A Brief History of Cos. A, B, C, and D, 38th Regiment, 35th Division PQOG - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore A Brief History of Cos. A, B, C, and D, 38th Regiment, 35th Division PQOG - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

A Brief History of Cos. A, B, C, and D, 38th Regiment, 35th Division PQOG


The President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas or PQOG was one of the large guerrilla organizations that operated in Southern Luzon during the Japanese occupation and into the liberation of Batangas. It had many affiliated outfits in Batangas, many of which filed for official recognition by the United States Army that they were elements of the Philippine Army in the service of the U.S. Armed forces during the liberation. Among these were Companies A, B, C and D of the 38th Regiment, 35th Division, I Corps of the PQOG. In this page is a transcription1 a short history of the PQOG companies mentioned as submitted to the United States Army along with the request for official recognition.

Guerrilla Files

[p. 1]


On 8 December 1941, while negotiations were going on in Washington between the United States and Japan to find a peaceful solution to the ticklish problem of the Far East, Premier Tojo and his gang of international bandits treacherously sneaked into Pearl Harbor and plunged the whole Far East into a great holocaust of war, the most destructive in the history of human warfare. Under such an atmosphere of treachery and villainy did the whole Filipino nation rise and rallied to the cause of America and democracy.

I rushed to the recruiting station in our town, Lipa, where I offered my services. But before transportation facilities could be arranged for us, the Canlubang Training Center was disbanded. Sufficient military training could not be given under the circumstances obtaining them. I lost no time in joining the Civilian Emergency Administration. I was determined to be of service to the nation in one way or another. I was assigned to the Volunteer Guard Unit which was given charge of taking care of the civilian population during enemy air raids. Later, I was assigned to the brigades established by the town mayor primarily to give first aid treatment to the wounded. I underwent extensive training in giving first aid under competent doctors sent out by the CEA for the purpose. The knowledge I obtained then later proved to be of invaluable help to my men when we were already in the mountains. In the meantime, legions of Japanese invaders had effected landings in various points of Luzon and their superiority in arms and number gave them momentary victories, though at a costly price in men and in equipment. By 2 January 1942, they had occupied Manila, which had previously been declared an open city and, therefore, stripped of all military installations. The national government had also been transferred to Corregidor. With the occupation of Lipa, our unit was disbanded, but not before we could hold a last minute meeting where we had sworn to one another to unite as ever before to serve the Philippines and Mother America and not to bend to the yoke of Japanese rule.

I immediately went to the hills where, by that time, the people had

[p. 2]

fled. I contacted my friends and held several secret meetings where we outline our plans to continue the resistance against the Japanese barbarians.

Soon after, various guerrilla organizations were organized in the province of Batangas. Among some of these were those headed by Jorge Espina, Acosta and F. Paran. Our group was offered memberships in most of them, but after careful and long deliberations, we rejected them all. We were yet to find men of guts, leadership and intelligence to lead the resistance to a successful end. Since the underground must flourish under the cloak of secrecy, we tried to muster in our group only men of trust and loyalty and patriotism. We were to have an excellent group of selected men and we were not to commit the mistakes of other resistance units which recruited their men indiscriminately. No sooner had resistance groups been organized when their leaders would have been caught and executed by the dreaded Japanese Kem-pei.

On 1 February 1943, I went to Manila where I stayed for several months to solicit financial help from fellow Lipeños who at that time were living in Manila. The response was most flattering. They gave me money and food which I sent to my companions in Lipa. They helped us secure arms and even passes from the Japanese themselves. While thus engaged in Manila, Vivencio Reyes, a cousin of mine, came and asked me to join the ROTC or HUNTERS Guerrillas, which he said was under the leadership of more reasonable and responsible men. I agreed after consulting my companions and comrades in Lipa. Together, we went to Parañaque, Rizal, where the headquarters of the ROTC or HUNTERS Guerrillas were located. We were lucky enough to meet Lt. Col. Janette (Juanito Ferrer), who was very glad to see us for at that time, they were contemplating to establish a branch in Batangas. We held several conferences with him and, after explaining to us their organization, its purposes and the means to carry them out, we were inducted. We were ordered immediately to go to Lipa to organize. Vivencio Reyes was commissioned 1st Lt. and I, 2nd Lt. We were promised arms, food and clothing.

