A Brief History of the Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrillas FAIT Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore A Brief History of the Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrillas FAIT Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

A Brief History of the Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrillas FAIT Part II



[Transcription continued...]

Guerrilla Files

[p. 11]


Capt. Galvez was ordered by Col. Galvez to make layouts of the Japanese positions at Makukak, Sanpiro, and Mt. Puti. As he was an architect, he was well-qualified for the mission. He was ably assisted by Lt. Agustin Martinez who disquised themselves as dog dealers. They were also commissioned to find out the Japanese positions of the Jap foxholes, tunnels, and strength of the enemy and to verify the positions of the Jap cannons of caliber 105 mm. at Talibayog. They also went there upon information of Maj. Francisco Hernandez that all the members of the Fil-American forces would be supplied with arms ammunition from an American submarine coming from Mindoro. The layouts were made, and the strength and arms of the enemy were estimated, but the arrival of the arms did not materialize.


Sometime in Sept. 1944, Lt. Soriano was ordered by Col. Galvez to meet Maj. Buenaventura de Guzman and Capt. Julian Tesorero, all of our unit, in Baha. These two officers were then connected with Commander George Rowe USN of Mindoro HQ. At about midnight, Lt. Soriano and his men received the arms and ammunition composed of carbines, Thompsons and grenades from the abovementioned officers. Sgt. Pascua, an intelligence operative from Australia who arrived with them, brought a transmitter and arms to the city on board the truck under the supervision and control of Capt. Zacarias Diaz and delivered it to Col. Ramsey. Said truck owned by Lt. Col. Marcelino Maningat was very instrumental in providing free transporation

[p. 12]

to Manila of several transmitters, which had to be dismantled in order to avoid detection by the Japs. Guerrillas of other units, like Col. Tony Bautista, Col. Pedro Mabanta, and others, always used this truck in going to and from Manila and was also used in evacuating civilians from Balayan upon the liberation of Nasugbu.


After the landing in Leyte on Oct. 20, 1944, the inhabitants of Western Batangas were heartened by the thought that the day of redemption had come at last. The sight of American planes in the sky, of American naval boats and supplies brought cheer to the hearts of the people. So great was the happiness that the people did not care to show it outwardly even in the face of the Japs who took it on everybody who rejoiced in the glorious comeback of the liberation American forces.


During the morning of December 20, 1944, a PT captain told Maj. B. de Guzman to put a white panel on the top of St. Pedrino Mt. where two Jap 105 mm. caliber guns were located. Maj. B. de Guzman and his men were waiting on top of said mountain for the PT boats to come, because the PT captain told them that after putting the white panel, the PT boats would strike the Japs by sea while Maj. de Guzman and his men would take care of the attack by land. Maj. de Guzman and his men waited for more than one hour after putting the white panel; but the PT’s did not come, instead more than 50 Japs did. Maj. de Guzman and his men were outnumbered.

[p. 13]

Just at this moment, Lt. Soriano and his men, who had been assigned on patrol duty in these mountains, arrived. The Japanese retreated, bearing four dead after a brief encounter. One Jap Navy officer by the name of Sgt. Johnny Alba, a half-bred, was captured. Major de Guzman detained the prisoner while Lt. Soriano made [a] verbal report of the same to Col. Galvez.

The next night, Maj. de Guzman did almost everything to contact the PT boats. After giving flash signals from his position about a mile away from Mt. San Pedrino, two PT boats came. The skipper and the whole crew were surprised when Maj. de Guzman told them that he had captured a Jap sergeant. That same night, he was taken to San Jose, Mindoro, on board one of the PT boats, with the captured Jap. They arrived at San Jose early in the morning and turned the captured Jap over to Commander Davis of the PT base.


The same morning, Maj. de Guzman told Commander Davis about the Jap suicide Q-boat base located at Pagaspas Bay. After telling him all about it, Commander Davis asked Maj. de Guzman if the latter could join the raiding party, to which he assented. Before leaving the U.S. PT base, Maj. de Guzman was given arms, ammunition, and rations including cigarettes for his men. The next evening, the PT boat arrived at Point San Pedrino and Maj. de Guzman was landed by a rubber boat in the same place, which was about two kilometers away from the Jap suicide Q-boat base.

