PALO, Leyte -- The local government unit here is eyeing the completion of the major rehabilitation of the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park before the 75th Leyte Landing commemoration on October 20.
The memorial, located in Candahug village in Palo town and facing the Leyte Gulf, was badly damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
Improvement activities in the park started last December and include landscaping, construction of a view deck, amphitheater, and visitor center across the park, and improvement of the lights and sound system.
Mayor Remedios Petilla said Friday the latest improvement and beautification of the MacArthur Park was done 25 years ago during the 50th year celebration.
“We are excited and determined to finish the improvement before we celebrate another milestone of the Leyte Landing commemoration,” Petilla said.
One of the structures in the memorial park that will undergo rehabilitation is the Eternal Flame built for the 50th Leyte Landing commemoration. The Eternal Flame features solidarity messages of leaders of countries involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf during World War 2 led by the United States against Japanese Forces.
“We will put it back as much as possible. Remember this is a shrine, a national shrine and recognized by the international community, which is why we need to rehabilitate the park,” Petilla said.
Additional improvement of the park includes the construction of a two-story building for coconut juice vendors located a few meters away from MacArthur Park.
Pathways will be constructed along the tree park for people to enjoy walking under its shades.
A small bridge will also connect the Leyte Oriental Hotel and McArthur Park to give easy access to hotel guests who wanted to visit the memorial park.
The MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park is situated on a 6.78-hectare land in Candahug village in Palo town that features seven double-life-size bronze statues on a man-made pool depicting the arrival of McArthur in Leyte province.
The bronze statue, inaugurated during the 37th anniversary of the Leyte Landing Commemoration in 1981, was created by famous sculptor Anastacio Tanchauco Caedo. His other works include the Benigno Aquino Monument and the Bonifacio Monument in Pugad Lawin, Balintawak.
MacArthur Park was declared a national park on July 12, 1977, through Letter of Instructions No. 572 signed by then president Ferdinand Marcos.
The site is the same spot where Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived after the largest naval battle of World War 2 and Japan's eventual defeat and surrender after almost three years. (PNA)