Congratulations To San Luis For Being The Third Town In Pampanga Of The Memory Of The Unsung Heroes Of World War II
The Hukbalahap guerrillas—unsung because only the soldiers who fought the Japanese got the recognition while the Huk guerrillas, who carried on the resistance for three more years after the government fled into exile in Dec. 1941 and the soldiers surrendered in Bataan in April 1942. After the war, these guerrillas were tagged as Communists and as a result were not given pension (until Taruc convinced President Marcos in the 1970s) and no monument was ever erected for them—unlike the fallen soldiers who have the Dambana ng Kagitingan on Mt. Samat, the National Shrine in Capas and several more. The Huk founder, Luis Taruc, was even imprisoned and not allowed to take his seat in Congress that he had won fair and square. HAU CKS produced the Kapampangan film Aria in 2018 precisely to advocate for Huk recognition. In 2022, Brgy. Sta. Teresa 1st. of Lubao put up the very first monument for the local Huks in the village (Photo 2), a project spearheaded by SK chairman Jearbeen Banal Jerusalem, and in early 2023, the Sangguniang Bayan ng Minalin led by Vice Mayor Rondon Mercado and Councilor Enrico Poblete Suba unveiled the town’s own Monument for Unknown Heroes in honor of Silvestre “Kumander Banal” Poblete and his family of WWII guerrillas and the members of the Banal Regiment (Photo 3). On Oct. 14, Saturday, it is the turn of San Luis town to honor its own son, Huk founder Luis Taruc and all the other unnamed Hukbalahap guerrillas of WWII with a monument donated by businessman/cultural advocate Abel Manliclic of San Luis and sculpted by artist Totek Layug (Photo 1, the sculptor with mock-up of the statues). A few years ago, HAU CKS led the unveiling of a national historical marker for Luis Taruc and the re-interment of his remains from Marikina to his birthplace in San Luis). Finally the whole nation has taken notice and is finally giving the Huk guerrillas the people’s respect and gratitude denied them since the war ended in 1945.