Editorial: Talisay landing

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Thursday, March 27, 2014


ANOTHER anniversary of the Talisay landing on March 26, 1945 was held last Wednesday.

And like many other commemoration of historic events in Cebu, the activity was noticed only by the place where it happened.

The Talisay landing, referred to by the Talisay City Government as “Takas sa Talisay,” marked the arrival of American forces in Cebu to “liberate” the province from the occupying Japanese imperial forces.

Of course, to describe the American forces as “liberators” is to also downplay the role the Cebu guerrillas played in battling the Japanese forces in Cebu and weakening them. It also glosses over the earlier retreat of the same American forces led by Douglas MacArthur from the Philippines leaving Filipinos at the mercy of the Japanese.

But even if some clarifications need to be made about certain aspects of the Talisay landing, it should not take anything away from the need to remember that part of our history.

As more World War II veterans fade from the scene, the grander should the commemoration be if only to get the attention of the succeeding generations who are clueless about its significance. These generations no longer have memories of life under Japanese rule.

And government should even do more.

It should go beyond the rituals, for example, and give attention to sites and things that remind us of our past, specifically World War II. Cebu has a surfeit of these but sadly government has not exerted efforts to preserve them. Even in Talisay, one can find structures like that machine gun bunker near the landing site that is suffering from neglect.

Japanese forces, in their retreat, have also built tunnels in many areas of the province. In Cebu City, a well-built tunnel that functioned as hospital still exists near the corner of V. Rama Ave. and R. Duterte St. but only few people know of its existence.

Those structures should be preserved and opened for public viewing.

Lastly is the need to do researches and to write more articles and books about that particular period in our history. One of those who poured effort into this was war veteran Col. Manuel F. Segura, and he died several months ago. More stories can be written in the perspective of people who were not yet born at that time.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 28, 2014.

Opinion

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