Activities of the Rainbow Regiment Before the Landing of the Americans - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Activities of the Rainbow Regiment Before the Landing of the Americans - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Activities of the Rainbow Regiment Before the Landing of the Americans

The Rainbow Regiment was a guerrilla organization founded by patriotic citizens from western Batangas. To learn more about the group, please refer to this article on Batangas History, Culture and Folklore. This document1 is the second of a three-part series on the organization and activities of the guerrilla group. This transcription has been edited here and there for grammar, spelling and punctuation.

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The activities of the organization may be divided into five parts corresponding to the different phases of the organization.

FROM MAY 1942 TO 30 APRIL 1943

Soon after the organization of the different battalions, the members engaged in propaganda work. This was of prime importance and carried out for two reasons. First, to keep the faith of the people and bolster their morale. Second, to counteract the Japanese propaganda. The activities as actually performed may be outlined as follows:
Guerrilla Files

1. 10 August 1942 – Captain Cenon Ilao and Lt. Ceferino C. Deguito of the unit helped four Americans to get away to Mindoro. Captain Ilao carried food and medicine to the American hideout. The Americans were sheltered by the Lopez family of Balayan. The names of the Americans were Major William F. Harris, USMC, Thumbler A. Armstrong, Edward Whitcomb and Reid C. Chamberlain. They left on a 30 ft sailboat.

2. Major Amador Deguito contacted Col. Hugh Straughn (0-2515) at the Sierra Madre Mountains and was given authority to organize [the] unit on 15 August 1942.

3. Intelligence work –

(a) Observation and notation of different Jap installations, fortifications, concentrations and supplies.
(b) Making maps and sketches of different enemy positions.
All information of vital importance is transmitted to the HQ of Col. Hugh Straughn either by courier or through Major Deguito personally.
4. Sabotage –
(a) Destruction of Japanese equipment, transportation facilities and communication lines.
Oftentimes, to their great annoyance, the Japs found out that their trucks and other vehicles would not go or some of their equipment [were] missing. The Japs, however, vented their anger upon the civilians, calling them “dorobo.”
(b) Elimination of Japanese spies
The most hated persons by the guerrillas and civilians were the spies employed by the Japanese. Whenever possible, they were eliminated

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and their arms confiscated.
(c) Ambushing and waylaying of Japs
Although there was an instruction to avoid combat with the Japanese, we could not resist attacking them when we saw them in small numbers or two to ten in a patrol. In fact, this was one of the best sources for securing arms.
5. Securing arms –
The initial arms of the unit consisted of thirty-five (35) rifles secured by members of the unit and twelve (12) rifles bought for the unit. The combat detachment started with forty-seven arms.
(a) By buying
The unit was able to buy twelve rifles at once which were given to the combat detachment. They were also used in [the] training of non-commissioned officers and enlisted men
(b) Confiscation from captured Japanese soldiers and spies.
(c) Surrendered arms to the Constabulary
The Constabulary was the main source of arms and ammunition of the guerrillas. Arms surrendered to the Constabulary were given to the unit if they were serviceable. If the arms were not serviceable, they were surrendered to the Japanese. Sometimes, we had to look for destroyed rifles and revolvers to exchange for the good ones in order that the Japs might not detect what was done. In fact, all Constabulary under Col. Cabarrubia who were planted there were guerrillas.
6. Canvassing of men -
Joining the unit was purely voluntary. However, since many wanted to join, careful physical examination was resorted to and we had to limit the number due to food supply and to avoid discovery by the Japanese Kempetai. Men who could stand the hardships of mountain life were selected.
7. Training -
A program of training was carefully laid out in order to give adequate training to [a] large number of members as possible without being discovered.
(a) Officers – They were trained at the Regimental CPs or at the CP of Col. Cabarrubia.
(b) Non-commissioned officers and enlisted men – They were trained at their respective battalion CPs.
8. Combat patrols -
(a) Combat patrols were sent to the different regions in western Batangas. The very first action was an attack on a Jap patrol of five men north of Palico Junction. All Japs were killed and five rifles and ammunition captured.
(b) Ambushing of a Jap patrol of seven men and two unknown spies. All were killed and seven rifles and two revolvers were captured.
The combat unit of the organization was formed on 10 October 1942 by Colonel Mariano H. Cabarrubia. It was called the “Trigger Squad” because they went out by squads on patrols. The members were hardy volunteers and veterans, brave, daring and level-headed. This unit grew as the arms increased and finally became a battalion that caused worry and terror

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among the Japanese.

