Baguio to celebrate Victory Day on September 3

The local government and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) will be celebrating the 73rd Victory Day in the city through simple but meaningful activities that were lined up for the said event.

City Hall officials and employees will be holding the regular Monday flag-raising ceremony at the Veterans Park along Harrison Road where they will be joined by top PVAO officials, the surviving veterans and the sons and daughter of veterans in celebration of the victory of the Filipino and American forces over the tyranic Japanese Imperial Army.

Retired Brig. Gen. Restituto M. Aguilar, chief shrine curator and chief of the Veterans and Memorial Historical Division of PVAO, and Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan will be delivering the Victory Day message after the awarding of resolutions of commendation, awarding of outstanding employees of the semester and the opening of the activities lined up for the month-long celebration of the 118th anniversary of the Philippine Civil service.

Before the regular flag-raising rites, city officials and veterans will be participating in a wreath laying ceremony in the Veterans Park.

On September 3, 1945, Gen. Tomoyoki Yamashita of the Japanese Imperial Army formally signed his surrender documents before ranking commanders of the allied forces at the Ambassador’s Residence inside Camp John hay (CJH) after he was captured by Filipino and American forces in Kalinga, Ifugao on September 2, 1945.

It can be recalled that World War Ii started and ended in Baguio City because Japanese warplanes boomed the gates of Camp John hay on December 8, 1942 and it was also in the city where Gem. Yamashita signed his formal surrender documents on September 3, 1945.

Domogan claimed that it is high time that will enact a law that will declare every September 3 as National Victory Day for the Filipinos to be able to celebrate the victory that was achieved during the war that freed the country from the tyranic Japanese occupation.

If it will rain on the said date, the lined up events in the Veterans Park will be transferred to the PFVR gymnasium.

Domogan asserted that it is fitting to hold the celebration of Victory Day simultaneous with the regular flag-raising rites in the Veterans Park to give appropriate recognition and honor to the surviving veterans and the sons and daughter of veterans for their gallantry and bravery in fighting for the liberation of the country from the Japanese occupation.

When he was serving as the city’s representative to the House of Representatives, Domogan filed a bill declaring every September 3 as National Victory Day in the city but it was not passed into law that caused former and incumbent lawmakers to refile the bill with the hope that it will be acted upon for the present and future generations to be educated on the country’s rich history.

He appealed to residents and visitors alike to join the local government and the PVAO in the celebration of Victory Day so that they will be fully aware that Baguio is part of the World War II because it is in the city that the war started and ended. - Dexter A. See