[p. 14]

That same night, Maj. de Guzman went to see his men in barrio Baha, Calatagan, Batangas. When morning came, Maj. de Guzman and his men did nothing but observe the Jap movement around the said suicide Q-boat base. On night fall, unable to get inside the said Q-boat base by land, Maj. de Guzman took five of his men and ordered them to swim with him and make for the Q-boat base in order to steal the Jap suicide boat. From Point San Pedrino, Maj. de Guzman and his men walked naked with ropes around their bodies. Upon arriving at Barrio Bukal, they started swimming until they reached the place. They accomplished their mission very successfully by being able to steal two Jap suicide PT boats. They reached Point San Pedrino without any trouble. It was about three o’clock in the morning when Maj. de Guzman sighted two U.S. PT boats patrolling between the Batangas and Mindoro waters. He gave the PT’s the flash signal which they apparently saw at once for they headed for the place. It didnt take the PT’s more than five minutes to reach it. Maj. de Guzman turned over one of the Jap Q-boats to the PT’s with the request to take the same to San Jose, Mindoro, and give it to Commander Davis of the PT base. Maj. de Guzman remained with his men for two days in Barrio Baha, after which he went to Mindoro by a small banca with plenty of intelligence reports about the Jap emplacement around the Balayan outpost. Arriving at the camp of Lt. Commander George F. Rowe in Mindoro the next morning, Maj. de Guzman proceeded to San Jose on board a PT boat. After giving the intelligence report about the Jap position outpost and vicinity, Maj. de Guzman was highly commended by the officers of the U.S. Army and Navy.

[p. 15]

On New Years Eve of 1944, Maj. de Guzman and Capt. Julian Tesorero came back from Mindoro on a PT boat. They brought with them gifts consisting of the long-awaited American cigarettes, soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, etc. Boundless was the joy of the people in the face of the mass massacres of the inhabitants of other towns before the landing at Nasugbu, Batangas, on Jan. 31, 1945. Major de Guzman was also the guide of several PT boats that machine-gunned the Jap positions in Fort Santiago, Calatagan, Batangas. This attack combed Ft. Santiago of all Japanese and made them retreat to their prepared positions at Mt. Sanpiro and Mt. Puti.


After landing in San Jose, Mindoro in January, 1945, Maj. de Guzman was assigned by Lt. Commander Rowe USN as a PT boat guide on a mission to strike on the Jap suicide Q-boat base located in Pagaspas Bay. It was early in the morning when the U.S. PT’s attacked the said place with the support of two B-25 planes and three P-38 fighter planes. Maj. de Guzman was with Commander Davis of the PT base on board one of the PT’s. The raid lasted more than half an hour, after which Maj. de Guzman landed by rubber boat on Point San Pedrino to investigate the damage done. Maj. de Guzman went to Mindoro with A-1 reports about the damage they had done there during the strike. The damage on the Jap side was heavy — three hundred and fifty Jap officers and soldiers killed, and fifty Jap suicide Q-boats totally destroyed. On the U.S. side, two PT crews were wounded on account of a P-47 U.S. plane that came in very low during

[p. 16]

the attack. Probably, the PT machine-gunner thought it was a Jap Zero fighter plane. The PT’s fired first at the plane. The firing between the PT’s and the plane did not last two minutes.


After the American landing at San Jose, Mindoro, the 1,500 Jap soldiers stationed in Balayan moved to Aga, Tagaytay, leaving a small force of 150 in the Makukak outpost,200 in Mt. Sampiro, and around 400 in Mt. Puti. The sabotage squads of our unit immediately their job by cutting the enemy telephone lines connecting the Makukak and Mt. Sampiro outposts, Balayan, Tuy, Calatagan, Nasugbu, and Tagaytay. Four Japanese warehouses filled with Japanese supplies were sabotaged by several members of our unit, and the booty was distributed among the members of the unit and the needy of the civilian population. The booty consisted of palay, clothing, soap, towels, oil, gas, etc. The palay commandeered by the Japs in a house-to-house ransacking of the people’s stored supplies, and deposited at the Municipal Building, was retained by Lt. Col. Nemesio Maningat, pre-war elected Mayor, who used his influence and turned the same for the use of our unit.


Capt. Lorenzo Galvez and Capt. Santiago de Guzman, with a civilian guide, went to Calatagan on Jan. 27, 1945 to deliver the sketches to a waiting PT boat and to secure arms and ammunition for our men. But they were given several hand grenades only. When they were going back to Balayan on the night

[p. 17]

of Jan. 28, they encountered a night Jap patrol who fired a shot, killing Capt. Lorenzo Galvez. He was buried on the spot by his companions.