The problem of food supply was, at first, hard. However, the people soon realized the value of the unit and cooperation was established. The rich owners of haciendas gave unqualified support to our unit thru Lt. Col. Jose Razon of the Roxas y Cia; [the] Zobel family thru Lt. Col. Jacobo Zobel of the Ayala y Cia.; and [the] other big families of Balayan and Tuy.

FROM 1 MAY 1943 TO 23 JUNE 1944

By this time, the FAIT in the western Batangas region being affiliated directly to Col. Straughn (0-2515) was consolidated and formally became a part of the BATANGAS FAIT of Colonel Hugh Straughn under the overall command of Col. Jorge Espina.
1. Securing of arms and ammunition -
(a) Bought from Bataan
It came to the attention of the guerrilla leaders that there were many rifles hoarded and hidden by civilians and guerrillas at Bataan. Representatives were sent to the region in order to buy arms. Fifty rifles were bought and transported to Lian by bancas. From Lian, the arms were easily transferred to the regional commanders’ CPs.
(b) Arms surrendered to the Constabulary
The Japanese at this time conducted an intensive campaign for the surrender of arms held by civilians, especially licensed arms, during the Commonwealth time. Those arms surrendered to the Constabulary if serviceable found their way into the hands of guerrillas while the unserviceable ones were given to the Japanese.
(c) Hand grenades and pistols from Major Phillips
On 20 December 1943, Captain Emilio Macabuag, representing Major Phillips, contacted Major Rodolfo G. Bahia through Captain Francisco Hernandez, my liaison officer. Supplies such as cigarettes, candies and chocolates with wrappers marked “I shall return – MacArthur” and medicines were given to the battalion. Two days later, Captain Macabuag and Lt. Marcelino Mosquera of Peralta’s 6th MD contacted Col. Cabarrubia at his HQ. Several hand grenades and supplies like those given to Major Bahia were given to the Colonel. Pistols were given to Major Calingasan by members of this party. The supplies, though very little, proved to be of high moral value for they strengthened the faith of the people in America and the determination to resist the enemy at all cost.
(d) Confiscated arms from Japanese soldiers and Japanese spies
From time to time, Jap patrols were waylaid and attacked and their arms confiscated. Occasionally, spies employed by the Japanese were captured and their arms confiscated.
2. Intelligence work
Intelligence work was done intensively throughout the region and intelligence reports about other regions were furnished the HQ of Colonel Cabarrubia from the Division HQ of FAIT at Batangas and from neighboring guerrillas of other affiliations. Intelligence reports were submitted regularly every week to the Division S-2 and transmitted to Batangas. Matters of grave

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importance were sent hastily.
(a) Colonel Cabarrubia furnished Capt. Macabuag and Lt. Mosquera vital military information which were transmitted to Major Phillips at Mindoro and then to SWPA in Australia.
(b) Captain Lorenzo Galvez was sent to Mindoro as liaison officer with [the] Major Phillips party.
(c) Important military information] relayed to Capt. Macabuag, in charge of the radio station established by Major Phillips at Cape Santiago, Calatagan, Batangas. Captain Macabuag was CO of his unit in Calatagan named “Major Phillips Unit” in honor of Major Phillips. (Unit’s name kept a secret. We addressed or referred to Major Phillips as “Paco.”) Captain Macabuag and his men were often protected by combat patrol from the organization when engaged in delicate missions assigned to him.
(d) Making of a secret map containing indications of Jap movement, locations of fortifications, armaments and supplies and terrain of the different localities.
3. Sabotage -
(a) Prevention of the success of the Japanese sugar and cotton industries. Every possible means was done to prevent the success of these industries. The cotton plants were treated with adulterated fertilizers prescribed by the Japs so that they either died or grew feebly. Prevention of success of the sugar industry was also done and combat and security patrols of the organization allowed civilians to steal Japanese sugar and alcohol.
4. Combat patrols -
The organization by this time maintained two combat companies engaged [in] maintaining peace and order in different municipalities, protecting sabotage squads and sometimes intelligence operatives. Japanese patrols were sometimes attacked and their arms taken.
(a) For [the] protection of civilians in the towns as well as the barrios from Japanese atrocities and from outlaws. Sometimes, [the] Japanese went out to pillage the people both in the towns and in the barrios. At other times, bands of outlaws tried to rob the people and what was worse was that they represented themselves as guerrillas. Oftentimes, bands of unknown men would ask for contributions either in money or foodstuffs for the support of guerrillas. Such if not prevented would create a bad name for the guerrillas and it would lose the people’s cooperation.
(b) Elimination of spies in Japanese employ and ambushing of Japanese patrols. There were occasions when Japs were caught and liquidated. Japanese patrols of small numbers were often attacked. Spies were eliminated. Later on, the Japanese began to learn their lessons and they sent out large patrols or groups of patrols. Finally, they established a garrison of [a] strong force at the Sugar Central in Lumbangan, Nasugbu.
5. Special activities -
(a) Sending of Americans to Major Phillips’ HQ in Mindoro on 31 January 1943. The Americans were Major Robert Kramer, Army Engineer; Patrick Melody; and Eugene Jorgensen.
Major Deguito of our unit and Col. Jose Lopez Manzano of the Rillo-Nery Unit decided that it would be safe to send to Mindoro the three Americans hiding

