Activities of Company “T”, Rainbow Regiment, Malakas Division (Bauan) - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Activities of Company “T”, Rainbow Regiment, Malakas Division (Bauan)

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The Rainbow Regiment was a guerrilla organization that was based and operated basically in western Batangas under the command of the former Philippine Constabulary officer Mariano Cabarrubia. Company “T” was among its units or affiliates; and it was purportedly formed in the barrio of Inicbulan in the Municipality of Bauan. In this page is a transcription1 of a brief outline of activities allegedly undertaken by Company “T” of the Rainbow Regiment as submitted to the United State Army in its bid to gain official recognition.
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BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITIES OF
THE ORGANIZATION
CO. “T,” 5th BATTALION, RAINBOW REGIMENT
MALAKAS DIVISION

In August 1944, this company was organized under the leadership of its Company Commander, Capt. Eugene Buhat, a senior student in the College of Law (ROTC) with the aid of the other officers thereof.

1st Lt. Fidel A. Sandoval, who was working in a private law office in Manila at the time, was directed to furnish its headquarters at Barrio Inicbulan, Bauan, Batangas reliable information concerning the Japanese movements in Manila and suburbs. Information was transmitted to headquarters thru 1st Lt. Filemon H. Mendoza, who used to go to Manila at least once or twice a week, at the expense of all officers of the company, share and share alike.

2nd Lt. Buenaventura M. Gonda, who at the time was an officer in the puppet constabulary (he being ex-USAFFE), furnished information, confidential in nature, which he learned from their headquarters at the time, to our headquarters. He was the intelligence officer of our company.

2nd Lt. Melquiades Bautista and 2nd Lt. Sergio Panopio were most of the time at Barrio Talaga, Anilao, Mabini, with the same mission.

In October 1944, a verbal order of the commanding officer was made to all officers and enlisted men that in view of the exigencies of the entanglement, they should report to headquarters every other day. 1st Lt. Fidel A. Sandoval secured an indefinite leave of absence from his employer. During those days, the Japs in Durungao, San Luis, Batangas, under the command of a Capt. Morai, was seeking labor by force, and our men were among them. We had a standing order to our men to make a picture in their mind as to where in the hills weapons and supplies were hidden by the enemy.

On 8 March 1945, a unit of the United States Army arrived in the barrio of Inicbulan, Bauan, Batangas at eight o’clock in the morning (158th Regimental Combat Team). The commanding officer, Capt. Erwin R. Bennett, Company K, inquired as to whether or not they was any


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guerrilla units operating in the area. Our answer being in the affirmative, he instructed us to call all of our men, get our arms, if any, ready to fight the Japanese in the hills of Durungao. This, we did. We instructed our men to accompany the American soldiers and collaborate with them in combing up the hills to the end that the Japs be either captured alive or killed. The members of our organization being well familiar with the place where the Japs put their ammunition and supplies, we informed Capt. Bennett about them and, after a lapse of [a] few hours, they were hit directly by the U.S. Forces F.A. The Japanese forces retreated to the other side of the hills as far as Mabini. The American forces followed them (Japs) to Mabini, also with about 80 men of this command, and some of our men stayed as guards. These guards killed approximately 18 Japanese stragglers in a period of 2 days while the fighting in Mabini was in progress.

On March 18, 1945, several of the members of our organization were still abreast in Co K, under Capt. Bennett, and in fighting the Japs over [the] Mabini hills. The next morning, Eugene Buhat, Capt. of this organization, went with one platoon, under Lt. Hunt, to Masili, Mabini, a very remote seashore from Talaga, for patrolling the area. There, we found [a] shipyard of the Japs, ships made of wood with machines. We made a hard fight there, due to the fact that the Japs made many tunnels and foxholes in that place. Then, we went back late in the afternoon.

The following day again, we advanced to a small but well-fortified hill (Bulakan), southeast of Mabini. This place was infested with Japs. Company M of [the] 158th RCT was on the other side, while Company K was combing up the west side. We killed lots of Japs and we took [a] flag of the Japs, wristwatch and sword. We gave them to the company commander of Co. K. We brought guns (Jap rifle) home to be supplied to our men, who were guarding our village from the enemies because every night, Japs passed by our place in going to Cuenca (Macolot Mt). I did not see other Filipinos on the front except my men, even the people of the town were not there. We slept where we dug our holes in the open air, where our machine-gunners were around us guarding because after sundown and [it] was already dark, Japs crawled and crept to our place with hand grenades in their hands. Every morning, Japs


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laid in line dead. During [the] night, when the company was in deep slumber, the F.A. shells dropped near our place to drive to coming enemies. Before, I was not able to have sleep and I complained to Lt. Monroe that I might get sick from lack of sleep, and he gave me a dozen tablets which he said I should take one every other night before going to sleep.

