“I challenge our young millennials to look back of what we are as Bauangeños.” These were the words of Mayor Eulogio Clarence Martin P. de Guzman III as he led the Bauangeños in celebrating the town’s 74th liberation day anniversary on March 19, 2019 at the town plaza.
He said that this is the day where Bauangeños can answer the question of who we really are. He told them that they should not forget where they came from.
“We see the monument of our dear veterans who remind us of the living and the dead, who fought to liberate our town from the bondage and clutches of the oppressors. This is the real picture of who we are. Our parents, brothers, sisters and the ordinary folks joined the war and all of them said “We remained to fight for our freedom,” he added.
He asked the Sangguniang Bayan through an ordinance to give the veterans free burial at the new cemetery located at Brgy. Santiago, Bauang, La Union.
He also explained that senior citizens in Bauang reaching the age of 90 on his birthday will receive Php5, 000 yearly effective January 1, 2019.
General Arturo C. Lomibao, Former Chief of Philippine National Police was the guest of honor and speaker.
“We all clap for ourselves. It is very gratifying to note that after 74 years, the people of Bauang are still celebrating and remembering our great veterans, the great sons and daughters of Bauang who spilled their blood to liberate Bauang,” he said.
“We remember our heroes who dedicated their lives to liberate Bauang and the rest of La Union. The list of these fallen heroes of Bauang is long yet we honor them today,” he explained.
Lomibao, who is running for a congressional seat for the party list “One Philippines”, explained that under the government of President Duterte, there are ways and means to improve the lives of living veterans who fought during World War II. From Php5, 000, they are given Php20, 000 monthly. Other projects of PVAO are hospitalization and medical programs for them. Philippine Veterans Hospital in Manila provides for this purpose and in La Union, these veterans can avail the services at ITRMC, LORMA and Bethany hospitals.
The “Libingan ng mga Bayani” will soon be made as a world class tourist destination, a testament of the liberation of the Philippines. This will evoke a sense of pride and it reminds us that we owe our freedom from our great heroes especially our veterans,” he said.
“One Philippines” Party List under Lomibao said, that the Philippines needs national unity for a better Philippines. His platform is to build a nation, to protect the people and to secure them, to build a moral recovery program that will bring back the forgotten values taught by our great parents and to protect the Philippines from internal and external threats.
Grace de Villa Labarinto, Officer-in-Charge, PVAO Field Service Extension Office, PVAO Region 1 was present in the celebration.
“These veterans who joined the USAFFE NL of the 11th, 14th, 15th, 66th and 121st Infantry Regiment were ordinary citizens like us. They were sons and daughters of the ordinary who left the comforts of their home. They did not hesitate to join. They fought until the end and they remained, redeeming their victory not only for Bauang, for La Union but for the entire Ilocandia. They fought to their last breath, to instill freedom and dignity. We honor them today,” she said.
Vet. Ceferino de Villa, Post President, Caba Municipal Veterans Post & District President, 2nd District of La Union, was another guest.
“There were many great sons of Bauang in the past who suffered from the oppressors to liberate the town, Bauang. Today, we see Bauang as a very progressive town through our committed government leaders. Its development is so fast. Now, it is a tourist destination because of its grape industry,” he said.
“As veterans, we should think of how we can help our nation and not just wait for what our country can give us,” he added.
He inspired the audience by saying, “All soldiers don’t die, they just fade away.”
Sangguniang Bayan Members of Bauang Alexander Romeo Obong, Warlito Daus, Jr., Gabriel Sotto, Danilo Abuan, George Picardal, Edgardo Balagot and ABC President Noel Gallardo, veterans of the 2nd Congressional District, Bauang LGU department heads, employees, barangay captains, principals and students of Bauang schools participated in the celebration.
The occasion started with a concelebrated Eucharistic celebration at Sts. Peter and Paul Church with Fr. Raymund Ronald Chan, Fr. Jaime Andres, and Fr. Samuel Samson as celebrants.
Meanwhile, the event continues in the evening at Bauang Farmers’ Civic Center. A cultural show to be participated in by Bauang Baggak Band,Bauang Baggak Choir, Sacred Heart School, Baccuit National High School, Don Eulogio de Guzman Memorial National High School will be featured.
The highlight of the celebration is the concert of Ka Freddie “Anak” Aguilar, who is running for a senatorial seat. He will be giving his message together with Gen. Tom Lantion, a Party List congressional aspirant.