On arriving in Lipa, we contacted our men and began organizing. We es-

[p. 3]

tablished our camp at Barrio Bonliw, Lipa, Batangas. We tried to serve the ROTC to the best of their ability, but their promise of arms, food and clothing was never redeemed. Nevertheless, we unfailingly carried out our duties and fulfilled the missions assigned to us. There were times when men under our command missed their meals and fell sick while on their missions only to get well from sheer courage and convictions and faith in the loftiness of their aims. Time came, however, when the Japanese Kem-pei learned of our activities and we became hunted men. We were denied the freedom to wander in the town proper; we could no longer approach our supporters without being caught, and in due time, our money and supplies were gone. We sent frantic appeals for help to Parañaque for the promised arms, food and clothing, but they never came. They could only send us words and words and God knows soldiers cannot be armed nor fed nor clothed with words. We thought, and justly [so], that we had been abandoned.

At this time, Atty. Esteban Mayo, mayor-elect of Lipa, joined the venerable ranks of the guerrillas. He was assigned to head the various units of the PQOG Guerrillas, being a man of considerable influence and standing in the community. We sought him out, and after lengthy conversations, we were incorporated into his unit. This was 1 September 1944, and Mayo had the rank of Colonel. Our headquarters were established at Cuatro Santos Barrios, Lipa. I was commissioned 1st Lt. and on 15 September 1944, I was assigned to the Tangway-Bulacnin-Balete area. I brought my men there and established our camp at Magapi, Balete, Lipa, Batangas.

After establishing camp at Balete, I called a secret meeting which was attended by the barrio lieutenant and the rest of the male inhabitants. We issued to them instructions to the effect that all food supplies and power must be prevented from falling into Japanese hands. (The Japanese were then going out into the barrios commandeering food and labor.) It was brought out in that meeting that bands of lawless elements were attacking and robbing the people. To these bands of bandits, we countered by established posts and arming the people. It was not long after our first engagement that the bandits fled and never returned to bother the people.

[p. 4]

It is noteworthy that, in spite of the fact that our men could no longer go to town to get our supplies, we were able to live without asking the people, our camp being located at my father’s own land.

On 25 October 1944, a conference was held between the heads of the various guerrilla units that were stationed along the shoreline of Taal Lake. It was decided that closer cooperation and coordination among the various units should be secured in the prosecution of our missions, paramount among which was the protection of the civilian population and the rescued of downed American fliers. A report of this meeting was sent to the General Headquarters.

Subsequently, on 2 November 1944 to be exact, I was promoted to the rank of Captain and ordered to report to the General Headquarters. I left the area under the joint command of Capts. Faustino Lasat and Eleuterio Villa.

However, having won the trust and confidence of my men, I could not leave them behind. So, [an] arrangement was made at General Headquarters whereby my men were to go with men and others were sent to relieve them of their posts.

At the General Headquarters, I was assigned S-3. I am a graduate of the ROTC Basic Course at the State University and my training served me in good stead.

On 22 December 1944, I and my men were immediately ordered to proceed to Balete to put a stop to banditry which had flourished immediately after we left.

Previously, on 2 Nov. 1944, Mayo was made Division Commander of the whole province of Batangas. All units were ordered to “lay low” for the time being until the arrival of the American armies. This measure was adopted to prevent Japanese reprisals against civilians.

On 10 January 1945, the Japanese began their murderous raids without

[p. 5]

discrimination. Blood orgies were conducted everywhere. I had to send most of my men to search the wounded and have them treated in our camp. Word was sent out to all civilians in barrios near our camp to gather within the periphery of our defense sphere. Hundreds flocked to our camp to seek our protection. The sick were given medicines and those without food were given from our fast dwindling stocks.

