THE Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) has mounted its award-winning World War 2 traveling exhibit in Leyte, celebrating the Allied Forces’ victory in the Battle of Leyte—a historic event that signalled the downfall of Imperial Japan’s rule in the country.
The bank’s exhibit is titled “The War of Our Fathers.” It opened at Robinsons Mall in Tacloban City on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. The exhibit will end on Friday, Oct. 25.
Vintage World War 2 photos, memorabilia and artifacts are on display at the exhibit, which is open to the public.
PVB’s exhibit is part of the national commemoration of the 75th Leyte Gulf Landings initiated by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
The exhibit is made possible in cooperation with the Leyte Provincial Government, Tacloban City Government, Robinsons Place Tacloban, Go Hotels and Summit Hotels.
The Tacloban leg of the traveling exhibit’s journey marks the beginning of the 75th Liberation Trail.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur—the American general who led the reconquest of the Philippines—landed in Leyte on Oct. 20, 1944. The surrender of Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita happened on Sept. 3, 1945.
Dubbed “The Fight for Our Freedom,” the 75th Liberation Trail will help create awareness about the important role of Filipino war veterans and heroes who are often overshadowed by their American counterparts in liberating the Philippines from tyranny and oppression.
While Gen. MacArthur took center stage at the landings, Filipinos should not downplay the roles of their own forefathers who provided key intelligence data to the Allied Forces. They also displayed brave acts that saved the lives of their countrymen. One such example is 20-year-old Boy Scout Valeriano Abello in Tolosa town, Leyte who aided American troops by directing their offensive attacks right to the Japanese troops through his semaphore skills.
According to historical acconts, amidst artillery shelling, Abello, along with his friends Vicente Tiston and Antero Zunia, navigated to the nearest Allied naval ship. With the use of white cloth diapers, locally known as lampin, Abello relayed these messages: “Don’t bomb beaches. There are civilians. If possible let me direct shelling.”
A new feature of the exhibit is a diorama of the landing in Palo, Leyte with life size replicas of Gen. MacArthur, President Sergio Osmeña Sr., Gen. Carlos P. Romulo, Gen. Richard Sutherland and CBS correspondent William J. Dunn walking to shore from a landing craft with the Leyte Gulf as a backdrop.
PVB officials said that the traveling exhibit serves as a tribute to the bravery, patriotism and determination of Filipino men and women who fought and died for freedom, and for those who survived those dark years of the country’s history.
They also hope to educate the young generation on the lessons of the war, and to uplift the legacy of the World War 2 veterans.