About the timeline map project
The interactive web project World War II in the Philippines seeks to provide the structure by which we unify the people’s stories, in search of a history we can truly call our own. With this, we can finally see the intersections of the past and of what is before is now. We only make familiar what should have been familiar to us in the first place. Click here to read more | Download KML file
How to Use
Radio broadcast message delivered
by 3rd Lieutenant Norman Ildefonso on April 9, 1942
Radio broadcast message delivered by 3rd Lieutenant Norman Ildefonso on April 9, 1942
Bataan has fallen. The Philippine-American troops on this war-ravaged and bloodstained peninsula have laid down their arms. With heads bloody but unbowed, they have yielded to the superior force and numbers of the enemy. We, too, shall rise. After we have paid the full price of our redemption, we shall return to show the scars of sacrifices that all may touch and believe. When the trumpets sound the hour we shall roll aside the stone before the tomb and the tyrant guards shall scatter in confusion… Read more
Speech of President Aquino
on Araw ng Kagitingan, April 9, 2012
Delivered during the 70th anniversary of the Fall of Bataan at the Dambana ng Kagitingan (Shrine of Valor), Mt. Samat, Bataan, on April 9, 2012: “Sa araw pong ito, ginugunita natin ang simula ng Death March: Matapos ang apat na buwan ng paninindigan, nahulog ang Bataan sa mga kamay ng kalaban. Iyan po ang ating ginugunita, ngunit hindi iyan ang ating ipinagdiriwang. Ipinagdiriwang natin ang tibay ng loob ng Pilipinong humarap sa kalaban taglay ang tapang, karangalan, at pagmamahal sa bayan bilang pinakamatalas na sandata.” Read more
December 1941: The Japanese signal the beginning of the Pacific War by bombing Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and then Davao, Baguio, and Clark Field in the Philippines. In light of this, Manila was declared an open city by General MacArthur; this did not stop the Japanese Air Force. Nielson and Nichols Airfields, Sangley Point, and naval bases in Cavite were likewise not spared. Wenceslao Q. Vinzons organized a citizens’ army and, two weeks later, Corregidor became the seat of the Commonwealth government. The second Commonwealth Presidential Inauguration was held just outside the Malinta Tunnel in Corregidor.
January 1942: General Masaharu Homma announces the end of the American occupation and declares martial law. The Japanese Military Administration is established by the Japanese High Command. Later, this administration sets up the Philippine Executive Committee led by Jorge Vargas. The honor of independence is granted by the Japanese congress, on the condition that the country participates in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
February 1942: General MacArthur is urged by Emilio Aguinaldo to surrender to the Japanese over a radio interview conducted by the Japanese-owned radio station, KZRH.
March 1942: Luis Taruc organizes the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon (HUKBALAHAP) in a forest clearing in Central Luzon.
April 1942: A great earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 strikes Mindoro. A day after, General Masaharu Homma unleashes the full fury of an all-out Japanese offensive in Bataan, causing it to fall. The surrendered Filipino-American troops were forced to march from Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga in what would later be known as the Bataan Death March. As estimated number of 10,000 people were said to have been killed during the march.
May 1942: Jose Abad Santos, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, is executed by the Japanese after he refuses to collaborate with them. Meanwhile, General Jonathan Wainwright and his 2,000 men surrender Corregidor to the Japanese forces. Beginning this month and for the next three years, Washington D.C. becomes the official capital of the Philippines.
June 1942: President Manuel L. Quezon addresses the United States House of Representatives on the Pacific War situation.
July 1942: The Filipino prisoners of war in Bataan and Corregidor are released from Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac.
February 1943: 300,000 people are commanded by the Japanese to attend a rally “in gratitude” for the Japanese occupation and its purported ends.
May 1943: Prime Minister Hideki Tojo arrives in Manila to get a firsthand view of the Philippine conditions and dangle the prospect of independence for the country.
January 1944: President Laurel creates the Bigasan Bayan (BIBA) under the Food Administration. It is fully Filipino-run and intended to cater to the needs of our countrymen reeling from the effects of food shortages and rising prices.
May 1944: President Laurel reorganizes the KALIBAPI into the people’s party; it is the only political party in the Philippines during the period of the Japanese occupation.
August 1944: President Quezon dies in Saranac Lake, New York. Vice President Osmeña assumes the presidency of the Commonwealth government in exile.
September 1944: American planes bomb Japanese military installations in Manila and other parts of the Philippines. President Laurel declares a “state of war” between the Philippines, the United States, and Great Britain after being pressured into doing so by the Japanese.
October 1944: This month marks the inauguration of the Second Republic. Tacloban, Leyte is also made temporary capital of the Philippines. General MacArthur’s famous lines: “I shall return” attain fruition as he and President Osmeña land in Leyte. The four day naval battle of Leyte Gulf begins and ends in October, destroying much of Japan’s remaining sea power.
November 1944: The US Carrier Task Force launches five attacks on Luzon.
December 1944: President Laurel moves to Baguio together with his cabinet. Meanwhile, the Kalipunang Makabayan ng mga Pilipino (MAKAPILI), a semi-military group of Filipinos supporting the Japanese cause, is formally organized.
January 1945: American forces land in Lingayen, Pangasinan. This first major landing in Luzon begins the liberation of the island.
February 1945: Americans and allied civilians are liberated from the University of Santo Tomas, which was then a prisoner-of-war camp. Intramuros residents were ordered by the Japanese to vacate their houses and were confined to the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, and Colegio de Santa Rosa. General MacArthur turns over Malacañang to President Osmeña, marking the liberation of Filipinos from the Japanese.
August 1945: President Laurel formally dissolves the Second Republic established during the Japanese occupation. This takes place in Sugamo Prison, Tokyo. He then broadcasts from Japan that the Japanese-sponsored republic has ceased to exist.
September 1945: The Pacific War comes to a close as Japan formally surrenders. Victory of the Philippines against the Japanese falls on the 3rd of September as General Yamashita signs the official document of surrender of all Japanese forces. A people’s court is also established to try collaboration cases against the Filipinos who assisted the Japanese.