By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
April 9, 2013

LOS ANGELES — As the Philippines celebrated its annual Araw ng Kagitingan, to commemorate the greatness of Filipino fighters during World War II, the Filipino community looked back at their heroism by watching the award winning documentary ‘Forgotten Soldiers.’ Narrarated by Fil-Am Hollywood star Lou Diamond Phillips, the film tackles the role of Philippine scouts during the war.

“My respect for them grows ten times more because of knowing of these things that they went through,” said Gil Mislang of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society which participated in the documentary filming.

While the community supported the film, there were no actual Filipino World War Two veterans present in the audience.

Advocates say, the veterans don’t want to relive their painful experiences.

“Most of the veterans lived through the experience a long time ago and they don’t talk about their struggles. It’s painful for them to see this movie at a time when they’re still fighting for the equity they deserve,” said Susan Dilkes of the Filipino American Service Group Inc.

Among the present day battles they’re waging now is the fight for a comprehensive immigration reform. Veterans who waited over 20 years for their children to join them in the United States, are fighting for the Veterans Family Reunification Act. The provision is expected to be included in the immigration overhaul.

The immigration reform bill is expected to be introduced as early as this week. A similar Veterans Reunification provision was also included in the 2007 reform bill which failed to pass.

Contact Steve Angeles at for more information.

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