TAGUM CITY—Tagumenyos are urged to remember the Battle of Ising which happened on May 1945 as a “paragon of Filipino patriotism in Davao” during World War II.
Local Historian Armando Calvo Medina, who led the family-initiated historical inquiry of this battle in the late 2000s, expressed admiration for a group of ragtag Filipino guerillas, many of whom ar who fought hard against the superior Japanese soldiers in a valiant move to stall their bid to occupy northern Davao and parts of Agusan.
“We won that war without any single American fighting on the field,” said Medina, who is among the inaugural lecturers of the newly-launched Katigaman Lecture Series of the Tagum City Historical Center on Friday, April 16, 2021.
This heroism led not only to the eventual freeing of Davao from Japanese occupation, but was also instrumental in the liberation of the whole of Mindanao.
Citing primary sources from war veterans themselves, the Medinas linked this battle’s success to the gallantry of the Dabaonons, many of whom are Tagumenyos.
“The guerilla movement prevented more Japanese atrocities that could have happened if they occupied the Free Davao Area,” said Cyrus Medina, one of the lecturers during the lecture series, a regular monthly programming held at the Center’s Tagumpay Theatre.
While Ising is practically a part of Carmen town, the Medinas told that Tagumenyos need to remember the Battle of Ising as the place was formerly under Tagum municipality’s jurisdiction when the battle happened.
“Ising is then a sitio of Tuganay, and Tuganay was once a barrio of Tagum. So by history, we could not deny that the Battle of Ising belongs to this place,” said the Medina patriarch.
Tagum is also host to the first and longest airfield in Mindanao during World War II located in a long strip along Farm 7 in what is now the National Highway in Barangay Magdum.
Adds Armando: “The war cannot sustain without the provision of food. The Lumads of Tagum were the ones providing food for the guerilla members,” citing Tipanud participation in the eight-day battle, aside from helping build the airfield in Magdum.
These historical discoveries on Tagum’s role in the Battle of Ising, publicized for the first time, are among the salient points presented during the Katigaman Lecture Series which is a monthly event organized by the Tagum City Historical and Cultural Office, with talks focusing on heritage, history, culture and the arts.
The inaugural lecture entitled Frontlines also featured the plight of medical frontliners at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic as presented by Dr. Adela Lhuz Caya, the chief resident of the Department of Anesthesiology of the Davao Regional Medical Center. Louie Lapat/CHCO