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PIA Press Release

Leyte Gulf Landings commemoration starts with Signal Day at Tolosa

Tacloban City (October 17) -- In the annual commemoration of the Leyte Gulf Landings, the first landing that is commemorated was that of Tolosa, Leyte. This is popularly known as the Signal Day at Tolosa on October 18.

This year's Signal Day Commemorative Program will start at 8:00 o'clock in the morning of October 18, Tolosa Mayor Erwin Ocana who is in his first term, informed. The Commemorative Program to highlight the heroic acts of Scouts Valeriano Abello, Antero Junia, Sr. and Vicente Tiston will highlight the day's festivities.

The Provincial Government of Leyte and the Municipal Government of Tolosa jointly sponsor this activity.

The Signal Day Reenactment will follow after the program. Signal Day commemorates the heroic acts of Scouts Valeriano Abello, Antero Junia Sr. and Vicente Tiston.

These young scouts who were at the hilltops of Barangay Telegrafo in Tolosa used the scouts signs to request the incoming Allied Forces on October 18, 1944, not to bomb the shorelines from Abuyog to Tacloban City because thousands of local residents were inhabiting the area.

"Don't bomb the beaches, there are civilians. If possible let me direct the shelling." This was the message sent to the US Force thru semaphore flag signaling which saved the lives of thousand Leytenos that eventually led to the Liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese Imperial Forces.

Thanks to these scouts, thousands of lives have been saved. They even taught the Liberation Forces where the Japanese were situated.

The Battle for Leyte Gulf is considered, with consensus by Naval historians, as the largest and greatest naval battle ever fought; never to be repeated - this battle covers well over 1,000 square miles of ocean.

The landings at Leyte were equal to those at Normandy ? but it is only the landings that helped to give tension for the last and main phase of the battle. (PIA 8) [top]

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