History of the Nasugbu Women Civilian Volunteers - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

History of the Nasugbu Women Civilian Volunteers

[TRANSCRIPTION]

The Hunters-ROTC was a large guerrilla organization founded in Rizal but which relocated its headquarters to the western Batangas town of Nasugbu as the liberation of Luzon neared. It had many units operating in many areas of Luzon and its 49th Regiment was based in Batangas. This regiment’s “Special District Troops” appear to be supplemental rosters of the guerrilla organization to those that had already been recognized by the United States Army. In this page is a transcription1 of a short history of the civilian woman’s volunteers in Nasugbu, apparently one of these unrecognized elements of the Hunters-ROTC that were jointly included as the District Special Troops.
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[p. 1]

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES
CITY OF MANILA

HEADQUARTERS 1st BN. 49th REGIMENT

HUNTERS OR ROTC

GUERILLAS

NASUGBU, BATANGAS

HISTORY OF THE “NASUGBU WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS”

ATTACHED TO THE 1st BN. 49th REGT. HUNTERS ROTC GUERRILLAS.

Men, although they are strong in manpower, cannot boast that they alone can tackle any undertakings they have to undertake without the help of women in every walk of life. Nor can they say that they are the only ones endowed with talents and ability to conquer the quest of life for the attainment of success. Not only in the home can the women prove of great help but also in politics, religion, economics, and other social circles. Not only in time of peace but also in time of war that women have shown a great help to the cause of mankind. We have our Tandang Sora, Florence Nightingale, Clara Burton, Joan of Arc and many other outstanding women characters who had proved to the world that women are also needed in the attainment of success.

With the idea inculcated in the mind of Lt. Col. Juanito N Ferrer (Jacinto del Pilar), Commanding Officer of the 49th Regt. Hunters ROTC, he employed women to help in the 49th Hunters Regiment. They could solicit badly needed medicines, clothes and other supplies. They could do a lot of other things which, otherwise, men cannot do without inviting the suspicion of and eventual apprehension by the Japs.

So on or about 15 July 1944, I was given instruction by Col. Ferrer through Lt. Horacio de Leon, his adjutant, to recruit women to help the hard-fighting guerrillas in the mountains. I first contacted Miss Fely Samaniego, and when she was convinced of what I told her regarding the creation of the “WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS,” she volunteered to recruit the rest of the women to form the organization. Forty women selected from the most loyal elements of the town formed the unit of which only thirty-five women remained working under the organization till they were disbanded on 30 August ’45, upon order of Col. Terry “Magtangol” Adevoso, Overall Commanding Officer, HUNTERS ROTC GUERRILLAS.

[p. 2]

The first secret meeting was held on 15 August 1944, presided over by the Battalion Commander 1st Battalion and Lt. Horacio de Leon, the Regiment Adjutant. Here, the purpose of the organization was explained. The members were also told they were to undergo a period of training. From 1 Sept. 1944 to 14 October 1944, the women were indoctrinated and underwent rigid training in first aid under the supervision of Dr. Agosto Camara.

Ready to shoulder their duties and responsibilities as members of the “WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS,” the women as a unit were attached to the 1st Bn. 49th Regt. Hunters ROTC. Members were given their respective duty stations.

The majority were assigned to live in and make secret first aid stations out of the huts on remote farms in the vicinity of Balitigue Mountains, headquarters of the 1st Battalion and Forward Command Post of the 49th Regiment. In those huts, the wounded were given the best available treatment and the sick cared for. The huts gave shelter to many a fatigued and weary guerrillero irrespective of the organization to which they belonged. Others were assigned to care for the guerrilleros’ clothes by laundering, sewing or mending the clothes of the soldiers. The rest of the members stayed in the town soliciting medicines, food, clothing and other supplies for the use of the fighting guerrillas in the mountain. They found time, too, for work against the enemy by sending reports to the Bn. Hqs on Jap activities in the town and elsewhere within their [area of] operation. They also disseminated propaganda and instructions to the civilian population from Bn. Hqs. The unit operated on a full-time duty and had to neglect their families. These women were too courageous enough to undertake such work, although they were not compensated for such work. They were never paid a single cent for their jobs. They really dedicated themselves to this task, a task which they had shouldered well which helped and aided the guerrillas in their undertakings. Due to the tactfulness and perseverance of these patriotic women, no suspicion was aroused in the enemy. They were not discovered nor suspected doing such things contrary to the Japs’ doctrines. These “WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS” had inspired the guerrilleros to fight until the end or, in other words, till victory was won for the Allies.

