A Brief History of the Organization of the Canluran Infantry Regiment - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore A Brief History of the Organization of the Canluran Infantry Regiment - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

A Brief History of the Organization of the Canluran Infantry Regiment

The Canluran Infantry Regiment was a guerrilla outfit that operated out of the Municipality of Taal and was commanded by one Lt. Col. Marcelino D. de la Rosa. The outfit was affiliated with the larger Blue Eagle Command that also operated in Batangas and was attached to United States Army units during the liberation of the province in 1945. In this document1, a brief history of the organization of the guerrilla outfit was provided as one of the requirements in the unit’s application for official recognition by the United States Army.

Guerrilla Files

[p. 1]



Immediately after the cessation of hostilities between the USAFFE and the Japanese forces in the Philippines until the arrival of the liberating forces, the condition of our country was ignominious rather than blissful. Thousands of cases had been reported of people being either burned alive, beheaded without mercy, killed at the point of the bayonet, or subjected to various methods of physical torture, without distinction of age or sex. In our province, civilians had been massacred in public, their homes being reduced to ashes at no cause whatsoever. Even at the slightest fault, mistake or provocation, civilians had been arrested, taken for questionings, and then disappeared completely. If they didn’t die as a result of the punishment, they were released maimed, crippled or sick. The rights of our people were threatened and democracy was at stake. Our dear Philippines was mercilessly trampled upon; human flesh was at [a] premium; womanhood violated and men exposed to butchery and manslaughter. Such was the spirit of that time under which sacrificed and died a great number of our innocent population, who had been reared and nurtured under the democratic principles of government, a rule of law where the rights of men are forever enthroned, where liberty, equality and justice reign supreme and inviolate.

During those odd years, there was total unrest in this country. Aside from the basic issues involved in the present war between the United States and Japan, still there remained for us more important things to fight for — our lands, our homes, our honor, our freedom and independence — something that would invest with living substance such high principles as to uphold our democratic ways of life. Able-bodied men fled to the mountains and started to organize “guerrilla” factions to bid defiance on the Japanese warlike hordes.

Similar to what happened in other places in the Philippines, we, a group of USAFFE officers, headed by Major Amando D. Ylagan, Capts. Gregorio P. Buño, Felipe Gahol, Irineo Cabrera, Jovencio G. Torralba and Mariano Mercado, had decided to form a sort of underground organization for the purpose of continuing the armed resistance against the Japanese. That was in November, 1942. In view of the impossibility of continuing armed resistance without being detrimental to public safety, it was decided to concentrate the activities of this regiment on intelligence work in the meantime, until after the American forces had landed [back on] our shores.

[p. 2]

We used to furnish intelligence reports of vital information concerning the operation and activities of the Japanese Army in the province of Batangas, to the Headquarters of the advance unit of the SWPA under Commander Nickleson [other documents say Nicholson] in Abra de Ilog, Mindoro. There were men belonging to this organization who actually carried on as operatives of Commander Nickleson. Later on, to further strengthen its activities, it was decided to form a regiment based on the table of organization of the Philippine Army, the members of which were from the towns of Taal, Lemery, and San Luis. The key positions were given for obvious reasons to USAFFE officers and men and to a selected few among the civilians, whose academic training and status in life made them more fitted to tackle grave intelligence tasks. This organization, however, had received several offers from known guerrilla organizations to join their units but we refrained from doing so, in the belief that we could also possibly maintain an independent unit, ours being constituted of selected men well-trained for military work, although we promised them help and coordination.

Soon after the organization of this regiment, Lt. Dominador Bello, USAFFE, of the USAFFE-Luzon guerrilla forces, under Capt. Anderson, contacted this organization in order that it could be affiliated to the USAFFE-Luzon guerrilla forces. Due to the apprehension of Lt. Bello by the Japanese Military Police and his confinement in Bilibid Prison in Muntinglupa, where he met his untimely death, this organization was not able to continue its contact with the USAFFE-Luzon guerrilla forces. Then followed the offers of the Espina faction, Jurado through his organization in Panay, and lately the Hunters on or about October 1944. As aforementioned, even without being affiliate to other guerrilla units, it was decided by our ranking officers to continue its activities as an independent unit believing that it could easily fight for its recognition because majority of its officers who were heading the organization were USAFFE officers and selected men. However, it had always been the policy of this organization to maintain cordial relations with other guerrilla organizations in the province. Aside from its activities as [a] guerrilla unit, it had also been the object of this organization to protect the civilian population. We can safely say without fear of contradiction that this organization had not committed any abuse on the civilians, neither had we solicited contributions of any form from them for our maintenance and subsistence. In view of the relentless campaign made by the Japanese Military Police, their spies and Filipino collaborators, this organization had been inactive until after conditions warranted us to continue.

