ORMOC CITY – On December 16, this city, through the Ormoc Festival and Cultural Foundation, in cooperation with the LGU headed by Mayor Richard I. Gomez, commemorated, for the first time ever, the Battle of Ormoc Bay, which is already in its 75th year now.
The Battle of Ormoc Bay that took place from November 11 to December 21, 1944, was a series of air, sea, and land battles between the Imperial Japanese Army and the United States, and is said to be the “deadliest” aerial and naval battle ever fought in the Second World War.
The 802nd Infantry Brigade headed by Commander Brig. Gen. Lope C. Dagoy, the Philippine National Police-Ormoc City Police Office headed by City Director Armel S. Gongona, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Philippine Navy, and all the other national agencies, were one with the city government in the celebration.
Mayor Gomez began his speech by sharing a story of the Battle of Ormoc Bay written by Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Cutler of the United States Navy. “If history were taught in the form of stories, then it would never be forgotten. What’s important here is the narrative. So mga kaigsoonan, always remember, everything that we do, everything that happens to us should be documented. We should be aware that documentation is essential. That way, 20 to 30 years from now, people will remember the things that we have done and the things that we have changed,” said Mayor Gomez after sharing the story.
“After 75 years, it is only now that we remember the things that had happened right here in our very own Ormoc Bay… So much had happened here 75 years ago. So please always remember that history is very important to us, especially when it involves our city. An event like this is very important. It’s important to understand what had happened in the past,” Mayor Gomez continued.
He also encouraged all the Ormocanons to visit the City Museum (old city hall) frequently, which, by the way, was built in 1947, right after the Second World War.
Towards the end of his speech, he expressed his warm thanks to the men in uniform who are responsible for keeping the peace and order in the city.
As per Brig. Gen. Dagoy, the commemoration is just worthy, so as to remember the endeavors of the men and women who fought in the battle of Ormoc Bay, adding, “They need to be honored, and their sacrifices are recognized through this commemoration.”
“In this generation, we can be modern day heroes if we focus our energies to do battle against the threatening forces that hinder our march towards peace, progress, and development. I hope our youth now, will rise up and face the challenges, and protect the gains we have achieved for the good of our country,” commented Brig. General Dagoy.
The commemoration rites highlighted wreath offerings at the Ormoc Bay sea wall, Veterans Park, and at the Philippine-Japanese Peace Memorial, followed by a 21-gun salute.
Also a highlight of the commemoration was the unveiling and opening to the public of the World War II Section in the City Museum. By Dailyn Cabarse