January 4, 1943

Today we got S.O, BC HQ, relieving Sr. Insp. Antonio C. Diano ’19, Trfd BC HQ Manila. I am designated Actg. Sr. Insp. effective this date. (The Senior Inspector Post is what was known as PC Prov. Comdr. before). As Actg. Sr. Insp., I made courtesy calls on the Governor, Chief of local Kempei-tai and Japanese Army Garrison. In my conversation with N. Vizcaya’s Gov D. Quirino, I noted that he is converted as a rabid pro-Jap in contrast with his young son, Jose or Joe, a fanatic pro-American who used to bring food from my kitchen to American POWs in the local garrison. The Gov house is just across the street from my residence, we are close but strange neighbors.

During my call with local Japanese military heads, I informed them of the desire of barrio people from Bagabag and Solano to form neighborhood association watch to help us in our peace and order effort. They were happy to hear about the idea and I even requested if Japanese instructors can be assigned to teach them ‘radyo taisho’ which is Japanese calisthenics popular in the military. They also promised me to do that. My purpose in bringing this subject is to have a reason to gather the men of Capt. Guillermo Aban in Bagabag; and of Capt. Fernando Asuncion in Solano for training while laying low. In this manner, they can perform guard duties and basic drills — valid reason to assemble our underground men.

November 8, 1942

When I reported to my new BC post three days ago (Nov. 5), needless to say N. Vizcaya BC Sr. Inspector Antonio C. Diano ’19 my superior and BCA classmate, was so happy to welcome me at his office where we had a private conversation.  He knew my Lanao assignment but I have to tell my “malaria story” that allowed me to escape from reporting there but said nothing on how I was sent to Bayombong. He briefed me about our BC Co. and expressed his desire that I relieve the present CO (Insp. M. Alvarez) who belongs to the first BCA graduates and no previous military experience. He commented that we are lucky to be assigned to a sparsely populated province with a temperate climate like Baguio whose peace and order is manageable now that the guerrillas are on the run since the capture of Col. Nakar ’32 and death of Capt. Agustin Prudenciado ’33.

Nov. 6, a Friday, Sr Inspector Diano accompanied me to the offices of the provincial officials and introduced me to the provincial governor Demetrio Quirino, Prov. Fiscal Atty. Madarang and Judge of the Court of 1st Instance, Nicanor Roxas and the Mayor of Bayombong, Victor Bobila, who happened to be there. This serves as my courtesy call also on them and I was welcomed warmly by everyone.  Sr. Insp. Diano, however, warned me to be careful of all of them as they are appointed by the Japanese administration whose loyalty is uncertain, great remarks by a USAFFE comrade I shall remember.

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 Lambreth, 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!

August 10, 1942

Today is Graduation Day for all POWs that underwent the Rejuvenation Training. After a brief but impressive ceremony at the Camp Dau FA Auditorium, each of us “graduating POWs” were given our “Graduation Papers.” Our Grad. Speaker said we are expected to help the new Phil Gov’t.to be granted her independence by Japan later, in any manner we can, to make her a worthy member of Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The most ranking Filipino official present is former Defense Sec. Teofilo Sison.

Among my “Grad Papers” is one saying I am paroled to the Bureau of Constabulary where I am “ordered” to report at Torres High School, Gagalangin, Manila to commence Police Training on August 30,1942. It turned out this is our day of liberation, we are now free to go home and see our family. I have my release papers with conditions.

In my Malolos Group, I and M. Gomez ’41, my ExO are both to report for police training but the others (Lts. E. Baltazar, C. Oanes & R. Corbilla) all artillery officers are paroled to the AA Command. My Malolos Group bade goodspeed. I do not know how our assignments are determined but those assigned to police work are former constabulary Os like Cols. Lizardo, Domaoal, Javalera, Diano, etc and they all welcomed it. They claimed we are lucky not to be with the AA Command.

Another vital insight I got of our training is that if the Philippines wants to be great as an indepedent maritime nation, it is to follow the example of Japan by fully developing her maritime and sea power potentials.

After the ceremony, most of us proceeded to Mabalacat railway station where I boarded the noon train for Manila, debarking from Malolos station at 2:00 PM, then proceeding home to Plaridel to the pleasant surprise of my family. I found my wife, Lucy, so beautiful, happily waiting with our lovely first born daughter, Cecilia (born Aug 3rd) in her arms. It was a most happy coming home to my beloved mother, brothers and sisters all taking care of my new family. All my sufferings and heartaches as a POW suddenly disappeared.