Today marks the 78th anniversary of Japan’s attack of Pearl Harbor and Manila and the beginning of World War Two in the Pacific. This link gives you information.
To honor those who experienced World War Two, I am sharing a short excerpt of my World War Two novel, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept. The link below leads you a longer excerpt of the novel.
When the Rainbow Goddess Wept (published by University of Michigan Press and the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House)
Novel by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
“After counting the dead once again, Grandfather walked by the dirty kitchen and he sniffed Lourdes’s fish rellenos. He stopped right then and there. A deep furrow formed between his eyebrows and he became silent and pensive. During suppertime he spoke to my father:
“Nando, pay attention, the Japanese have bombed Clark Air Base; MacArthur and the USAFFE are racing to Corregidor and Bataan. It is only a matter of time, Manila will fall, and the Japanese will cut off all supplies to MacArthur and the USAFFE until they surrender or die.”
Papa, sucking thoughtfully on his pipe, replied, “The Americans won’t let that happen, Peping, there are thousands of American soldiers there. The Japanese have already bombed Pearl Harbor, the Americans won’t allow them to do any more damage.”
“Nando, you are like my own son. I know you have great affection for these Americans, but don’t be naive. The Japanese will take over and the Canos won’t be able to lift a finger about the matter. And you know why? Because they’ve deployed most of their forces in Europe, that’s why. It’ll be a while before they recover in Asia, and when they do they’ll need our help. But right now, consider Luzon lost. The Visayas, including Ubec, will go. Mindanao will be the last stronghold against the Japanese. Japan has Northern Asia; America must hang on to the southern part. Nando, pay attention, when the Japanese come to Ubec, they’ll go after you.”
“I’m a teacher, Peping, not a politician or soldier.”
“You’re an engineer professor, and trained in America at that. You not only know a lot about the existing roads and bridges, you can help them build new ones,” Lolo Peping said.
“If they come, the guerrilla regiment’s ready.”
“Good. Guerrilla warfare will be the only solution. But be careful of those Canos. The thing with Americans is they watch out for themselves first. Don’t believe all that malarkey about brotherhood and equality, always ask if this or that benefits Americans, Filipinos, or both, before you go into it. Keep in mind that the Americans lied to us. A mango doesn’t turn into an avocado. They said they’d help us get rid of the Spaniards, that America would honor Philippine independence, and what did the Canos do? They betrayed us! Once we just about beat the Spaniards, they turned against us,” Grandfather said.
To further illustrate his distrust of Americans, Lolo Peping told us what happened in the island of Samar at the turn of the century. The Americans, who took over the town, arrested and imprisoned all men over eighteen years old. The prisoners had to work for the American soldiers. Unable to tolerate the repression, the men with the help of the townspeople revolted one Sunday morning. Using machetes, bamboo lances, whatever weapon they could find, they attacked the surprised Americans, killing more than half the company. In reprisal, Brigadier General Jacob H. Smith ordered Major Littleton W. T. Waller to kill all Filipinos, saying: “The more you burn and kill, the better you will please me.” Since the rebels had fled to the hills, the Americans methodically tortured and killed the civilians. They burned houses, destroyed crops and livestock until at last they ferreted out the rebels. Then they killed them all.
Grandfather said that during the Philippine-American War, the Americans killed 16,000 Filipino soldiers and 200,000 civilians.”
~end excerpt; for a longer excerpt, please click on the link below ~~
Praise for When the Rainbow Goddess Wept:
“When the Rainbow Goddess Wept by Cecilia Brainard is the tearful, seldom-told story of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines during World War II as seen through the eyes of a young Filipino girl. The many hardships that 9‑year-old Yvonne Macaraig and her family are faced with teach her the value of hope and endurance … Brainard’s wonderful novel shows how war brings out the best and the worst in people as it describes both the atrocities and the heroics that befall her characters. The novel’s theme, the vast cost of war on the human spirit is illustrated well by Yvonne’s tragic loss of innocence. In the words of her grandfather, Lolo Peping: ‘Before man sinned, he was innocent. Man’s original sin wasn’t eating the forbidden fruit; it was Cain’s murder of his brother.’” (Associated Press)
“Interweaves realistic events with myths of women fighters and goddesses, as well as fantastic dreams … Brainard’s appealing characters are larger than life, people who change before our eyes, yet remain utterly convincing … A fast-paced, sensitively written first novel.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The strengthening of the national spirit; the loss of innocence in two generations — these themes are explored by the author, who was born in the Philippines, with persuasive conviction and stark realism.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Stories of war are perhaps most compelling when told through the eyes of children, whose innocence is always so tragically incongruous to the adult madness that rages around them. When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, a first novel by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard that chronicles the Japanese invasion of the Philippines during World War II, is no exception.” (Los Angeles Times)“Enchanting throughout, this novel will mesmerize the reader right up until its victorious ending.” (Booklist)
Tags: World War Two, WWII, World War, Pacific War, Pearl Harbor, Japan, military, war