‘What’s so important about MacArthur’s landing?’


Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s statue in Dagupan City is left at the mercy of the elements and vandals. WILLIE LOMIBAO / CONTRIBUTOR

Sixty-eight years after American Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the Allied Forces landed on Jan. 9, 1945, on the shores of the Lingayen Gulf in Pangasinan to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese, the exact spot where he first set foot is still the subject of discussions in the province.

And this time, it’s on Facebook.

The debate began when this correspondent posted an image of a page from the book, “Australia in the War of 1939–1945, Volume II – Royal Australian Navy, 1942–1945 (1st Edition, 1968),” that said MacArthur first went ashore on the beaches of San Fabian town, north of Dagupan City.

The book, the second of two Navy volumes in the Australian official history of the 1939–1945 war, was written by Australian naval historian and journalist George Hermon Gill.

A chapter in Gill’s book described in detail how the Allied Forces had shot down Japanese planes and bombed enemy positions along the shorelines of Lingayen Gulf stretching from San Fernando, La Union in the east to Sual, Pangasinan in the west.

Gill said MacArthur went ashore more than four hours after the first assault waves landed on the beaches of San Fabian and Lingayen about 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 9, 1945.

Gill wrote: “On shore, progress was rapid against little opposition. The only enemy resistance encountered was on the extreme left flank. Just after 2 p.m., General MacArthur, with members of his staff, went on shore at San Fabian beaches, where they remained for three hours or so.”

But local blogger Simon Francis Blaise Vistro posted an e-mail from James W. Zobel of the MacArthur Memorial in Virginia that said MacArthur landed “just south of San Fabian in the 6th Division area of Blue Beach. After a few days he shifted his headquarters from the USS Boise to Dagupan.”

Pangasinan poet Santiago Villafania said “south of San Fabian” could still be within San Fabian town and it could just have been south of the poblacion (town center), which is the reference point.

Virginia Jasmin Pasalo, a commissioner of the Pangasinan Historical and Cultural Commission, said she had known that MacArthur first landed in San Fabian because she read it in documents kept by the Firestone Library in Princeton University, where she studied.

“However, what’s so important about his landing? In one of the documents I read, the Americans did not discriminate whether they killed Filipinos or Japanese, they cleared the whole town of San Fabian of inhabitants, including children,” Pasalo said.

“It was not a battle for Filipinos, it was a battle for territory between Japanese and Americans and we got caught in between. We felt liberated from the oppression inflicted by the Japanese and did not have time to feel and reflect on the American assault that resulted in quick death in towns where perceived Japanese were located. So what if he landed his right foot, left foot and both feet and stayed in San Fabian for three hours? Even Americans do not understand the ‘holiness’ by which we regard his landing as the second coming of Jesus Christ,” she said.

San Fabian resident Natalia Basto-Dalaten said her late grandmother told her that she was hit by a shrapnel before MacArthur landed in San Fabian.

“Her right leg was amputated and one of my uncles died in that incident. My grandmother who lived in Sobol, a coastal village in San Fabian, was right in claiming that MacArthur first landed in San Fabian,” Dalaten said.

In 2011, in what was to be his last public appearance, former Agrarian Reform Minister Conrado Estrella Sr., who also served as Pangasinan governor, said MacArthur had told him during a visit to Lingayen in 1961 that he landed at the back of the provincial capitol, just a few meters away from Urduja House (the official residence of the governor).

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  • AlexanderAmproz

    This article is very disappointing and irritating.

    I will have found more interesting to know how many peoples vanished into thin air while Douglas MacArthur erased any cities with the citizens, specially in Manila partially evacuated by the Japanese’s ?
    Manila gained the reputation to have been the most bombed city during WWII.

    An other controversy is the burning of every library, as books are bad for slaves.
    Should remember, the US were the world most racist country till 1970.

    Arthur MacArthur did wonder in Apao and Nueva Ecija,
    does his son was his Genocide trainee ?

    Father and son got the “Medal of Honor” to silent any controversies,
    on the very same way Arroyo did with Palparan promoted General
    and best soldier of the Year…

    The historian job should be to study the consequences of the past on the daily life,
    not to waste time to know where one of the biggest criminal set foot in the country, 
    but how many he killed on what purposes ?

    Please promote your readers reflections,
    avoiding to drown them with stupidities,
    thank’s in advance.

    PS: May I remember, Manila was South East Asia nicest city, today, thanks of your Hero, it’s not only the Asian worst, but one of the World Worst.

    NB: To try discovering the angel’s sex without to know if they are existing will drive nowhere !

  • WAJ

    A country inflicted by the ravaged of war had a chance to change. That’s depend on the leadership.  

    • AlexanderAmproz

      Philippines became a Hellish place thank’s the US imperialism supported by some unscrupulous Chinoy’s, by far not all of them, short cut should be avoided !

      • WAJ

        I just want to see the Philippines becomes a progressive country that all of its citizens will be proud of.

  • mangtom

    The title of this article alone reveals the negative tone of the writer. Should we instead praise the Japanese Imperial Army for brutalizing the Filipinos? The writer sees only the negative aspect of the liberating US Forces. This is biased reporting.

  • mangtom

    Alexander Amproz: Your grammar is distorted. Please make your sentences simple and comprehensible. Thank you.

    Without the US liberation forces, let me ask you this question? Where would you be today? I know the answer: You would be digging ditches and working in the mountains, as told to us during the occupation of the Imperial Army troops.

    Shame on you. You see only one side of the invasion and liberation of the Philippines.

    • AlexanderAmproz

      Did you are a Chinoy ?

