ON SEPTEMBER 1-2, Kiangan town in Ifugao province will commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the fall of Yamashita, which signaled the end of World War II in Southeast Asia. The Ifugaos call it “Victory Day” as the fall of Japanese Imperial Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita also marked the beginning of the country’s liberation after almost five years of Japanese rule. They said it is more appropriate to celebrate victory instead of highlighting the country’s losses to foreign invaders. Hence, it is called Victory Day instead of “Yamashita Surrender.” On September 2, 1945, Yamashita, once dubbed as the “Tiger of Malaya,” surrendered to the United States and Philippine military forces in their camp at the old Kiangan Central School in Nabulaguian Hill where he and his remaining forces were holed up before eventually yielding to the Allied forces after almost a month of bombardment. Members of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Veterans Federation of the Philippines and the Sons and Daughters Association Inc. are attending the two-day event along with dignitaries from the United States and Japan. The provincial government of Ifugao said it is all systems go for this big day that the people of Ifugao have been commemorating since 1991. It was former President Benigno Aquino 3rd who declared September 2 as a special non-working day in Ifugao.