After Miss Lulu Reyes phoned me the other day about dinner last night, I was curious and intrigued about it – I’ve not seen her more than two years, how did she know my phone and presence in Manila. What intrigued me more was when she cautioned me that the stag affair was a confidential surprise. I was to be there at 6:00 PM last night but I came 20 minutes late. Lulu greeted me warmly and led me to a dimly lighted room where her guests were having cocktails. After I got my drink (scotch & water). Miss Reyes started to introduce me but to my surprise, LCol Manolo Enriquez, (CO 14th Grla Inf who replaced LCol Nakar) my grla boss, took over from Lulu to make a few remarks saying I am Maj Alcaraz, now the senior officer in command of all 14th Inf Gra Units laying low in N Vzcaya. He added that I am the Asst Senior Inspector of the Constabulary, N Viz and my assignment was arranged by him through his contact with BC Hq which made me a double agent.
Manolo then introduced me to Don Juan Elizalde of the wealthy members of Elizalde family in Manila; Captain Juan Calvo, famous Spanish aviator who made the first solo flight from Manila to Madrid: and Col Alfredo Ramirez ’14 former UST ROTC Comdt – all three as his associates in the underground movement. I also noted the presence of my SA Pablo Naval sitting quietly. Manolo made many favorable remarks about our comradeship since PMA days and that knowing each other can facilitate our future operation. After I was requested to make a few remarks, I said it was a privilege knowing and working with such a distinguished group. I reiterated, however, my understanding with Col Enriquez, that to insure security, I am not making anything in writing which to me means death warrant, but all my messages – reports, requests, vital info – will be transmitted verbally by my trusted courier, SA Pablo Naval, who I asked to be recognized. We have been using that system successfully for more than a month now with Col Enriquez, I added.
Apparently, this gathering was the idea of Col Enriquez, a good friend of Lulu way back during our PMA days. It was Enriquez who informed Lulu about my phone and presence in Manila. Lulu still looks beautiful but frankly, I was very uncomfortable with this anti-Japanese Group. Even if Enriquez is the only one in the Japanese wanted list, holding a social like this is dangerous, specially after learning that my classmate, Capt Ed Navarro, an associate of Enriquez is now at Ft Santiago.
We had a sumptous dinner as I was seated between Mr Elizalde and Capt Calvo. I complimented Mr Elizalde for his courage and patriotism and as a generous response, he told me he is allocating a P2,000.00 per month donation to our intelligence funds to help the transportation expenses of SA Pablo Naval. This is a great help as we do not have funds for Naval. Later, Mr Elizalde and Mr Naval talked lengthily on how the donation will be remitted to my office and the location in Manila Naval can contact Elizalde.
The gathering terminated 10:00PM without incident. I was apprehensive all the time expecting something untoward may happen – that the Kempei-Tai will barge in to arreest all of us. After telling Lulu my fears, she revealed that she had an escape plan for Manolo who is the only one in the wanted list. Before I departed, I commended Lulu for her bravery and patriotism, likening her to Joan of Arc.