February 20, 1943

This morning, my grla. associates, Col. Ramirez, Capt. Calvo and Mr. Elizalde dropped quietly at my office on their return trip to Manila from Isabela. Elizalde asked me for a list of 14th Inf. officers in hiding because they are in the Japanese wanted list and I gave him the names of Maj. Romulo A. Manriquez ’36, Capt. P. Dumlao, Lt. H. Quines ’42 and Lt. V. dela Cruz. Col. Ramirez greeted his former JO, my Sr. Insp. Sergio Laurente, briefly and after my visitors left, Laurente asked me how I came to know them. I replied that I met them through Manila socialite Ms. Lulu Reyes in my OSP Manila socials. It was then that he opened to me about his pro-American sympathies, how he suffered at the hands of the Japanese after he was surprised with the Japanese landing in Ilocos Sur where he was PC Prov. Comdr. Dec. 10,1941, captured and became the first USAFFE officer to become a POW.

I did not tell my Sr. Inspector that my visitors are my grla. associates but instead recommended that in view of the briefing by Capt. Calvo last Feb 15 and to safeguard prime foodstuff raised locally by the natives for their own welfare, that we prohibit merchants from taking them out in commercial quantity of Vizcaya without permit from our office. Merchants from Manila have recently been purchasing rice by the truckloads due to shortage there. Laurente did not only approve my recommendation but even appointed me Chief, Economic Police for the province. I made a directive to all our detachment commanders accordingly and henceforth, movement of foodstuff in bulk from the province to anywhere outside must have written permits from our HQ.

Meanwhile, the scuttlebutts by Capt. Calvo was confirmed by short wave radio news I heard with Fr. Lambreth’s two night ago. In addition, we also heard about the Council Meeting in Casablanca by US Pres. Roosevelt, Churchill and De Gaulle. The latest one I got was about my OSP Boss Maj. Enrique L. Jurado USNA ’34 who managed to elude the Japanese from Batangas to Romblon and he finally settled in Odiongan before joining the Peralta Grlas. recently in Panay, the very place he wanted our Q-Boats to escape when Bataan was surrendering. Also Col R. Kangleon is building up his grlas. in Leyte and Capt. Pedro Merritt ’34 with my classmate Lt. Ed Soliman ’40 are organizing in Samar. Maj. Inginiero and my classmate Lt. H. Alano ’40 are also busy in Bohol.


January 21, 1943

This morning I had a most pleasant surprise, two prominent visitors, Spanish Aviator Capt. Juan Calvo known for his solo flight from Manila to Madrid in mid-30s, and Col. Alfredo Ramorez ’14, former Comdt., UST ROTC, both with the 14th Inf. Intelligence of Col. Enriquez.  They cover their travel as traders with dry goods in their truck and wanted a BC pass to facilitate getting through BC check points which I granted.

After briefing them of the condition of peace and order in Vizcaya with my good rapport with local Japanese military authorities, Col. Ramirez informed me of recent developments since our meeting at Miss Lulu Reyes place last month.  He said the Japanese are clamping on guerrillas that early this month, a counter-intelligence unit under one, Gen. Baba started at Kempei-tai HQ in Manila.  The Sakdalistas set up their own informant network called “Makapili” reporting directly to Baba. Raids were made often and it was reported that Col. Thorpe operating from  Mt Pinatubo  was captured near Ft. Stotsenburg, while Capt. Joe Barker was captured in Manila and both are now in Ft. Santiago.  Col. Ramirez also reported that guerrilla leader Ralph McGuire was captured and executed.  The Colonel also cautioned me to be very careful.  They left later for Cagayan province whose Sr. Inspector is my classmate Leoncio Tan ’28.


December 19, 1942

Yesterday I found Lulu’s stag dinner was Lt. Col. Manolo Enriquez’ idea as Manolo and I were real friends of Lulu during my PMA days when Manolo was my mentor. But it was a risky gathering in Manila where Kempei-Tai HQ is. I hope I will not find myself in future similar situation. In any case, according to previous arrangements, Mr. Go Beng and his truck picked me and my family at Tennessee St. early morning four days ago (Dec 15) to transfer to Bayombong. My family includes my wife, Lucy, baby Cecilia 4 1/2 months old and my 14 year old sister, Effie. Lucy and Effie are so excited to live with me in Bayombong after hearing about the Baguio-like climate of Vizcaya. It was a rough two-days truck voyage sleeping overnight in San Jose, N. Ecija but we finally arrived in Bayombong about 1400 Dec. 16. Mrs. Reyes did an excellent job preparing our newly rented house Lucy and Effie both love at first sight.

