Monday, January 14, 2013

Patag: History and Nature's Bounty

On the foothills of Mt. Silay (also known as Mt. Mandalagan) lies the village of Patag, the site of the Japanese military's last stand in Western Visayas during World War II. In 1945, U.S. military forces landed in Negros Island. The occupying forces of the Nagano Detachment of the Japanese Imperial Army retreated to Silay and proceeded up Mt. Silay to Patag where they were prepared to make a stand.  My father (they had moved from the city to the haciendas to avoid the Japanese) would tell me stories of how they can hear the passing of the trains filled with the fully armed soldiers. To say that it was scary was an understatement. The Japanese were defeated by military forces of the Philippine Commonwealth and soldiers of the U.S. 40th Infantry Division with help from the local guerrilla fighters. To honor all those who died in that battle, the Japanese government built a Friendship Shrine as a memorial. Not to be outdone, there is also a WWII memorial dedicated to the Filipino and American soldiers.