February 8, 1943

Cpl. Pablo Naval who left Bayombong last Jan. 27 to deliver my message to Col. Enriquez, my Grla. Boss, returned three days ago telling me his difficulties locating Enriquez hiding in the vicinity of Benguet Mining Co with his staff. He was happy to get my detailed report and send his congratulations for the neighborhood association in Bagabag and Solano being sanctioned by the Japanese Army with the Taisho training as a reason for the assembly of our men for further military training. However, he cautioned me to be careful as the new Kempeitai Counterintelligence of Gen. Baba have been very busy lately. I commended Naval for accomplishing his mission.

Col Enriquez also instructed me to send Lt. Luis Casumpang and six of his EMs who were former members of the Corps of Engineers, to be accompanied by Cpl. Naval to his HQ for Training by Benguet Consolidated Mines in handling explosives for future Sabotage Missions. I instructed Lt. Casumpang accordingly and today, his group of seven accompanied by Naval left Vizcaya for Benguet.


January 26,1943

After my Taisho Training visit in Solano three days ago, I instructed SA Pablo Naval to see me that afternoon in my office in Bayombong.  In the privacy of my office, I instructed him “as soon as ready” to proceed to Baguio area where our Grla. Comdr., L.Col. Enriquez is “laying low in hiding” to give the following report: “Peace and order in Vizcaya is good as the guerrilla units there are under my complete control; my rapport with Japanese military authorities is also good with their blessing on our neighborhood association idea wherein Taisho Instructions were given twice, and the authorized assemblies gave us opportunity to further military training.  When I arrived in Bayombong early last Nov., there were a dozen American POWs that included L.Col. E. Warner, original 14th Inf. CO and L.Col. Theodore Kalakuka, emissary of Gen. Wainright in the surrender process after the fall of Corregidor.  Warner surrendered to Kalakuka and their combined efforts in collaboration with the Chief of Police of Jones, Isabela caused the capture of L.Col. G. Nakar, who, I understand, was executed.  Early last month two American POWs, L.Col. Kalakuka and a Lt. Ziegler, died of dysentery and malaria and were buried at the local Catholic Cemetery.  Before the end of last month all American POWs were transferred to Cabanatuan POW Camp.”  Since this report will be delivered verbally, I asked Naval to repeat what the message is and to my satisfaction, he covered all subjects verbatim.

Today, my being Actg. Sr. Inspector of Vizcaya ended with the arrival of Inspector Sergio Laurente ’21.  After a formal turnover this afternoon, I accompanied him to the Provincial Capitol to pay a social call on Gov. Quirino and other officials.  He was received cordially as he has a pleasing personality.  At the start of the war, Laurente was provincial PC Comdr. of Ilocos Sur and when the Japanese landed there Dec. 10,1941, he was taken by surprise, immediately captured and earned the distinction of being the first Filipino USAFFE to become POW.  From the way I size him up, I think we will have a very pleasant camaraderie although he graduated from the old PCA nineteen years before I graduated from PMA in 1940.


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.


January 6, 1943

Yesterday, I got a P2,000.00 remittance from the local PNB Bank sent by Don Juan Elizalde as he promised for our intelligence fund. This will help a lot for the travels of SA Pablo Naval, my special liaison with Lt. Col. Manolo Enriquez.

This morning, I had an hour private secret conference with Capt. Guillermo Aban and Capt. Fernando Asuncion, COs of two companies laying low in Bagabag and Solano. I told them about the neighborhood association idea approved by the local Japanese military as a means to assemble their men for “radyo taisho” training exercises when Japanese instructors become available. I alerted them to be ready when I set the dates after I get the schedule from the local Japanese Garrison under Captain Ikeda. Needless to say how happy and excited are Capts. Aban and Asuncion at the prospect of assembling their men again without fear. I cautioned them to act naturally as humble barrio inhabitants interested in the peace and order of their neighborhoods. Before they departed, I also gave Capts. Aban an Asuncion Special Agent of BC I.D. Cards like the one issued to SA Pablo Naval to facilitate their contact with me.