I reported back for duty Dec. 17 and I left my wife and sister settle in our new house which is only a block away. Today the Reyes, Mendoza, Madella, Zuraek, Lozano and Prudenciado families who are our new neighbors gave us a surprise welcome party at Mrs Reyes’ residence across the street. My family is so happy to meet our new neighbors who are so warm and friendly.


December 13,1942

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.


December 10, 1942

In  accordance with my plan and with the approval of my Senior Inspector, I boarded Mr. Go Beng’s Truck for Manila 2 days ago (Dec. 8) to get my family in Manila arriving yesterday noon at our Tennessee Residence.  Mr. Go Beng told me their next truck going to Cagayan Valley will leave Manila Dec. 15 and he agreed to accommodate my family going to Bayombong.  Needless to say my wife, Lucy, was so happy to see me back with the good news that she is coming with me Dec. 15 with Baby Cecilia now a big baby at four months.  Needless to say it was a happy homecoming after an absence of more than a month.

Upon my arrival yesterday, my wife gave me a note from SA. Pablo Naval requesting me to call him at a certain phone number when I arrived which I did.

This morning, I got a surprise phone call from Ms. Lulu Reyes inviting me to a stag dinner come Saturday Dec.12 which I accepted.  I knew Lulu since I was a cadet at PMA as she was a prominent socialite.  Now she is a social worker working with Mrs Josefa L. Escoda helping former POWs.  Her Malate house is only a few blocks away.  Since I have not seen Lulu for some time, I am eager to attend her dinner wondering how she knew my presence in Manila and my phone number.


November 24, 1942

With the concurrence of my BC Sr Inspector, I formed an Intelligence Unit initially composed of BC Sgt. Norberto Aquino (Nautical School Grad), Guillermo Aban, Fernando Asuncion & Pablo Naval. Aban, Asuncion & Naval are key members of the underground 14th Inf, considered civilian informers I issued official I.D. Cards to facilitate our contacts. Sgt. Aquino is my close confidant but does not know the three civilian informers are underground members.

Today, Lt. Leandro Rosario paid me a courtesy call telling me he is a surrendered former Intelligence O. of LCol. Nakar 14th Inf., now working with Gov. Demetrio Quirino with a group that were former GANAP followers of Benigno Ramos an anti-govt subversives during the Commonwealth years. Lt. Rosario said he and his group are working for peace and order and wants to coordinate with the BC.

Yesterday, Mrs. Reyes found a house of the Sadang family available by Dec. 15 for rent. I found the house spacious with three bedrooms, big sala and dining room so I signed a month to month lease at P35.00 per month. The house is only a block from my office, in an excellent neighborhood in front of the governor’s residence.


November 16, 1942

Since my arrival in Bayombong, I started familiariazing myself with the town area and people.  I visited all sectors and met many families such as the Madellas, Mendozas, Zuraeks, Gonongs, Prudenciado-Lozano, Reyeses aside from the provincial and municipal officials appointed by the Japanese Adm.  The peace and order appears artificial as the people live in fear of the Japanese that committed atrocities during the early part of the occupation.  I can gauge their  true feelings from the Madellas I gained rapport as one of the members of the family I knew  lived in Malolos, Bulacan when I was in high school.

With permission from my Sr. Inspector, I began familiarizing myself with other towns. There are only seven towns in N. Vizcaya and last Nov. 13, I went to Bagabag town accompanied by two NCOs. Bagabag is the northern most town, met the town officials and police chief who briefed me on peace and order. In the afternoon, I visited barrio Paniqui where Capt. Guillermo Aban is waiting. I conferred with him in private reminding him to keep control of the members of his company while laying low and to keep the 15 firearms secured under his personal care. He gave me a roster of his troops totaling 55.  I am impressed with barrio Paniqui and the people’s attitude.