In the early part of December, 1944, this organization received an invitation to join the “Blue Eagle” through Rev. Fr. V. Catapang. As a result of said invitation, Mr. Eduardo Alabastro met the ranking officers of this organization on December 28, 1944. Having been convinced of the genuineness of the constitution and principles upon which the Blue Eagle Command had been organized, the same having direct contact with the SWPA and Panay

[p. 3]

Commands, it was decided to affiliate this regiment to the Blue Eagle Command which was of more international in scope. The two battalions (1st and 2nd) at Sambat and Batangas, respectively, with the Medical Company under Capt. Gregorio M. Noche, MC, were fused to this organization (Taal and Lemery Battalions) and was given the name


To intensify our activities in gathering information concerning the activities of the Japanese Army in Batangas, the Canluran Infantry Regiment had received funds from the Headquarters of the Blue Eagle Command. In view of the fact that Major Ylagan was out of Taal when this organization was contacted by the Military Commander of the Blue Eagle Command, the latter gave the command of the Regiment to Capt. Buño with the understanding that Major Ylagan was to be given a position in the Malakas Division, of which the Canluran Regiment was a part. Later on, the Division Commander of the Malakas Division assigned Lt. Col. Buño as G-2 of the Division and Col. Ylagan as Regimental Commander of this Regiment.

Col. Ylagan, on behalf of this organization, went to Abra de Ilog on January 10, 1945 to maintain contact with the Army that landed in Mindoro and to secure arms for the organization. On his return, he was given a mission to help three American officers under Capt. Richmond, who were members of the staff of Gen. Dunckell, in studying the possibility of landing between the towns of Lemery and Calaca, Batangas. The 4th Battalion under Col. A. D. Ylagan and Major I. Cabrera furnished guides and made sketches for the three (3) American officers aforementioned. Soundings were also taken to verify the depth of the sea bordering Nonong Casto, Lemery, results of which were furnished Lieut. Clip of the party.

Before the landing of the American troops in Nasugbu on January 31, 1945, our troops cut the Japanese communication lines extending from the beach to Durungao and Cuenca, supposed to be the strong fortresses in the province of Batangas. One of our companies under Major Malabanan had several encounters with Japanese soldiers in the barrios of San Luis, causing the loss of some of his men. When the American troops landed at Nasugbu, Cols. Ylagan and Buño, with some officers of the staff, went to Nasugbu to contact the landing General, the Provincial Military Governor and the Division Commander of the Malakas Division, and at the same time to secure arms and ammunition from the landing party. We reported also to the Guerrilla Commander, Capt. Schommers, and this regiment was given a mission to cooperate with other guerrilla units in attacking the Japanese in Mayasang, Lemery, Batangas. The Guerrilla Commander assured Col. Ylagan that arms and ammunition would be furnished us. Col. Ylagan, Major Cabrera and some of our men went to Mayasang in cooperation with other guerrilla units and attacked the Japanese positions.

[p. 4]

On March 6, 1945, the 158th R.C.T., under Gen. McNider, entered the towns of Lemery and Taal, preparatory to operations going to be made against the Japanese Army at Mt. Macolot, Cuenca and Durungao, San Luis. Our men in this regiment served as guides of the American troops in locating enemy positions. We lost two of our men on intelligence missions, Sgt. Lauro Buzeta and Pvt. Ponciano Almaria, in the barrio of Mulawin, Taal during the burning of the said place by the Japanese. Due to lack of arms, most of the activities of this Regiment was limited to intelligence work with the exception of a small number of men who were armed. We also sent constant patrols into Japanese infested areas to prevent infiltration of the enemy snipers and stragglers as per U.S. Army orders.

When the 11th Airborne Division relieved the 158th R.C.T., we continued to extend the same cooperation.

Ours is still an unfinished job, neither are we halfway through. Dangers our still lurking in our sector. We still have to move on and sacrifice our lives to accomplish the aims for which our regiment had been organized. We may still die and perish until the entire length and breadth of our dear Philippines shall have been liberated, but we heartily believe that the dead ashes of our sacrifices will once more be kindled into flames in the hearts of our youth who will soon follow us to continue to a victorious conclusion our unfinished job of liberating our people from the hands of our common enemy — the Japanese nation.

Notes and references:
1 “Canluran Regt, Malakas Div, Blue Eagle Brigade,” File No. 213-13, downloaded from PVAO.
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