Tuesday, March 06, 2007

General Douglas Macarthur's Car

The most notable, if not popular U.S. General in the Philippines, was perhaps, General Douglas MacArthur.
He was commander of the United States Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE) during World War II.
A monument in honor of the American general stands in the province of Leyte as an permanent reminder of the of the restoration of democracy in the country upon the defeat of the Japanese Imperial Army that temporarily ruled the Philippines during the second world war.
This afternoon, I was in Quezon City for a hearing and I happened to pass by a bit of history.
I saw, in front of the Quezon City Hall two old, black cars for public display
These cars were the historic vehicles used by President Manuel L. Quezon, and General MacArthur.
One was a 1937 Chrysler Airflow Limousine which became the official car of the Commonwealth President Quezon.
An account says in 1937 the Airflow models were on its final year of making, and 4,600 two-door cars of this model were built , before it was canceled.
This car, was already restored by a noted vintage and car collector named Dan Irish.
The other car was a 1937 Ford Cabriolet, specially built by General Mortors of America, for President Quezon. The car arrived in the Philippines on November 4, 1937.
The following year, it was turned over to General MacArthur who used it throughout his tour of duty in the Philippines.
If these cars could only speak, it would have been able to unleash a wealth of first-hand testimony of the ravages that war brought upon our islands.
Today, it is among the few remnants of those infamous period where thousands of Filipinos were killed, maimed, raped, and traumatized.
Many of those who fought and lived have already passed on to the afterlife due to advanced age.
But these two vehicles still stand and sparkle as two of the last metal pieces that silently witnessed a dark chapter of our nation's history.

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