'More meaningful Talisay landing'
Three flags of the Philippines, Japan and the United States were raised in yesterday's commemoration of the 1945 landing of American forces in the beach of Talisay City where a skirmish was reenacted.
"This is the most colorful and meaningful event I've witnessed," said 89-year-old retired commander Nestor Palconit, who watched the annual rites for the fourth time.
Last year, the veteran lamented a less-than-hospitable hosting where veterans were made to sit with no shade from the heat and were largely ignored in favor of officials who made speeches.
The 68th anniversary of the landing was commemorated in a program dubbed "Takas sa Talisay, Gawasan sa Sugbu."
Thirty veterans were among about 1,500 persons who attended the program, which started with a Mass followed by a parade.
The wreath laying and offering of flowers were done by US Consul John Domingo, envoy Yasu Hasul of Japan, Rep. Eduardo Gullas of Cebu's 1st district and Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez.
In his speech, Gullas called on the audience to stand and applaud the Filipino veterans, whom he credited for helping the Americans during the World War II.
Acting Cebu Gov. Agnes Magpale also lauded the veterans for leading the fight for the country's independence. She said every Filipino can become a hero by doing good deeds for the country.
The Talisay City government spent P1.5 million for the repair of the landing marker and the expenses for the program.
Naval Forces of Central Visayas (Navforcen) officer Guy Edsil Divina said they inserted a war scene in the reenactment of the American landing in Talisay City to give the presentation more color.
Divina said based on veterans' accounts, the Americans only landed in Larawan Beach, Poblacion, Talisay City but engaged in war in barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
Students of Talisay City College portrayed roles of Filipino soldiers and Japanese forces. The military's Central Command (Centcom) acted as U.S troops.
A U.S warship was seen anchored off Talisay City but Divina said the ship only secured supplies and had nothing to do with the celebration.
In the afternoon, a championship round of beach volleyball was held in the shore of Larawan beach.