PART 4 SOMETHING INTERESTING AND FUN ABOUT THE LLAMAS FAMILY OF THE PHILIPPINES
BY: DEO ANTONIO D.LLAMAS
I HAVE COPY IT FROM A FACEBOOK ACCOUNT AND I WOULD LIKE TO POST THIS IN MY NOTES. HOPE YOU WILL FIND THIS INFORMATIVE.THE LLAMAS MEMORIAL INSTITUTE IN BATAAN.
LLAMAS MEMORIAL INSTITUTE
MARIVELES, BATAAN, PHILIPPINES
Llamas Memorial Institute, descendants of the 4th U. S. Marines of World War II, current 4th Marines and any other individuals who have an interest in providing ongoing support to Llamas Memorial Institute in Mariveles, Bataan, the Philippines.
As the first and oldest high school in Mariveles, Llamas Memorial Institute opened in 1951 as Mariveles High School. The school was founded by and began in the home of Tia Elisa Llamas who accepted chicken, piglets, eggs and other farm products for tuition to ensure the education of the children in poor families. The school grew slowly. However Tia Elisa stood firm in her conviction and continued her efforts of providing an education to the children of poor families. Her efforts were rewarded. By the mid 1980's, enrollment had swelled to over 1000 students. Subsequently, the name of the school was changed to the current, Llamas Memorial Institute in honor of Tia Elisa’s brother, World War II era Bataan Congressman honorable Antonio G. Llamas. He was killed by the Japanese in the battle of Manila, February-March 1945.
When Tia Elisa became disabled, she turned the school responsibilities over to her niece, Nenita Llamas Sesbreño, who was the daughter of her brother the Congressman. After Tia Elisa passed away in 1985, Mrs. Luningning Yraola Pidong became the school Principal. Mrs. Pidong was the daughter of wartime mayor of Mariveles, Silvestre Yraola. During the war, Mayor Yraola had struck up a friendship with U.S. Marine Ted Williams. Sergeant Williams later became a survivor of the Bataan Death March.
The support of Llamas Memorial Institute by the 4th U.S. Marines of World War II began after the closure of Corregidor School on Corregidor Island in 2002. The support of Corregidor School began in the early 1980's when Ted Williams returned to the Philippines with several other 4th Marines of World War II. One of those he traveled with was Captain Louis E. Duncan, USMC (retired) who had been on Corregidor when it fell to the Japanese on 6 May 1942. During their visit, they learned no school existed on the island fortress and therefore the children were not receiving an education. Upon returning to the States, they enlisted the financial aide and backing of their fellow 4th Marines and were not disappointed. For 20 years this select group of proud Marines supported the Corregidor School as a way of giving back to the Filipino people who had risked their own lives to help the Marines whenever they could during World War II. Whether the support was through sneaking food or other necessities to them or just kind words of encouragement, it was greatly appreciated and never forgotten.
Upon the closure of Corregidor School in 2002, the remaining 4th Marines, led by Sergeant Williams went in search of another school to serve as the object of their gratefulness. Enlisting the aide of Ricardo Catahan (a native born Mariveleno who was also a Philippine Army escapee of the Bataan Death March, and is current President of the Corregidorians, U.S.A., Inc.) the relationship with Llamas Memorial Institute was quickly established. Due to the advancing ages of the quickly dwindling group of World War II survivors, it was agreed to provide Llamas Memorial Institute with a legacy which could be used and enjoyed by not just the current students, but for many generations of students to come.
In early 2006, plans were finalized for the construction of a two-story building on the grounds of Llamas Memorial Institute. The top floor would house a new library for the school and the first floor would be utilized as two separate classrooms. On 8 July 2006 during a formal ceremony, THE 4TH U. S. MARINE CENTER OF KNOWLEDGE was dedicated.
Llamas Memorial Institute will become an ongoing, living legacy of the 4th U.S. Marines of World War II. Although the ranks of the “old” Fourth are rapidly dwindling, their memory, their legacy will live forever. The goal is to set up a residual income for the school which may be used for additional equipment, books, supplies, repairs and eventually scholarships to further the education of the graduates.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- Nelson Mandela