HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 36-37 no. 1-2 (1992)

Japanese Adventure in the Bikol Region, 1941-1945

Eden M. Gripaldo

Discipline: Philippine History



The Pacific War (World War II) came to the Philippines in the early hours of 8 December 1941 (7 December 1941, Hawaiian time). The Japanese virtually crippled Pearl Harbor and key airfield points in the Philippines were subsequently attacked.. Officially, the Japanese campaign in the Philippines ended with the fall of Corregidor. The war was, however, far from over. For even before Bataan and Corregidor fell, pockets of underground resistance units sprung up and were making successful encounters against the Japanese.


Time constraints dictate that the experience of the people in one Bicol province is sufficient to give a picture of how things were at the time in the Bicol area. For what the Japanese implemented in the province of Camarines Sur was, likewise, implemented in the other Bicol provinces. And people in all the Bicol provinces appeared to have responded similarly in two ways: resistance and collaboration. Underlying these responses was a common denominator; to remain free and be freed of the Japanese who brought untold hardships to the people despite Japanese profession of love and concern for them.