A Narrative History of the Maculot Battalion Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore A Narrative History of the Maculot Battalion Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

A Narrative History of the Maculot Battalion Part I



The Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT) was a large guerrilla organization formed by the retired American officer Hugh Straughn. It had many units operating around Luzon, including Batangas. Among this was the Maculot Battalion which operated in the town of Cuenca, Batangas. The unit was among those that were officially recognized as elements of the Philippine Army in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States in the Western Pacific during World War II. In this document1, a historical account of the Maculot Regiment is provided as part of the requirements for its application to be officially recognized as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the United States Forces in the Western Pacific.

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Guerrilla Files



: Narrative history of the Macolot Regiment.
: To the General Headquarters,
Philippine Army

Immediately after the outbreak of the Pacific War, the undersigned left his home in Batangas, Batangas, and evacuated to the barrio of Bayoyoñgan, Talisay, with his family. While in this locality, the idea of organizing a Guerrilla Unit came to his mind, primarily to help in the preservation of peace and order, protection of public interest and, secondly, to have a force prepared to cooperate with the American forces in their fight for the preservation of democracy and the right of the small nations to live an independent existence. Convinced of the wisdom of the plan, he proceeded to Cuenca.

It was in the month of February, 1942 when he left Bayoyoñgan for Cuenca, and upon arrival at the place, he started a whispering campaign to win supporters of his plan. Encouraged by the spontaneous response of those to whom the idea was revealed, he immediately proceeded to organize the staff of officers with instruction to proceed in the enlistment of men for their respective companies. By May, 1943, the number of officers and enlisted men constituting a Regiment of four (4) Battalions including the Headquarters Battalion was completed.

In April, 1942, just a few days after the fall of Bataan, an incident of interest worthwhile mentioning in this narrative because of its relation with the organization was the arrival at Bayoyoñgan of four American officers, namely: Capts. Farrel and Gregory and Lts. Kramer and Georgensen, who escaped from Bataan. Being one of the fifteen prominent persons in the abovementioned barrio who took care of said officers while hiding in the mountain, the undersigned with his fourteen companions became wanted by the Japanese Military Police in Lipa, Batangas, the matter having been reported by the Sakdals in Bayoyoñgan. From that time, great precaution had to be taken to avoid discovery by the Japanese of the existence of the organization. In spite of the secrecy of movements, the organization became known to the Japanese authorities thru the activities of their spies. There was no other alternative left but to hide in the mountain of Cuenca with a few of his men. While thus hiding, he traveled secretly from place to place to wit: San

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Jose, Mataasnakahoy and Bauan to win more sympathizers for the organization, and to his surprise, all those interviewed were easily won over to join the Unit. In this travel, the people were warned to be aware of the spies and bad elements who, taking advantage of the chaos and confusion then existing, posed as guerrillas to extort money, food supplies and clothing from the civilian populace. As already stated above, by May, 1943, the quota for one Regiment was filled, but enlistment proceeded and at this writing, the number of officers and enlisted men is sufficient for two Regiments as may be seen int the roster submitted to the Headquarters of the Fil-Americans in Manila.

From the beginning of the year 1943, the activities of the organization was limited to the training of men in their respective localities by able officers who had previous military training, in checking subversive activities and in preventing undesirable elements from carrying out their evil designs as given in the preceding paragraph hereof. It is deemed worthwhile mentioning here that guerrillas from other towns used to come once in a while to Cuenca to extort money, food supplies and clothing from the civilians. The question of stopping these evil practices of some guerrilla groups was a difficult task, but orders were given to all Battalion Commanders to instruct their respective officers to assign guards in their respective communities to watch for the intruders and to place them under arrest. This was quite a difficult task but the battle was won. None of the intruders succeeded. They were put under proper control for the organization was primarily committed to the ideal of service and the protection of public interest even to the extent of sacrificing their lives.

