Information about Old Camp Dau Site and Memorial
Old Camp Dau Site and Memorial
The Old Camp Dau Site and Memorial is located in the town of Mabalacat in the province of Pampanga. After Dau was proclaimed a barrio of Mabalacat in 1936, then Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon issued a decree to establish Camp Dau as the first artillery camp.
History of Dau
Dau was once a forest where the hardwood Dau trees (Dracontomelon Dao), where it most likely got its name from, abound and then later on became the most populous town in Mabalacat. It served as an important location throughout its foundation including an access and military road into Fort Stotsenburg and the establishment of a Post Exchange in the area. Consequently, Dau became the Philippines’ post exchange capital.
For a time, tales told that Camp DAU meant Division Artillery Unit being the first training of the Philippine Army. However, this was refuted given that the Dau as the name of the barrio was established long before the camp was founded. The camp was home to Filipino men, most of them aged 20 years old, who were enlisted for military service and were required to undergo basic infantry and vocational training.
The camp was later named Camp Del Pilar after one of the heroes of the revolutionary movement, General Gregorio del Pilar.
Presently, the camp serves as a memorial site and mini-park for its historical role during those times and a way to commemorate the young Filipino patriots who trained in its very grounds.