by Rudy Juanito [02/04/2016]
O4 February 2016, Parañaque Veterans Memorial Monument, Parañaque City – In 1945, the Philippine and United States military forces wanted to flank the Japanese troops in an attempt to take back Manila. This plan was set off by the Liberation of Parañaque, which allowed the Philippine and US troops to enter Manila from the south. The residents of Parañaque, mostly farmers and fishers, joined the fight despite their lack of training and experience in warfare.
Several Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) officials, led by Administrator Usec. Ernesto G. Carolina, were among those present to commemorate one of the most strategic victories of World War II.
The veterans and their comrades’ widows were the focus of the commemoration, which started with a flag raising ceremony led by World War II veterans. The veterans offered wreaths to their fallen brothers. They were assisted by city officials such as City Mayor Hon. Edwin L. Olivares, City Vice Mayor Enrico T. Golez, representatives Hon. Eric L. Olivarez, and Hon. Gustavo S. Tambunting who also gave messages honoring the veterans.
In a touching twist, the floral offering that the widows were to lead, was instead initiated by United States Air Force Captain Rommel Villanueva, a representative of the US Embassy. The bond forged between the US troops, Filipino troops, and the residents of Parañaque was made more evident by this honorable gesture.
Secretary of National Defense Hon. Voltaire T. Gazmin was the invited guest of honor. He was represented by the Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans and Retiree Affairs, VAdm. Jesus C. Millan, AFP (Ret).
“The Liberation of Parañaque eventually led to the liberation of the whole Filipino Nation,” said VAdmn. Milan. "Today, we are remembering the legacy of our forefathers, whose city now stands as one of the most developed in the Philippines.”
Soon after, Manila Electric Company President Oscar S. Reyes and Jerry F. Adevoso of the Philippine Broadcasting Service were awarded a plaque and a certificate, respectively, in appreciation of their contribution to the event. This was followed by a beautiful a cappella singing and graceful folk dancing by the Parañaque National High School which delighted the crowd.
Finally, a civic military parade, led by the veterans, was conducted along the streets of Parañaque.