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Understanding the Value of Freedom in Manila

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About “Unsurrendered 2” – A WW2 Documentary



On 26 December 1941, Manila was declared an “Open City”. All newspapers published the text of the proclamation and radio stations broadcast the news through the day. A huge banner bearing the words “Open City” and “No Shooting” was strung across the front of the city hall. That night the blackout ended and Manila was ablaze with lights. (Photo and caption from Center of Military History, United States Army)


“It has been 70 years since the war ended and our World War II heroes are slowly fading away. We may be the last generation to be able to talk to them face-to-face. So if you had the chance to talk to them right now, what would you say to them?”
(Bani Logroño, director of the WWII documentary “Unsurrendered 2”)



Historical education is important to promote to the young people today in order to keep the memory of war alive and raise awareness for all that the horrors of war should be prevented from happening again. Knowing about history teaches everyone about the importance and value of the freedom that we have today.


Write the author.


For most people, Manila is their home, a place to work, or a place to enjoy local cuisine, tourism and entertainment. Did you know that 70 years ago, much of the City of Manila was destroyed in a battle fought by Filipinos and the Allied Forces? With the effort to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese, this battle cost the lives of over 100,000 Filipino civilians, 16,000 Japanese troops and 1,000 Americans.


This particular battle during World War II is notable for the relentless resistance of the Filipinos and American soldiers against the Japanese which delayed the Japanese from progressing towards Australia and India. Most importantly, the great sacrifice in expelling the Japanese out of Manila in 1945 led to their defeat and shortened the war.


But a few years before the Liberation of Manila, darkness fell and so many atrocities happened in the Philippines. Particularly in Manila, on 28 December 1941, the city was declared an “Open City” as a means to protect the city’s historic landmarks and to protect the civilians. When a city is declared an “Open City”, it means the nation that controls the city have abandoned all defensive efforts. With this comes with the agreement with the opposing military that they should not bomb or attack the city. However, in Manila, this scenario did not happen despite being an “Open City”.


This is where our story begins…


“Unsurrendered 2: The Hunters ROTC Guerrillas” is a World War II documentary film directed by Bani Logroño for Spyron AV Manila. The movie is brought to us by Philippine Veterans Bank and A Peter Parsons-Lucky Guillermo Presentation. This movie will have its premiere this September 2015!




The film is about the young Filipinos who joined the Hunters ROTC Guerrillas with a conviction to bring justice and to stand up against the oppression from the Japanese forces during their occupation of the Philippines in WW II. This is one of the untold parts of Philippine history, but with such heroism, valor and epic victory, the story is too great to be kept untold.



Unsurrendered 2: The Hunters ROTC Guerrillas Teaser (Official) | Filipino World War II Movie



Spyron-AV Manila is an organisation that pays tribute to the heroes of World War II and reveals much of the untold stories of the war here in the Philippines from soldiers or civilians who survived the war. Spyron-AV Manila promotes Philippine history through book publications, creation of film documentaries, contests, interviews and other events. Their goal is not only to pay tribute to war heroes and war veterans but to also educate and inform today’s generation about the value of the freedom that we now enjoy.


Historical awareness is a stepping stone to solving our nation’s biggest problems! Director Bani Logroño talks about his team’s documentary on the Hunters ROTC Guerrillas–a band of young nationalists who took part in fighting against foreign oppression in the Philippines back in World War II.



21 Sept. 2015, Ayala Museum
The Gala Premiere of the epic documentary film, Unsurrendered 2: The Hunters ROTC Guerrillas.

A movie about the Filipino Guerrilla Resistance Movement during World War II in the Philippines


Unsurrendered 2 premiered in the Philippines on 21 Sept. 2015 in Ayala Museum, Makati. After this, several film screenings in schools and other venues took place. The movie also received 4 international awards.

  • Golden Award – World Documentary Awards, Jakarta, Indonesia 2016
  • Best Documentary Feature Film, Kiwi International Film Festival – New Zealand 2016
  • International Documentary Award – Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Fest, Hollywood 2015
  • Royal Reel Award – Canada International Film Fest, Vancouver 2016

You may still catch Unsurrendered 2 in DVD and it also comes with a coffee table book. For details, you may contact Spyron-AV Manila on their Facebook page at

For the generation who was fortunate to be born decades after WW II, this is your chance to look back and reflect on the life that your parents and grandparents had. Let us pay tribute to their generation who worked hard to provide us with a good future and freedom that we are now experiencing. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!☆


“Learn a little about your past, and you may end up with a pretty nice future”
~ by Martin Luther King, Jr.





Author: Marcelle Villegas 
Top photo – Manila an Open City in 1941 – from Center of Military History, United States Army –

All photos and videos from Spyron AV Manila –


Special thanks to Lucky Guillermo, Mai Guillermo-Logroño and Bani Logroño of Spyron AV Manila.






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