March 18 has been declared a non-working special holiday in the islands of Panay and Romblon including the cities of Iloilo and Roxas in line with the commemoration of the 64th anniversary of the liberation of Panay and Romblon.
The celebration will be observed at the Balantang Memorial Cemetery National Shrine in Jaro, Iloilo City. It is the only military cemetery established outside Metro Manila and the venue of the bloodiest battle of the guerilla forces against the Japanese Imperial forces.
The holiday declaration is stipulated in former President Corazon Aquino’s Proclamation No. 430 or “An Act Declaring March 18 of every year as Victory Day in the Islands of Panay and Romblon including the cities of Iloilo and Roxas” issued in 1989.
“March 18, 1945 is of great historical and sentimental significance to both the veterans and the people of Panay and Romblon because it was the day when the Panay Guerilla Forces launched the final assault on the Japanese Imperial Armed Forces,” said part of the proclamation. A Panay Liberation Marker was also built in Tigbauan, Iloilo to memorialize the 1945 event.
by A. Lumaque (PIA)
Liberation of Panay Memorabilia
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