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Segment 4

The Japanese occupiers

Gonzales meets James Carrington


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(background chatter)
(interviewer) All right.
Well, anyway, tell me about—you grew
up in the Philippines, I assume?
(Jesús González) I did, yes.
(interviewer) How old were you when the Japanese invaded?
(Jesús) When they invaded?
(interviewer) Yes.
(Jesús) It was 1942.
I was ten years old.
(interviewer) You were a young man.
(Jesús) I was very young.
(interviewer) Where did you live in the Philippines?
(Jesús) In Manila.
(interviewer) You lived in the city?
(Jesús) Yes, in the city of
Manila close to the University
of Santo Tomas where they imprisoned all the
American civilians, very close to that area.
(interviewer) What do you remember as a young boy?
What do you remember of the invasion when the
Japanese came, and the Americans defended—well,
we really didn’t defend the city.
We kind of left it open.
But the Japanese bombed it anyway.
(Jesús) Yes.
(interviewer) What do you remember from the invasion?
What did the Japanese do?
What kind of soldiers were they?
Were they brutal?
(Jesús) Oh, gosh.
They were barbaric.
They’re just beasts because I saw
people being beheaded in the street.
And that was really scary.
But as a young boy, I didn’t feel it yet
until now because at that time, it didn’t
dawn onto me yet.
But now when I remember, I really get scared.
(interviewer) What are you scared
of now when you think of it?
(Jesús) Well, what I saw, all the atrocities that
they committed, that they—everybody who
didn’t bow ninety degrees when they pass
the sentry would get slapped
or kick, and things like that.
And they would enter any house as they liked.
They’d break any door and enter any house.
And they’d take anything.
If they saw women there, they’d rape them.
(interviewer) Did you have any
siblings when you were growing up?
(Jesús) Yes, I had eight older siblings—eight alive siblings.
We were ten, but one passed away before the
war, so we were nine at the time of the war
and was just a scary dream, if you like.
(interviewer) Did the Japanese do
anything to your family in particular?
(Jesús) Yes.
(interviewer) Did they steal things out of your house?
Did they imprison or beat your
brothers or sisters or parents or you?
Did they do anything to you or
your family members in particular?
(Jesús) No, they didn’t particularly hurt me.
They caught me many times in doing some things
like when there were people who were the Americans
on death march, they pass through our street
from Bataan, and I dropped some food there,
and they caught me, but they let
me go when I started crying.
Because I was small, they let me go.
They didn’t do anything to me.
And many times, I saw the things that they did.
And now it scares me.
Before it didn’t scare me at all.
It didn’t impact to myself yet until now.
(interviewer) You were too young
to really understand it, I guess.
You keep saying you saw the things that they did.
What did they do?
(Jesús) Well, they would enter into any house, they’d
break doors, they don’t knock, they break the
doors and just walk in and take everything.
They saw some women there, they did what they like.
All you hear is screaming.
It was really horrible.
(interviewer) Before the invasion,
before the Japanese invaded,
what was life like in Manila in like 1940?
(Jesús) 1940 was fine as far as I can remember.
We were living a healthy life.
Poor as we were, we were doing all right.
Didn’t experience any hustling like that at all.
(interviewer) Did you get along
with the American soldiers
and Marines that were there and the sailors?
(Jesús) Oh, yes, of course.
After the war, we loved them.
We felt that they were our savior.
They were like Gods to us at the time, the
time of the liberation because it was like
from hell to heaven right away.
(interviewer) What about before the war?
(Jesús) Oh, before the war, I
have very little recollection
because—as far as I can remember, back in
‘39—1939, I can remember back to 1939.
Below that, I have very, very
slight recollection of life.
But in ’39, life was good despite that we were poor.
Life was good.
(interviewer) When the Japanese attacked the Philippines
and invaded the Philippines, did
that come as a surprise to you?
I mean, you were a little boy, so obviously
you didn’t know everything going on in the
world, but you’re living a peaceful life one
day, and then the next day, boom, you’re
thrust in the middle of a war.
(Jesús) We enjoyed watching the dogfights in the sky.
Many of times when I get home, I get spanking
from my mom because she didn’t want me to
go out there, but she can’t look after
eight kids all at the same time.
So I managed to escape her and go there,
watch the dogfight in the street.
And I enjoyed the dogfight at that time.
