NAGA CITY, Apr. 18 (PIA) – The Hiyangta Award – an accolade fitted for the heroism and valor of war veterans was conferred to Major Juan Q. Miranda, Major Teofilo B. Padua and Commodore Jaime C. Jimenez Sr., in perpetual recognition of their invaluable contribution in the liberation of this city during World War II.

“Hiyangta,” is an old bikol word which means illustrious or notable. The award, established two years ago is given to persons or organizations which have shown exceptional and commendable service to the community.

The posthumous recognition was received by the awardees’ heirs during the solemn but memorable ceremony held at the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary, April 7 on the opening of the 3-day “Kabikolan At War: A social history of World War II” lecture, here though the Sumaro Bikolnon, Inc.

Former Naga City councilor Nathan Sergio, an active officer of Sumaro Bikolnon, Inc. and one of the organizers of the event, stated that this is one way of looking back to our history, giving recognition to those who sacrificed and fought for the country’s much coveted freedom.

“Everything here is based on facts- there were documents, not mere hearsays or gossips. Sumaro Bikolnon, a cultural group thought that it is just fitting that we create a venue to recognize these efforts and heroism and invite scholars who can share with us how the Bicolanos survived the war,” Sergio said in an interview.  

Sergio added that they have identified the three recipients as this year’s awardees for their individual contribution, particularly in the success of the guerilla movement.

Major Juan Qeurobin Miranda, Unit Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 67th Infantry, 61st Division of Camarines Sur, was one of the founders and Commanding Officer of the Tangcong Vaca Guerilla Unit.  He was respected both by his colleagues and by the American military advisers, who allowed him to lead the composite guerilla movement that successfully toppled the Japanese forces during the April 9, 1945 battle and resulted to the liberation of Naga City.

Major Teofilo B. Padua, then the Unit Commanding Officer of the 53rd Infantry Regimen, 3rd Camarines Sur sector was elected to command the famous  Camp Isarog guerillas and led the first assault at the Japanese fortress of the Camarines Sur Provincial Capitol on May 1, 1942. It resulted to the freedom of 20 foreigners from the allied forces who were detained by the Japanese during the assault. 

   

Commodore Jaime C. Jimenez Sr. was the founder of the first maritime school in the region and among the guerilla veterans who began his military career as a member of the Tangcong Vaca Guerilla Unit. He was specifically cited for his contribution in the development of maritime education. 

They were all awarded with a plaque of merit and their names will be etched in the annals of World War II veterans.  (LSM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)