Battle of Manila exhibit reminds Filipinos not to forget lessons of war
MANILA, Philippines—“We should never forget the lessons of war, the loss of lives and heritage.”
This was the central message of the opening of the commemoration of the 70th year of the Battle of Manila, which kicked off at the Ayala Museum in Makati on Tuesday.
The event dubbed as “Manila, My City at War!” is a month-long series of exhibit and symposiums showing the various losses brought about by war.
“We won the war. It is a very important event in the Philippine history that the Filipinas Heritage Library wants to share to the Filipinos especially to the young generation,” said Faye Johanna Cura, associate manager of the Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL).
Cura said the young generation should learn from the hurts and hardships of our forefathers.
She said the exhibit and mini conference at Ayala Museum would allow the young generation to “dig a little bit from our history and learn from it.”
During the opening ceremony, Col. Emmanuel de Ocampo, a war veteran, shared his experiences during the war and how Filipinos survived against the Japanese forces.
Ocampo said, “Filipinos are not war-like but no one should touch the Filipinos because they will fight until their last blood.”
Director Uro de la Cruz, who compiled photographs of Teodulo Protomartir during the postwar in Manila, showed the crowd what Manila and other places in the Philippines were like before the war.
Inside the museum, artworks, photos, maps, military artifacts and various memorabilia were displayed for public viewing.
“We have original documents and military artifacts,” Cura said, adding that the exhibit would enlighten the historical awareness of the present generation.
The exhibit will run from Feb. 3 to March 3. Resource speakers, including academics, cultural advocates and war veterans will give a talk on life in Manila pre-war, during the war and post-war.
Cura said the generation today had a different perception of war.
“War for us is ISIS and the continuing war in Mindanao. I think we have to know also how our grandfathers fought because we can learn for them,” she said.
“Are all the loss of lives and heritage worth it? What are we willing to risk?” she asked saying all these questions would be answered during the symposiums.
She said it is important that the present generation “put a value to things now” and preserved our heritage as Filipinos.
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