I thought it was a game that was going
on, didn’t realize the danger at all.
(interviewer) You mentioned the Bataan death march.
The Japanese marching Americans through
Manila and the surrounding areas.
What do you remember from that?
Do you remember them beating and
shooting American prisoners?
(Jesús) What I recall was they passed through the
middle of the street.
In the middle of the boulevard,
there is a big island there.
And they were passing through, and then they
would stop, and some of them would fall and
either kick or butted with the rifle.
And we were watching from the side of the street.
And nothing else you could do.
And on one occasion, somebody told me to—somebody
told me to drop coconut candy which I did.
The Japanese soldier caught me, and
he grabbed me, and I started crying.
So when I cried too loud, he let me go.
And that was scary, too, because I heard
about the bad things that they were doing.
I didn’t see them in the beginning, but I
heard they were rude and they were bad.
(interviewer) During the
occupation—you were under occupation
for three years, ’42, ’43, ’44, and
part of ’45—did life get worse as the
war progressed or no change or better or what?
(Jesús) Oh, it got worse and worse.
It got worse and worse.
Food was very scarce.
You’d see people at night, they were hunting for rats.
And the garbage stunk.
And if one of them hit the cat—the rat, it
wasn’t his yet because ten other people
would run after it for meat, you know?
It was terrible.
(interviewer) How did you family make out?
How did your siblings and you make out?
Did everybody come out of the
occupation alive and healthy?
(Jesús) Well, we lost one brother, but all the others—we
had a hard time, but we managed.
(interviewer) Did you have any siblings you fought with
the Filipino—the Army?
Did you have any older brothers
that fought with the Army?
(Jesús) Not in the front line.
I had a brother who was a Guerilla
who got caught by the Japs.
(interviewer) How did he make out?
Did he live?
(Jesús) No. No, he never returned.
He got caught, never returned.
We only got a small note from him which my
mom paid very dearly for a small piece of
note that says, “I’m okay.
I’m repairing bicycles for the Japanese.”
That was the last we heard from him.
(interviewer) You never heard
anything about him after the war?
(Jesús) No.
(interviewer) How did you come
to meet Captain Carrington?
What happened there?
(Jesús) Oh, my brother always
brings me with his carretilla.
That was his means of livelihood.
He was supporting the whole family with his carretilla.
So it was our last trip.
(interviewer) I’m sorry.
What is that?
(Jesús) A carretilla is a horse-drawn carriage.
If I can show you the picture.
(interviewer) Sure. Yeah. You can move. It’s okay.
(Jesús) This is the horse-drawn carriage.
This carretilla can take—this carretilla can
take nine passengers; three at the back,
three in the middle, and three in the front.
And the driver which is called the cochero
would be sitting on the floor here, his feet
dangling, and I’m on the other
side, my feet dangling, too.
Anyway, it was our last trip.
So we had to buy grass and filled up the
whole bottom of this carretilla here.
And as we were approaching the Bilibid
Prison, we saw a person jump.
I saw a person jump from high fence.
And then he started running toward us.
And he said, “Can you give me a ride?
Can you give me a ride?
Please, can you give me a ride?”
So we let all the passengers get down first
so that James could go under the grass.
And then the passengers went back.
So they were stepping like this.
And then we passed the sentry that—so they would
let all the others—all the other passengers
were let down.
They were frisked.
And I was a small boy.
I was crying.
And then the Japanese starting poking.
See those holes between there?
(interviewer) Yeah.
(Jesús) Started poking with a bayonet.
And then luckily, didn’t get hit.
And then—so anyway, we passed two sentries.
And he did the same thing.
So anyway, five blocks before our house, my
brother said to all the passengers, “Get off. Get off.”
So we hid Mr. Carrington for three days in our house.
The ground floor.
And then about three days—
(interviewer) I was going to say let’s stop.
(Jesús) Okay.
(interviewer) You’re going to hate this, but—I got a
shot of you with that, Tell me the story all
over again because I want to get a shot of
your face and not the picture.
(laughs) I had the camera on the picture which
is good, but now I want to get you telling
me the story.
So tell me again, how did you meet James
(Jesús) Okay, my brother’s means of livelihood was
carretilla, a horse-drawn carriage.
(interviewer) I’m sorry.
