NV’s 11 living heroes; no capes, all hearts
The nation is always thankful to its heroes and they are lauded every year during such celebrations as “Araw ng Kagitingan” and related activities. Even local government units have also taken initiatives to honor them. All these are intended to serve as inspiration and worthy of emulation among our youth.
Anent this, Honorable Board Member Patricio F. Dumlao, Jr. sponsored resolutions numbered 4334 to 4344, series of 2022 all dated October 10, 2022, recognizing the remaining living heroes and World War II veterans of our province for their gallantry, valor, and bravery defending the Philippines form the Japanese invaders. Same resolutions were co-sponsored by Honorable Board Member Primo Percival J. Marcos. Their fathers were World War II veterans as well.
Executive Order No. 203, Series of 1987 mandates the whole nation to observe the 9th day of April every year as Araw ng Kagitingan. As such, local executives conduct simple and meaningful Araw ng Kagitingan replication ceremonies in various cities and provinces. These are done not only to instill a sense of national pride among our people, but more importantly, to inspire the Filipino youth to be our nation’s future defenders and leaders who will emulate the values of our veterans, whose kagitingan and deep love for our nation founded the country’s democracy.
As published in the official Gazette, “The Filipino men who served in World War II are now in the twilight of their lives: their average age is often 85 and often they surpass this mark. This means that when the war broke out, a good number of them were merely teenagers – barely men – who were forced by circumstance to come of age and carry the brunt of a nation under attack. Among those who lived, most recall years when lives were put on hold. Days of being carefree students were traded in for field missions where often only two grades would determine their fate: dead or alive. If they lived, they were forced to accept uncertainty, living day-to-day on no assurance that their needs would be met, however hard they aspired to live”.
PANTALEON LANTION ANTONIO
Born on July 27, 1924
Address: La Torre South, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
Private Antonio joined the resistance when he enlisted in the guerillas on April 18, 1945 and served as a rifleman with the 14th Infantry of the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines – Northern Luzon (USAFIP-NL).
His unit was responsible for the attacks on Japanese camps and cutting off communication and supplies lines along Highway 5 from Echague to Batu Ferry.
They were engaged in a battle against the enemies in Panupdupan, Kiangan, Ifugao, Mt. Province which lasted from the 21st to the 28th of April 1945.
He was honorably discharged on November 20, 1945 during the demobilization of guerilla forces in the country.
PIO ESTILONG BARNACHEA
Born on September 15, 1922
Address: Balete, Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya
Private Barnachea joined the resistance on March 26, 1945 and rendered wartime military service under the “Kilo” Company, 14th Infantry, united States Armed forced in the Philippines-North Luzon (USAFIP-NL).
His unit participated in the mopping operations during the closing years of the war. They helped secure their areas of operation and eliminated the remaining Japanese forces in Nueva Vizcaya.
He was honorably discharged from the military service in 1945 during the demobilization period of guerilla units in the Philippines.
PEDRO SANTOS DE LEON
Born on February 25, 1925
Address: Magsaysay, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
Private De Leon joined the resistance and rendered wartime military service under the 2nd battalion , 1st squadron of the Hukbalahap.
His unit was engaged in various operations against the Japanese occupation forces in the provinces of Luzon. He rendered combat support during the ambushes laid down for Japanese forces as well as sabotage operations to disrupt the enemy’s means of communication.
His team investigated all sailboats coming in and plying out of the place for possible espionage work and the smuggling out of army supplies. They also provided men for courier service in Panay.
He was honorably discharged from the military service during the demobilization period of guerilla units in the Philippines.
IGNACIO ABRIN GALINDEZ
Born on December 21, 1926
Address: Poblacion, Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya
Private Galindez joined the resistance movement on September 10, 1944, and was assigned to “K”Company, 3rd Batallion, 14th Infantry United States Armed Forces in the Philippines-North Luzon (USAFIP-NL) as an S2 agent informer in the intelligence unit.
His duties included information gathering, observing enemy movements, installation, and strengths among others. He was captured and imprisoned by the Japanese on February 2, 1945 at Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya where he was interrogated and badly tortured. When the allied forces bombed the entire area of Aritao town on February 4, 1945, he was able to escape and fled to the Nueva Vizcaya forest.
His selfless sacrifices for the love of the country will serve as guiding inspiration to the Filipinos, to uphold the value of our race, and to protect and fight for our nation’s freedom whatever may be the cost.
He was honorably discharged from military service on June 3, 1945.
ILDEFONSO PERALTA GALLARDO
Born on August 2, 1923
Address: Careb, Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya
Private Gallardo joined the resistance on June 15, 1942 and was assigned to “Golf” Company, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry, United States Armed Forces in the Philippines-North Luzon (USAFIP-NL) as rifleman.