      In 1945 he US killed probably hundreds times more Pilipino’s than the Japanese’s

      In 1900/10, hundreds time more than the Spanish during 350 Years…

      You like it or not, this are facts, even if you belongs to the 1% enjoying it with sweet profits ! 
      This is not a grammar or syntax problem, but human forgotten sufferances and historical major destructions, to up roots the country for slavery purposes.

      Beware making baseless suppositions, more wrong can’t be !

      Sorry for my Carabao English…..

  • mangtom

    You are a joke. Can’t deal with a clown like you.

    • AlexanderAmproz

      Today horrible mess, Ampatuan’s, Palparan, GMA, Marcos, etc.
      Philippines backwardness you seam to enjoy, 
      is directly issued from the US improvement of the Spanish/Clergy system,
      world wide known as the worst colonial system.
      Did you already forgot Cortez in Mexico or Pissarro in Peru ?

      Today Mexico, central America and Spanish South America,
      are still very similar than the Philippines for the same reasons.

      Anyway every colonialism is and was awful, 
      just look around yourself and compare it with any of the 60 major countries I have been and lived in.

      It’s not an English Grammar question, but human history considerations

      To avoid your preemptive judgements, I am not an anti American’s, 
      but don’t like what their Government is doing and did, 
      millions US informed citizen’s will agree with me.

      NB: You should read a references book, 
      may I suggest You Noam Chomsky, an American Jew,
      Professor in The Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) since 1958 !
      He is a Linguist, he has the reputation to be the best expert on the American Empire methods and History of the US national archives.

      Insults wouldn’t change the History course, and drive you clever…

  • mangtom

    Alexander Amproz: Nihonggin des ka?

  • batangpaslit

    ang pagka alam ko, photo ops ang sa Lingayen. ilang take ‘yon.
    liberation of the Philippines re “I Shall Return” address?
    on the contrary Manila was destroyed because of disatrous “liberation” of the old homeland.

    what was the better strategic and tactical move would have been this way:
    bypass Philippines; but, assault Japan directly to cut off the Japanese troops holding fort in Luzon and elsewhere in the country
    if this route was chosen, massive destruction would have been avoided
    it is the grandiose plan of no strategic value of McArthur that obliterated the Capital City of the Philippines.

    • Chihuahua

      The Phl liberation option favored by mcarthur but opposed by Nimitz was eventually approved by Roosevelt in order to satisfy his highness mcarthur’s fantastic ego and penchant for the dramatics. The formosan option would have cut off the Japanese in the Phl and possibly spare the horrendous casualty and destruction that unfolded right through the battle of Manila when much of the city was reduced to rubble and over 200 thousand innocent civilians where murdered and raped by the fanatical Japanese marines holed up in the area. But such is war and the drama of the leaders leading the crusade.

  • mangtom

    Alexander Amproz: Ano ne, baka ero des kan ne. Comfort women suki des ka? 

    • AlexanderAmproz

      History is written by the winner,
      I have no doubt how bad where the Japanese’s.

      10% of the Nazi prisoners died from bad treatments
      30% of the Japanese’s prisoners died from bad treatments

      Philippines suffered and still suffering an enormous brainwash organized by the US.
      What they did in Vietnam was a health walk compared to what they did in the Philippines, twice. 
      In 1900/10 40% of the population was exterminated, every cultural roots erased except the Colonial religious inheritance on enslaving purposes.

      Concerning the Spanish and Japanese’s really awful actions,
      but, if possible and it is, as reality always surpass the fictions. 
      In the Philippines, the American’s went overboard any limits.
      Just have a look on Wikipedia about General Jacob Smith in Leyte,
      to have a first taste of what they did.

      In short the Spanish and Japanese’s atrocities were used to built a giant smoke screen
      to protect their interest.

      The two American “liberations” were holocaustics. 
      Pilipino ignorances are organized and permanently abused, till today.

      Internet should help access to the knowledges, 
      nothing can be expected from the government fake text books expected…

  • bugoybanggers

    Ano ang benifit na nakuha ng Pilipinas ng American Liberation from JAPAN kuno? Para maging LAME DUCK of ASIA, Asia’s weakest!  The BULLY Republic.. the asa na lang! Tama na ang panlalason sa kaisipan ng kabataan, imulat ninyo ang inyong mga mata at magpakatotoo kayo. Ang pagka MALAMYA ng Pilipinas ay dahil din sa LASONG tinirik ng mga KANO sa mga LOLO natin na nagpaLOKO! Bakit kung ayaw ba sa US kumunista na? Tumingin kayo sa kalapit bansa ng Pilipinas.. ang PILIPINAS lang ang halos himurin na ang puwet ng mga KANO at sumasamba sa kanilang kadakilaan! Ika nga mga TUTA na desperadong maging US CITIZEN! Ang Pilipinas ay kayang tumindig sa sarili, kaya nating magpatupad ng sarili nating adhikain sa paraan na ang mga PILIPINO lang ang makikinabang! Philippine Interest po hindi AMERICAN! Pero una dito dapat ibaon o sunugin ang mga PILIPINO na may LASON nananalantay sa dugo na itinirik ng mga KANO, Lason ng pagka TUTA, lason ng pagkaMALAMYA, lason ng KADUWAGAN!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UZMYIL5FXLVIHRZXBQGONZS6U4 Jhune

    Iyong mga matatanda sa amin ang kuwento nila noong mag deliver ng armas sa Apatot wala namang pambobomba bago lumutang ang submarine ng americano sa bayan ng San Esteban. Ang nakaka kilabot na kuwento diyan ay ang nagngangalang SAGAD ang tao daw na ito walang pinipili maging kapwa niya pilipino pinapatay.

  • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

    sabi makartur

    pilipinos fight fight japs
    for u.s. war

    100 mile supply convoy coming
    in my dreams

    by the by
    me fly fly to australia
    atakbo na

    me return later
    to destroy intramuros and manila

    makartur atakbo australia

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