During Wold War Two some of the fiercest battles in the Pacific were fought in and around the Philippines.
During Wold War Two some of the fiercest battles in the Pacific were fought in and around the Philippines. The Japanese and the Americans were the major protagonists and although the Filipino people suffered death and destruction while the fighting was on, today they have turned the war to their advantage.
SYNOPSIS: Manila was reduced to rubble before the Japanese were defeated. But now they're back as the most affluent tourists in Asia, which is probably why the mood of the times is forgive and forget. It's been said Japan is now doing with the yen what it failed to achieve with weapons.
Except that the Filipinos are eager to welcome the new generation of Japanese invaders. They come to spend their money -- and have even built this "friendship tower". What few people realise, however, is that it is sited on the route of the Bataan death march -- where during World War Two, thousands of Americans and Filipinos died.
This memorial is located close to a big United States Air base, but it also commemorates another airfield that was used by Japanese Kamikaze -- suicide -- pilots for their missions against American ships. The Americans were trying to free the Filipinos from Japanese occupation, but today there is a Kamikazi Society headed by a Filipino. Part of the funds to build this memorial came from the Philippines government.
This is the American memorial cemetery in Manila. Thousands of American and Filipino dead are buried here side by side. Yet another incongruity is that nowadays the people who visit it most are Japanese tourists. They pose for pictures outside the chapel, study maps of World War Two campaigns -- and the lists of those who died fighting against the Japanese.
The island of Corregidor was the scene of fierce fighting during the Japanese invasion -- today it's one of their favourite tourist spots. But the guns are silent -- now the Japanese shoot through 35mm lenses. Near the old American artillery some Japanese have placed memorials to their own dead.