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.


November 30, 1942

Since I reported to my post as BC Inspector, peace and order in Vizcaya have been good which makes my job easy. The BC have peacetime routine sending patrols to outlaying barrios to contact our people for us to know how they feel — they do not like the Japanese. The present condition is brought by the surrender or capture of guerrilla leaders like LCols. Warner and Nakar plus specific instructions from Gen. MacArthur for the guerrillas to lay low. LCol. Enriquez, who took command after the capture of Nakar, moved out of the province after my arrival leaving me two of his companies that are laying low.

The Guerrilla Idea originally came from USAFFE HQ in Corregidor that when Gen. MacArthur and party escaped Corregidor via PT Boats last March 11, at the same night, Q-113 under Lt. S. Nuval transported a special US Army Commando to inaugurate guerrilla operations landing them at Zambales Coast. They found their way to Mt. Pinatubo where LCol. C. Thorpe, Capt. B. Anderson and Lt. R. Lapham established their Hq to recruit natives. After the surrender, Bataan escapees like Maj. Moses & Noble, Capt. R. Volckman & D. Blackburn of the 11th Div. managed to organize guerrilla units among the Igorots in Mt. Province. Two other Bataan escapees, Capt. Joe Barker and Lt. Edwin Ramsey of the 26th Cav. ended up in Western Bulacan where they met another escapee, Capt. Alejo Santos of the 31st Div. Later, Ramsey went to Pangasinan where he organized his unit. All these guerrilla organizations were going on quietly all over the entire country and the many hundred recruits voluntarily joining is an indication on how the people feel against the Japanese. After organizing, the units went on secret training waiting for further developments.

 


November 10, 1942

This morning, I made a courtesy call on the N. Vizcaya Kempei-tai Chief, Lt. Kumatsusaki at his office.  I was warmly received knowing we are expected to work together on peace and order.  When I asked him if he knew Maj. Suguiyama and Lt. Fukushima, he said he worked with both of them before specially Fukushima.  Our rapport became better after I said Lt. Fukushima is my friend. I then asked him what problems we have on peace and order and he said since the capture of Col. Nakar ’32 in Isabela, head of the Grla. Gp. operating in Cagayan Valley, and the death of Capt. Agustin Prudenciado ’33, peace and order have improved as the Grlas. have disbanded.  However, he mentioned remnants under certain Lts. Quines, Dumlao, Dela Cruz, and Navarro probably under Major Enriquez in his list.  He also mentioned three American officers  namely Cols. Moses & Noble as well as Capt. Ralph Praeger with another group in his wanted list. I said I am new in the area and don’t know anything but appreciated all the info he gave me.  I assured him of my cooperation for the sake of peace and order for our people, with the hope that we can work together closely by exchanging information. Finally, when I asked Lt. Kumatsusaki who is the overall boss of the Kempei-tai to whom he reports, he said he is Col. Akiro Nagahama whose HQ is in Manila.

I noted that the Kempei-tai office in Bayombong has only three uniformed military and the five others I met were civilian Japanese men who probably lived in the Phil. before as they can speak Ilocano and Tagalog.  They were all formally introduced to me by Lt. Kumatsusaki.

Nov. 7 is a Saturday and I formally took command of 1st N. Vizcaya BC Co. from 5″ Cl. Insp. M. Alvarez.  I conducted Saturday Inspection of the Co. and took my lunch at the Company Mess with the EM.  After lunch, I gave a few remarks regarding services for our people during our present trying time. Our BC Company occupies the former St. Mary’s High School with spacious buildings and parade grounds.

I am still staying in Bayombong Hotel but am looking for a house to rent. Today, being a Sunday, I went to Church to thank my Divinor for All His Blessings and Guidance in being safe here.  After Mass, I met the Parish Priest Fr. Lambrecht, a Belgian who is outspokenly pro-American after learning I am a USAFFE Officer who saw action in Bataan and was a POW.


