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December 17, 1941

I felt greatly privileged and proud when I was assigned, among others, to guard the Philippine Army Headquarters. Never was I more proud of my country than that day. My heart swelled with pride and joy to see young men by the thousands, swarming into the headquarters to volunteer their service. Rizal was right. They were indeed the “fair Hope of the fatherland.”

I was surprised and astounded to read from headlines, as newsboys passed my post, that the SS Corregidor had sunk off the bay with hundreds of men, women and children. My aunt’s entire family was scheduled to leave on that boat but luckily missed it.