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Monday, May 27, 2024
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Cagayan de Oro marks 78th Anniversary of Liberation Day

By Mike Baños

On May 12, 1945, Filipino Guerrillas from the 10th Military District of the United States Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) liberated Cagayan, Misamis from the Imperial Japanese Army.

The 78th Anniversary of this almost forgotten event will be commemorated with a month-long exhibit at the XU Museo de Oro and a series of lectures at the XU Little Theatre and Liceo de Cagayan University AV3 on the theme “The Road to Victory”.

The XU Museo de Oro exhibit will focus on four key battles fought in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental which ultimately resulted in the Liberation of Cagayan on May 12, 1945.

Exhibit guests will be treated to authentic relics, photographs and artifacts from World War II used by the both civilians and combatants including the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), Imperial Japanese Army (IJA), Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), and the guerrillas who were organized as the Unites States Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) under the direct command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur from his headquarters in Australia.

To help people appreciate the exhibit even better, a series of lectures on these four key events will be held at the XU AVR1-Ground floor, Old Library Bldg. on the following times and dates: Guerrilla Raid on Talisayan, Misamis Oriental (13 June 2023, 9AM); The Tagoloan-Bugo Operations (15 May 2023, 9AM); The Majacalar Bay Landing & the Liberation of Mindanao (14 June 2023, 9AM) and The Liberation of Cagayan, Misamis by Filipino Guerrillas (16 May 2023, 9AM).

These will be followed by four more presentations at the Liceo de Cagayan University AV3 on the following dates and times: To Feed An Army: The World War II Sage of Pastor P. Ilogon, Sr. (How the guerrillas financed the 109th Infantry Regiment) 19 June 2023, 9AM ; The Talakag Operation: (18 June 1944 – 29 June 1944) Guerrillas vs. Japanese, Korean & Bureau of Constabulary troops in Talakag, Bukidnon, 20 June 2023, 9AM ; How Cinchona Trees from Bukidnon helped the Allied Victory in the Pacific during World War II, 20 June 2023, 9AM; and Life During Wartime (22 June 2023, 9AM).

These lectures will feature a hybrid format to enable the participation of resource speakers and viewers to join online including those from outside Cagayan de Oro and abroad.

For instance, Mr Peter Parsons will join our Q&A portion from Baguio City, while Dr Ricardo Jose will join from his office at UP Diliman.

These lectures have been promoted to domestic and international audiences through a network of similarly minded organizations such as the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Veterans Federation of the Philippines, Philippines World War II Memorial Foundation, MacArthur Memorial from our sister city of Norfolk, Va., the CDO Committee of the Norfolk Sister City Association, and Kagay-anon associations all over the USA, Canada and the Middle East.

Filipino guerrillas who liberated Cagayan de Oro from the Japanese Imperial Army were honored in a simple ceremony held on its 77th Anniversary at the Activity Center of Ayala Centrio Mall on May 12, 2020. It marked the first time ever that the occasion was celebrated in Cagayan de Oro since its inception as a city on June 15, 1950.

To perpetuate the memory of this momentous event in the city’s history, Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus B. Rodriguez has filed House Bill 8677 (An Act Declaring May 12 of every year as a special non-working public holiday in Cagayan de Oro City to be known as Cagayan de Oro Liberation Day) to include Liberation Day in the regular annual calendar of the city’s festivities.

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