November 5, 1942

Go Beng’s Truck came to pick me up at 0830 three days ago (Nov 3) at my Tennessee residence for my trip to N. Vizcaya. It was a pleasant surprise to see Mr. Go Beng himself who told me he was going to Tuguegarao. Before bidding my wife goodbye I introduced her to Mr. Go Beng, then started our trip with me seated in the front seat with Mr. Go Beng and the driver. There were five other passengers accommodated with the merchandise area. I developed a good rapport with Mr. Go Beng who owns six trucks trading merchandise from Manila to Cagayan Valley. Trucks like he has are rare with shortage of fuel and travel very slow with the mixture of alcohol and gasoline as fuel. We finally arrived in San Jose, N. Ecija (after a short stop in Cabanatuan for lunch) at 5:00 P.M. or eight hours that normally only takes four. We stayed overnight in San Jose and early the following day, Nov. 4, we were climbing the rugged Cordillera Mt. towards Santa Fe, the first town of Vizcaya. The area we just passed is an excellent place for ambuscade, reason for not traveling at night. We then passed the town of Aritao and had lunch in Bambang after which we proceeded to Bayombong arriving at Bayombong Hotel at 1400H.

While checking at the hotel, the Manager, Mr. Verzosa, handed me a note from Lt. Col. (not Major anymore) Manuel Enriquez that he wanted to see me ASAP. I have an excellent accommodation and at 1700H, Pablo Naval knocked at my door and once inside, told me the bad news that L.Col. Nakar and his men were captured by the Japanese at Jones, Isabela area and that L.Col. Enriquez took over the command while the rest of the units are on the run. Naval told me that Enriquez wanted to see me ASAP and since he knows where he is, I agreed to go as soon as it gets dark. He had a caretela ready and took off towards Solano as soon as dusk fell. At barrio Bonfal, we debarked, walked about two kms westward and arrived at the place where I will meet Enriquez. It is 9:00pm and I waited another half hour at this place which is at the foot of the mountain, where a group of men that included Enriquez arrived.

Manolo Enriquez was excited and embraced me like a long lost brother. Needless to say I was very happy and grateful. He then introduced me as Major Alcaraz, handing me my appointment with the 14th Inf. He said it was unfortunate Col. Nakar was captured but we have to carry on the mission. I was to Command the new N. Vizcaya Bn. to compose the company under Capt. Guillermo Aban and the company under Capt. Fernando Asuncion together with the BC Company. Capts. Aban and Asuncion were introduced to me and then we moved to another room for confidential intructions and info that include the fact that the 14th Inf. is on the run, the need for secrecy discipline and that he is moving his HQ to Baguio area. I demanded that there be no written communications, that messages between him and me would be transmitted verbatim by an intelligent loyal courier for which Pablo Naval was agreed upon. It was also agreed that our initial activities are to lay low, organize and collect intelligence while I familiarize myself with the people and terrain of N. Vizcaya.

I stayed the entire evening catching up events with L.Col. Enriquez as we slept on adjacent cots. He told me he will inform other unit Comdrs. in the Field like Maj. Romulo Manriquez, Capt. Patricio Dumlao and Lt. Luis Casumpang about me and the new Bn. I will command. He also mentioned that Don Juan Elizalde is our Financial Supporter and that other associates like Col. Alfredo Ramirez and Capt. Juan Calvo may contact me later.

Early this morning, after breakfast, Pablo Naval escorted me back to barrio Bonfal where the caretela was waiting and I went back alone to Bayombong Hotel. After lunch, I dressed up with my BC uniform as 5th Class Inspector, and reported to HQ, BC Bayombong whose Senior Inspector Antonio C. Diano ’19 is so happy to welcome me. I found that we have a BC Company composed mostly of former PA and Phil. Scout soldiers many of whom are Bataan veterans. I like my assignment here specially the temperate climate like Baguio. My reporting formally to this BC post makes my written obligations signed as a POW fulfilled. I feel free again!