A Narrative History of the Maculot Battalion Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore A Narrative History of the Maculot Battalion Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

A Narrative History of the Maculot Battalion Part II



The Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT) was a large guerrilla organization formed by the retired American officer Hugh Straughn. It had many units operating around Luzon, including Batangas. Among this was the Maculot Battalion which operated in the town of Cuenca, Batangas. The unit was among those that were officially recognized as elements of the Philippine Army in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States in the Western Pacific during World War II. In this document1, a historical account of the Maculot Regiment is provided as part of the requirements for its application to be officially recognized as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the United States Forces in the Western Pacific.

Guerrilla Files

[p. 6]

enemy. The undersigned immediately called all his officers to a conference to inform them of his determination to leave for Alitagtag with sixty men of this Unit including officers the next morning, March 9, 1945. Of the sixty men in the group, only twenty (20) were armed. Arriving at Alitagtag in the afternoon of the same day upon being informed that the Commanding Officer of the 158th Infantry, Col. Shoemaker, was in Pinagcurusan, the party proceeded to this place. Met by the sentry at the entrance to the place where the Colonel was, he told the undersigned to retire as he (Colonel Shoemaker), was then very busy. Highly disappointed but not discouraged, the party returned to Alitagtag. In Alitagtag, there were but a few people. All the members of the party were tired and hungry. Someone must be approached for food and sleeping quarters. While in town (Alitagtag), it was learned that Mayor Telesforo Reyes had his residence at Calumpit, a kilometer and a half to the northeast of the poblacion. The party proceeded to the place and when he (Mayor Reyes) was informed of the needs of the party, preparations for dinner were at once made. He gave us for sleeping quarters a building previously occupied by the Japanese garrison located on the east side of a hill east of the evacuation cottage.

It was in these sleeping quarters where the party was surprised by a contingent of Jap soldiers at approximately 5:30 a.m. of the following day (March 10, 1945). Caught unaware as most of the men were still asleep, confusion reigned at the start. Most of the men jumped out of the window, but when they heard the command to return and deploy, those who were armed returned and deployed at stratetic points. After thus placing them, the order to fire was given, the undersigned taking personal command of the situation. Fighting ensued and [the] exchange of shots lasted for over two hours. Of the twenty armed on the side of the guerrillas, only nine arms could be considered satisfatory, the rest being mostly native guns called paltiks. The Japanese were armed with machine rifles, rifles and two machine guns. They numbered about fifty. Five Japanese were killed and many were wounded. Shortage of ammunition forced the party to retreat. This incident was productive of encouraging reaction on the part of American forces. Colonel Shoemaker immediately sent for the undersigned, ordered an officer of his Regiment to take him (undersigned) to Lemery on a jeep with a letter to the Supply Officer of the 158th R.C.T. to give him firearms available in stock and he was given fourteen garand rifles. The arms gave life and strength to the unit.

Considering that the occupation of the town of Alitagtag by the American forces was incomplete without displaying the U.S. and Filipino flags, this unit, with a brief ceremony, placed the two flags side by side at the balcony of the Municipal Building. Once more in four years’ period, the two flags were seen by the people floating side by side announcing to the world the dawn of a new day and that justice, liberty and democracy were here again to disappear no more.

[p. 7.]

In the afternoon of March 11, 1945, [a] report on the presence of approximately thirty Japs in sitio Amatong, barrio of Pila, Bauan was received in the Hq. of Col. Shoemaker. Asked by the said officer if this Unit could handle the situation, forty men under the command of the undersigned rushed to the place, but the Japs were gone already. Spending the night in Pila, the party was well entertained by the people. Maj. J. Mendoza, of this unit, a native of said barrio, joined the party, thereby strengthening the force a little. After taking breakfast in the morning of the following day, March 12, 1945, a man came with the report that four Japanese were seen in a ditch between Pila and Molawin. The party proceeded to the place and a scouting party was sent ahead to locate the position of the enemy with the rest of the force deployed on the hill east of the ditch with instruction to fire when the scouting party gave the signal to fire. After the first shots from the guerrillas, the Japs replied and fighting ensued. In about an hour, the Japs stopped firing and an order to advance was given. Five men were assigned to search the ditch while the rest were on the watch in the east side ready for action in case of trouble. After covering approximately 100 yards to the south, the Japanese fired and, from the gun reports, it was made plain that the enemy was superior in number. Those in the ditch got out and an order to deploy was given with the guerrillas again occupying the former position. From this position, exchange of shots was resumed with a portion of the Japs occupying the southwest side and the rest the south end of the ditch. At about 4:00 p.m., a platoon of American soldiers came, but after about half an hour, they left leaving instruction that the guerrillas move back about 100 yards because mortar shelling would be made. In thirty minutes, shelling commenced. As the shells fell far ahead from the position occupied by the guerrillas, an order to advance to their former position was given. Once there, firing against the enemy was resumed. The Japs were forced to retreat and when they came out running across the field, it was found out they were over a hundred. While they were thus retreating with their machine rifles and machine guns barking, the guerrillas continued to advance and soon, they disappeared from sight. It was about 6:30 p.m. already when fighting stopped. A scouting party of 12 men was sent to scout the place, and 20 Japs were accounted as killed. One of the guerrillas was seriously wounded, but he survived and after a month of confinement at Muntinglupa hospital, he came back and is now again in active service.

