducted by Robert John A. Donesa, Saint Louis University, Baguio City.   Heroes de Bataan: Death March Survivors fight again in Mindanao USAFFE soldiers from Northern Mindanao who fought in Bataan and survived the Death March  managed to find their way back to Cagayan de Misamis and joined the guerrillas to continue the fight against the Imperial Japanese Army garrison troops.   Quinine from Bukidnon Farm help Allies win the War in the Pacific Still unknown to many, cinchona bark from a secret farm in Bukidnon helped prolong the defense of Bataan and Corregidor, delaying the Imperial Japanese Empire’s timetable to conquer Asia and the Pacific, buying precious time for the Allies to organize their defenses and eventually counter attack  and defeat the enemy. By Carlos Policarpio Bagonoc (with additional research by Mike Baños).   The Live or Die (LOD) Unit of the Mindanao Guerrillas  Philippine Scouts from Oroquieta organized this small but deadly intelligence, sabotage, assassination, and propaganda unit from the 10th Military District of Mindanao which hit hard at prime targets of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy in Manila itself and paid for it with the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in the service of their beloved country. By Raul B. Ilogon    The History & Legacy of the Fighting Moreno Brothers: Guerrillas of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental  The Moreno clan of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental sent no less than 15 of its finest young men to fight with the 110th Division of the US Forces in the Philippines (USFIP), the organized resistance against the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. Here are the stories and legacies of four of seven brothers of one of those families who later became prominent citizens as well as their children and grandchildren who continue their tradition of valor in battle and integrity in public service.   Defending Dipolog April 1945: A Young Guerrilla’s Eyewitness Account A first-hand account of the final phase of this battle by a young guerrilla who was dispatched with the 108th Expeditionary Company in early 1945 to reinforce the guerrilla forces defending Dipolog Airfield early April, 1945. By Mike Baños & Raul B. Ilogon.   We hope and pray these stories are remembered and treasured by those who read it, to remind themselves and the those still to come after us, that there was a steep price to pay for the freedom we enjoy today, and the least we can do is pay it forward by passing on these tales to our children and grandchildren.   We must tell their stories.  

READ MORE
Finding first Christian church in Camiguin could change island’s history

November 5, 2020

In a soon to be published book, The Untold Stories of Camiguin Island, Social and Cultural Anthropologist Dr. Andrés Narros Lluch, contends that the existing chronology of the Catholic Church’s history as currently exhibited in the old church ruins in Catarman is misleading, since it does not match with the Cosas Notables of the Augustinian Recollects manuscripts. According to the Cosas Notables manuscripts, the Punta Pasil church and fortress was built in 1622, and for almost two centuries was the religious and political center of the island. In his paper Surfacing the untold stories of Camiguin Island,  co-authored with the late Dr. Erlinda Burton and published in Vol. XXXIX of the Xavier University’s Kinaadman Journal, Lluch explains: According to the Cosas Notables de Catarman of Calisto Gaspar, the first Recollect Fathers started to build the first church, convent, and Cota in 1622, and worked hard to convince the natives to settle down around the church. In their account, the priests were able to convert the very same year six hundred “souls”. It is mentioned that they converted almost the entire population of the Island.  However, if we follow W.H. Scott’s estimations, there may have been around one thousand people living in the island at that time. Therefore, the four hundred remaining may be inhabitants but not converts to the faith following the priest’s words, calling them the remontados. The building structures (church and convent), which were constructed out of corals and lime, served not only as a religious temple but as a fortress as well to protect the people from the pirates’ raids. The strength, thickness and size of the walls, plus the “loving words” of the priest from the sacred book, built the perceptions among the locals that the new but totalitarian Christian God offered them a good deal of protection.” However, sometime between 1797 and 1804, the Church and Convent of Punta Pasil was burned down by the remontados unhappy with the tax system introduced by the friars. In the fire, not only the buildings and the relics were lost, but all manuscripts of the Recollect Fathers from 1622. “It was only in 1806 when Father Juan Martin del Rosario began the building of what is known today the Old Church of Catarman (Guiob). However, current nameplates and booklets of Camiguin history date this to 1622. Therefore, they silence the almost two centuries of history of Punta Pasil,” Lluch emphasized. Once the ruins of the Punta Pasil church and fortress are located, Lluch believes it would correct the chronology of the Catholic Church’s history in the island. The Kilaha Foundation, UP Department of Archeology and the Submarine Division of the National Museum have been advocating to the local government of Camiguin the need to explore the area of Punta Pasil in order to find the first Christian Church and fortress from where the island was converted into Christianity, Lluch added. The Kilaha Foundation was co-founded by Lluch in 2015 to document and support local culture and identity, as well as preserve the fascinating biodiversity of Camiguin. “We believe it’s important to properly document the landmarks of Camiguin Christian history, especially because the deep Christian beliefs and faith of current Camiguinons,” Lluch stressed. “We hope the publication of the book helps to go beyond and start explorations not only in Punta Pasil, but as well in Guinsiliban and in the highlands of Sagay.”   “Archival findings are the best first building blocks for further archaeological explorations. In this regard, we therefore believe that the first steps has been taken already,” he noted. The archival research findings have been published in the previously cited paper Surfacing the untold stories of Camiguin Island which details the archival findings and advocate for further archeological explorations under water (in Punta Pasil and Guinsiliban) and inland (in highland Sagay). Lluch earned his PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED). He has done field work as an aid worker and social researcher in Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Central America, South America, East Africa, and Europe for twenty years. He belonged to the Southeast Asia Department at the School of Oriental and African Studies (2011–2012), was guest researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and associate researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of the Philippines Manila (2012–2014). He is currently an affiliated researcher at Research Institute of Mindanao Culture (RIMCU) at Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan). Lluch has previously published the book La comedia de la cooperación internacional: historias etnográficas del desarrollo en la isla de Camiguín (Catarata, 2016) and currently alternates between Spain and Brussels, where he works at ODS as Senior Evaluator. La comedia de la cooperacion internacional

