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Bataan Day commemoration at Mt. Samat, Apr 9, 2011 (Read 11816 times)
victor
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Bataan Day commemoration at Mt. Samat, Apr 9, 2011
Apr 12th, 2011, 1:12pm
 
This past weekend in observance of the Bataan Day/Day of Valor, our friends from the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society, Fort McKinley Chapter participated in the ceremony conducted at Mt. Samat, Bataan. Among the PSHS members were friends from Buhay na Kasaysayan and WW2 Military Vehicle Club from Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

The ceremony was led by President Benigno Aquino.

Congratulations to our friends in the Philippines for a successful event. Special thanks to Albert Labrador for the excellent photos.

Below are the pictures and some of their commentaries from the event.


Going up the winding road to the top of Mt. Samat.







"As the festivities went on we looked for a place where we could set up our formation and found ourselves at the base of the steps of the mt. samat shrine. Perfect! we were directly opposite the president's honor guard.

It took a little bit of time to get our formation in place with all of us either too rusty to remember our ROTC drill or to young to have ever experienced it. We eventually worked out a formation with the honor guard looking on, amused no doubt."




"To our surprise, the honor guard commanders asked for some souvenir pictures with us:"



"As we waited for the President to arrive, we received some welcome attention from a visiting team of US army men with the Pacific Command. They asked to have their pictures taken with us and a lot of chit chatting went on as one of them was a pinoy who's grandfather served with the Scouts:"





"After the wreath laying, The president made his way to the stage:"



"Visitors from New Mexico:"





"With the men we were there to honor:"





"There was a sentimental moment when one of the veterans (shaking Jnmodeller's hand) approached us and said to jnmodeller, can I touched your patch cause that was my unit during the battle of Bataan.There I realized the preparations and the sleepless night we all had, was worth it."

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Re: Bataan Day commemoration at Mt. Samat, Apr 9, 2011
Reply #1 - Apr 20th, 2011, 7:12pm
 
More pictures and commentaries from the April 9 weekend events. From Capas, Tarlac (Camp O'Donnell)

Thanks to Albert Labrador for the photos and commentaries.
---------------------

After the Capot Hill photo shoot, tired and sleepless, we made our way to Clark, where Guy Hilberio graciously offered the Mabalacat tourist office for us to rest. We grabbed some early dinner chow and a few beers at SM clark then proceeded to the night's billet.

The day wasn't over for me, though. My friend and fellow airsofter, UP vanguard member Joel sol Cruz called me saying he was at clark as well with his father in law, Col. Ishmael Rodrigo who was raring to share stories with us that evening.

Col. Rodrigo was with the Hunters ROTC unit together with my ninong Ross Paz. We spoke over beers about how they had liberated the Los Baņos Camp even before the US airborne arrived and how they never received the proper credit for the mission from the history books.

read here for an account of the rescue as well as Col. Rodrigo's comments:

http://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii-liberating-los-banos-internment-camp.htm/...

We went on talking about the colonel's career, first with the PAAC co-piloting catalinas, and then with the PA, tasked to form the scout rangers and seeing action in Korea and then in the PC during the tumultous days of the 70's and 80's. As we wound down (everyone not having had any decent form of sleep since the night before) the colonel left, we said our thanks and we bedded down for the deepest sleep i'd known in years.

I was awakened by the welcome smell of coffee at 5am the next morning. As i got out of my makeshift bed preparations were in full swing, everyone donning their uniforms and packing their bags. We also got word that jojo, perry and vaz were on their way to capas from manila. We quickly loaded up but couldn't resist a quick visit to the clark museum on the way. The collection was quite impressive especially the japanese uniforms and memorabilia on display.

We arrived in Capas just at the nick of time catching Jojo and the other arrivals from manila as they put on the last details of their uniforms. Vaz brought his wife as did the artist from the Clark Museum (sorry sir, i'll add your name later, I PROMISE) and 2 nurses uniforms were quickly produced.





As usual, we found ourselves at a choice spot near the air force honor guard:







When we found we still had time, last minute drill reviews were carried out by philip and perry, our officers in attendance. Some of us were too young to have experienced ROTC training but they carried on splendidly despite the rushed preparations:





As we waited for the arrival of Secretary of Defense Voltaire Gazmin, Major Sagala PA asked us to temporarily break formation and seek refuge from the already angry sun. Thank you sir!:



As the guests arrived, we finally took our position in the grassy area surrounded by the black marble of the monument:









Our makeshift honor guard looked splendid in the various arrayed uniforms. Many foreign guests elicited surprise as they saw that reenactors were present.

The ceremony began with wreath laying:



After which a lone bell was tolled in memory of those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice:





Many of the old soldiers had tears in their eyes as the solemn ceremony went on.

Finally some PAF hueys flew by and dropped rose petals over the assembled crowd:



The ceremony over, we retired to some welcome shade:

We had the usual souveneir photos:









But Perry, bulwark of our nati
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Re: Bataan Day commemoration at Mt. Samat, Apr 9, 2011
Reply #2 - Apr 20th, 2011, 7:14pm
 
But Perry, bulwark of our national defense elected to stand guard over the proceedings:



until he noticed that he was standing alone:



Peace perry. hehe.

Then came our favorite part. As the crowd dispersed, we made our way to the veterans and exchanged pleasantries and photos with them.

Again, many identified their old unit patches and asked to have photos taken:











Here was the oldest veteran in attendance at over a hundred years old:





Colonel Rodrigo was in attendance with his daughter and Apo:







Rinier posed for some souveneir action shots:



While perry and jojo made their way to the Aeta tribesmen and asked to have photos taken:





FVR was right. Perry should have taken his pants off!







Perry with some state of the art weaponry:



Jojo Dy gives an interview to the navy press:



As the crowd dispersed, we had a quick lunch and then gathered for photos at the battling bastards, scouts, and other memorials of to the side of the parade ground:







The 20 billionth salute of the day:



An army mech infantry officer from the nearby Philippine Light Armor Division at Camp o Donnel exchanged pleasantries and offered his facilities for future photo shoots (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)



I couldn't help but notice that the armor badge sports an FT 17! how's that for nostalgia?!



The event for the day over, we took some soil from the Capas grounds:



and made for home...

of course we did a quick trip to marina mall to buy airsoft stuff. Many thanks to all who attended the bataan weekend. One more photo report to go. The first bataan commemorative airsoft game!



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