History of the Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore History of the Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

History of the Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit

The Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit was supposedly a small guerrilla outfit operating in the then-municipality of Lipa during the Japanese Occupation of Batangas up to the liberation of the province. It was commanded by one Julian Morada. This unit failed to obtain official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States. In this particular document1, a history of the guerrilla unit is provided for submission to the United States Army as part of its application for official recognition.

Guerrilla Files

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On August 3, 1942, I conferred one by one with nine qualified men, namely, PABLO MARALIT, DAVID MORADA, MAURICIO MORADA, TOMAS ONTOY, CRISANTO BATHAN, MODESTO MORADA, WENCESLAO LAIG, MIGUEL MARTIJA and FRANCISCO PEREZ; to organize a GUERRILLA UNIT having its aim to oppose secretly the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines. They accepted the plan as good and the next day, we went one by one to meet in Mauricio Morada’s house in the sitio of Looc, Calingatan, Mataasnakahoy, Batangas.

In this meeting, we swore to one another in the name of God that we would perform our duties faithfully through very secret ways and that no one of us should commit treason even in case he would have been caught by Japanese authorities. I was elected Chairman and Pablo Maralit, Secretary. As leader only each member was to get his men or soldiers who would remain to know only their leader as the highest chief and to have no knowledge at all as to the other leaders or the evidence of the unit until it would have been time to revolt. We named the unit MATAASNALUPA GUERRILLAS. We agreed that we would not meet together again and if one would have a proposition to be worked out, he would call one by one at the houses of the leaders for the purpose. We accomplished to approve the following objectives:

1. To keep the Filipino believing that there is no other nation stronger than the UNITED STATES and that the best form of government is one having democratic principles.

2. To prevent them not to accept as true all Japanese propaganda.

3. To maintain peace and order within the reach of the unit.

4. To be ready to fight against the Japanese soldiers in time.

During the Japanese regime, we the founders visited constantly one another. Each leader or member made constant conferences with his men one by one or in groups consisting of not more than five troops each one. Each one of the founders and their men acted as he was not connected with any unit. In this way, we were able in a secret manner to spread propaganda dealing with the above subjects and to help one another in the maintenance of peace and order. I did not confine myself only within the unit’s assumed jurisdiction but also I spent much time in contact with some GUERRILLA CHIEFTAINS outside of it. In December, 1942 and in the first quarter of 1943, I went several times to Polo, an island on Taal Lake, and to Talisay, Batangas, staying there for three to five days each time. I made five trips to Candelaria, Tayabas, in August, September, and October 1944, and I stayed there three to six days each trip.

Part of the propaganda were: of all the nations in the world, [the] UNITED STATES was the richest country in war materials such as metals and wood; in oil, gasoline, and petroleum; in food stuffs and some other articles such as shoes and clothing. She had the most and the widest personnel to manage her mighty army in the war. She had the most and the brightest scientists to manufacture everything needed in the war. Her manpower consisted of more than sixteen million troops. Her factories could make at least one thousand

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airplanes a day. Russia and Great Britain, who were also strong, were fighting at her side. No enemies could destroy the UNITED STATES because she was very far remote from the front lines of the war.

The Philippines had been progressing rapidly for forty years under a democratic government under which the people had a say. No person was to be punished without a court trial. The supreme power to punish a sinner is the laws made by its legislature, the members of which were elected by the people

All Japanese propagandas were not true as for instance, that no American Army could come here was entirely false. The UNITED STATES as leader, the Allied Nations were becoming stronger and stronger while the Axis, weaker and weaker. They had destroyed and had wiped out completely the Axis forces in Africa, when they landed in Italy. Our men and other people were being informed of the rapid advance of the Allied armies in the Pacific, of the landing in Leyte and then in Mindoro.

We, the troops of our unit, were keeping ourselves busy to get most of our livelihood from planting food crops. The other people within our jurisdiction were doing the same as they were being protected from the bad actions of crooked men or bandits by the unit. Even once, our men had not been in trouble with some soldiers of other units because we acted friendly with them and sometimes gave them considerable help.

On December 3, 1944, when Benito Rosales, Alfredo Atienza, Amando Aranda, Brigido Aranda, Alipio Lumbera and Eugenio Lumbera, our men, had been caught and killed because they had been suspected guerrillas, we advised our soldiers to take refuge with their families to the forests of the barrios of Opa, Calingatan, and Lancaan, and San Sebastian. The places were good for hiding because their surfaces are hilly and because there are lagoons of different depths and sizes. By the middle part of December, 1944, we were all refugees in the designated places. We decided to defend at least ourselves and families with only 6 firearms and mostly with knives and bolos. We selected San Sebastian as our camp. In the first week of February, 1945, our families fled further to Polo where Taal Volcano is. Fortunately, no Japanese soldiers reached our camp. But we lost five more men, namely, Jose Silva, Lazaro Silva, Julian Cueto, Vicente Palo, and Eduardo Lopez. They left to see the Japanese movements and they did not come anymore to their homes. During the time we were away from our homes, we got our daily food by buying mostly sweet potatoes, gabi, and cassava. Coconut meat became also our principal food because we could get it without pay. The family of Major Eliseo Silva gave us much foodstuff without any reward.

Having satisfied that we had finished our work, we just returned [to our] homes happily in the middle part of April, 1945.

Notes and references:
1 “The Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit,” online at the United States National Archives.
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