17 March 2017, Iloilo Provincial Capitol Grounds—The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office led by Administrator Usec. Ernesto G. Carolina joined the City Government of Iloilo in celebrating the 13th Iloilo Veterans Memorial Day, with the theme “Honoring Our Unsung Heroes.”
PVAO Administrator Carolina commended the Local Government of Iloilo for commemorating the Veterans Memorial Day. He said, "it is our solemn duty, each and everyone of us, to remember” the sacrifices of our veterans. He acknowledged the successful World War II resistance movements in Iloilo City, where Ilonggos joined the 6th Military District feared by the Japanese, especially Gen. Tanaka.
Event host Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, PhD calls the gathering a “homage to those who sacrificed... [to] extol and remember their bravery… and pass the remembrance to our children and our grandchildren in the hope that they, themselves, will emulate the bravery and gallantry of our veterans, if and when the necessity of defending the country arises.”
The Guest of Honor, a PVAO Educational Benefit scholar and West Visayas State University President Dr. Luis Sorolla, Jr. was represented by Ms. Maria Lydia Guzman-Callano. In his message for the veterans, Dr. Sorolla wishes that the gathering be a “gesture of appreciation and putting value to your sacrifices and gallantry… Your heroism will never be forgotten.”
VFP Region VI official Rogelio Moran, in response, expressed VFP’s gratitude for the respects they continue to give our veterans.
The City Government of Iloilo conferred awards to: Veteran Claro Daulo, Sr.; Veteran Clarita Hocsing (represented); Veteran Salustiano Jimenea, Sr.; Veteran Natividad Lumaque (represented); and Veteran Ricardo Hechanova (represented). Other activities included the book launch of "Encounter on a Hillside” and exhibits of artists Patrick Anthony Caballa and Lewis Alfaras witnessed by veteran-guests and key PVAO personnel.