distrupted more lives and probably had more far-reaching consequences
than any other war in history. Exact number of people killed because of
World War II will never be known. Civilian deaths were even greater as a
result of starvation, bombing raids, massacres, epidemics and other war-
related causes. 1
The attack on the Philippine started on December 8, 1941, when
Japan attacked without warning. Japanese troops invaded the islands in
many places on Manila. MacArthur’s scattered defending forces were
forced to withdraw to Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island, they were
1 “World War II”, The World Book Encyclopedia.
entrenched and tried to until the arrival of reinforcements. They guarding
the entrance to Manila Bay. But no reinforcements were forthcoming. The
Japanese occupied Manila on January 2, 1942. MacArthur was ordered out
by President Roosevelt and left for Australia on March 1942. 2
The government of the Philippines during the Japanese
occupation was in the hands of the Executive Commission, a group of
Filipino officials controlled by Japanese Military Administration. Because of
the war conditions and unreconciled attitude of people towards their
Japanese masters. Several restriction were imposed. Martial Law was
2 “Philippine History-WWII”
followed, curfew hours were watched, radio receivers and transmitter were
banned. Japanese currency, “Mickey Mouse” money, was circulated. 3
Air, ground, and naval forces had all worked together to bring
the Allies to the Philippines. MacArthur and his staff waded ashore at
Tacloban about five hours after the 1st landings. He had kept his promise
to return. By December, the Sixth Army was occupied Leyte.
The Japanese Navy decided to remain their strength to try to
drive the Allies from Leyte. The battle for Leyte Gulf was the biggest naval
3 Jose S. Arcilla, An Introduction to Philippines During the Japanese Occupation 1942-1945 (Quezon City: The Asian Center University of the Philippine Press 1981)p.94.
engagement in history. It consisted of actions in four separate ares. In the
Sibuyan Sea, in Surigao Strait, off Samar, and off Cape Engano.
Japanese troops fiercely resisted the Allied advance toward
Manila, and destroyed part of the Manila. By the end of February 1945, the
Allies had largely cleared Manila and Luzon of enemy forces. 4
In October 1944, the much awaited American Liberaton force
landed successfully in Leyte. Other American troops landed in Lingayen and
raced toward Manila. February 3, 1945, the U.S. forces , aided by Filipino
and Chinese guerilla units, was entered the Manila for more than three
4 “World War II”, The World Book Encyclopedia.
years. The crucial battle for the liberation of the city lasted for three weeks.
Japanese troops, in desperations, they burned the city and killed helpless
The constant emotional struggle that the Filipinos have to go
through, result in great mental strain. Many Filipinos suffer from Post-
Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. It is characterized by symptoms like
nightmares, feelings of detachments, irritability, sleeplessness, and
difficulties in concentrating. Their homesickness can lead to intense feelings
of solitude. Their trauma brings them mental insecurity. The violence,
5 Antonio S. Tan, The Chinese In The Philippines During The Japanese Occupation 1942-1945 (Quezon City: The Asian Center University of the Philippine Press 1981)p.94
injuries and heavy destructions result in distress. Lack of care or...