(background chatter)
(Jesús) So it was my brother’s means of livelihood
to make it as a transportation business.
So our last trip, we had to buy grass for the horses.
And we filled the carretilla floor with grass.
And as we passed the—as we were approaching
the Bilibid Prison, somebody jumped from the
fence—high fence and started running toward
the carretilla and asking for a ride.
“Please, give me a ride.
Give me a ride.”
So my brother finally decided to give him a
ride and let all the passengers get down.
And then Mr. Carrington was on the floor of
the carretilla covered with grass, and the
passengers were just sitting like so.
Anyway, we passed through and
everybody was let go except myself.
I was a small boy.
And then the Japanese guy said to me in
the Filipino language, “Why you cry?
Why you cry?” and I started crying all the more.
And he let me—didn’t bother me anymore and
started poking the bayonet around the carretilla.
And he didn’t get him.
And this happened on two sentries.
Same thing.
Anyway, five blocks after—five blocks before
our house, we let all the passengers off and
we hid Mr. Carrington in the ground floor of our house.
And about three days later, my brother brought
him to the mountains to join the Guerrillas.
And two or three months later, my
brother got caught by the Japanese.
And they raided our house.
That’s when they raided our house.
They broke front and rear window—rear door.
So they were—oh, there were about twenty
Japanese soldiers that ransacked our house.
They tied my brother.
And they were asking for the little boy in our language.
“Where’s the little boy?
Where’s the little boy?”
By the act of God, they didn’t see me.
And they brought my brother away.
They took my brother away, and
we never saw him thereafter.
So—and then after the war, sixty-four years
later, I told my daughter this story, and
she started searching in the internet
because I told her the name.
I could remember the name.
Even the middle initial I could remember because
Mr. Carrington left a cigarette case with
his name engrave in it.
James W. Carrington.
US Marine Corp.
That’s how I came to know Mr. Carrington.
(interviewer) When did you first find him?
Or where did your daughter first find him?
(Jesús) Well, sometime last summer, I think.
This was last summer, found him on the internet
because she found somebody who wrote about
Mr. Carrington on the internet.
So she contacted her.
And that was when the overture to
come and visit him took place.
(interviewer) Is this the first
time you’ve seen him since?
(Jesús) Yes, since the escape.
I think that’s about sixty-four years.
Yes, sixty-four years ago.
I was twelve.
And I’m seventy-six now.
(interviewer) Man, I wish I could’ve been there to see
that reunion.
What was it like seeing him again?
(Jesús) Oh, God.
(interviewer) You only saw him for three days in the war.
What was it like seeing him again?
(Jesús) The emotion was so overwhelming.
I cried and I cried.
I just couldn’t stop my tears coming out.
They were pouring like Katrina, you know?
(laughs) And I couldn’t help it.
I tried to control it, but I couldn’t
help remembering how we did the escapade.
That was the first time I saw him, hope to
see him one more day tomorrow before I go.
(interviewer) What about him?
What was his reaction like?
(Jesús) He was so glad, too, but he’s kind of weak now.
He’s very weak.
But he kind of became so lively
when we visited him yesterday.
And he was talking.
He can remember some of the things that we did
like when they were poking the carretilla
with the bayonet.
And this the first time I found out that
he got hit on the leg and he didn’t move.
So that I didn’t know because he never told us.
I never found out anyway until
yesterday that he got hit on the leg.
And it was very clear that—unbelievably—unbelievable
what happened yesterday, the joy of seeing
him again.
(interviewer) You helped save his life.
Do you feel that you did that?
Do you feel that you helped save his life?
(Jesús) Well, I’m glad.
All I feel is that very glad that we save a life.
And never mind that we lost a brother
because that’s the way God wants it.
So I have no regrets about that.
I just—I’m just very happy that
he is alive and I saw him.
(interviewer) After your brother
brought him to the mountains,
his story is pretty exciting—Captain Carrington’s
story is pretty exciting going around killing
Japanese with knives in the middle of the night.
And stuff that you read about as a little boy.
Wow, that’s pretty adventurous.
But what happened to you after you guys sent
him off and the Japanese searched your house
and took your brother away?
What happened to you?
(Jesús) Well, we live a very hard life because there
was nobody that was providing us with the
food that we need because it was my brother
who was the sole breadwinner for all of us.
And it was hard life.
I don’t know.