READ MORE
RITM okays COVId-19 testing laboratory for Northern Mindanao Medical Center

May 18, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 15 May) — The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has given the green light to the Northern Mindanao Medical  Center (NMMC) to start testing their medical laboratory for COVID-19.     Dr. Bernard Rocha, NMMC spokesperson, said  experts from RITM will arrive next week to evaluate the performance of their laboratory staff. “We secured our license just now and we are only waiting for the cartridges for the machine,” Rocha said, referring to the Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) machine, the gold standard for COVID-19 testing.     Rocha said their laboratory can operate for 12 hours and can process results up to 36 swab samples per day.     He said the results can be known in 30 to 45 minutes.     Rocha said there will be two medical equipment available to process the COVID-19 tests once the Department of Health regional office will finish the conversion of their tuberculosis testing laboratory.     The city government of Cagayan de Oro had also purchased three RT-PCR machines to augment the laboratory at the NMMC.     Once operational, the NMMC laboratory will be the first medical facility to process COVID-19 swab tests in Northern Mindanao.     At present, only the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City has the capability to process the swab specimens from Mindanao’s 27 provinces and 33 cities. (Froilan Gallaro / MindaNews)

READ MORE
THE CAGAYAN DE ORO FILIPINO-CHINESE COMMUNITY

May 18, 2020

THE CAGAYAN DE ORO FILIPINO-CHINESE COMMUNITY turned over 500 sets COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits; 1,400 sets 4-layer Face Masks KN95; 2,500 sets 3-ply Non-woven Face Masks; and 200 bags of rice valued at P750, 000 to Mayor Oscar Moreno on May 16 as support for frontliners of the  Cagayan de Oro J R Borja General Hospital. (photo courtesy of Jeffrey Ang)