[p. 8]

From March 13 to 18, 1945, the activities of the Unit were mostly patrol work with the American soldiers to different places where Japs were reported hiding. In one instance, eight men of this unit with eight Americans met trouble with ten Japs east of Bungahan, Cuenca, and they killed three of them.

In the morning of March 19, 1945, all the men of this Unit it Alitagtag marched to Cuenca with the 158th R.C.T. under Colonel Shoemaker. That same day, Cuenca was occupied by the American forces. In the afternoon, the Unit moved back to Alitagtag and stayed there until March 22, when the whole force established its Headquarters in Cuenca. Once in Cuenca, the undersigned made an effort to contact the Commanding Officers of the 756th Field Artillery and the 11th Airborne Division, then operating in this locality. He succeeded in meeting Col. Kane, commanding the 756th F.A. and Major Lewis, commanding a battalion of the 11th Airborne Division. Col. Kane asked for 14 men of this Unit who were assigned as guards in the perimeter of his Artillery outfit. Major Lewis gave [an[ order that he (undersigned) should report every morning ot the battalion S-2 to receive instruction as to the activities to be done each day. The orders were complied with to the letter. In the first conference with the S-2 of said battalion, the need for intelligence reports similar to those required by the late Major Schommer was emphasized. It was also added that everyday, a number of the men of this Unit would be utilized as guides. These requirements were observed.

A few days after the occupation of Cuenca, Major Schommer arrived at Alitagtag and later on stationed himself at Dominador, Alitagtag. The undersigned went to see him for an interview. After a brief conversation about the activities that this Unit would have to do in cooperation with the American forces, he said he would soon transfer to Cuenca and the undersigned should report to his CP daily. The order was carried out and all assignments with reference to intelligence activities and patrol duties were complied with up to their departure from this place.

The day before their departure, he (undersigned) was called to a conference by Major Schommer and he was told that the American forces would soon move out of Cuenca and that the responsibility of providing protection to the civilian populace, who were then ordered to their homes, would fall upon this Organization. Taking the situation as a challenge for duty, there was no other course to take, but to assume the responsibility.

[p. 9]

From the date of [the] departure of the American forces from Cuenca up to the writing of this narrative, there were already sixteen encounters with the Japs in the vicinity of the town and in the Macolot mountain area. Our headquarters were attacked three times in the darkness of night and in the barrios of Ibabao and Dita, the Japs made three successive attempts to penetrate said barrios on the nights of June 22, 23 and 24. Our men stationed therein were able to repulse the enemy. In the evening of June 26, an unknown number of Japs came down from their mountain hideouts and stole three heads of cattle. Report of this occurrence was received early in the morning of the same day, and immediately a patrol unit of twenty men under the command of Lt. Briones was dispatched to pursue the enemy. Climbing to the very summit of the mountain, they surprised the Japs at the mouth of a cave. Opening fire upon sight of the enemy, they got two of them. The rest fled and, following the trails taken by the Japs, they saw traces of blood on the ground and on the grass showing evidence that some of those who escaped were wounded. Lt. Briones presented to the Headquarters the left hand of each of the Japs killed. Reports of all these encounters stating the number of Japs killed in each instance were submitted to the G-2 and to Major Alexander of the 11th Airborne Division stationed in Mataasnakahoy.

