The Philippine D-Day: Tagaytay Ridge Landing
In Episode 2 (Day of Days) of the World War II miniseries Band of Brothers, the main characters were thrust into the biggest invasion by the Allied Forces in the European Theater of Operations. Like other combatants of the Allied Forces, the Easy Company was sent off to Normandy in an ambitious attempt to liberate Europe from and to defeat the Axis Powers. Aircrafts and parachutes darkened the French sky on June 6, 1944, the Day of Deliverance. Some plunged into their deaths but majority landed safely amidst the torrents of bombs and bullets trained on them to accomplish their ultimate mission.
Imagine the atmosphere and scene that was happening on a fateful day in the ridge of Tagaytay, then a very young city 55 kilometers south of Manila. Under the command of Lt. Gen. Robert Eichelberger, the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division, 8th Army of the US Armed Forces, executed the first parachute landing in the Philippines on February 3, 1945.
Amidst heavy artillery fired by the enemy troops, the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment succeeded in dropping supplies and personnel in the process securing the city. The result was critical in the Liberation of Manila and other fronts of the Battle of Luzon. In 1951, the Philippine Historical Committee put up a marker as a tribute to this day of deliverance that helped in the liberation of the Philippines from the clutches of the Japanese Imperial Army.
So when you go to Tagaytay, I strongly suggest to stop by at the rotunda and pay homage to the heroic action by the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment during the Second World War. It is not just an ordinary rotunda; it is replete with bravery, patriotism and love for freedom. We owe a lot to WWII personnel the fruits of freedom and independence that we enjoy now.