Whenever I’m out of town to tour places, I always have this happy outlook wherever I go. When I learned about the history of Plaza Cuartel in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, I just felt sad.
Before Plaza Cuartel became a leisure park in 1997, it was a military fort in World War II. Plaza Cuartel has a colorful (or shall I say, dark) history because of the events that happened in World War II.
Right behind the entrance of the plaza, lies the place where 143 American soldiers were burned alive by Japanese soldiers :'(
As we moved along, we saw the Memorial Marker that was made for the 143 American Prisoners of War.
The marker has the following words engraved:
“A grim reminder of the realities of war as a price for freedom and the burning to death of 143 American Prisoners of War by their Japanese imperial army Kempie-Tai captors inside tunnel on this site on the fateful evening of December 15, 1944.”
Under the description were the names of 11 survivors who were able to survive the tragedy by swimming their way out from the sea to Iwahig.
In addition to the memorial marker, there was the Palawan Massacre Monument. The monument was created by Don Schloat, a World War II veteran and was one of the survivors in Plaza Cuartel.
Strolling and enjoying the sceneries of the plaza are things that people do daily in Plaza Cuartel. Plaza Cartel is open everyday from 8am to 6pm. Admission is free.
I will forever remember Plaza Cuartel as a place where several American POW sacrificed their lives as part of the historical World War II. The realities of war indeed.
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines