03 December 2008

Circa 1945

I found this photo of my Dad, his three brothers, and my grandparents taken shortly after WWII. They had hidden in the mountains after Japanese soldiers had occupied their town, which is located approximately 240 miles southeast of Manila. This photograph was taken after Japan had admitted defeat to the U.S. in 1945 and had left the Philippines. They had been hiding in the mountains of Luzon province for more than two years. All their other family photos prior to the war had been destroyed when they fled their home.

Someday soon, I will document my Dad's story.


  1. I look forward to reading your Dad's story. Seeing your Dad as a small boy reminds me of my Mom's account of her family having to hide out during the Japanese Occupation. Her father and uncle were in the resistance, and she believes she got to see General MacArthur or some other US military operative who was helping to organize and supply the guerrillas.

  2. Nice photo. Wonder if the pictures take now will look as different when viewed by people 60 years later. It's always good to know hear the stories of your elder's experiences.

  3. dang girl, that is an old pic, can't believe he still has it. Still in shock!!!

  4. I am impressed with the beautiful photo. I can see that your family members had been in very poor physical condition, starving, and in the photo, they show their personal resilience, their level of physical recovery, and expressions of self-determination in that photo. They left quite a record in that photo for you, and a family statement of their affirmation of life. What a powerful set of statements, and family values, they made for posterity when they had the foresight to have the portrait taken.
    I am glad I found your story and and hardly wait to read it all. I hope Papa joins in with more, too.
    The other operative Papa refers to was most likely Chick Parsons.
    Parsons also worked with Tommmy Cabangbang who was a pilot, but without the experience, and a member of the USAFFE. He was a guerrilla and G2 to Anderson who was MacArthur's own G2. My mom knew Tommy Cabangbang on Bataan and Corregidor. He escaped from the Japanese and made it to MacArthur's HQ in Australia where he trained. When MacArthur sent Tommy back to Luzon to bring all the guerrilla groups under his control and set up a guerrilla radio network to prepare the way for MacArthur, he reestablished contact with my mom in Santo Tomas Internment Camp (UST).. They set up a smuggling operation where she sent word out to Tommy and he smuggled medicines (quinine and B vitamins) in to her for the patients who were in Sta Catalina across from STIC.
    Mom last saw Tommy and returned his pilots wings (except for one) in 1945, at the Army Air base in San Angelo, Texas. Their last communications were the exchange of formal photographic portraits. I have both photos. His (signed to her) and a copy of the photo sent sent to him.
    My parents met in Manila, 3 Feb 1945, when Dad was brought into STIC, nearly dead from wounds suffered in battle with the Kempei Tai at Far Eastern University.
    And here I am, chasing my parent's war stories and gathering as many guerrilla stories of the "Flying Column" that liberated Santo Tomas as I possibly can, and having been blessed with meeting some of those heroes, and meeting the children of others.


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