On the night of Jan. 31, 1945 [likely meant Jan 30], on the eve of the Nasugbu landing, two U.S. PT boats were sunk by a U.S. destroyer. There were thirty American survivors who were able to swim to shore and were stranded between two well-defended and heavily-fortified Jap garrisons, namely, Talin Point and Calatagan outpost. At very great risk to their lives, Maj. de Guzman and Capt. Julian Tesorero picked up those thirty American survivors and saved them from almost sure death, boarded them on a PT boat and took them to San Jose, Mindoro.

After taking the thirty American survivors to San Jose by PT boats, Maj. de Guzman was sent back again to look for one Lt. Stillman who was still missing and considered the best swimmer of the outfit. He arrived at nighttime and went around the place to investigate everyone of the inhabitants about the missing Lt. The next day, Maj. de Guzman heard that the Lt. was caught by the Japs and was beheaded. Maj. de Guzman went back to Mindoro and told Lt. Commander Rowe and Commander Davis of the PT base and all that happened to Lt. Stillman.


On Feb. 2, 1945, Lt. Agustin Martinez, in company with several men, attempted to kill two Japanese spies temporarily lodged in Federico Gaa’s house on the main street of Balayan. Somehow, someone bungled the job and both escaped wounded,

[p. 18]

one dying on the way and the other reaching the enemy outpost in Makukak. The next day, seven armed Japs went to town and killed Gaa.

As a punitive measure, the barrios of Pook and Lukban, Balayan, were burned by the Japs. Our unit, with practically no arms to fight the Japs, used [a] few revolvers, homemade guns, bolos, and bamboo spears. Those were days of suspense and every member of the Bahia-Deguito Unit stood ready to defend the town at all costs.

On Feb. 7, 1945, when the Americans had already made a landing at Nasugbu, Sgt. Vicente Consul killed a Jap intelligence officer who was supposedly trying to snoop on the defenses of the town, by passing thru the salt beds on the southern part of the town.


On February 8, 1945, Major Miguel Tolentino liaison officer, sent communications to Gen. Doughlas MacArthur and to President OsmeƱa welcoming and greeting them; offering them full cooperation, and requesting that the guerrillas and civilians be duly provided with arms and ammunition to defend the people from being massacred by the Japanese.


Before the American Army arrived in Balayan, all guerrillas in the town participated in the attack on Makukak (Jap outpost). In all these assaults, Lt. Dominador Jaime, Lt. Conrado Depusoy, and Maj. de Guzman participated with their men. The first two attacks were not able to dislodge the Japs from their position, and one of our men, Sgt. Luis

[p. 19]

Pinili, was wounded and taken to Leyte for medical assistance. The third attack, with the aid of artillery and soldiers of the American 158 RCT, resulted in the complete destruction of the Jap foxholes and tunnels, with a casualty of around eighty Japs killed. The guerrillas had several wounded while the valiant American comrades sustained five casualties.


Balayan was not yet completely liberated. There was still the menace of the Sampiro Jap outpost, which had a greater strength. To the 11th Airborne and the 158 RCT, which were mainly responsible for the complete destruction of the outpost, our unit gave valuable support. Maj. de Guzman, Maj. Francisco Hernandez, Lt. Dominador Jaime, Lt. Conrado Depusoy, and others with their men represented our unit.

Especially valuable were the services of Lt. Aurelio de Guzman in the attack of the 158 RCT on the Sampiro Jap outpost in the early part of March 1945. Lt. Aurelio de Guzman guided the obsevation plane, pointing out the Jap position and the gun emplacement. So accurate were his directions that the Jap naval gun of 105 mm. caliber was put out of commission. The foxholes were totally destroyed and about two hundred Japs were killed. The remaining Japs left the place. Thus, Balayan was completely liberated.

[p. 20]


There were still Jap stragglers roaming from one place to another, harrassing the inhabitants of the rural communities, demanding food and setting fire to houses. Portions of our unit under the command of Capt. Simeon Castillo were sent to annihilate them in the barrios of Dao, Lanatan, Malibo, and elsewhere.
Regimental CO



Notes and references:
1 “Pioneer Balayan Town Guerrillas, Deguito Unit FAIT,” File No. 110-42, downloaded from PVAO.
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