by Mary Estacion, ABS-CBN News
WASHINGTON DC — It’s a photo that’s etched in many Filipinos’ minds.
Less than three years before this historic picture was taken, Gen. Douglas MacArthur was heading up the Allied Forces in the southwest Pacific, including the Philippines.
It would be two and a half years later before he could set foot on Philippine soil again.
On October 20, 1944, MacArthur finally did return and that promise kept has endeared him to Filipinos ever since.
What it is about, retired West Point Professor Sonny Busa said are the Filipinos who continued to fight even as the Americans left the islands.
“Without Colonel Kangleon’s 20,000 guerrillas to sort of prepare the way for MacArthur’s landing, MacArthur would’ve had a much rougher time… I don’t want to diminish MacArthur. He was a great man. But let’s talk about Colonel Kangleon. Let’s talk about Salveron. Let’s talk about Vicente Lim. Those are our heroes too.”
While it was important to the people in the region, it didn’t turn the tide of the war in the Pacific. That would come two days later in the battle of Leyte Gulf, the biggest naval battle in world history.