Filipino civilians flee the combat area in Bacolod as U.S. troops push forward in pursuit of Japanese forces. Bacolod was occupied by the Japanese beginning 21 May 1942. In March 1945, with the invasion of American and Philippine Commonwealth forces, the Japanese began to withdraw from the city into the surrounding mountains. The city was ultimately liberated on 29 May 1945. Bacolod, Western Visayas, Negros Occidental, Philippines. May 1945.