READ MORE
75th Anniversary of Cagayan’s Liberation

May 10, 2020

    Unfortunately, due to restrictions enforced by the city government according to the IATF general community quarantine guidelines, no public ceremonies are still allowed to mark this milestone in our local history.     According to the account documented in “The History of the Mindanao Guerrillas” shared with us by the late president of the American Guerrillas of Mindanao (AGOM) Virginia Hansen Holmes, Cagayan, Misaims (as Cagayan de Oro was then known) was wrested by the US forces and guerrillas under the 10th Military District on 12 May 1945.     However, as early as May 9, 1945, operations were already underway for the liberation of the city.     Iponan-Cagayan Operation 9 May 1945   “Just before the landing of American forces in Mindanao on 10 May 1945, there were still Japanese pockets totaling about 300 men in the area west of the Cagayan River.” “In coordination with the plans of the American Forces, the guerrilla troops launched a general attack on these isolated Jap pockets with the end in view of driving the enemy from this area, occupy Cagayan proper, and afford protection to the right flank of the beachhead established by the American forces in the Bugo-Agusan area.” “Units participating in the operation were the 109th Infantry Regiment, composed of 39 officers and 350 enlisted men, and 120th Infantry Regiment, 108th Division, composed of one officer and 350 enlisted men. The 111th Infantry Regiment, 109th Division joined the operation on 10 May 1945. The attack began 9 May 1945 as planned and ended 12 May 1945.” Patag Airstrip Captured “The general offensive of Iponan, Bulua, Patag, Bonbon and Bayabas, started on 9 May 1945. On the same day, the enemies at Iponan were reinforced by approximately 100 Japs at 10:00 in the morning. The enemy reinforcements possibly came from Carmen or Calinogan.” “The enemy resisted the fight, but at 11:00 of the same day, the 1st Battalion of the108th Regiment under Capt Andres Bacal, captured the strip at Patag and the enemy was reported to have withdrawn to Carmen Hills. In the afternoon of the same day, the 120th Infantry Regiment was able to cross Iponan River as planned.”   Planes Strafe “Fighting continued at the Iponan River from early morning of 10 May 1945 till 10:00 AM. At 2:00 PM of the same day, the entire 120th Infantry Regiment was  moved out West of Iponan River, per instruction of higher headquarters, leaving the three battalions of the 109th Inf Regt across the river without support from the left rear of the enemy. CO of the 109th Inf Regt was odered to pull out his troops west of Iponan River and fighting continued.” “At the same date, at about 7:30 in the morning, American troops landed between Cagayan and Bugo. Planes were seen flying low strafing Patag strip. Instruction was received that the plans of the troops clearing the areas west of the Cagayan River still stood. So the CO, 109th Inf Regt was directed to move out immediately with Kauswagan and Carmen as the objectives. Fighting continued and at noon of 11 May 1945, our troops occupied Kauswagan and Carmen. The 111th Inf Regt met them in Carmen the same day.” “The Japanese numbered 300 at the west bank of the Cagayan River, stationed at Balulang, Carmen Hill, Carmen, Patag, Bulua, and Iponan. 200 of them immediately moved east of Cagayan River. They withdrew passing Balulang, Indahag, Kili-og, Libona and proceeding to Santa Fe.” “On 11 May 1945, the 109th Inf Regt was ordered to push toward west side of Cagayan road. Route of approach was made at three points: 2nd Battalion from beach to highway, 3rd Battalion and Combat Co. in National Highway, and 1st Battalion from highway to Patag.” “Movements started at 8:00 AM and with initial point at Iponan River. At 10:00 AM, the entire Regt was at its objective  - Cagayan River. The while west side of the Cagayan River bank was occupied by this Regt without opposition.” Cagayan Occupied “On 12 May 1945, this regiment was ordered to occupy Cagayan and at 9:00 in the morning of the same date, the109th Infantry Regiment (US Army) crossed Cagayan River in three points, namely: 2nd Battalion at Julao-Julao (present day Consolacion), 3rd Battalion at Jap wooden bridge, and the 1st Battalion at steel bridge (present day Ysalina Bridge at Carmen).” “The whole town was occupied at 9:30 AM on 12 May 1945.” “All ground defenses were established. The defenses were as follows: 2nd Battalion from Macabalan to Old Provincial Building to Ateneo; and the 1st Battalion with the Combat Co Attached from Ateneo to Macasandig to east bank of Cagayan River.” “Strongholds were made at Camaman-an and at Macasandig for a possible route of Jap counterattack. Mopping operation was ordered and after the search, Cagayan was declared clear from enemy occupants.” “The mission as stated in the first paragraph was completed successfully. The enemy casualties were undetermined, while on our side, one Cpl Bonifacio Jabonan was wounded. “ (Collated by Mike Baños) St Augustine Cathedral was bombed by the Americans during the battle to liberate Cagayan on May 9-12, 1945. The 1st Battalion of the108th Regiment under Capt Andres Bacal, captured the Patag Airstrip around noon of May 9, 1945. Sugar Mill at Lapad, Laguindingan. which served as a command pos for Maj. Angeles Limena (Ilogon Family Archives)  

READ MORE
XU Contra COVID-19: Xavier Ateneo offers facilities as quarantine stations

May 10, 2020

SEARSOLIN In March 2020, Xavier University, in partnership with the Department of Health - X offered its SEARSOLIN facility inside the Manresa Compound as a quarantine facility for medical frontliners of Northern Mindanao Medical Center, the COVID-19 referral center for Region 10.     This was one of XU’s responses under #XUKontraCOVID19, especially on the needs of frontliners to undergo DOH’s mandatory quarantine after having served a seven-day period at the NMMC Hospital.      From March 17 until April 26, 100 frontliners have completed their required seven/14-day quarantine periods, depending on their degree of exposure.      XU through its SEARSOLIN facility continues to cater to frontliners for the purpose of containing and mitigating possible contaminations.     MANRESA TRAINING CENTER     Additionally, Xavier Ateneo recently inked a Memorandum of Agreement with the City Local Government for the use of three (3) dormitories at the Manresa Training Center as isolation/quarantine stations for Suspect and Probable COVID-19 cases within the City.      The City LGU anticipates a surge of people to be quarantined once the port and airport resume operations.      Medical experts for both quarantine facilities oversee the medical and health protocols to be observed in the daily operations.     Xavier Ateneo‘s #XUKontraCOVID19 institutional engagements continue to operate through the headship of Fr Roberto C Yap, SJ, the Chief of Mission, focusing on responding to the needs of frontliners and the vulnerable sectors in the City.

READ MORE


Subscribe Now!

Receive email updates from Cagayan Times.