After staying many nights at Mabini, our Captain of Co. “K” said we were going to Cuenca. And very early in the morning, everybody was already prepared and the truck rolled on. We passed Alitagtag, where we stopped and [got] off from the truck and advanced walking. We reached San Felipe, a barrio, already noon and there, we were shelled by the Japs. Several of the GI’s were wounded and one of my companions was wounded also and he was brought to Lemery, later we found out that he was in Manila for better treatment. I was again in the patrolling squad going near Cuenca proper. We made a fight south of the cemetery of Cuenca, and one of my GI companions was seriously wounded. I called for a medic and we carried him back. After the observation plane gave a report and that there were many people, but they could not ascertain whether they were civilians or Japanese, we advanced to see them. On our way, we made a hard fight with the scattered Japanese.

We slept at the place we were benighted. Things happened the same at the town of Mabini. Japs crept close to us to have a chance of throwing the hand grenade, and when morning came, a dozen enemies were lying dead. That same morning, the Makolot Mt. was closely covered by smoke and whistling shells of ours. In the advance to the town, we found two tanks at the crossing of the road and we aimed [at] them with our bazooka and the fire flew and tanks were divided into pieces. There were Japs covered by old cogon grass and when we discovered that idea, every pile of everything was fired with tracer bullets, and many enemies were killed. On the Ranzo [Rancho] Bridge of Cuenca, we made another hard fight. The sun was awfully hot, and we laid flat on the ground; we could not advance, every time we moved, enemies’ bullets passed whistling above our heads. In the Cuenca campaign, we were not eating our dinner because the kitchen truck could not move,


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pushed on to the dropping knee mortars of the Japs. The next morning, after we had slept north of the cemetery of Cuenca, we advanced to the mountain and we crossed the Ranzo River. We found there camps of the retreating enemies, bicycles, typewriters, rice, tied cows and [a] basketful of chickens. We did not touch this because one president of the neighborhood association, Vicente Aguilar, said that those were owned before by the people of the village and he knew where those things were taken.

On the 25th of March 1945, the 158th RCT rested and went to Lemery Coast. They were shifted by the 11th Airborne. Several of my men were assigned to go with the force. At Lemery, I learned from Capt. Bennett that the regiment was scheduled to another mission to Albay. I was decided to go and Capt. Bennett referred me to Col. Killing, and later said that he had not yet received instructions regarding Filipinos to go to the force. I was advised that insofar as there were still many Japs around, you have still your duty to perform. “Get your men and guard your place and see where the Japs [are] and in that case, you are then with the 158th RCT also.” This, we did. We fought the Japs around and had killed more than three dozen. Hand grenades and carbines, together with Jap rifles confiscated from the enemies were our only weapons. We did not have that powerful B.A.R.

In the south of barrio Inicbulan, there were 45 Japs cooking their dinner and we attacked them together with U.S. forces, and they were all killed. After our liberation from the enemies, our men were taken to Lipa and hired [as] laborers to carry up to the mountains ammunition and carry down wounded soldiers. It took more than five weeks. 1st Lt. Fidel A. Sandoval was in charge of the thousand laborers during that time.

After this, all men put themselves to work and they landed in all kinds of trade. Some went to the army (MP), some laborers and guards at the Boat Building Command (US ARMY), some handled lucrative positions at Sub-Base “R” as investigators, stenographers, others became successful traders.


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After our organization had been organized, our men were instructed to follow military discipline everywhere they were. We forbade our men to take anything from the civilians, and explained to them that this was the time to protect the civilians from any perditions that might come to them. There was a time when the Jap soldiers under Morai gathered cows everywhere, and we were alarmed by this, and we told our people to hide their cows in some lower nooks. So far, there were two cows that were confiscated without pay, and about 4 carabao carts were taken from the hiding places.

Our men did not live with the aid of anybody, but thru their hardworking hands, they supported their families. We did not treat anybody to aid any food supply for our organization. Instead, we took rice from our members who had good stocks of food, and sugar from our commanding officer, which his father-in-law owned a sugar mill, the only sugar mill in the town.

Our commanding officer obliged his men to do some trade around the town, for the buying and selling (sinamay cloth) and also buying cows, wherein in this case, they had the idea of what was going and had the means of receiving news, furthermore, this was an evasion of asking money from civilians.

[Sgd.] EUGENE BUHAT
Commanding, Company “T”
Rainbow Regiment


Notes and references:
1 “Co ‘T’, Rainbow Regt, Malakas Div, Blue Eagle Brigade,” File No. 213-9, online at the United States National Archives.

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