The valor of Filipinos and Americans who fought the Japanese occupation during the Second World War take center stage in an online forum on February 19 to be hosted by the American Corner Cagayan de Oro, as part of the US Embassy Manila’s commemoration of the Philippines liberation during World War II.

Dubbed “Remembering the American and Filipino Heroism during World War II in Northern Mindanao”, the forum will feature topics focusing on the heroism of Filipino and American soldiers and guerrillas fighting the Japanese occupation.

The program kicks off at exactly 9 am, February 19, 2021, Friday, via zoom, with “The Presence of American Forces in World War II in Manticao, Misamis Oriental” by Mr. Carl Cesar C. Rebuta, USG Grantee, which will discuss the presence and cooperation of the American and Filipino guerillas in Manticao, Misamis Oriental during the second world war. 

Mr. Rebuta is an environmental and human rights campaigner, Indigenous Peoples Rights facilitator, Disaster Risk Reduction practitioner, and conflict transformation initiator. He has a Diploma on Business and Human Rights, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney , Australia, 2008, a Masters in Development Management (MDM) degree from the  Asian Institute of Management (AIM) 2016, and a Certificate from School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is also the Co-author Barefoot Lawyering in the Philippines, and Climate Change in the eyes of the Children.

This will be followed immediately by “The Iligan Death March: What We Should Know About It” by Prof. Roderico Y. Dumaug, Jr., USG SUSI 2017, program director of the American Corner Cagayan de Oro, and concurrently moderator of the Ateneo Diplomatic Corps (ADC).

He is also a faculty member of the Department of History, International Studies and Political Science of Xavier University, a graduate of Juris Doctor at MSU College of Law, AB Political Science at MSU-IIT, and an alumni of the Study of the US Institutes at the University of Massachusetts in 2017 through the U.S. State Department.

“My topic will dwell on the availability of primary sources on the existence of the Iligan March which is the 2nd death march in the Philippines, and what really happened on that fateful July 4, 1942 independence mockery parade made by the Japanese against American and Filipino POWs,” Mr. Dumaug said.

Rounding out the program is “Not too long ago, A Day of Freedom, the Liberation of Cagayan de Misamis,” by Rene Michael D. Baños, former executive director of the Cagayan de Oro World War II and Veterans Studies Committee, and former commissioner of the City Historical and Cultural Commission.

“Very few people know Cagayan de Misamis was liberated from the Japanese occupation forces by Filipino guerrillas led by American officers, most of who were former officers of the United States Army Forces Far East (USAFFE), with the support of the US Navy and close air support from the US Marines and US Army Air Force,” Mr. Baños said.

The forum will also be graced by Ms. Pauline Anderson, assistant cultural affairs officer, US Embassy in the Philippines; Mr. Rule P. Redondo, Xavier Ateneo Director of Libraries, and Ms. Estrella C. Cabudoy, 2010 International Leadership Program Alumni. Mr. Kristian Ian Sulmayor of Xavier Ateneo History Department will moderate the forum.

This event is sponsored by the US Embassy Manila, American Spaces Philippines, American Corner Cagayan de Oro, Xavier University, Department of History, International Studies and Political Science of Xavier University, Ateneo Diplomatic Corps, the City Government of Iligan and the Cagayan de Oro Historical and Cultural Commission (Hiscom).

The US Embassy Manila, American Corner, and American Spaces of the US State Department will also be viewing the forum.

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