We somehow survived because we had a little—well,
we had a big yard where we raise chicken.
But our fence was high, but our chicken were
all—pluck all the wings so that they can’t
fly because the moment they fly over the
fence, it’s no longer your chicken.
It’s the neighbors.
So we survived on things like that.
We had eggs for the family.
And occasionally, I’d run to grocery store
and sell coconut candies to the Japanese.
So that help us, too.
(interviewer) What do you remember of the liberation?
(Jesús) Oh, the liberation was like being in heaven
right away.
(laughs) It was fantastic. Unbelievable.
(interviewer) When we liberated the Philippines, there was
a pretty big battle in Manila for the city.
Did your family stay in the city? Or did you evacuate?
(Jesús) No, we evacuated to the—it’s about sixty
kilometers away from the Philippines—from
Manila because we were waiting—we were hoping
and waiting that he would be sent to this
big—it’s the biggest prison camp in the Philippines.
And they brought some of those the Japanese caught.
And one of them—some of them were
being released intermittently.
So we were hoping that he would be released.
And so we moved over there.
And every night, it was for him to
come out of the gate, never came out.
Until the Americans came.
We were just so happy when we heard they were coming.
It was the Guerilla that liberated us first.
We didn’t see the Americans first.
And then we moved back to Manila on our carretilla.
And that was when we saw Americans in the street.
And they were handing out chewing gum, candies galore.
I can’t explain how the feeling was.
Just marvelous.
(interviewer) What was left of
your home when you got back?
(Jesús) Well, our home—it was still there.
Fortunately, it was not looted.
It was still there.
And life had to start again.
And my mom started having—making some
businesses and bought and sell some goods.
And then eventually in 1948, that’s when
life changed for us because my mom all of
a sudden became very fortunate and became rich.
(interviewer) What happened?
She hit oil?
(Jesús) No, you know the import—there was an import
control in 1948, import control was
implemented in the Philippines.
And then after that, my mom was able
to quarters get some to import things.
And we got—the president—President Quirino
at the time, he was my godfather.
So we were very close to President Quirino.
He gave my mom lots of quarters.
And my mom didn’t have to import herself.
She just sell the import quarter.
And she sell it for ten, fifteen percent.
And there you are.
You became very rich instantaneously.
And life changed all of a sudden.
So after that, life was different.
I appreciate how hard people live.
(interviewer) When did you decide
to move from the Philippines and why?
(Jesús) Oh, in 1956, my wife got a job offer from
Columbia Cellulose in Vancouver
to work—she’s a wood scientist.
And she got a job offer to work in Columbia Cellulose.
So we moved.
At that time, we had two children.
(female speaker) 1966.
(Jesús) Nineteen sixty-six.
That was when we moved to Canada.
It’s been forty-two years now.
And we love life there.
It was hard in the beginning because you have
to change your ways of life because in the
Philippines, we had—when we became rich, I
had my own driver, I had my own— (laughs)
I had my own boy.
I clap my hands and they’d be running.
And life was so good there.
So when I came—first came to Canada,
first day I wash dishes, I cried.
(laughs) I cried.
I said, “What did I do?”
But then this went on for about three years
before I—I always wanted to go back home
within the first three years.
But then I said if I go home, I burn all my bridges.
So I said there’s no going back anymore. So we stay.
(interviewer) Have you ever been back to the Philippines since?
(Jesús) Oh, yeah.
We go visit the Philippines once every three years.
(interviewer) Do you have family there still?
(Jesús) I still have two brothers and sister.
And when we go home, we feel like we’re
kings because a dollar goes a long way.
But we don’t like the climate anymore.
We’re suffering from the climate because it’s so humid.
(interviewer) Is your old home still there?
(Jesús) No, we got rid of our old home.
We stay in hotels now.
And we couldn’t stay brothers and sisters
because they remain poor by choice.
(laughs) They didn’t make use of the
resources that my mom left them.
So they remain poor.
So I don’t stay with them.
I stay in a hotel.
(interviewer) Have you ever gone back to the area around
Bilibid Prison?
(Jesús) No, it’s gone.
The Bilibid Prison is gone now.
I’ve been there. I’ve been there.
It’s now a government office.
But the memory when I go through
there, I still remember the—remember.
I still recall the night.
It’s implanted in me.
It’s like a computer.