At the outset, the question of joining a bigger organization was deemed in order but difficulty of travel and communication was a great handicap. However, in July 1943, the late Lt. Col. Dionisio Medrana, an organizer of the Marking’s Guerrillas, came to Cuenca and a conference between him and the undersigned took place at Dita, Cuenca. At the conclusion of the interview, it was agreed that this outfit should join the Marking’s. The roster was then prepared for one Regiment and duplicate copies of said roster were given to him. As to whether or not the roster reached the General Headquarters of the Marking’s Guerrillas, nobody knows. All that is now on record is that two months after the conference at the barrio herein mentioned, he was captured at Pulo Islands, brought to Batangas and escaping from jail, was shot to death at barrio Tinga, Batangas. After the death of Lt. Col. Medrana, the communication with the Marking’s guerrillas was cut and the organization was again at a loss with reference to connection.

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On the invitation of the late Major D. Reyes of the Fil-Americans and at the time acting as Liaison Officer of the late Colonel Espina, a conference was held on February 28, 1944 at Alitagtag. Present in the conference from this Guerrilla outfit were the undersigned, Majors E. P. La Rosa, J. M. Cuevas and J. Limbo, Capts. P. Larcia, A. Briones and A. Dipasupil. Nothing of importance transpired in the conference as the conference [conferers?] were unable to come to terms. It was only agreed that the Espina faction operating in Alitagtag and in towns adjoining at Cuenca, San Jose and Mataasnakahoy should not interfere with all matters affecting this sector.

Simultaneously with the conference mentioned above, an emissary was sent to Mindoro with a view to seeking connection with the organization of the late Col. E. Jurado. To Lt. A. Marasigan fell the obligation of undertaking the task. The trip was not fruitful.

Having been informed of the existence of a branch of the Marking’s Guerrillas in Tiaong, Tayabas, under the command of Gen. Vicente Umali, and having in mind the general welfare of the organization, Capt. P. Larcia was chosen as liaison officer to confer with the herein mentioned general for the revival of the former connection with the Marking’s Guerrillas. Upon his return with all the papers relating to the steps to be taken before this Unit could be accepted, preparations of the rosters of officers and enlisted men were made. Upon completion of the roster, same was brought personally to Tiaong by Majors E. P. La Rosa and Lt. Manuel Torres. Again, the organization was connected with the Marking’s Guerrillas and it received orders from the headquarters of Gen. V. Umali until late in December, 1944, when the Guerrillas in Batangas under the commands of Colonels P. Pasia, G. Luansing Jr., M. Farol, F. Gagalac, and A. Laurel unanimously voted separation from the command of Gen. V. Umali, commander of the PQOG, formerly Marking’s Guerrillas. As to the cause of the separation, it is deemed highly improper to make mention of the same hereon.

This declaration of independence from Gen. Umali’s faction was prompted by the desire of the different Guerrilla Commanders in Batangas to unify their forces under one command, but lack of material time made the realization of the objective impossible. Each unit, therefore, had to act independently of each other from January 1, 1945. This state of affairs, however, did not in the least affect the noble objectives for which these different guerrilla organizations were created. When the American forces landed at Nasugbu, all guerrilla leaders presented themselves one after another offering the services of their respective Units in fighting the enemy.

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During the intervening period from September, 1944 to February 12, 1945, the Regimental Headquarters of this Guerrilla outfit was located a Kalamayin, a sitio within the jurisdiction of the barrio of Dita, Cuenca, along the shore of Lake Taal.

One day in October, 1944, the Headquarters was raided by a contingent of Japanese patrol consisting of more than 30 men guided by spies, but none was captured. Two civilians were tied by the hands but later on they were released. It was also in this Headquarters where the most trying moments in the life of this Organization were experienced by the Staff and men of the Headquarters Company. Shortage of food supply was acute and, most of the time, the guerrillas had to go on with two meals a day consisting of camotes, bananas and corn with only one-third (⅓) of rice. This situation lasted until February 12, 1945, when the Regimental Headquarters was moved to Polo Island. It is gratifying to note that all the officers and men of the unit who were there in active service underwent this most trying experience with admirable patience and forebearance.

