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The Balantang Memorial Cemetery National Shrine is the only military cemetery established outside Metro Manila. Balantang in Jaro, Iloilo City is the site of the bloodiest battle of Filipino guerillas under the command of General Macario Peralta, Jr., who liberated the island of Panay from the Japanese Imperial Forces from 06 February 1945 to 20 March 1945. The shrine was built in honor and memory of them.

After the surrender of the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) to the Japanese, General Peralta, then a Captain, organized and led the Filipino guerillas in Panay, Romblon, Palawan, Marinduque and portions of Masbate and Mindoro. In this resistance campaign against the Japanese, General Peralta and his troops displayed exemplary competence and gallantry in action to the extent that the U.S. 40th Infantry Division landed unopposed at Tigbuan, several miles south of Iloilo City, where a 23,000-strong guerilla force under General Peralta had secured most of Panay

“An interesting incident occurred during the Panay invasion. The landing was several miles from Iloilo City and I flew up to the city of reconnaissance. After circling the city a few times, I noticed a group of people had come down to the beach, waving at us. They had printed in large letters in the sand, ‘Japs are gone.'”

-Lt Charles Stewart, U.S. 185th Infantry Regiment

The Liberation of Panay, Guimaras, and Romblon is celebrated annually every 18th of March at the Balantang Memorial Cemetery National Shrine. Balantang Memorial Cemetery was declared as a National Shrine on 13 July 1994 by virtue of Proclamation No. 425

 

For further information about the shrine, please contact:

Mr. Loreto S. Ebreo

Office-In-Charge

09276287697

or

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office

Veterans Memorial and Historical Division

Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City

911-4296 / www.pvao.gov.ph