FLOATERS FOR WORLD PEACE. Loon Mayor Lloyd Peter M. Lopez, MD and Vice Mayor Edwin R. Ladeza (top photo) simultaneously sit adrift into the placid Moalong River, site of the most successful ambush of Boholano guerillas against superior-armed enemy soldiers during the Second World War, their floaters bedecked with flowers and candles as a testimony for world peace and in gentle memory of all those who died that fateful day of Sept. 27, 1942. In lower photo, Loon Liga ng mga Barangay president Cesar R. Pedrigal sets free a single dove in a symbolical gesture for world peace after the holy mass celebrated on the battle site. Also in photo are from left: former provincial attorney Inocentes Lopez, First District Board Member Cesar Tomas M. Lopez, MD, Loon municipal councilor Ricky U. Masamayor, Vice Mayor Edwin R. Ladeza, Mayor Lloyd M. Lopez, MD, municipal councilors Josephat B. Palma, Titus Clark U. Miranda, Priscilla C. Branzuela and First District Board Member Abeleon Damalerio.
Loon commemorates 68thAnniversary of Moalong Battle
By Adam L. Saligumba
The municipality of Loon commemorated Monday, September 27, 2010, the 68th Anniversary of the Battle of Moalong, simultaneous with the observance of the 10th Annual Municipal Day of Prayer for World Peace, which are mandated in municipal ordinance number 02-004, series of 2002.
Dynamic Loon Mayor Lloyd Peter M. Lopez, M.D. and Vice Mayor Edwin R. Ladeza led Sangguniang Bayan members, municipal department heads and employees, WWII veterans, and the widows of veterans who had passed away in the commemorative rites which seek to honor the heroism of the Boholano soldiers and guerillas who fought and died valiantly during the Second World War.
The commemoration also coincided with the global observance of World Tourism Day.
Also in attendance were special guests: former Loon mayor now Bohol First District Board Member Cesar Tomas M. Lopez, MD, Board Member Abeleon Damalerio, former provincial attorney Inocentes Lopez, municipal councilors Ricky U. Masamayor, Titus Clark U. Miranda, Josephat B. Palma, Priscilla C. Branzuela, Loon LnB president Cesar R. Pedrigal, Loon PNP Chief P/SInsp. Nilo P. Branzuela, Loon Fire Marshall FInsp. Gordon Joel A. Indino, Dep-Ed Loon North and Loon South District supervising principals and elementary school teachers, principals and instructors of the seven public and private high schools in the municipality, high school students and the residents of the adjoining barangays of Basac and Canhangdon Occidental.
The Sandingan National High School Drum and Lyre Corps provided martial and festive music to the occasion.
Earlier in the afternoon, a holy mass was celebrated in the battle site with Rev. Fr. Floro G. Hora, parish priest of the San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila Parish, as celebrant.
In his message, Loon Mayor Lloyd Peter M. Lopez, MD thanked everyone in the audience for their attendance and participation in the annual observance that commemorates a significant event in the province’s history when poorly-armed guerillas fought a vastly superior force for love of home and country. The mayor revealed that the lot where the battle site is located has already been purchased by the municipal government and, in the future will be transformed into a theme and memorial park of peace in memory of all those who fought and died in that battle.
A men and women swimming contest in the early twilight provided fun and a festive atmosphere to the occasion. Sitio Moalong residents tried to outswim each other in the 200- meter distance race. Proving himself as the fastest swimmer in the men category was Cresencio Palomares who bagged the first prize of P1,000.00 cash. Coming in second was Alipio Sedero who received the cash prize of P800.00, while third was Jeffrey Gallo with P500.00.
In the women category, Ritchel Sedero proved to be the fastest swimmer in the 75-meter distance and took home the P600.00 cash prize. Second was Editha Crieta who got P400.00 cash while third was Norma Pios with P200.00 cash.
In the floaters contest, schools category; the floater of Loon South National High School was adjudged as the best and most attractive, thereby bagging the P600.00 cash prize. Second best was the floater of the Loon South Central Elementary School which received the P400.00 cash prize, while third was the floater of Saint Teresa Academy which got P200.00 cash.
In the barangay category, the best floater was made by barangay Basac which picked up the P600.00 cash prize; the second prize of P400.00 went to Canhangdon Occidental, while the third best floater and cash prize of P200.00 went to the Moalong Fisherfolks Association.
Also present during the occasion was the widow of one of the heroes in the Battle of Moalong, the late Col. Vicente K. Nunag, Jr. of Antequera, who had been the guest of honor in past commemorations.
Bohol’s war annals chronicle that rain-swept, gloomy day of Sept. 27, 1942 in Sitio Moalong, at the old bridge that connected the barangays of Basac and Canhangdon Occidental, as the province’s first and most successful ambush of the poorly-equipped Boholano guerillas against the heavily-armed Japanese force.
The Bohol guerillas (numbering around 80 men, many of them armed only with bolos) commanded by the legendary Capt. Francisco Salazar, with Capt. Graciano Espuenova, then Lt. Vicente K. Nunag, Jr., Lt. Brigido Serrano, Lt. Woodrow Sales and Sgt. Sotero Arbilon successfully repulsed two busloads of about 70 Japanese soldiers from Tagbilaran City who were on their way to burn the towns of Calape, Tubigon and Clarin.
That 9-hour battle, which begun at 7:00 in the morning and lasted at four in the afternoon left about 60 of the enemy dead and 8 wounded who escaped and straggled back to the poblacion. The Bohol force lost Capt. Espuenova, Lt. Serrano and Pvt. Antonio Iyas. Wounded were Lt. Sales and six enlisted men.
These, and many other events relating to the war in Bohol, are all contained in the book “Bohol Guerillas in Action” by WWII veteran, former Loon Mayor and Judge Pio B. Ferandos.
The commemoration was capped by a field demonstration of the Sandingan National High School Drum, Bugle and Lyre Corps and a majestic fireworks display courtesy of the local government unit.