Historic Palo, Leyte
Sixty-four years ago today, the Allied Forces’ invasion plans to retake the Philippines from the Japanese Empire was already in motion with Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific Theatre in World War II, setting foot ashore at Palo, Leyte on October 20, 1944, thus fulfilling his promise to return and liberate the nation.
Let me feature then some photos I’ve taken of Palo, Leyte – a sleepy, conservative and historic town 12 kilometers south of Tacloban City.
The Bernard Reed Bridge crossing Bangon River upon entering Palo poblacion.
My mother, Nieves Dolina-Ruiz, was a native of Palo. I remember her regaling us with stories on how, when they were kids, they’d go out and spend the day swimming and diving from what was then a narrow, creaky wooden bridge into the Bangon River in photo above. The river then, I’m sure, wasn’t murky yet.
The ancestral home of the Pedrosa’s with the Palo Public Library at the ground floor, at the junction of the Maharlika National Highway. Turning left leads motorists to Liloan, Southern Leyte and on to Mindanao; turning right leads one to Ormoc City/Biliran Province.
The Palo Metropolitan Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Our Lord founded in 1596 by the Jesuits, served as an evacuation hospital of the Allied Forces and civilian refugees during World War II in 1944.
The MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park at Red Beach, Palo, Leyte.
Update on Feb 29, 2008:
Palo as viewed from the air (photo taken Oct. 29, 2007)
Update on Feb 24, 2010: View my post on Bangon River at https://gerryruiz.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/cruising-down-bangon-river-of-palo/