Originally posted on February 3, 2015, this post has been rewritten to add some new stuff and make the piece more “timeless” and less constrained from being a 70th anniversary post as it was originally written.
February has been a traditionally known worldwide as the “love month,” as well as being as being historic month for the Philippines, especially in recent years due to the events of 1986 which culminated in what we now know as the first People Power Revolution. But not many people of another historic event that happened years back in 1945, one of the darkest and most devastating chapters in the history of Manila and of the country as a whole: the Battle of Manila in 1945 in which American and Japanese forces fought for about a month in a bloody, devastating battle in a bid to liberate Manila from Japanese control.
This was the singular event that would change Manila forever as the city once known as the “Pearl of the Orient” became one of the most devastated cities during World War II. Hundreds of thousands of lives were lost and many of the city’s important infrastructure and landmarks were heavily damaged, if not totally destroyed, many of which would not be rebuilt ever again.