The following day, Nov. 14, I visited Solano town, met the town officials and had a briefing by the Police Chief. Then I visited remote barrio Ibung at the foot of Cordillera Mt. where Capt. Fernando Asuncion and Cpl. Pablo Naval were waiting. I was specially happy to see Naval to know that he belongs to Capt. Asuncion’s Co. with the rank of Cpl.  I adviced them in private to be careful, that they are lucky not to be in the Watch List of the Kempei-Tai and to facilitate their contact with me, I will appoint them BC Special Agents by the end of the month.  Capt. Asuncion furnished me also a roster of his troops totaling 53 with twenty firearms hidden at the foot of the Mt. I reminded them to lay low, keep control of the troops and gather intelligence to be reported by Naval verbally, nothing in writing.

Yesterday, Nov. 15, I spent the whole day in Bambang town and today, in Dupax to meet their town officials and briefings by their Police Chiefs. It also serves as my courtesy call on them which was appreciated.  After visiting five of the seven towns of N Vizcaya and observing the peace and order conditions, I am beginning to think this place is much better place to reside at present than Manila or Bulacan.  I therefore, requested Mrs. Reyes to help me find a house I can rent to bring my family in Bayombong before Christmas.


August 3, 1942

The subjects discussed during the Rejuvenation Training Seminar type of lectures were varied, relevant, interesting to me although dismissed by most as “brain washers.” I wish I was able to keep records but the Japanese are so logistically poor to provide us even bare pencils and paper. So far, so many prominent Japanese and Phil officials had spoken to us, among them were Claro M. Recto and Jose P. Laurel. Hilario Moncado and wife, Diana Toy also came to entertain us. I noted Japanese speakers were careful not to offend the POWs even referring to us as excellent examples of Malayan soldiery the manner we fought in Bataan. One Jap Gen. said, “Being orientals, we should not have been at war. The Americans used you as pawns. Look at the comparatively few American POWs compared to Filipinos. Most Americans escaped to Australia.” And one Japanese official brought the subject of discrimination, how Filipinos are only paid half what their American counterparts are getting yet they belong to same unit. Why the Phil was only using obsolete P-26 planes while the Americans are using the new P-40. The harshest words I heard was from a Jap General whose unit was apparently wiped out during the battle of the Points in Bataan. He said, “Why forbear what was difficult to forbear. It would have been easier for us to subject you to wholesale extermination instead of being magnanimous now. This, I leave to you who understand the basics of humanity.”

The “Bamboo Mail” of Malolos operated by Judge Roldan is still operational with Mrs. Cuenca as chief courier. Today I received a letter dated last Jul 25 from my mother via the Bamboo Mail delivered by Ms Lulu Reyes from Mrs.Cuenca. The good news is Plaridel is back to normal with my uncle Jose Mariano, the elected mayor assuming leadership again. My mother also said that she took my wife Lucy to live with her in our ancestral home in Plaridel as she is due to deliver our first child anytime now.


June 16,1942

The Malolos Women’s Club under the leadership of Mrs. Cristina Magsaysay Cuenca continues to help the Malolos POWs. As mentioned before, when they found out that we were sleeping on bare cold concrete prison floors during our early days here, they lost no time providing each of us mattresses and other beddings including mosquito nets. Today Mrs. Cuenca accompanied by her able assistant, Miss Luming Flor R. Cruz (whose brother, Perico, is graduating from West Point this month) visited us. I learned from them that they have already made two trips each to Camp O’Donnell and Camp Cabanatuan bringing medicine. They told us the deplorable conditions of POWs at O’Donnell where daily deaths are reported at 400 to 500. Other Ladies Group leaders performing similar civic assistance to POWs at Camp O’Donnell Mrs. Cuenca mentioned are Mrs. Josefa Llanes Escoda, Mrs. Pilar Hidalgo Lim (wife of Gen. Vicente Lim) and Miss Lulu Reyes, a prominent social worker of Ermita well known to OSP student officers of Class ’41 that boarded with her.

And so today, let me salute all our courageous and patriotic women for all their effort to help our POWs where ever they are.