Training of men in active service had to be continued. Likewise, scouting and patrolling should continue as a means of providing protection to the civilian population. The Japanese menace still existed in the Macolot mountain area. Oftentimes, the Japanese came down from their mountain tunnels at night to do damage to the people. It was, therefore, imperative that the guerrilla outposts be maintained in the poblacion and in the barrios of Ibabao and Dita with an adequate number of armed guerrillas for day and night patrols.

In all, the encoungers [we] had with the Japs in Alitagtag and in Cuenca as mentioned elsewhere in this report, this unit suffered the following casualties:

March 10, 1945 Cpl. QuintinCadacio - Calumpit, Alitagtag
Cpl. Gavino Magpantay - Calumpit, Alitagtag
March 22, 1945 Pfc. Andres Rosales - Emmanuel, Cuenca
March 23, 1945 Sgt. Dionisio La Rosa - Mambug, Cuenca
March 31, 1945 Cpl. Faustino Mañgundayao - Dita, Cuenca
April 7, 1945 Pvt. Juan Magpantay, Lumampao, Cuenca
April 16, 1945 Pvt. Juanito Jumarang - Poblacion, Cuenca

The following were wounded and treated in the Military Hospitals in Lemery, Mandaluyong and Muntinglupa:
March 10, 1945 Capt. Benjamin Ilagan - Calumpit, Alitagtag
March 10, 1945 Cpl. Faustino Mañgundayao - Calumpit, Alitagtag
March 12, 1945 Pfc. Faustino Cortiguerra - Munlawin, Bauan

[p. 10]

March 31, 1945 Lt. Paolo Arada - Ibabao, Cuenca
March 31, 1945 Cpl. Juan Remo - Ibabao, Cuenca
In addition to the casualties above reported, the following officers and enlisted men were also picked up, tortured and killed by the Japs while on intelligence missions to get vital information for the Headquarters of this Unit:
Jan. 8, 1944 1st Lt. Lucio Matulac - Dita, Cuenca
Nov. 27, 1944 2nd Lt. Hermogenes Briones - Pob. Cuenca
Feb. 3, 1945 Capt. Mariano Larosa - Dita, Cuenca
Feb. 3, 1945 1st Lt. Agustin Olea - Dita, Cuena
Feb. 3, 1945 1st Lt. Apolinario Larosa - Dita, Cuenca
Feb. 3, 1945 2nd Lt. Gaudencio Torres- Dita, Cuenca
Feb. 3, 1945 2nd Lt. Arcadio Marasigan - Dita, Cuenca
Feb. 3, 1945 Cpl. Manuel Jarena - Dita, Cuenca
Feb. 3, 1945 Cpl. Apolinario Jarena - Dita, Cuenca
Feb. 3, 1945 Pvt. Santos Torres - Dita, Cuenca

After the departure of the American forces from the Cuenca sector, the Unit had again to depend upon the townspeople for subsistence. The undersigned thought of attaching the unit to the 11th Airborne Division to relieve the people of the burden of supplying food to the force, but on second thought, this idea was given up because of the Japanese menace already mentioned hereof. The Unit had to stay to continue fulfilling their obligation of providing protection to the people and helping them in the maintenance of peace and order in the locality. It was quite a difficult task but it was a sacrifice worthwhile rendering to the people who had already suffered much from the Japanese brutalities. The guerrillas in active service had to go on with only two meals a day because of the limited supply of food, but in spite of this, they gladly stuck to their duties knowing that the needs of the country should be over and above their personal interests and welfare.

Coming to arms, this outfit started with a few pistols, revolvers and some native shotguns known as paltiks. A small reinforcement of American rifles was received in Alitagtag from Col. Shoemaker and in Cuenca from Col. Moreno. But up to date, the supply is still inadequate.

This narrative will be considered incomplete without dedicating a few lines to those generous individuals who supported and helped maintain the organization during its days of trials and sufferings. Among those individuals were Mr. Eliseo Silva of Mataasnakahoy, Mayor Santiago Luna of [the] same municipality, Atty. Eulalio Chavez, Dr. Honesto Chavez, Mr. Domingo Laredo, the late Mr. Sinforoso Jusay, the late Manuel Cuevas, Mr. Braulio Limbo, Mr. Simeon Jarena and late Mr. Mariano Mendoza, all of Cuenca. These men should be recipients of deep gratitude from each and every member of the Macolot Regiment.

[Sgd.] PEDRO PASIA, Colonel
Regimental Commander

Cuenca, Batangas
July 18, 1945


Notes and references:
1 MACULOT BATTALION FAIT, File No. 110-67, downloaded from PVAO.
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