He was engaged in multiple combat operations successfully eliminating small groups of Japanese patrols through their ambushes.
He also participated in the liberation of Mountain Province and Nueva Vizcaya and helped in the elimination of Japanese strugglers during the mopping-up operations.
His contributions during the World War II have made a lasting and indelible mark in Philippine military history.
He was honorably discharged from military service on November 14, 1945 during the demobilization period of guerilla units in the Philippines.
VICENTE MALAYU LIBAN
Born on September 6, 1927
Address: Roxas, Solano, Nueva Vizcaya
Private Liban joined the resistance on May 20, 1945 and was assigned under the “K” company, Buenavista Regiment Infantry.
Their unit was given various assignments to disrupt Japanese activities in the area.
He actively participated in their unit’s acquisition of vital intelligence on enemy activities and timely relayed to them to their headquarters, including enemy movements, disposition, and installation, stations and garrisons maintained.
They stole firearms from nearby Japanese establishments both civilian and military whenever the opportunity arose.
They also sabotaged the livestock that the Japanese were using for food by setting the cattle loose and burning the Japanese palay stocks.
He was reverted to inactive status on October 31, 1945 during the demobilization period of guerilla units in the Philippines.
ALBERT GUTIERREZ RUIZO
Born on January 14, 1926
Address: Bonfal West, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
Private Ruizo joined the resistance and was assigned under the 14th Infantry, United States Armed Forces in the Philippines-North Luzon (USAFIP-NL).
Their unit was involved in various combat operations in Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya to harass the Japanese occupation forces and their Filipino collaborations. They sabotaged enemy installations and killed enemy troops.
The 14th Infantry gave a premium to the security of the civilian populace as they expose themselves to danger as they selfishly supported the freedom fighters.
He was reverted to inactive status during the demobilization period of guerilla units in the Philippines.
MAXIMO BUEZA SANTIAGO
Born on September 12, 1925
Address: Bascaran, Solano, Nueva Vizcaya
Private First Class Santiago joined the resistance on January 10, 1934 and was assigned to the “K” Company, 1st Battalion as rifleman
He helped in manning checkpoints , participated in mopping-up operations, and provided security and support in Nueva Vizcaya and neighboring provinces for the rest of the war.
His unit was attached to the Army of the United States – Philippine Scouts “O” Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry regiment. They were among the troops sent to war-torn areas to help maintain peace and order, as well as the rehabilitation process.
He was honorably discharged on February 8, 1946.
FORTUNATO VERGARA SERQUIÑA
Born on April 17, 1923
Address: Malasin, Dupax del Norte, Nueva Vizcaya
Private First Class Serquiña joined the fight for freedom of our country as rifleman on September 21, 1942 under the Squadron 168, Luzon Guerilla Army Forces (LGAF) under the command of Captain F. Nobres .
His unit which was a part of the US Army’s 32nd Division acted as perimeter guards, defending their seized positions from enemy troopers and patrol units. They looked for enemy squads and prepared for an ambush at Villaverde. Following the Villaverde campaign, his unit was transferred to the US Army’s 37th division and mopped up the remaining enemy resistances from Nueva Vizcaya to Cagayan.
He was honorably discharged on January 24, 1946 during the demobilization of guerilla forces in the country.
JUAN MARCELINO VADIL
Born on March 6, 1925
Address: Mabasa Dupax del Norte, Nueva Vizcaya
Private Vadil joined the resistance on December 3, 1944 and was assigned with “A” Company, 31st Infantry Provisional Battalion.
Their unit was tasked to cut enemy communication lines and demolish bridges to isolate the enemy installations, allowing the liberation forces to advance faster pace in Nueva Vizcaya.
His contributions during the Second World War have made a lasting and indelible mark in the Philippine Military History.
He was reverted to inactive status during the demobilization period of guerilla units in the Philippines.
JOSEPH PANGANIBAN ZURAEK
Born on February 8, 1926
Address: Poblacion South, Solano, Nueva Vizcaya
Private First Class Zuraek joined the fight for the freedom of our country on December 31, 1944 under the 1st Nueva Vizcaya Battalion, 34th Guerilla Division as an intelligence operative.
He assisted his unit in locating enemy positions, installations, and activities in Bayombong and its environs. He provided food and medical supplies to the guerillas who were seeking refuge in his family’s homestead.
His unit was attached to the 3rd Battalion, Buenavista Regiment Bulacan Military Area (BMA) and assisted in the liberation of some towns in Bulacan.
His contributions during the war had been part of glorious chapter in the Philippine history and will be forever etched in it. He will serve as an inspiration to the youth of this generation, to love and serve the country, and to fight for peace and freedom at all cost.
He was honorably discharged on October 31, 1945 after the demobilization of guerilla units in the country.