The local government of Cagayan De Oro City on Monday declared March 13-17 every year as “Gen. Douglas MacArthur” week to commemorate the 75th year of MacArthur’s historic arrival on his way to Australia.
The declaration of the “Gen. Douglas MacArthur” week became official during today’s reenactment of MacArthur’s arrival at the Macabalan Port here.
The reenactment depicted local actors acting as MacArthur’s military contingent and his family as he disembarked at the Macabalan port, part of his escape route, before proceeding to Dicklum, in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon to board a plane that took him to Australia.
“It’s always good to see parts of the Philippines [working] to preserve the Filipino-American history. It’s very significant,” said Lieutenant Commander Patrick Panjeti, of the United States Navy and an officer of the Joint United States Military Assistance Group Philippines (JUSMAGPHIL), who represented Sung Kim, the American Ambassador to Philippines.
In 2008, the present MacArthur shrine was built, which was recognized as a historical site by the National Historical Commission and by the American government when then Ambassador to the Philippine Kristie Kenney visited the marker.
The MacArthur shrine in Cagayan De Oro depicted only MacArthur’s Philippine Army Field Marshal’s Cap, making it unique from other sites such as the ones in Norfolk, Viriginia, USA, where he and his wife were buried, and in Inchon, South Korea.
Former Cagayan De Oro City Mayor Constantino Jaraula, then ordered the construction of the MacArthur Shrine in a “marker” in a port area where MacArthur and his party purportedly landed.
Jaraula then said that since the city cannot top the other MacArthur sites in other countries, it might as well make a unique marker that will distinguish it from other shrines. (PNA) LAP/BS/CD/JJJ