BAGUIO CITY – The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) is currently intensifying the engagement of the youth for them to be informed and educated on the important role of veterans in liberating our country from previous colonizers.
Retired Brig. Gen. Restituto Aguilar, chief shrine curator and chief of the Veterans and Memorial Historical Division of PVAO, said that it was observed that today’s youth have low awareness and understanding on the country’s rich history and the important role of the veterans in fighting for the country’s liberation from foreign colonizers in the early years.
“We want to intensify our efforts to engage the youth in our programs, projects and activities to inculcate to them the chronology of events that resulted to the free which we are now currently reaping its fruits,” Aguilar stressed.
The PVAO official claimed that the intensified engagement of the youth relative to our country’s freedom was upon the directive of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana so that today’s youth will be empowered to continue learning about the country’s rich history and the gallantry and bravery of veterans in fighting for liberation and freedom from foreign colonizers, particularly the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese rulers.
Some 500 selected senior high school students from the different schools in the city were tapped by the PVAO to participate in a film showing spearheaded by the PVAO as part of its initiatives to engage today’s youth for them to understand the sacrifices made by the veterans just to free the country from the invasion done by colonizers.
The film showing at the Saint Vincent gymnasium conducted by the PVAO was part of the activities lined up by the government agency and the local government to celebrate Victory Day in the city last September 3, 2018.
On September 3, 1945, Gen. Tomoyoki Yamashita of the Japanese Imperial Army formally signed his deed of surrender right inside the Ambassador’s Residence inside Camp John Hay in simple and fitting ceremonies presided by Lt. Gen. Jonathan Weinright of the Filipino-American forces that eventually ended the war not only in the Philippines but also in the Pacific.
Yamashita was earlier captured in Kiangan, Ifugao by joint Filipino and American forces who were able to track him down in his hideout on September 2, 1945 before he was brought to Baguio City for the formal signing of his deed of surrender.
Aguilar claimed that PVAO offices in the different parts of the country had been given the directive to sustain the conduct of widespread information and education campaign on the supreme sacrifices, gallantry ad bravery of the country’s veterans in fighting for the country’s liberation from foreign colonizers to inculcate to them the value of patriotism and nationalism which is reportedly deteriorating in this information and communication age.
Aguilar agreed with the repeated arguments of mayor Mauricio G. Domogan that the country should also be celebrating Victory Day every September 3 because it was on the said date that the war not only in the country but also in the Pacific came to an end.
By Dexter A. See