Latest Stories

Death March landmark in Pampanga saved


LAST STOP A marker of the 1942 Death March installed at the San Fernando train station in Pampanga recalls how this restored landmark became the last stop for Filipino and American soldiers forced by their Japanese captors to walk 104 kilometers during World War II. E.I. REYMOND T. OREJAS/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Philippines—An old train station in this Pampanga capital that became a landmark for freedom both during the time of national hero Jose Rizal and during World War II has been saved from neglect and oblivion, thanks to eight years of hard work by local heritage advocates and tourism officials.

On Tuesday morning, city officials and leaders of the private sector will walk the last 2 kilometers of the Death March from Heroes Hall at the City Hall annex to the train station, city tourism officer Ma. Lourdes Pangilinan-Gonzales said.

She added that the first of a series of life-size monuments by commissioned sculptor Juan Sajid Imao that was meant to highlight the historical significance of the train station will also be unveiled Tuesday.

Last stop

The train station was part of the Philippine National Railways’ Manila-Dagupan route until after World War II, and became the last stop of some 80,000 Filipino and American soldiers during the infamous Death March 71 years ago.

The station, also known as Kilometer 102, is remembered as well for serving as a recruitment stop for Rizal who visited San Fernando and Bacolor town on June 27, 1892.

To protect the historic but neglected site in Sitio (settlement) PNR in Barangay (village) Sto. Niño here, the National Historical Institute listed it as a historical landmark in 2006 to honor Filipino veterans of World War II.

As early as 2005, the San Fernando Heritage Foundation began raising funds for the restoration of the station. In 2010 and 2011, the Philippine Tourism Authority (now known as the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, or Tieza), funded the restoration project, and turned over its maintenance to the city government the following year.

Records of the city government showed that in February 1892, Governor General Eulogio Despujol inaugurated the train station as part of the Manila-Dagupan line of the old PNR.

La Liga Filipina recruitment

A day after arriving from Hong Kong in June 1892, Rizal visited Pampanga and met his Kapampangan friends and masonic brothers in the station, apparently to recruit members for the La Liga Filipina.

To members of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, however, the station recalled the 65-mile (104-km) walk forced on them by the Japanese military after the fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942, which they described as “one of the earliest and most severe mistreatment of prisoners of war.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Death March , heritage , historical landmarks , History , Pampanga , Philippines , train station

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Smooth Edsa ride up in 2 years, but…
  • Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  • Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Name names, Lacson told
  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Marketplace