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at [the] Lopez property near the foot of Mt. Batulao. The evacuation to Mindoro was engineered by the following officers: Col. Manzano and Capt. Marciano Ilaganof the Rillo-Nery Unit and Majors Deguito, Unson, Capt. Ilao, Lt. Ceferino C. Deguito and Sgt. Francisco de Guia of our unit. At the instance [insistence?] of Captain Emilio Macabuag, representing Major Phillips, Capt. Francisco Hernandez headed a strong combat patrol sent by Col. Cabarrubia to maintain security at all cost. Captain Macabuag received the Americans in Mindoro.
(b) Evacuation of Harold Guentner to Mindoro, [an] American soldier [who] had been hiding under the protection of Major Calingasan. He was sent to Mindoro accompanied by Tomas Panaligan and escorted by Captain Macabuag and Sgt. Clemente Pantoja, the famous courier of Major Phillips and later Commander Rowe.
6. Training -
(a) Enlisted men were trained in small groups at their respective battalion CPs in order to evade detection.
(b) Officers were trained at the CP of the regional commander Col. Cabarrubia under his personal command and other experienced officers. Special men for combat duties were also trained in this CP using both Springfield, Enfield and Japanese rifles.
7. Arrests and executions of leaders -
About the middle of March 1944, Majors Bahia, Deguito, Calingasan and Capt. Demetrio Hernandez were arrested. Prior to their arrests, raids were conducted by the Japanese at Mindoro and Calatagan and followed by the mass arrests in the whole province of Batangas. The American, Harold Guentner, was captured in Mindoro and brought back to Batangas. Major Phillips was killed by the Japs near Abra de Ilog, Mindoro while our liaison officer’s fate could not be ascertained. Captain Macabuag was also arrested. Majors Bahia and Deguito as well as Captain Demetrio Hernandez were executed. Colonel Cabarrubia was arrested but was released because nobody would identify him as a guerrilla. Col. Espina and Major Tuguigui were arrested and subsequently killed.
On 4 April 1944, all officers of the FAIT western Batangas were arrested and imprisoned in the Nasugbu Garrison. Colonel Mariano H. Cabarrubia prepared the two combat companies to attack the Japanese Garrison in order to rescue the officers. A two-pronged attack was planned. One company would attack from the east starting from the HQ at Palico. The other company would attack from the north starting from the CP at Munting Indang. The attack was not consummated, however, because the Japanese finally released the officers.
8. Reorganization -
When the officers were released about the middle of April, 1944, they found out that their leaders were killed. Even the Division CO, Jorge Espina, was killed. In spite of the close vigilance of the Japanese, the officers selected Major Jose T. Unson as the CO for Balayan. Col. Cabarrubia reorganized the units at Tuy, Nasugbu and Lian. He consolidated the units and placed them under his personal command. Hence, the organization never ceased to function from the date of inception in 1942 until the present time, although it had undergone several phases of organization.