It comes out naturally.
Just like the Japanese, up to this point in
time when I see a Japanese person, my blood
boils for a few seconds forgetting that the war is over.
But it boils automatically.
And then for a few seconds, I remember.
After a few seconds, I remember, oh, the war is over.
So I calm down.
But until now, seventy-six years old, that’s how I feel.
Terrible because I saw people
being beheaded in the street.
Chopped their head.
And the head would be bouncing like a ball.
And the body would be running with
the blood oozing out of the neck.
And the body would fall, run
again, fall again, run again.
Oh, God.
That was scary.
So the hatred is still there for a while.
Not meaning—I don’t really mean to
hate them, but the impact is there.
And it stays there.
(interviewer) That’s what I was going to ask you, how
you felt about the Japanese today.
You just answered that.
When you think about the war today and everything
that happened; losing a brother, the harsh
occupation by the Japanese, running with James
Carrington—when you think of the war today,
what do you think of?
(Jesús) Well, I think most of it about the liberation
because everything else is
overshadowed by the liberation.
The joy of the liberation,
that’s what’s in my feeling now.
And I can still remember it.
I enjoyed that feeling.
It was like getting out of hell and going to heaven.
(interviewer) Had you guys been to the museum yet or no?
(Jesús) Not yet.
(interviewer) You know, we have some
of Captain Carrington’s things here.
(Jesús) Oh, that would be nice.
(interviewer) Did they tell you about that?
(Jesús) We heard that he had something here, but—
(interviewer) When we’re done, I’ll take you up there.
I’ll show it to you.
(Jesús) Oh, that would be nice.
(interviewer) We’ll walk right up to it.
I know exactly where it is.
And I guess you really can’t answer this
because you haven’t been through the museum yet.
I’m going to let you go here soon so you can go see it.
But do you think it’s important
that there’s a museum like this?
A World War II Museum to tell what people
like Carrington and you, for that matter,
for what you did to free the world from tyranny and
Japanese oppression and Europe Nazi oppression?
(Jesús) Oh, definitely. Definitely.
If it wasn’t for the Americans,
we’d be forever under the Japs.
Pardon the language.
(laughs) But it ultimately comes for the Japanese.
So it was really important that
they help us get out of this mess.
And we’re glad that there was
an America that liberated us.
(interviewer) Is there anything that he didn’t tell that
you can remember?
(female speaker) There was
just—it would be interesting to
say about what the other nine
passengers said when you were getting—
(interviewer) Yeah, okay.
(Jesús) Oh, yeah.
There was nine passengers.
In the beginning, we didn’t want to
take him because we were scared.
But these nine passengers, they said to us, “Come on. Take him.
Take him. We’re all Filipinos. It’s okay.”
So my brother got rid of the fear.
So okay, let’s take him.
So that’s when we let him in.
Otherwise, my brother would’ve been scared, too.
(interviewer) How old was your brother?
(Jesús) He was about twenty.
(female speaker) You should
mention that he was part of the Resistance movement.
(Jesús) Yeah, well, I didn’t know at that time that he was—
(interviewer) Oh, really? You didn’t know?
(Jesús) I didn’t know because it was—I could’ve told someone.
And he didn’t tell us that he was part of the Resistance.
So he was working underground.
And I found out only lately about that.
But at the time, I was not aware that
he was a member of the Resistance.
(female speaker) Can you tell him how he got reported?
(Jesús) Oh, yeah.
Why my brother got caught was he had a girlfriend.
He made a mistake of telling it to his girlfriend.
And the girlfriend wanted her
to marry—to get married to him.
And she kept saying, “If you don’t
marry me, I’m going to report you.”
Well, we learned about this after he
brought James Carrington to the mountains.
He said, “Cora del Rosario wants me to marry her.
And if I don’t’ marry her, she’s
going to report me to the Japanese.”
So he thought this lady was bluffing.
Finally he was reported.
That’s why the Japanese knew that there was a boy.
That’s how they found out that there was a boy.
She told all the details to the Japanese.
And that’s when they raided our house.
(interviewer) What happened to her?
(Jesús) I don’t know.
But James told us that he sent
some Guerillas to get rid of her.
We really don’t know what happened.
(interviewer) If he said that, it probably didn’t turn
out too well, I would imagine.
