Background Music: Letters from Iwo Jima Theme
"Let this monument be the gravestone for each and every one of the over 100,000 men, women, children and infants killed in Manila during its battle of liberation, February 3 - March 3, 1945. We have not forgotten them, nor shall we ever forget." - Nick Joaquin
I released this image in my personal Facebook page two years ago and I thought I could re-work and re-release it here in DA in time for the 73rd anniversary of the end of the Battle of Manila.
I juxtaposed a B/W image of the Manila Port Area with what it looked like during the war and what it looks like today. I actually live only a few minutes away from where this picture was taken, and I have a good view of the water and ships coming in and out.
The figure of 100,000 civilian deaths is but a conservative estimate. Some sources cite as high as 240,000. American dead sat only at 1,010 while Japanese dead rests at a whopping 16,665, most of which were sailors. 1
What else to say about the photograph? There are Japanese warships floundering in the water. They were already disabled when the photo was taken, if I remember the description correctly. If one is to look from the center going to the lower right, one would see a tiny structure surrounded by a tidy lawn. The structure is non other than the Monument to Jose Rizal, a national hero. At the upper-right is the famous walled-city of Intramuros, built by Spanish colonists. The Japanese defenders used the walls as fortifications and resisted fiercely against oncoming American soldiers and tanks. Flame-throwers were widely used to flush out the Japanese soldiers hiding inside trenches, hidden bunkers, tunnels and any structure that could be garrisoned.