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21/05/2017: DC COMMUNITY REMEMBERS BATAAN AND CORREGIDOR @75

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-032-2017
21 May 2017

(L-R) FilVetRep Executive Secretary Jon Melegrito; FilVetRep Regional Director Sonny Busa; Editor of the book, “Cadet, Soldier, Guerilla Fighter: Remembering Bataan and Corregidor” Pepi Nieva; and US-Philippines Society Executive Director Hank Hendrickson are the featured speakers in the panel discussion and book presentation commemorating the 75th anniversary of the fall of Bataan and Corregidor held at the Philippine Embassy on 18 May 2017.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the fall of Bataan and Corregidor in April and May 1942, the US-Philippines Society in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy organized a panel discussion about the challenges faced by Filipino and American soldiers during World War II, and a presentation of the special edition book, “Cadet, Soldier, Guerilla Fighter: Remembering Bataan and Corregidor” by Antonio Nieva at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy in the evening of 18 May 2017.

Ms. Pepi Nieva, editor of the book and daughter of Antonio Nieva, led the distinguished panel of speakers along with Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetRep) Regional Director Sonny Busa, and US-Philippines Society Executive Director Hank Hendrickson. Also joining the panel is FilVetRep Executive Secretary Jon Melegrito.

“This evening, we remember our heroes, honor their achievements, dedication and courage, and recognize and thank their sacrifices,” said Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Philippine Embassy in his opening remarks.

“These heroes were called to be part of something bigger than themselves. Many of our Filipino soldiers during that time didn’t ask to leave their homes to fight on distant battlefields. Some were ordinary folks who responded in extraordinary ways during that extraordinary time. They answered the call of a nation that yearned for a path to freedom, liberty, and independence,” Minister Chuasoto further stated.

“Cadet, Soldier, Guerilla Fighter: Remembering Bataan and Corregidor” follows a young Filipino soldier, Antonio Nieva, who joined the United States Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE), survived the Bataan Death March, and served as an intelligence officer of a Filipino guerrilla unit during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines.

“While there have been a lot of accounts of the Death March from survivors, most of them were from U.S. soldiers. This book is from the Filipino perspective, it has a different viewpoint in many cases, but it celebrates the collaboration between the Philippines and the United States,” Ms. Pepi Nieva said in presenting the book to the audience.

Together with her sister, Ronie, they read and narrated several excerpts from the book, reliving their father’s experiences as a Filipino soldier during World War II. Guests were also treated to original war drawings and illustrations made by their father, Antonio Nieva.

“Out of the 66,000 soldiers in the Death March, 56,000 are Filipinos, and out of the 10,000 who perished, 9,000 were Filipinos,” Mr. Busa emphasized.

“Through the story of Antonio Nieva, Americans will now understand very clearly how Filipinos persevered on the battlefields and as guerillas in the jungles to stand up for a shared cause,” added Mr. Hendrickson.

Panelists also fielded questions about the book, and the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015 before Mr. Melegrito provided the closing remarks and summary of the discussions. ###

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-47-2017
21 May 2017

Minister Patrick A. Chuasoto, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Philippine Embassy delivers the welcome remarks during the panel discussion and book presentation commemorating the 75th anniversary of the fall of Bataan and Corregidor on 18 May 2017.

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-48-2017
21 May 2017

Ms. Ronie and Pepi Nieva, daughters of the author Antonio Nieva, presents the book, “Cadet, Soldier, Guerilla Fighter: Remembering Bataan and Corregidor” to the audience of the panel discussion.