The City Government of Cagayan de Oro, the Cagayan de Oro World War II & Veterans Studies Committee, Veterans Federation of the Philippines Region X, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, commemorated the 82nd Anniversary of USAFFE Commander General Douglas MacArthur’s arrival at Macabalan Port aboard PT-41 piloted by Lt. John Bulkeley, USN.

The famous Breakout from Corregidor is significant in history because it enabled the highest ranking American officer in Asia to escape capture by the Imperial Japanese Army and lead the counterattack from Australia to recapture the Philippines.

The highlight of this 82nd Anniversary was the official turnover of the repaired scale model of PT-41 (which was damaged after it was left out in the sun last year) by the donors led by the Sons and Daughters of World War II veterans and represented by former Mayor Constantino G. Jaraula and Engr. Elpidio M. Paras.

The PT-41 scale model will serve as a memento of the two significant historical events, General Douglas MacArthur’s breakout from Corregidor and the liberation of Cagayan de Oro.

Mayor Tinnex and Engr Elpie were two of the spark plugs who originally spearheaded the construction of this MacArthur Memorial Marker in 2008 in coordination with Cagayan de Oro City’s Sister City in Norfolk, Virginia and the MacArthur Memorial Museum thereat. It was inaugurated on March 13, 2008 with the late former President Fidel V. Ramos as guest of honor.

The historically accurate 1/24 scale model of PT-41 was crowd-funded by a group of private citizens and institutions led by the Philippine Veterans Bank and the heirs and families of the following patriots:

Col. Leonardo V. Hernando O-2462 (Ret.)

Col. Fidencio M. Laplap O-37530 (Ret.)

Lt. Col. Angeles L. Limena O-2141 (Ret)

Commander Albert Parker Ross 2015690 (Ret) USN

Major Blas Chaves Velez O-37540 (Res)

Maj. Rosauro P. Dongallo, Sr., O-37833(Inact)

Capt. Andres D. Bacal O-37523 (Inact)

Capt. Ramon R. Buhay ASN Unk (Inact)

Capt. Luciano S. Firmacion ASN Unk (Inact)

1st Lt. Jose D. Docdocil O-37829(Inact)

2nd Lt. Baltazar A. Cabrera O-33265 (Inact)

2nd Lt. Rodolfo A. Moreno O-37659 (Inact)

Master Sgt. Mauricio E. Malabed 0-738461(Inact)

Cpl. Jesus B. Ilogon 0-33105 (Inact)

Cpl. Jose G. Gorra 0-136215 (Inact) and,

Pvt. Emiliano Macanas A.0-179700 (Inact).

In memory of the valor and sacrifice of our guerrillas and soldiers this memento was dedicated and presented to the public for the first time in simple rites commemorating the 77th Anniversary of the Liberation of Cagayan de Oro during World War II held May 12, 2022 at the Activity Center of the Ayala Centrio Mall.

Artwork by Philip Molina Garcia.

“Cagayan de Misamis (Cagayan de Oro’s former name) was liberated from the Japanese by all Filipino guerrillas with some help from the American Air Force and US Navy after a four-day battle from May 9-12,” said Col Jose C. Paler (Ret), regional president of the Philippine Veterans Federation Region 10 in his message for the occasion.

He added that the stories of war veterans must be passed on to the next generation as these are stories worth telling.

Miniature & Scale Model Builder Desi Reyes (left) and Albert Labrador, our key partners for our PT-41 scale model build (middle in the background).

The scale model of the PT-41 has been installed in the airconditioned Visitors Lounge of the  MacArthur Memorial at Barangay Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City.

I Shall Return

MacArthur’s successful Breakout to Australia enabled him to reorganize the Allied Forces in the Pacific and eventually keep his promise to the Filipinos of “I Shall Return.”

Meantime, the unsurrendered USAFFE soldiers and guerrillas kept the enemy disrupted with timely raids on their garrisons and intelligence reports that enabled the sinking of enemy ships by Allied submarines which also supplied them with weapons and ammunition to continue the struggle for freedom.

Crowd Funders

The project organizers acknowledged with grateful thanks and appreciation the financial and logistics assistance of the following persons and entities who assisted in the successful conclusion of this 80th anniversary project commemorating the arrival of General Douglas MacArthur at Cagayan after his successful Breakout from Corregidor on May 11-13, 1942:

The Philippine Veterans Bank through First Vice President Miguel Angelo C. Villa-Real; Congressman Rufus B. Rodriguez, 2nd Congressional District of Cagayan de Oro City; Engr. Elpidio M. Paras, UC-1 Corporation; Cagayan de Oro World War II & Veterans Studies Committee Chairman Atty. Constantino G. Jaraula; Philippines World War II Memorial Foundation through Vice President for Research and Education Desiree Ann Cua Benipayo; Promote Normin Foundation Inc. through Mr. Ruben A. Vegafria, the Philippine Ports Authority Port Management Office Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro through Port Manager Engr. Isidro V. Butaslac, Jr., Barangay 21 Chair Gilda O. Go, the Acuña family with former Norfolk Sister City Association- Cagayan de Oro Committee Chair Chief Hospital Corpsman Harry Acuña, US Navy (Ret), Senior Chief Machinist Mate Angelo Acuña, Jr., US  Navy (Ret), and Mr. Angelo Acuña, Sr.

