The first Mindanao Guerrillas Exhibit was held at the Exhibit Room of the Exhibit Room of the Elsa P. Pelaez Memorial Library on March 15-17, 2017 as part of the week-long festivities commemorating the 75th Jubilee of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s arrival in Cagayan on March 13, 1942 (Friday) aboard PT-41 of MTB Ron 3 commanded by Lt. John Bulkeley.
The modest exhibit featured books about MacArthur and the war in the Pacific donated for the MacArthur Memorial Foundation Society by the late “Guerrilla Daughter” Virginia Hansen Holmes and other books and memorabilia loaned by the sons and daughters of our Mindanao Guerrillas.
Although restrictions imposed by the global pandemic precluded the holding of a similar exhibit on the 80th anniversary of MacArthur’s arrival in Cagayan, we have organized a much bigger exhibit for the 81st anniversary at the same venue but with authentic relics from World War II shared by our generous patrons and benefactors.
These include relics from the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) as the US Army in the Philippines was then known, including the nascent Philippine Army of the Philippine Commonwealth; from the US Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) as the Guerrilla Forces of Filipinos and Americans were then known as, and the Imperial Japanese Army who opposed them.
While this exhibit is being held on March 13 to 17 to commentate Gen. MacArthur’s arrival in Cagayan and his subsequent layover and later departure from Del Monte for Australia for what posterity has recognized as one of the most famous Breakouts of the Second World War, it is primarily being held to honor the memory of our USAFFE and guerrilla soldiers who fought and gained our freedom from the Japanese Occupation, and most especially for their sons and daughter who helped us crowd-fund the PT-41scale model donated to the MacArthur Memorial in Macabalan, and the scale model of the B-17E Flying Fortress which brought Gen. Douglas MacArthur from Del Monte to Australia which is being presented for the first time ever during this occasion. As far as we know, these two historically accurate, museum quality scale models are the only ones of their kind existing anywhere in the world at this time.
The organizers wish to acknowledge the families of Lt. Col. Leonardo V. Hernando, Corp. Jesus B. Ilogon, Sgt. Mauricio Malabed, and one other who prefers to remain anonymous, for their generosity in unselfishly sharing these precious relics of our Greatest Generation for this event.
We likewise wish to thank the Pelaez-Golez Family, Liceo de Cagayan University Administration, Faculty and Staff, and most especially the Elsa P. Pelaez Memorial Library, administration, staff and student assistants, for their invaluable assistance in helping us set up this exhibit.
Not the least, we wish to acknowledge our generous sponsors and benefactors, notably Philippine Veterans Bank, Engr. Elpidio Paras, Mrs. Alice Limena Lacson, Misamis Oriental Governor Peter M. Unabia and his wife Erlinda, Event Partners 4th Infantry Diamond Division, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, the Veterans Federation of the Philippines and its affiliate Sons & Daughters Association, Inc. and our media partners.