THE town of Palo in Leyte will light up the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) landmark at the historic MacArthur Landing Memorial Park, tagged as one of the 50 significant sites in the country.

The activity is one of the highlights of the 50th Asean anniversary, in which Philippines is the chairman this year.

Palo Mayor Remedios Petilla said they have been preparing for the event, which will take place two days after the town fiesta celebration.

“The town will celebrate the fiesta on August 6 and this will be extended until August 8 to celebrate Asean. The National Government will provide huge lanterns with 10 logos signifying the 10 Asean member countries,” Petilla said in a press briefing Tuesday, July 25.

She said Asean organizers picked the park, also known as Red Beach, as one of the 50 sites, considering its significance in Philippine history.

On October 20, 1944, General Douglas Mac Arthur, head of the largest US fleet of transport and warships, accompanied by Commonwealth President Sergio Osmeña and General Carlos P. Romulo, landed at Red Beach of Palo to reclaim the Philippines from the Japanese.

Petilla said that in the afternoon of August 8, local government officials will lead a 10-kilometer walk for peace from the town center to the park.

The lighting will be held at 7 p.m. and will be witnessed by local officials from different towns in Eastern Visayas. At least 10 huge lanterns will be released by key officials.

“We expect that this is one of the best Asean celebrations because of community participation,” she added.

As part of the commemoration, there will be fireworks display, fire dances, concert, and cultural performances. Also invited were the top three 2017 Kasadyaan Festival winners: Tribu Buraburon of Burauen, Buyogan Festival of Abuyog, and Sanggutan Festival of Barugo town .

Asean was established on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand. (PNA)