Contributed by Leslie R. Jorge, Bataan Peninsula State University-BS Tourism Program Coordinator
A United States Marine Corps headed by Capt. Clayton Holland under the supervision of Maj. Richard Jahelka, USML spent a day to commemorate and trace back the battles fought by their forefathers in the historic grounds of Bataan.
Assisted by the Bataan Peninsula Tour Guides, the group made a pit stop at the Bataan Tourism Center; a one stop shop that showcases the WWII diorama, Bataan products, and houses the provincial tourism office. The short trip to the center served as a window of the province to showcase destinations and activities that can be explored other than that of the day’s itinerary.
The visit to Bataan is part of the Professional Military Education of the Mutual Defense Board and Security and Exchange Board Activities that ends the six-month long program of the 23 enlisted men and 7 officers from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii who took part in the island of Mindanao, Philippines.
The US Marine Corps visited the World War II Museum, Surrender Site, Mt. Samat and 00Km. marker in Bagac to have a greater insight and appreciation on what the Filipino and American soldiers went through during the battles fought in Bataan.
As the group realized the strength, courage, and determination displayed by the Filipino- American soldiers despite the atrocities and ordeal encountered in the infamous death march, they cannot help it but be amazed that the prisoners of war actually managed to survive.
The trip ended on a short tour to the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar for a glimpse of the Philippine setting fighting a different battle during the Spanish era.