Request for the Recognition of the Pagamutan ng Maralita, October 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Request for the Recognition of the Pagamutan ng Maralita, October 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Request for the Recognition of the Pagamutan ng Maralita, October 1945


The Pagamutan ng Maralita or the Poor Man’s Hospital was a hospital set up in Batangas Town (presently the City of Batangas) and served clandestinely as a hospital for various guerrilla organizations operating in the province of Batangas. In this page is a transcription1 of the request submitted by one Dr. Domingo Tolentino, purported commander of the Pagamutan ng Maralita, to the United States Army to attempt to gain official recognition.

Guerrilla Files jpeg

[p. 1]


6 October 1945



THRU : Recognition of Guerrilla Medical Installation
  Supporting Batangas Town Guerrilla Forces
  Request for

: Commanding General, AFWESPAC

: Col. Quentin Gellidon, Eng., Over-all Commander
  Batangas Guerrilla Forces

1. Request that First Aid Clinic and Infirmary which bore camouflaged name of “PAGAMUTAN NG MARALITA” or “The Poor Man’s Hospital,” owned and operated by the undersigned in the town of Batangas, province of Batangas, from January 23, 1943 to March 11, 1945, be recognized as the only guerrilla medical unit supporting the various guerrilla combatants in Batangas, particularly the already recognized Fil-Americans of Batangas or Luansing’s Unit, the Batangas Town Guerrillas or Beredo Forces and the Batangas Hunters.

2. The medical service rendered by this unit consisted of first aid treatments and short time hospitalization for guerrilla casualties, aside from underground home visits and treatments to guerrilla sick and wounded.


a. Upon surrender of the USAFFE -
A brief history of this guerrilla medical installation is as follows: Upon the fall of Bataan and later Corregidor on April 9 and May 7, 1942, respectively, our Commanding General (Brig. General Sharp, USA) of the Visayas-Mindanao Forces of the USAFFE gathered our troops around him and gave us a “pep talk” without mentioning to us what was happening in Luzon. Our troops continued fighting on until we were ultimately told by our Regimental Commander (the late Lieut.-Colonel. J.P. Woodbridge, FA, USA) that we were to surrender at dawn of 10 May 1942.
I, for one, did not like to hear it and could not reconcile my mind and desire to surrender to the slit-eyed tyrants that our conquerors would be. With Capt. Benito Ebuen of the Air Corps, PA, I agreed to beat it to the mountains of Mindanao to join guerrilla resistance. But, unfortunately, when fetching my Army-Nurse-wife (Lieut. Bibiana C. Tolentino) from the USAFFE General Hospital at Impalutao, Bukidnon, Mindanao, we were prevailed upon by the Force Surgeon (Col. W. H. Braddock, MC, USA), to surrender at dawn 10 May 1942, as a unit with him or face court martial later for disobedience of orders if we chose otherwise.
With. Col Braddock and three other Philippine Army medical officers, we were transferred to the Malaybalay Concentration Camp and started to serve imprisonment that was to last one half year in Mindanao and 3 months more in Capas, Tarlac, Luzon.
At about the time of our release from Capas as POW, I received instructions from Lieut.-Col. J. P. Caedo, MC, Division Surgeon for the 61st Division, USAFFE, who was then a very sick prisoner of war in the Camp Hospital, to organize a guerrilla medical set up for the medical support of the Batangas Guerrilla Forces in the event that I would be released from being a prisoner of war. (See affidavit No. 1)

[p. 2]


On 23 January 1943, after my release from concentration on 22 January 1943, my problem was to secure confidential members of my hospital staff and personnel, so that I had to enlist relatives closest to me. (See Roster.) My wife-nurse, who was then to become the Chief Nurse of the Infirmary, was then still prisoner of war in the USAFFE General Hospital at Impalutao, Bukidnon, Mindanao, and was able to join us only on 9 February 1943, after she was transferred from Mindanao to be released at Pier 7, Manila, Luzon.
We opened up the Guerrilla Clinic and Infirmary of fifteen beds capacity with limitless floor expansion capacity. It did not take long for the Japanese espionage to make it hot for us because they became suspicious of the installation and its activities. We were forced to disperse and rendered our services individually the best way we could from date of dispersion on 28 August 1943. In Manila, we rendered private and special professional services to American internees at Floors 4, 9 and 22 of the Philippine General Hospital, tipping the very eager internees of the recent flashes from guerrilla shortwaves, until on 21 September 1944, the long-awaited for “I SHALL RETURN” came back in the form of the first air raid on Manila by waves of “good to see Gruman fighters and various types of Allied planes.” We opened up again the “PAGAMUTAN NG MARALITA, BATANGAS” on 10 October 1944, after reorganizing the staff and personnel and during the raids on Batangas, Batangas, the guerrilla casualties (fewer than civilians) and civilians, too, were again rendered first aid and hospitalization services. We signaled to the raiding planes then that there were “FEW JAPS HERE NOW” because civilian casualties were increasing in number.
On 7 March 1945, the Japanese incendiary squads under Capt. Oda poured gasoline into our guerrilla clinic and infirmary and burned the place including medical supplies, drugs and medicines. This happened just three days off the entry into Batangas, Batangas on 11 March 1945 of the advanced 2nd Battalion of the 158th Regimental Combat Team under Brig.-Gen. McNider.

The undersigned, with a skeletonized personnel, volunteered to Captain Baker, MC, USA, Battalion Surgeon of the 2nd Battalion, 158th RCT, and we helped evacuate our guerrilla casualties to the more rear echelon at the 3rd Portable Surgical Hospital, then at Lemery, Batangas, until on 1st April 1945, we reported to Philippine Army control and processed on 2 April 1945, as recovered military personnel.

3. The guerrilla units supported with medical service by the “PAGAMUTAN NG MARALITA” have already been recognized but included only Col. J. P. Caedo, MC, Chief Consultant and Maj. F. S. Guerrero, Surgeon, in the roster.

4. Earnestly request, therefore, approval of recognition of the entire medical unit of “PAGAMUTAN NG MARALITA” as per roster herewith submitted, as to do justice at least to the sacrifices of its personnel had offered not only during the horrible days of its underground medical support of the Batangas Town Guerrillas; but also to concur with the action taken by Brig.-Gen. McNider when he verbally instructed the Battalion Commander, Maj. Day, of the 2nd Battalion, 158th RCT, to attach our services to the Battalion Aid Station during the mopping up, or battle for Batangas, Batangas. Then Major Jacobo Zobel, Inf. PA, was present when General McNider gave the said instructions of attachment.


Notes and references:
1 “Pagamutan ng Maralita,” online at the United States National Archives.
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