BALON DAGUPAN NEWS
MACARTHUR’S landing on Blue Beach on January 10, 1945 will not be forgotten.
This was the assurance made by Mayor Belen T. Fernandez on the occasion of the commemoration of the 72nd Landing of General Douglas MacArthur in Bonuan Beach (now Bonuan Tondaligan).
She revealed her plans to restore and renovate the General Douglas MacArthur Park to become one of the tourist destinations in the city during the program attended by surviving World War II veterans and members of the Knights of Columbus of the Msgr. Henry C. Schmitz Assembly CAN 2995.
“We are what we are today because of the great sacrifices of our American friends and our own fellow freedom-loving Filipino war veterans,” she said as she lauded the veterans for risking their lives so that the Filipinos will be free.
Fernandez said part of the P100 million cash surplus of the city last year will be used to finance the renovation of the park in addition to the financial assistance from 4th District Rep. Christopher de Venecia who earlier committed to help improve the park.
“We will build a short road from Tondaligan going to this park and with some sculptures depicting the landing of MacArthur and his troops in our city,” she said.
The mayor added that the statue of the general will be restored to its original state but will be lowered to enable visitors to have a closer look.
Fernandez called on the members of the Knights of Columbus and the surviving veterans for a meeting to map out plans for the renovation of the park.
She said she will seek out official sources in the United States on the landing during her official trip to Washington D.C, as a member of the Philippine study mission on federalism form of government.
The development of the MacArthur Park, she said, will boost the city’s tourism program.
Among the veterans who joined the celebration was Alejandro Balolong, now 90 years old, who said he was an eyewitness to MacArthur’s arrival on board a military jeep on his way to downtown Dagupan. (CIO/JCB).