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FROM 24 JUNE 1944 TO 23 SEPTEMBER 1944

Beginning 24 June 1944, the organization was named “Cabarrubia Guerrilla Unit.” The organization retained that name until 23 September 1944 when it was again changed. The activities during this period are outlined below.
1. Intelligence work -
(a) Intensified gathering of military information of same.
(b) Making sketches of Jap positions and maps showing locations of Japanese installations. The information was furnished to operatives of other units who came to the region.
(c) Furnishing important information to operatives of Commander Rowe (alias Commander Nicholson) at Mindoro.
(d) On 1 September 1944, Major Calingasan accompanied Sgt. Gerald Berg of Rowe’s outfit in Mindoro in his mission of photographing Corregidor from Patungan.
(e) [The] Organization’s outfit at Balayan contacted Rowe’s party through Capt. Macabuag of [the] Major Phillips Unit who was reporting to Rowe.
2. Sabotage -
(a) On 4 July 1944, a detachment led by Captain Maglunog sabotaged the Japanese installation of machineries for the cotton industry at Balayan, resulting in the ruin of the machines and destruction of the installation.
With the cooperation of ex-USAFFEs employed by the Japs from the time of their release from Capaz, much destruction was wrought upon the Japanese property.
(b) Destruction of Japanese communication lines and transportation equipment.
Our men used to sabotage the trucks and other vehicles to impede Jap transportation and communications.
(c) On 4 September 1944, Capt. Francisco Hernandez and Lt. Prudencio del Rosario, with a small patrol, sabotaged the gun emplacement at Sampiro. Result: the gun crashed and resulted in the death of a Japanese officer and wounding of many soldiers.
3. Combat patrols -
(a) On 4 July 1944, a combat patrol led by Major Damian Cunanan intercepted a Japanese patrol on its way to Lian at [the] boundary of Tuy and Lian. Eleven Japanese were killed and nine rifles and ammunition captured. Three men of Major Cunanan were seriously wounded.
(b) On 1 August 1944, a combat patrol under Major Calingasan attacked a Japanese patrol at Toong, Tuy and seven Japs were killed. Seven rifles were also captured.
(c) On 23 August 1944, a combat patrol led by Major Bonifacio Cunamay encountered a Japanese patrol at the bend of the road of the Tagaytay highway near Aga. The Japs were caught unaware and they

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lost 17 men and left behind twenty-three rifles and plenty of ammunition. The Japs were very bitter at the outlaws that were operating at Tagaytay who often held both civilians and Japanese trucks.
(d) Small combat patrols were regularly sent to different municipalities to preserve peace and order and to prevent the Japanese from getting supplies.
(e) Small patrols sent out to protect sabotage and intelligence squads.
(f) Strong combat patrols to keep out the outlaws from infiltrating into the region and to combat the Japanese patrols whenever possible to do so.
4. Training -
The same program of training adopted before was followed.
5. Special activities -
From 8 September 1944 to 17 September 1944, upon order of Colonel Mariano H. Cabarrubia, 127 firearms, all ammunition and supplies of the Constabulary detachment at Palico were secretly carried to the regimental CP of Col. Cabarrubia. When the transfer or arms and supplies were completed, all officers and men of the Constabulary at Palico numbering 110 and headed by Colonel Cabarrubia defied the Japanese. They left for the mountain hideouts. The Japanese garrison at Nasugbu sent a strong detachment against them the day they left, 17 September 1944; it was repulsed and the Japs driven back. From that day, frequent skirmishes occurred between Japanese patrols and Cabarrubia’s combat battalion.


This period covered the time when the organization was renamed “RAINBOW REGIMENT,” Malakas Division, AUSA, until the landing of the Americans at Nasugbu, Batangas on 31 January 1945. After that date, the Rainbow Regiment was inducted into the United States Army by Major Jay D. Vanderpool and placed under his order. The activities under this period are outlined as follows:
1. Intelligence work -
(a) Intensified intelligence work carried out especially at Nasugbu and along the seacoasts of the region.
(b) A complete, detailed and elaborate map of the region covering Nasugbu to Lemery was prepared, indicating the Japanese positions, fortifications, installations, strengths and dispositions of men in each position, armaments and supplies. The terrains, trails and other details were indicated.
(c) Important military information relayed to radio station at Mt. Luya and a security patrol always maintained to protect the station.
(d) In the early part of January, a courter from Major Jay D. Vanderpool brought an order for Col. Cabarrubia to a conference but due to his illness at the time, he requested Col. Villadolid, another ranking officer of the Malakas Division, to represent him.
(e) On 24 January 1945, Capts. Francisco Hernandez and Lorenzo Galvez of our unit, together with Capt. Macabuag, were contacted by Sgt. Donald

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Ash at Cape San Pedrino. The Americans arrived by PT boat. The important map referred to in (b) was delivered to Sgt. Donald Ash.
Lt. Del Rosario, on order of Capt. Hernandez, headed a strong patrol and cut all the telephone lines of the Japanese at Balayan, Tuy and Calaca.
Arrangement was made whereby the Americans would attack the naval base of the Japs at Sampiro and the Rainbow Combat Battalion would attack from the land. The plan did not materialize because (1) the messenger was delayed on the way and (2) Captain Galvez was killed in an encounter with a Japanese patrol at Talibayog, Calatagan.

