THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday restored the famous McArthur Landing Memorial in Barangay Carandang, Palo, Leyte which was damaged by the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino supervised a contingent of MMDA workers in erecting the downed statue of Carlos P. Romulo, which had been left unattended 20 days after Yolanda struck the town of Palo of 70,000 people.
“This historical monument that depicts our history should not be neglected. By restoring this memorial, we hope to inspire the Leyte people to rise again. Like General McArthur declared, we shall return,” he said.
MMDA workers used welding torch to re-erect Romulo’s statue then reinforced it with concrete.
The downed statue was one of the six bronze figures comprising the Leyte Landing Memorial led by US Army General Douglas McArthur.
The Leyte Landing Memorial depicts McArthur’s “I Shall Return” landing during World War II in Red Beach, Palo on October 20, 1944, which started the downfall of the occupying Japanese forces in the Philippines.
McArthur’s famed march to the sandy beaches of Palo touched off the bitter “Battle of Leyte” between the US military and the Japanese Imperial forces from October 20 to December 31, 1944.
Tolentino said the MMDA is humbled to be the first one to restore the damaged memorial, which is part of the agency’s repair and rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-damaged areas in Eastern Visayas.
The MMDA sent its first rescue and relief units to Tacloban City and Samar on November 10, just two days after Yolanda’s onslaught.
To date, the MMDA has a total of 304 men in the devastated provinces doing round-the-clock relief works.
The agency also sent vital equipment and relief goods and closely worked with local and international agencies in rehabilitating the typhoon-damaged localities.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO