Archived Family Records

Article on my Great Granfather’s War Hero Days

The old family house downtown

My great-great grandfather, with light skin and blue eyes!

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  1. […] DNC Worldwide: Archived Family Records Going Back to Spain A quick summary of what I discovered below:   On December 6 of 1941, troops from the Japanese Imperial Army invaded my home city of Davao in the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines. The Japanese empire wanted to capture our particular city because it offered wartime resources in its proximity to Japanese naval bases and also because it would play a key role in isolating American naval and air defenses.     Before the invasion it seemed that Davao was a fun place to be. It was the great city of trade in the south and had a particularly diverse population. At the time, Davao was teaming with Chinese, Japanese, and American ex-patriots, as well as the Filipinos of Spanish colonial heritage like us.   My family, specifically that of my maternal great-grandfather Anastacio Campo, was in the center of it all. As Provincial Commander of the City of Davao, he was firmly entrenched in local politics. Aside from his municipal duties, he was also a farmer during peacetime, much like some of my family still is today. He and his wife. along with their nine children, lived a fairly normal and fortunate existence.   Any sense of normalcy they had changed when the war started. Following the Japanese invasion, my great-grandfather immediately joined the United States Army Forces of the Far East (USAFFE), which was organized by US President Franklin Roosevelt in July of 1941. It was then that they became crucially involved in a very integral part of the shared history between the US and the Philippines. They worked feverishly during the war as part of the liberation movement against the Japanese invaders. Those in our family participated in many heroic and dangerous acts during the war such as: entertaining and supporting American POW’s in the Japanese prison camps, passing vital information to allied forces, and aiding in the release of American and Filipino prisoners of war. For these acts, my great-grandfather suffered at the hands of the brutal and feared Japanese Kempetai, who tortured him up until he was almost dead for information he never divulged.   Just recently, I had the joy of learning that a film based on my family’s history in Davao was produced. This movie, Concerto, by Paul Alexander Morales, has been featured in Politics on Film and has received nine nominations for the sixth Golden Screen Awards.   […]

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