Palawan City Tour : Plaza Cuartel

One of the places we've visited during our Palawan City Tour is the Plaza Cuartel. I've been to forts before but the story of this place really moved me to compassion. 

The marker reads, "This place has been used as a military defence / fort during the World War II. 150 American POWs (prisoners of war) have been burned to death by the the Japanese soldiers during the war on December 14, 1944. Those who've escaped swam at sea to Iwahig. The corpses of the victims have been buried to St. Louis County, Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Missiouri, United States in 1952."

Puerto Princesa Palawan Philippines Travel

I hope I've translated it right.

The events that took place here during World War II was so evil. I couldn't comprehend the terror that has been done to this place. Read the full account on the commemorative rock below.

Puerto Princesa Palawan Philippines Travel

Details below:

"American WW-II POWs were massacred in this place on December 14, 1944.

On that day Japanese guards stationed here in Palawan ordered the American POWs under their control into the air raid shelters.

Japanese soldiers suddenly poured gasoline on and into the American POW shelters and set them on fire with flaming touchers, followed by hand grenades. As the American POWs, engulfed in flames broke out of the fiery death traps, their Japanese guards machine gunned, bayoneted, decapitated and clubbed them to death.

Of the American POWs, only 11 survived the massacre."

Above this commemorative marker is a statue of a man that is trapped and engulfed in flames. You could see the agony in it's face.

Puerto Princesa Palawan Philippines Travel
Puerto Princesa Palawan Philippines Travel

Below is the photo of the tunnel where the victims breathed their last.

Puerto Princesa Palawan Philippines Travel

I find the story of this place, heartbreaking. This fort made me contemplate about life, about bravery, about laying one own's life for freedom. The more I appreciate the brave soldiers who fight for my country's freedom. I salute them all. Thank you! 

You might want to check out my post : Travelling to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines.