Exhibit highlights Australia’s role in WWII Leyte Gulf landings

MANILA An exhibit showcasing Australia's contribution to the Leyte Gulf landings during World War II opened on Thursday in commemoration of the event's 75th anniversary.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson led the opening of the exhibit "Mateship and Bayanihan: The Story of the Philippines-Australian Ties" at the QCX Museum at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

"This exhibition highlights this legacy and the tradition of cooperation, both in battle and in peacetime. The strong ties forged during World War II (WWII) continue in modern times," Robinson said in his message.

"Bayanihan is all about talking friendship, solidarity, and cooperation. We bring ourselves together in times of adversity to work together for the common good. There are many common traits in our region in common time, and we need to have trusted friends and that is what we find here in the Philippines," he said.

The exhibition traces the improvement of the defense ties between the Philippines and Australia.

"This exhibition is a tremendous opportunity to highlight the cooperation that has existed for so many years between the Australian military and the Philippine military. It guides back right to the second World War to show the history up to the current day, so we bring together difficult situations and right after the most recent, confronting the situation together in Marawi," he added.

Robinson also highlighted the cooperation between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Australian Defense Force on counter-terrorism as he also mentioned the partnership of the two forces during the Marawi siege.

"In a few days, we will mark the second anniversary of the battle of Marawi. This shows once again that the spirit of cooperation ties with two countries that was forged in WWII, is still present today", he said.

Meanwhile, Lorenzana urged people to learn more about Australia's contribution to the liberation of the Philippines during World War II.

"I bet that not many Filipinos know the participation of Australia during World War II. In fact, it took me a while to learn it also. It was only in the US when I found out the involvement I don't know why it's not in the history books but we will correct that and we will inform the people with this beautiful relationship," he said.

The Australian Embassy has partnered with the Department of National Defense (DND), the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and the Quezon City government to put up all memorabilia in an exhibition.

The Leyte Gulf Battle is the largest naval battle in the Pacific and the largest naval battle in recorded history. The battle spanned 100,000 square miles of sea and was fought for three days, on Oct. 23-25, 1944, during the invasion of Leyte by the Allied forces.

The Mateship and Bayanihan exhibit is open to the public for free until October 30, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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