Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Three landings, two different eras, one place

An American soldier rescued an injured Filipino girl
during the Liberation of the Philippines in 1945.
Leyte has been home to three historical landings in two different eras. American general Douglas MacArthur, one of the only five military generals in US military history to be promoted to five-star ranks, with his combined American and Australian liberation forces during World War II, has stormed the beaches of Palo, Leyte and liberated the island and later on the entire Philippines from every Japanese imperial army who occupied the land and took control for a period of a little over three years.


The largest naval battle in history was fought in the Philippines from October 23 to 26, 1944. It was called the Battle of Leyte Gulf which was fought in four major naval engagements almost simultaneously: The Battle off Samar, Battle of Surigao Strait, Battle of Sibuyan Sea, and the Battle of Cape Engano. Four months prior to that, the largest aircraft carrier battle in history and was also considered by many military historians to be the largest single naval battle of World War II was fought in the Philippine Sea.

Super typhoon Yolanda (international name is Haiyan) made landfall in Guiuan, a small town in the southern part of eastern Samar on the early morning of Friday, November 8, 2013. Super typhoon Yolanda, packing winds in excess of 300 kilometers per hour was the world’s strongest storm for the year 2013. It also breaks record as the strongest storm to make landfall in recorded history. Super typhoon Yolanda was in the level of a category 5 storm.

The United States has sent the USS George Washington aircraft carrier to the storm-ravaged Leyte and neighboring provinces as a show of support. USS George Washington has some 5000 sailors on board including over 80 supersonic aircrafts. Other warships of the US Navy would also accompany the aircraft carrier to the Philippines.  

Three landings, two different eras, in one same place: History repeats itself in devastation, struggle, and cooperation. Yolanda’s landing in Leyte five days ago was this era’s version of Japanese occupation of the Philippines. But the liberation forces are coming to bring hope, support, and freedom. Almost two thousand miles northwest across the South China Sea, a bully dragon slowly building her Empire of Greed should have considered this message seriously. Some of our own corrupt crocodiles occupying the high seats of the government must as well contemplate.

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