On 24 January 1945, we received our first ration of medicines, canned goods, cigarettes and medical supplies.

Sometime in the latter part of March 1945, we met the Americans and, from them, we were able to obtain carbines, Garands and other arms by exchanging souvenirs like Japanese flags and sabers. We were ordered by the CO of the 38th Regiment, PQOG, to investigate the caves in the mountains of Bibilog where the Japanese had retreated and hidden their supplies and ammunition. On the arriving at the cave, we saw the Japanese already fleeing. We discovered that they had blown up the caves. For five (5) days, we labored hard to excavate the caves and we were able to gather plenty of Japanese arms and ammunition. On the fifth day, however, we were ambushed by the Japanese. They fired at us with automatic rifles and machine guns. Luckily, the caves sheltered us and we were able to fire back. Outnumbered and out-armed, we had no choice but to withdraw but not before we had killed some of them.

On our way back to camp, we encountered another Jap posse. Believing that we were many, they fled and ran away. We killed two of them.

Fearing that the Japanese must have found our camp, we alerted the civilians and ordered them to prepare to go to Ibaan where the Americans already were. It was a long trek on foot across Japanese infested territory. Our camp was transferred to Castillo, Rosario, Batangas.

On 15 March 1945, I was promoted to the rank of Major. My men were promoted, too. For over a month, our regimental commander was sick. I was given command the 38th Inf. Regiment.

On 2 April 1945, I was ordered to contact the 11th Airborne Division.

[p. 6]

We were asked by the 11th Airborne Command to notify all civilians along the lines of Malarayat mountain to evacuate the place as they were to begin shelling Mt. Malarayat. This, we did after terrible hardships trying to evade Japanese stragglers.

On 4 April 1945, we guided the Americans to the headquarters [of] General Dumas. This visited sparked the morale of the civilian populace. That was the first time in 3½ years that we had seen the face of an American waving in victory.

On 8 April 1945, the first of [a] long line of Makapilis was captured. Teodoro Macala, foremost among the spies, was caught. We grilled and investigated him. A few hours later, we caught Claro Castillo, another notorious spy, who was just recently sentenced by the People’s Court to be electrocuted. All in all, we captured 36 Makapilis. Together with these Makapilis, we apprehended Lucio Gonzales, occupation barrio lieutenant of the barrio of Lumbang, Lipa, Batangas. From him, we extracted information regarding the positions of the Japanese still holding out in the mountain. From this information alone, we saved plenty of American lives and materials.

On 14 April, we established our headquarters in Lipa. We were immediately attached to the 511th Airborne, under Major Fuckner, S-3. Our men were used as guides in the attack against the Japanese stronghold of Sulok were many gallant American lives were sacrificed. While most of our men were used as guide, some men were placed under the S-4, 511th and were used as guards.

A little later, while patrolling along the mountains, we caught Ramos and some of his men. Ramos was a spy responsible for the execution of a number of guerrillas who were caught by the Japanese Kem-pei on his tips. Primo Quinto, considered to be the No. 2 Makapili, was also captured.

After the mopping up operations against Japanese stragglers in the mountain, our men were assigned to guard bridges.

Some were detailed with the Municipal Police Force and the rest

[p. 6]

were sent to the barrios to protect the civilian populations from Japanese stragglers who were still at that time roaming around in search of food and killing civilians they could catch.
Letters of attachment issued by Major Fuckner, S-3, 511th Airborne Division, Infantry under the name of MAJOR ALODIO REYES. This document was subsequently taken by Brig. Gen. Esteban Mayo and forwarded to the AFWESPAC. A certification to this effect can be found among the papers already submitted.
Commander, 1st Bn.
38th Inf. Regt. PQOG
35th Division (Mayo Unit)
Notes and references:
1 “Co’s A, B, C, D, 38th Inf Regt, 35th Div, I Corps, PQOG,” File No. 271-14, online at the United States National Archives.
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