February 25, 1943

Peace and order in Vizcaya continue to be good so the Japanese Army’s total strength is now reduced to Bn. size. The American POWs are all transferred to Cabanatuan Camp. Meanwhile, the two Grla. Companies of Capt. Aban in Bagabag and Capt. Asuncion in Solano continue with their every Saturday Taisho program taught by Japanese Army instructors that gave them reason to assemble and conduct their close order and extended drills after. These Companies secretly under my command are about ready for future operations and are adhering from standing instructions on training, intelligence collections, laying low and awaiting orders. I am happy that latest scuttlebutts indicate Japanese advances towards Australia was stopped when Guadalcanal was taken back by the US Marines and the airfield there can be used now against the major Japanese Base in Rabaul.

It is gratifying to note that the 14th Inf. Grlas. was the first guerilla unit to contact Gen. MacArthur in Corregidor late Jan. 1942 through the effort of my classmate, Lt. Ed Navarro who took his transceiver all the way from Camp Allen to Kiangan, then to Bayombong during their retreat. This transceiver was used to send messages to USAFFE HQ by the 14th Inf. Grlas. but was lost after Col. Nakar was captured. Lately, I learned another PMA Classmate, Capt. Amos Francia Signal O. of Panay Grlas. under Col Peralta, through his ability and resourcefulness, was also able to fix a radio transmitter in their mountain hideout and able to contact SWPA HQ of Gen.MacArthur late last month. Francia is not only a classmate but also a blood relative and fellow Bulakeño.


May 25, 1942

Lt. Col. Jesse T. Trayvick USA, Wainwright’s emissary traveling under a flag of truce accompanied by a representative of Gen. Homma, did not find difficulties delivering the “surrender orders” to Visayas-Mindanao USFIP CG, W. F. Sharp who, in turn, immediately issued written surrender orders to all his subordinates:  B/Gen. Albert Christie, Panay; Col. Roger Hilsman, Negros; Col. Irvin Schrader, Cebu; Col. Arthur Grimes, Bohol and Col. Ted Carrol, Samar-Leyte.  It is reported that all USA personnel and a few hundred Filipinos surrendered in compliance with Gen. Wainwright’s orders but many PA units led by their O’s, specially in Panay and Negros refused to surrender.  In Panay where the bulk of the 61st Div. is assigned are my classmates Lts. Amos Francia, Ramon Gelvezon and Pedro M Yap who believe Gen. Wainwright had no more authority to give orders after he became a POW.  Apparently, they were able to convince their Philippine superiors like Majors Macario Peralta and Nick Velarde and so when their Div. Comdr. Christie told them about the surrender at Mt. Baloy, Peralta and Velarde categorically replied their refusal stating their plans to continue to fight the enemy.  Gen. Christie seemed to understand and even left the remaining funds to the Div. Fin. O.  Meanwhile, in Negros my classmates there are Lts. Uldarico Baclagon, Abenir Bornales and Epifanio Segovia and they also were able to convince their superiors, Captains Ernesto Mata and Salvador Abcede, to disregard the surrender orders of Col. Hillsman.  In Southern Luzon and Bicol Area, surrender emissary B/Gen. G. Francisco delivered the orders and like in the Visayas, only the Americans and a few Filipino USFIP members complied and surrendered.


June 28, 1941

Today’s Manila News says Finland declared War on USSR.  And Louis Chevrolet, builder of my favorite car, died at age 63, but I am still very much in love with that Chevy Apple Green Coupie.  Let me continue to pay tribute by mentioning those early military pioneers.  The PC being the core of our new PA, PCA Alumni are the primary source and its roster from 1907 to 1935 only totals 508 which means there were only about 400 to select from.  Maj Porfirio Zablan and Lt Pelagio Cruz of the PAAC came from this pool.  Other sources are the Phil Scouts (PS) and US Army’s Phil Depmt (USA) at Ft McKinley.  My friend, Lt Luis Villareal, former Jr Aide to the Pres, informed me that Quezon was personally involved in the selection of these pioneers.  He first selected Gen Vicente Lim USMA ’14 to be the G-1 of C/S Paulino Santos.

Early PS recruits were Cols Fidel Segundo for UP; Pastor Martelino, Capts Rufo Romero and Emmanuel Cepeda for PMA.  These PS Os were promoted one rank higher which was termed assimilated ranks.  Maj. Paciano Tangco who had an aptitude for radio communication was picked by Quezon to pioneer the Signal Corps. He was assisted by Capt Lasseter Mason USA SigC. Then came the UP group headed by Lt Francisco Licuanan & Manuel Quiogue; thence by Manuel Syquio, Amos Francia and Jose Rodriguez from PMA. They built a great Branch of Service.

I remember Miss Rosky Santos, beautiful daughter of C/S Gen Santos who used to attend our Yearling summer hops as a drag of Cav Pedro Francisco.  I wonder where she is now. 


June 18, 1941

News we got in Manila today states that Washington (DC) orders all German Consulates in USA be closed.  At the same time, Canadian Prime Minister King pledges total support to British  war effort.  On the other hand, Turkey signs Friendship Pact with Hitler.

I also have seven magnificent classmates in the Civil Engineer (CE) Corps, an elite branch that qualifies only those who graduated with the first 10% bracket in academics. The CE Corps  is also a new PA branch of Sv organized in late 1936 at a remote place east of Camp Murphy at Santolan Road.  As of  this date, my seven classmates in the CE are: Lt. Licurgo Estrada, Aide to Def Sec Teofilo Sison;  Lt Washington Sagun, (my wife for two years) ExO, 31st Engr Bn;  Lt Cipriano de Leon, ExO, 81st Engr Bn;  Lt Reynaldo Bocalbos, Cadre Comdr, Engr Cadre, Calape, Bohol; Lt Pedro M Yap, ExO, 1st Engr Bn; Lt Pedro B Francisco, ExO, 71st Engr Bn; and Lt Ramon Olbes, ExO, 51st Engr Bn.  Lts Licurgo Estrada and Pedro Yap were full pledge Civil Engineers when they entered PMA.  Lt Olbes was originally with us at the OSP but due to sea sickness, transferred to CE.  He was also the Baron at PMA for two years, a record difficult to surpass.

Let me tell you about the three remaining classmates whose whereabouts have not been covered.  Two of them joined the Signal Corps namely Lt Jose Rodriguez who is presently assigned as Instructor at  the Signal Troop School in Fort Mckinley.  The other, Lt Amos Francia, a fellow Bulakenio and a relative is the Div Signal O, 61st Div.  The third, Lt Florencio Causin, the best class horseman went to the Cavalry and is at present assigned to PMA as Equitation Officer.

Just as the practice today, before graduation, we were given three choices of branch of service listing by priority.  Many of my classmate chose the PAAC, OSP, CAC. FA, Inf, etc but none the PC because we felt that one does not need to have a BS degree to do police work.  Our mind was conditioned to technical matters to apply the vast academic  knowledge we have. On my part, I chose the OSP as I predicted a maritime Philippines of more than 7,000 islands whose territorial area is 75% water needs sea power as its primary defense like Japan and England to be a great nation. Capt. Jose V Andrada, USNA ’31, then C,OSP came personally to PMA to interview the many applicants and I was lucky to be among the magnificent seven selected. This accounts for all the 79 members of Class ’40 and their whereabouts.