Upon being informed of the landing of the American forces in Nasugbu on January 31, 1945, a conference among the officers of this Unit was held in the afternoon of the following day (Feb. 1), and in this conference, it was decided to evacuate all the people living along the shore of Lake Taal from sitio Lumampao, Cuenca, to Kinalaglagan, Mataasnakahoy to Polo Island. Orders were then issued to the different Sector Commanders of the Unit to commandeer all the sailboats along the seashore from Lumampao to Kinalaglagan for the transportation of the people thereof to the said island. This step was deemed imperative because the Japanese forces stationed in Cuenca, more particularly those who occupied Dita and Mataasnakahoy, had already started the massacre of civilians including women and children. The evacuation commenced on February 5, and in most cases the sailboats were manned with the guerrillas. Sailboats in great number were seen on the sea day and night loaded with men, women, children, food supplies and other personal belongings. When the news of this evacuation reached the people of Alitagtag and those living in the northern barrios of San Jose and Lipa, they also left their homes, brought whatever little provisions they could carry, went to the nearest point where they could be picked up by the boats and sent their respective requests for transportation to the Headquarters of this Unit on Polo Island. This burdensome task was shouldered by the direct management and supervision of this Organization for almost two months. It was estimated that the number of people

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evacuated to the island during this period was more than 30 thousand. In a place where people are overcrowded, preventive measures touching upon sanitation are indispensable, hence the need of detailing a number a number of guerrillas to look after the cleanliness of the premises and surroundings of the buildings in the evacuation center. The people were also required to provide toilet facilities for each family.

Peace and order should be maintained. For this work, a sufficient number of guerrillas had to be detailed to perform police duties in the locality. Petty robberies and other petty offenses committed against individuals and the government of the colony were tried in the Regimental Headquarters by the Judge Advocate of this Unit, Capt. A. Lubrin, an attorney by profession.

Since the arrival of the American forces in Nasugbu, the need to contact the Commanding Officer of all the guerrilla forces in Southern Luzon was thought in order. On March 1, 1945, the undersigned, with Capt. A Briones and ten enlisted men left Polo Island for Nasugbu via Tagaytay. At Nasugbu, it was learned that Major Vanderpool was the American officer in charge of the guerrillas, but he was in Parañaque. After three days’ stay in the herein mentioned town, the party left for Tagaytay, and upon arrival thereat, the ten enlisted men were ordered to return to Polo Island, leaving behind Capt. A. Briones and the undersigned. Parañaque was the next point to visit. Arriving in Parañaque late in the evening of March 4, arrangement for an interview with Major Vanderpool early the next morning was made. At about 8:00 a.m. of the following day, the interview took place in his office. A note was handed to the undersigned to be presented to Capt. Schommer, who was then 2nd in command of the guerrilla forces. After reading the note, a short interview took place in which he outlined the activities to be pursued by this guerrilla outfit. He put his points in writing. On the whole, the outline covered intelligence activities of vital importance to the United States Army. Arriving at Polo early in the morning of the next day (March 6, 1945), a conference among the officers of the Unit was called to inform them of the results of the trip, giving emphasis to intelligence work. Intelligence operatives were then ordered to proceed to Mataasnakahoy and Cuenca to get vital information with sketches for the Guerrilla Headquarters at Tagatytay.

Reports on the arrival of the American forces in Alitagtag on March 7, 1945 was received at the Headquarters in the afternoon of the next day. As stated in the first paragraph of this narrative, one of the objectives of this Organization is to help and cooperate with the American forces in fighting the


Notes and references:
1 MACULOT BATTALION FAIT, File No. 110-67, downloaded from PVAO.
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