BCA Academics are progressing smoothly. However, every passing day I come to know my classmates individually that today I can say I know all of them. It can be recalled this group started with that 1,400 “not sick” survivor POWs from Capas released and transferred to Camp Dau for Rejuvination Trng. last Jul 17. I knew more than half of them as my former associates and underclassmen at PMA. From this group 300 of us were sent to BCA and since our class started, I came to know those I did not know before, mostly senior PCA grads.
Among the Sr. PCA grads are Cols Lizardo ’15 Regmtl. Comdr. 41st Div, much decorated in Bataan; Col. Tomas Domaol ’17 C/S 41st Div of Gen. Lim; Cols Turingan ’17, Javalera ’17; Magsino & Diano ’19 Front Line Bn. Comdrs.; Majs Fidel Cruz ’27, Francisco Luna ’28, Leoncio Tan ’28 brilliant Div. Staff Os. Then we have Maj. Batongmalaque ’31 a Bn. Comdr. under Gen. Capinpin with his tales about his former CO, the legendary Capt. Canuto, better known as King “Canute.” Then we also have two bright combat lawyers, Lts. Amado Aleta and Francisco Bautista who earned decorations in Bataan for gallantry in action. Lt. Bautista was also the Captain Ball of the Phil. Olympic Basketball Team of 1936 that won 2nd place for our country next to the US. We also have my former PMA mentors Capts Alfredo Santos, D. Ojeda, S. Villa and E. Duque. Of course my classmates, Cabangbang, Tirona, Piccio, Escobar, Javier and Rodriguez. Then my underclassmen from ’41, ’42, & ’43.
In the battlefields, the group earned more than 300 DSC, SS, BS, Purple Hearts with many having multiple awards. This is an awesome group that fascinates me no end. I am privileged to be a member of this group, indeed.
Asked an old man of eighty years which regime he prefers: Spanish, American or Japanese?
The old man thought for a moment. Then he answered and there was a sparkle in his eyes: “The best regime is our own regime. A Filipino regime!”
There is much wisdom in the old man’s answer. A foreign regime, no matter how benevolent, cannot be preferred. A master is always a master. Spain may have given us Christianity; America, democracy; and Japan, racial dignity. But only we can give ourselves national sovereignty. It is useless to await the fulfillment of promises of independence. Independence is not given. It is always there, sometimes completely suppressed, sometimes partly chained. And it is up to the people to declare themselves independent and to make that independence a reality. Words do not make it. Only actions.
Meeting of rice-producers at the Bureau of Plant Industry. Present were Sanvictores, Silayan, Juan and Jose Cojuangco, Alzate, Mrs. Rustia, Mrs. de Leon, Belmonte, Cajucom, Alfredo Santos, L. de Leon, Virgilio Rodriguez, Quisumbing, Balmaceda, Gabaldon and myself. Supervisor Noya presented the plan of the NARIC regarding the purchase of the harvest. The producers were told how much they would be paid for their rice. While their opinion was sounded, the final decision rested on the NARIC. The price fixed by the NARIC took into account both the ability of the consumers to pay and a reasonable profit for the producers. The NARIC is the neutral body standing between consumers and producers. If someday the producers control the rice industry and they are the ones to dictate the price of rice, the industry will collapse because the balance maintained presently by the NARIC will be removed. The determination of the price of rice must always be placed in the hands of a disinterested body.
Two Japanese soldiers were knocking at the door of my friend’s house. Since they were asleep, because it was midnight, they were not able to open the door immediately. When they finally opened the door, the Japanese were very angry. They slapped my friend and threatened him with Fort Santiago. He came to me this morning complaining. He wants to know how he can obtain redress for grievances.
“In these days,” I told him, “patience is better.”
Today is a historical day for the OSP. The whole OSP command was inducted into the USAFFE this morning and two hours after the ceremonies at Muelle del Codo, the Japanese bombed Port Area. OSP HQ was spared but Engineer Island where eight hulls of new Q-Boats are about to be completed was a direct hit and our hopes for those additional boats are gone with the wind. I feel sorry for my former boss, Maj. Jose V. Andrada (USNA ’31), who fought vigorously for locally made Q-Boats since last March after the successful test of locally made Q-113. I suspect his relief as C,OSP had to do with his issue against Gen. MacArthur.
Today is also a historical day for my alma mater PMA. Through its officers and cadets, it was reborn from an academic institution and activated as an instrument of war renamed, First Regular Division, with Col. Fidel Segundo (USMA 1917), the Superintendent, as Div. Comdr. at UST Campus.
The Div. was inducted into the USAFFE also today. Lt. Col.Santiago Guevara, Comdt. of Cadets, became the Div. C/S; Asst. Comdt. Capt. Alfredo Santos became Comdr., 1st Regmt.; former PMA Instructors took most of the senior staff jobs. Among my classmates in this Div. are Lt. Job Mayo as S-1; Lt. Alfredo Filart as S-2; Lt. David Pelayo, & Lt. Jose Javier, Co. Comdrs.
It can be recalled that after Baguio was bombed on Dec. 8, PMA went down and settled later at UST Campus in Manila.
Five days ago, Classes ’42 & ’43 were graduated and ’44 & ’45 were disbanded and sent home disappointed because they wanted to fight for their country.
One of the plebes, Eleuterio Adevoso tearfully expressed to me his disappointment. Japanese forces are poised to attack and land in Hongkong which is defended by the British Forces.