2. Combat patrols -
(a) On 25 September 1944, Colonel Cabarrubia intercepted a Japanese patrol at Tumalim and killed five Japanese and wounding several more. The Japs retreated, leaving five rifles and ammunition and fine [five?] grenades.
(b) Strong combat patrols were sent to different municipalities to counteract Japanese moves and prevent lawlessness.
(c) Strong highway patrols maintained to ambush Japanese. Highway patrols had often engaged isolated groups of Japanese and Japanese patrols on the Tuy-Balayan road, Tuy-Lian-Calatagan Road, Nasugbu-Tuy road and Tagaytay highway. In the long run, the Japanese sent armored cars and heavily armed trucks. Many Japanese lives and arms were lost to the highway patrols. The bridges of Palico, Cacawan and Bayudbud were saved by the patrols from Japanese demolition squads. These bridges proved important to the 11th Airborne Division when they advanced to Manila after landing at Nasugbu.
(d) On 20 January 1945, a strong detachment headed by Captain Silvino Tolentino attacked the Japanese garrison at Nasugbu. The Japanese suffered a casualty of six killed and several wounded. At sergeant in Capt. Tolentino’s detachment was wounded.
(e) On 27 January 1945, a strong Japanese patrol intercepted Capt. Lorenzo Galvez and his party at Talibayog, Calatagan, and in the encounter, Capt. Galvez was killed.
(f) A strong advanced patrol headed by Capts. Teodoro Maglunog and Francisco Hernandez went to Baha, Calatagan, ahead of Col. Cabarrubia’s combat company. This patrol of nineteen men tried to rescue Captain Galvez and his party. The patrol was encircled by Japs coming from Sampiro and Santiago on Pagaspas Bay. Capt. Hernandez, with two companions, eluded the Japs and reached Balayan to report to Col. Cabarrubia. Captain Galvez’s men escaped the Japs’ encirclement and sailed for Camp Nimitz in Mindoro, HQ of Commander Rowe.
(g) All battalions were alerted for combat actions.
(h) Following an attack order issued by Major Jay D. Vanderpool for the guerrillas, the Rainbow Regiment went into action. Major Vicente Ca-

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lingasan and Major Damian Cunanan attacked a heavy Japanese concentration at Toong, Tuy. The Japs were caught by surprise and lost many men in the initial attack. They soon recovered and resisted fiercely. With superior number and arms, the attack was repulsed and our men retired to the CP at Banilad. Another patrol attacked the Japanese stationed at the three bridges on the Tagaytay highway and the Japanese demolition squads were dispersed. The Japanese retreated northeastward to Aga, the Jap stronghold.
3. Sabotage -
(a) On 1 November 1944, a detachment under Capt. Teodoro Maglunog, accompanied by Lt. Victoriano Yapchapco, dynamited the naval gun emplacement of the Japs at Mt. San Pedrino. The extent of the damage could not be ascertained, but it was a fact that the gun was never used even during the attack at Sampiro.

On 31 January 1945, soon after the landing of the 11th Airborne Division at Nasugbu, Batangas, Colonel Cabarrubia reported to Major Jay D. Vanderpool at ten o’clock in the morning. He had with him at the time two companies of fully armed men numbering three hundred (300). Of the arms used, one hundred sixty-one (161) were Springfields, Enfields, Browning Automatic Rifles and a few carbines. The rest, numbering one hundred and twenty-nine (129), were Japanese rifles and several revolvers captured from Japanese soldiers and spies. These did not include side arms used by the officers which were their personal properties.

The combat battalion alone was responsible for inflicting a total casualty of one hundred nineteen (119) Japanese killed and captured and one hundred and twenty-nine (129) arms. These did not include the arms captured by the different battalions which were used at their respective CPs. officers which were their personal properties.

s/ Mariano H. Cabarrubia
Colonel Infantry (Guerrilla)
CO Rainbow Regiment & Rainbow
Combat Battalion, Malakas Division


Chief, Statistics Branch
Records and Fiscal Division
Notes and references:
1 Box 258, Entry 1094, Philippine Archive Collection, Record Groupo 407, United States National Archives, downloaded from Philippine Veteran Association Office.
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