When I talked to him, he had no qualms about
telling us how he felt about the Japanese
and what he did to them. No fear there at all.
(Jesús) I don’t blame him.
(interviewer) But he told you that yesterday?
(Jesús) Which one?
(interviewer) That he sent somebody after her?
(Jesús) Yeah, he told me.
I talked to him on the phone last summer from
Vancouver when she found out where he was.
I was talking to him.
And he said that he sent some
Guerillas to get rid of her.
But I said, “Did they get her?”
“I didn’t get any report back.”
But I’m almost sure if they sent
someone, that they got rid of her.
(interviewer) When you found him, and you talked to him
on the phone, did he know who you were?
When you told him who you were, did he remember you?
(Jesús) Yes. Yes.
He remembered me.
And he knew—he thought it was a kalesa.
There’s a difference between a kalesa and a carretilla.
Kalesa takes only three passengers,
carretilla takes nine.
So he called it kalesa.
I said, “No, it wasn’t kalesa.
It was a carretilla.” “Oh, sorry.”
That’s what he told me over the phone from Vancouver.
(interviewer) But he remembered you as a little boy.
(Jesús) Yes. Yes.
(interviewer) I wish I could’ve been there to see that.
That would’ve been a good reunion.
(female speaker) He remembered you crying.
(Jesús) Oh.
(laughs) He remembered me crying, too, this morning.
It was this morning, eh?
He remembered me when I was crying.
The Japanese was asking me in
our language why I was crying.
And I cried all the more.
And the Japanese started poking instead.
I was really scared to death.
At that time, I could’ve made the
mistake and said (crying sound).
But thank God, I just cried all the more louder.
(interviewer) That probably saved your life.
(Jesús) Yeah, because if they found
him, we would’ve been killed by now.
Including me, we would’ve killed us
because they don’t have any mercy at all.
(female speaker) Even the children?
(Jesús) Yes.
Well, I didn’t see them manhandling children.
But in that particular case—
(interviewer) They probably would’ve—
(Jesús) They probably would’ve eliminated everyone.
(interviewer) And killed everybody
in that cart including you.
(Jesús) Yes.
(interviewer) I don’t think they’d
have any problem with that at all.
Definitely put you in prison,
I’m sure, if not killed you.
(Jesús) Yeah.
(interviewer) Well, anything else you can think of?
(female speaker) You want
Japanese—about the nature of the
Japanese and things like that?
(interviewer) We kind of talked
about that in the beginning
that they were pretty brutal.
(Jesús) That’s about everything, yeah, that I know
and feel about them.
And God bless them.
They were really bad people.
Hope the new generation is not like that
anymore because they were terrible.
They were very bad.
During the war, as I said, people in the garbage.
I told that.
And I can’t imagine that ever
happening how people starve.
I’ve never heard that happening
in Europe, but especially in Manila.
I don’t know in the provinces because
at least you can plant in provinces.
But in Manila, oh, God. Terrible.
Captioned by


Gonzales was 10 years old when the Japanese invaded [Annotator's Note: Manila, Philippine Islands]. At the time he lived near Santo Thomas University which was used to hold prisoners of the Japanese.Gonzales remembers the Japanese as beasts. He witnessed people being beheaded in the streets. At the time it didn't affect him but they scare him now.If a civilian passed a sentry and didn't bow 90 degrees they would be slapped or kicked. The Japanese would enter Filipino houses and take whatever they wanted including raping any women they wished.Gonzales had 8 siblings at the start of the war.Gonzales was caught many times doing things he wasn't supposed to. During the death march he was caught dropping food [Annotator's Note: purposefully dropping food for American soldiers during the Bataan Death March] but the Japanese soldiers let him go when he started crying.Life was fine before the invasion even though he was poor.At the time of the liberation Gonzales looked at the American soldiers as saviors.In 1939 life was good.Gonzales enjoyed watching the dogfights in the sky. When he got home his mother would spank him but she couldn't watch all of her kids at the same time. Gonzales saw it as a game and didn't realize the danger in it at the time.Gonzales watched from the side of the street as the prisoners on the death march passed down the street. Some of the prisoners would fall and would be kicked or beaten by the Japanese guards. Someone told him to drop some coconut candy. When he did he was caught but let go when he started to cry.The Japanese were rude and bad. Things got worse and worse during the occupation. Food was scarce. Gonzales witnessed people hunting rats for food.Gonzales lost 1 brother during the war but the remainder made it through the war.


