The province’s only war museum is located at the back of the old building of the said school which once served as headquarters of Japanese Imperial Army General Masaharu Homma during the Second World War.
The museum was formally inaugurated last February. It houses story panels from pre-war peacetime to the liberation, video presentations, several war artifacts and a doll diorama re-enacting the infamous Death March.
On the other side, there is also another doll diorama re-enacting the surrender of Japan in Baguio City on September 1945.
Bataan is the main venue for the annual commemoration of the Veterans’ Week and Araw ng Kagitingan every April, but Magat has a few reservations.
“Why do we celebrate defeat or the fall of Bataan? It is very hard to explain this to every Filipino or to the children in particular, so we decided to put up this museum. As you can see in the Surrender Site Monument characters. you only see Americans surrendering to Japanese forces, no Filipinos!” he said.
He said that the bravery and heroic deeds of our forefathers from 1941 to 1945 appear to have been forgotten.
“Kids today are very much into new technology like the internet and the social media. We hope we can still catch their attention through this museum and learn about the heroic deeds of the past generations,” Magat lamented.
The museum was built after years of combined volunteer works, local government assistance and the contributions of non-governmental organizations and businessmen.