Diary of Ramon A. Alcaraz

June 20, 1942

Today, being a Saturday, Bulacan Gov. Emilio Rustia attended the weekend evening Mass with us at POW Camp Malolos. After the services by Fr. Lipana, I invited him in my office to express my gratitude for his medical officers effort taking good care of our sick. There are no casualties so far in this POW Camp, we even increased in number by three since our arrival last April 10.

I had a most enlightening private conversation with the governor about Realism and Idealism. He started saying peace and order in Bulacan have virtually returned to normalcy and this is confirmed by reports of my relatives in Plaridel. He had recommended to Japanese Authorities for the opening of classes in all schools. He said, after a secret meeting of all elected municipal and provincial officials early last Jan., they unanimously decided to collaborate with the new masters as a realistic strategy to serve our people because if they did not, the Japanese would have appointed other individuals who were not elected, inexperienced in public service with selfish ends. He claims their collective strategy appears working as they have good rapport with the Japanese and obtaining conditions in Bulacan looks good. For one thing, we have nothing to complain about as POWs.

Gov. Rustia cited the case of the island of Panay, particularly the province of Iloilo whose elected Gov. Tomas Confesor and his Municipal Mayors chose the Idealistic Strategy of not collaborating to appear patriotic and courageous by trying to fight back. The Japanese appointed a medical doctor Fermin Caram as Governor and his followers who were not duly elected as Municipal Mayors with the result that the Japanese landed thousands of troops to hunt down Confesor and his followers and the entire island still in turmoil. Gov. Rustia believes Confesor’s decision to be idealistic does not serve the good of his people due to lack of logistics and trained military of his own. When Pres. Quezon designated his Exec. Sec. Jorge Vargas to head a group to collaborate with the Japanese before he moved to Corregidor, that was realism.

I thank the governor for that enlightening conversation and after he left, it occurred to me that I also committed the same idealistic notion as Gov. Confesor when I threw my PMA Class Ring at sea (a foolish thing I did) when I was surrounded by the enemy and realized I was a POW. How I longed for that ring that gave me inner strength when I wore it.

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