A Brief History of the Pioneer Calaca Town Guerrillas - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore A Brief History of the Pioneer Calaca Town Guerrillas - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

A Brief History of the Pioneer Calaca Town Guerrillas

The Pioneer Calaca Town Unit was one of many units of the large Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT) organized by the retired American Colonel Hugh Straughn at the onset of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. This guerrilla organization had many such units operating in other towns of Batangas, including the one in Calaca commanded by one Pablo de Joya. In this document1 is contained a brief history of the Pioneer Calaca Town Unit sent to the United States Army as part of the unit’s application for official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the United States Armed Forces during the liberation of the Philippines.

Guerrilla Files

[p. 1]


The news that thousands of American and Filipino soldiers died in our prison camps and of the crimes committed by the Japanese to our women and children aroused the fury of our people against the Japanese invaders. It was then futile to take up arms, we then being poorly organized and unprepared. But the hate for the cruel Japanese did not [unreadable] away or end there; in fact, the hate found expression in some way or other.

Sometime on October 16, 1942, Atty. Pablo S. de Joya called the attention of some men, that since we might be killed, our women be abused without resistance and help the cause of America in the prosecution of war to victory, that an underground resistance movement be organized. Many were more than willing to join, having realized and known that DEMOCRACY is sweet — very sweet! Jose de Leon (1st Yr. Medicine) was approached about the matter, organization being delicate and be kept with complete secrecy. It being harvest time and some of the men to be recruited to join the cause being in the barrios, it was thought best that a meeting be held in the house of Atty. Pablo S. de Joya. Present were Delfin de Leon (Pharmacist), Policarpio B. Mendoza (B.S.C. graduate), Jaime de Leon (H.S. graduate) and Atty. Pablo S. de Joya. It was agreed that men be recruited.

During the second meeting in one of the huts in Bagongtubig (one of the barrios in Calaca), it was decided that the guerrilla movement just organized be affiliated to a guerrilla [unit] organized in Balayan to have connections. Policarpio B. Mendoza, who was born in Balayan but was living in Calaca at the time, was told to shoulder the mission. The case was dropped for a time because Policarpio B. Mendoza was then sickly.

Just then, in December 1942, Major Amador Deguito came to Calaca and convinced us to join their guerrilla organization. We did, and affiliated our movement to the Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrillas Fil-American Irregular Troops. From that time on, we were sending reports to Major Deguito through our so-called “runner” about the activities of our organization. When, however, Major Amador Deguito was apprehended by the Japanese soldiers and later killed, we contacted Colonel Vicente Galvez in 1944.


When the Japanese cotton growing company was established in Calaca, the fury against the Japanese was aroused to greater heights, because nearly all fertile land was planted to cotton and we would be short of foodstuff. A meeting was held in the house of Atty.

[p. 2]

Pablo S. de Joya. Delfin de Leon asked those present the best thing to do in order that the efforts of the Japanese cotton company be futile. Having [been] discovered by some of our members through [the] underground movement that the cotton to be raised by the Japanese was not to be used solely or purposely for clothing but to be used for war material. Lt. Delfin de Leon suggested to convince the cotton farmers that the fertilizers distributed by the cotton company to them be buried or thrown to the river. We told cotton tenants that they should report only portions of their harvest, and use the great part for their own.

Once in a while, some Japanese came to Calaca and surveyed military strategic places, especially in places far from the town, where they dug foxholes. We sent men to spy [on] their activities in the said strategic places and report the matter to Major Amador Deguito. Now, when the Japanese soldiers left the town, we sent our men to cover the foxholes dug by them.

Thenn, when barbed-wire was placed by the Japanese along the shore of Salong and Camachilisan (Calaca) to delay American movement in case of [a] landing which we were expecting, some of our men cut the same barbed-wire.

Inasmuch as there were (and are) different guerrilla units organized in Calaca, we cooperated with the other units; in fact, we helped when some Japanese were encountered in barrio Dacanlao. And good enough, five Japanese were killed.

Yes, it is no longer [the] Spanish regime, but when a nation is under the heels of a cruel master, it tries to rise, however poorly-equipped the guerrillas are. And that’s what happened to us — we used home-made guns and bolos just to defend our cause — the love for FREEDOM.

Notes and references:
1 “Pioneer Calaca Town Guerrilla Unit FAIT,” File No. 226, downloaded from PVAO.
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