by lakwatserong tatay
After our visit to Immaculate Conception Cathedral, before going back to Manny's Guest House, to get some of our remaining stuffs, and also to have our final lunch at Puerto Princesa in Balinsasayaw Restaurant. We had a quick stop and roamed around a historical place called now as Plaza Cuartel.
Plaza Cuartel is near the wharf of Puerto Princesa fronting a good view of the blue ocean. Right nowm this place is part of town plaza complex. It is easy to locate by going to the opposite side of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, the city's main cathedral.
|Entrance of Plaza Cuartel|
The plaza has a bronze marker that contains the name of the evelen prisoners of war (POW) who managed to survive the horrible massacre that happened in this place. The bronze marker serves as the marker of the main underground bunker existed. These bunkers became the cage of the fortunate prisoners.
|Tribute Marker to the POW's|
This tragic event happened when the World War II was about to end. The Plaza Cuartel was a garrison of Spaniards, overtook by the Americans and then by Japanese Regime. When this Japanese soldiers realized that they were losing the war, they put all of their prisoners in the dungeon, poured out drums of petroleum over them and lite them up alive. This story was narrated by the eleven survivors....
This is the words from the marker......
"Sa pool na ito na dating tanggulang militar noong Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig naganap ang pagsunog ng mga sundalong hapon sa humigit kumulang 150 amerikanong bihag ng digma noong 14 Disyembre 1944. Ilang nakaligtas ay lumangoy sa dagat patungong Iwahig. Ang mga labi ng nasawi ay dinala at inilibing sa St. Louis County sa isang panlahatang libingan sa Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Missouri, Estados Unidos, 1952."
"In this place which was a military fort of World War II, the burning of more or less 150 American POW was done by the Japanese soldiers on December 14, 1944. Some managed to survive by swimming their way out from the sea to Iwahig. The remains of those who died were brought and buried in St. Louis County, used to be an overall cemetery in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Missouri, United States, 1952."
After the World War, the Americans took control of the place once again until it was passed to the Constabulary. Later on, it was given to the National Police. In 1997, this place was renovated and became a leisure park of Palaweños.
|The Plaza Cuartel|
This park is open daily from 8am to 6pm, admission is free. Strolling and enjoying the scenery of the plaza, is one of the best reason why locals visit the park daily. This park is a good spot to take a rest and enjoy the beauty of nature by looking out to the clear blue sea of Palawan. Aside from being a nature lover, the park also has a lot of story to tell, that until now some are not revealed. Plaza Cuartel has a colorful history because of the events that happened here during the World War II.
|Lakwatserong Tatay x-plored this place...^_^|
As i start to create this blog for Palawan, specially this Plaza Cuartel, i'm just thinking that i got a photo opps of this park, but as my research gone thru, this place is really one significant place that should be marked on our history, due to the tragic event happened wayback December 14, 1944. To be more specific of this date and sad to say, this was also my birthdate that's why this park would be always on my mind, reminding me that in the same month and day, almost 150 person was burned out alive. It is a sad reality but it is our remains of our past, that we should always be thank of.
Two more to go and my Palawan series would be finished.....^_^.