[p. 3]

Soon, the American Task Force effected a successful landing at the Nasugbu Beach on 31 Jan. 1945. Immediately, these “WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS” abandoned their Mt. Station and established in the town a hospital supplied by the U.S. Army with medical supplies. This hospital was supervised by Drs. Celerino Pascual and Agosto Camara. It is necessary to mention here that the “WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS” put to use in this hospital all they learned and practiced in the first aid treatment during guerrilla days. They treated and cared for all wounded and sick members of the Allied Forces. They gave first aid treatment, cooked for these unfortunate soldiers. They gave inspiration to these weary and sick soldiers in the hospitals. They amused them by reading magazines, by playing some card games or by showing the soldiers pictures which made them forget war and its destruction. They also accommodated [the] sick and wounded men of the U.S. Army.

All through the months of February, March, April, May, June, July to 30 August 1945, these “WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS” kept on running the hospital night and day with the 11th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, supplying the needed medical supplies. Finally, the total surrender of the enemy came and, upon the order of Col. Terry “Magtangol” Adevoso, Overall Commanding Officer of [the] Hunters ROTC Guerrillas, I disbanded this “WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS” on 30 August 1945.

Such was the work done and fully accomplished by these patriotic women of Nasugbu, but still unrecognized and unpaid for their services rendered. Were it not for these “WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS,” the hard-fighting guerrillas would have suffered handicaps in their undertakings and objectives. It was these women, together with our intelligence operatives, who furnished the Battalion Headquarters up-to-date reports on Jap activities, thus evading discovery and capture during the dark period of the guerrilla movement. It was these “WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS” who saved a hundred of my wounded and sick boys from death due to their prompt first aid treatment.

Yes, I am proud of these patriotic and courageous women who had contributed much to our success and our operations and to the quick and sudden victory of the Allies.

[Sgd.] CALIXTO GASILAO
Major, Infantry
CO 1st Bn., 49th
Regiment

[p. 4]

LIST OF “NASUGBU WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS”

ATTACHED TO THE 1st Bn. 49th REGT. HUNTERS ROTC

 1. Felicitas Samaniego

 2. Nieves Sapico

 3. Gloria Samaniego

 4. Sofia Sapico

 5. Julita Samaniego

 6. Illuminada Alvarez

 7. Magna Ermita

 8. Clara Rustia

 9. Elisa Pascual

10. Mercedes Chuidian

11. Santas Garcia

12. Ofelia Rustia

13. Josefina Rustia

14. Teresita Albert

15. Ignacia Albert

16. Adoracion Villadolid

17. Lina Zabarte

18. Leonarda Alvarez

19. Marciana Sapico

20. Josefina Mendoza

21. Angelina Sapico

22. Anita Mesinas

23. Mercedes Ugot

24. Simplicia Concepcion

25. Lagrimas Pascual

26. Jovia Rustia

27. Marcelina Concepcion

28. Fe Samaniego

29. Lourdes Samaniego

30. Amalia Enriquez
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[p. 5]

LIST OF “NASUGBU WOMEN CIVILIAN VOLUNTEERS”

ATTACHED TO THE 1st Bn. 49th REGT. HUNTERS ROTC

31. Filomena Zabarte

32. Honorata Mesinas

33. Maxima Cabingan

34. Antonia Riuvievar

35. Ester Sapico
First Aider — Attendant

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Notes and references:
1 “District Special Troops, 49th Regt., 47th Div., HUNTERS-ROTC,” File No. 307-38, online at the United States National Archives.

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