Gonzales had a brother who was a guerilla who was caught by the Japanese and never returned. All they were able to hear from him was through a small note that his mother paid dearly to obtain. That was the last they heard of him.Gonzales older brother would bring him along when he would work. The older Gonzales was the bread winner. He had a horse drawn cart that could carry 9 passengers. On their last trip of the day they had filled their horse drawn cart with grass in addition to the passengers. When they passed Bilibid prison they saw someone jump over the wall. The man then ran toward them and asked if they could give him a ride.The Gonzales brothers put James [Annotator's Note: James Carrington, US Marine Corps] under the grass then the passengers surrounded him. When they passed a sentry he started poking his bayonet into the grass. Fortunately James wasn't hit.For 3 days the Gonzales family hid Carrington in their house.Gonzales retells the story of how he met Carrington.After hiding Carrington in their house for 3 days Gonzales' older brother took Carrington into the mountains to join the guerillas. 2 months after that the older Gonzales was caught. 20 Japanese soldiers ransacked the Gonzales home. The Japanese took the older Gonzales and asked repeatedly for the younger boy in Filipino.Years later Gonzales related this story to his daughter who then searched the internet for additional information. Gonzales was able to remember Carrington's name because Carrington had given him a cigarette lighter with his name engraved in it - "James W. Carrington, USMC".Gonzales' daughter found an article about Carrington on the internet in the summer [Annotator's Note: the summer of 2007].An invitation was extended for Gonzales to visit with Carrington. It was the first time they had seen or spoken to each other in 64 years. The meeting between the 2 men was overwhelming.During the reunion the two spoke of things they did together. It was at this time that Gonzales learned that when the Japanese sentry had poked the grass in the cart with his bayonet he had hit Carrington in the leg but Carrington didn't move.


Gonzales is very glad that he was able to help save a life even though he lost a brother.After Gonzales' brother brought Carrington to the mountains life went on. The older Gonzales was the bread winner and after he was taken by the Japanese life got even harder.The liberation was like being in heaven. The Gonzales family had evacuated to an area about 60 kilometers from Manila in hopes that Gonzales' brother would be moved there but he never was.The guerillas liberated the Gonzales family first. It wasn't until they returned to Manila that they saw their first American soldiers.The Gonzales home was just like they had left it. Life went on.In 1948 Gonzales' mother came into a lot of money and the familys quality of life improved significantly. Gonzales' mother was able to secure a large number of quotas for her import business. The Gonzales family was close with President Quirino [Annotator's Note: President Elpidio Quirino] who gave his mother the quotas.President Quirino was Gonzales' god father.In 1966 Gonzales' wife got a job to work in Canada. It was a big change for Gonzales. In the Philippines he had a driver and a houseboy. In Canada he cried the first time he had to wash dishes. During the first 3 years he had urges to move back to the Philippines. He visits his family there every 3 years.Gonzales can no longer handle the climate in the Philippines.


The place where Bilibid prison once stood is now government buildings. Even though the building is gone Gonzales still remembers that night. Even today when he sees a Japanese person his blood boils for a few moments.Gonzales witnessed beheadings in the streets and still has a hatred for the Japanese.The liberation is the thing that stands out the most in Gonzales' mind.The interviewer informs Gonzales that some of Carrington's [Annotator's Note: James Carrinton, US Marine Corps] items are on display in the museum and will bring Gonzales to see them.Gonzales is grateful that there was an America to liberate them.The 9 passengers aboard the wagon convinced Gonzales' brother to hide Carrington. He didn't know it at the time but Gonzales' brother was a member of the resistance. The older Gonzales was turned in to the Japanese by his girlfriend when he refused to marry her. The jilted girlfriend gave the Japanese all of the details. Gonzales doesn't know what happened to the girl but was told by James that he had sent some guerillas to take care of her.Carrington remembered Gonzales when they spoke after all of those years. Carrington also remembered Gonzales crying. When the Japanese asked Gonzales in his native language why he was crying he just cried louder.Gonzales is glad that he didn't turn Carrington over to the Japanese. He is sure that the Japanese would have killed everyone on the cart.Gonzales hopes that the new generations of Japanese aren't like those during the war.

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