The kin of World War II veterans who help crowd-fund the PT-41 scale model pose for a memento during the first ever commemoration of Cagayan de Oro Liberation held May 12, 2022 at the Activity Center of Centrio Mall. (photo by Cai Panlilio)

And not the least, the heirs and relatives of the veterans honored with this 80th anniversary memento who helped crowd-fund the completion of the scale model and its amenities: Mrs. Alice Limena Lacson and Family, Dolly and Raul Ilogon and Family, Leonardo  Jr., Eduardo and Adrian Fidel Hernando and Family;  Fr Antonio Moreno, SJ; Dr Ramon Moreno and Family; Gerlou, Carlo Magno, Larry and Rosie Docdocil and Family; Joy & Gil Blas Velez & Family; Lito, Olet & Bobby Cabrera and Family; Brig. Gen. Johnny Macanas & Family; Annie Gorra Rago and Family; William, Faye Bacal & Family; Rosauro Dongallo, Jr. & Family; Penny Dharamdas, Debra Fortich, Rowena and Mila Laplap; Dorothy Jean Buhay Pabayo & family, and Franciso B. Sarraga & Family.

This project was initiated and sustained by the  Volunteer Project Committee with  Engr. Elpidio M. Paras, Congressman Rufus  B. RodriguezMr. Miguel Angelo C. Villareal, Miniature and Scale model builder Desi R. Reyes, Photographer, Modeler and Reenactor Albert Labrador, Mr. Albert Parker Ross II (who provided the drawings and advised Mr. Reyes during the entirety of the PT-41 build);, Graphic Artist and Designer Christopher Gomez, Donna C. Ocampo, Artist Nicolas Aca, Jr., and Asst. Prof. Philip Molina Garcia of the University of Utah Asia Campus, Inchon, South Korea, Prof. Ricardo T. Jose, Department of History, University of the Philippines-Diliman, the Philippines foremost scholar on the Second World War and the Asia Pacific, specializing in military and diplomatic history, with focus on the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, without whom this project would not have been made possible.


Following is the full text of Mayor Rolando “Klarex” Uy’s 82nd Anniversary message as read by City Administrator Atty. Roy Hilario Raagas on March 13, 2024

“As we mark today the 82nd Commemoration of the arrival of General Douglas MacArthur in Cagayan de Oro City on March 13, 1942, en route to Australia, it is with great reverence and gratitude that we remember this pivotal moment in our city’s history.

Niining tungura, atong sublion pagpadangat ang atong dakong pasalamat ngadto sa mga bayaning kalalakin-an ug kababayin-an sa Pilipinhon nga mibarog ug nakigbisog ug nakigtambayayong uban sa Armadong Kusog sa Tinipong Bansa sa America, nga gipangulohan ni General MacArthur, alang sa kagawasan sa atong pinalanggang nasud nga Pilipinas, lakip na ang atong gihigugmang Dakbayan sa Cagayan de Oro, gikan sa pagkagapos sa mga puwersa sa Imperyo Hapon niadtong Ika-duhang Gubat sa Kalibutan.

Their courage, sacrifices, and unwavering patriotism during the dark days of the Second World War continue to inspire us.

We owe a debt of gratitude to our war veterans, the Philippine guerrilla forces, and their descendants, some whom are here today with us, who have kept alive the memory of their selfless actions.

Let us never forget the lessons of history and the price of freedom. As we honor the memory of those who fought valiantly for our freedom, let us also commit ourselves to preserving the peace and unity they so dearly fought for.

Niining labing mahinungdanong okasyon, akong ipadangat ang akong kinasingkasing nga pagsaludo ug matinud-anong pagdayeg sa tanang mga sumusunod sa atong mga bayani sa Ikaduhang Gubat sa Kalibutan nga mga kaliwat natong Pilipinhon.

Ang pagkamabinantayon, pakigbisog ug mga sakripisyo sa atong mga katigulangan nahiusa ug nahimong tipik sa kasaysayan sa atong nasud ug dakbayan, ug aduna kitay walay katapusan ug kinutubang utang kabubot-on ngadto kanila.

May their legacy of courage, resilience, and love for our country continue to guide and inspire us as we build a better future for the generations to come.

Mabuhi ang Cagayan de Oro! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!”

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