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Pearl Harbor in Hawaii

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World War II started with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, December 8, 1941 then the Philippines followed on the same day. The traditional simbang gabi or misa de gallo was suspended in year 1941. President Manuel Quezon and Gen. Douglas MacArthur said that they will return when they flee because of the war. The last province surrendered to the Japanese forces is Bataan that launched the heinous Death March that killed many Filipino supporters. The government then is controlled by the Japanese milirtary and the currency is being called as Mickey Mouse money.

HUKBALAHAP or Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon is a guerilla warfare that can be seen vividly in Esteban Javellana’s novel entitled Without Seeing the Dawn” that was published in US back in 1947. Filipino collaborators or MAKAPILI helped the Japanese forces here in the Philippines to give prosperity in Asia, but a lot of sufferings were being given by the war especially the Filipina comfort women that were being raped by the Japanese. A famous autobiography by Rosa Henson entitled Comfort Woman: A Slave of Destiny is a proof of those sufferings. Tagalog literature such as bodabil and kundiman flourished also during these times due to nationalism.

A victorious day happened in the year 1944 when Gen. Mac Arthur landed in Leyte and won over Japan in the year 1945. The inauguration of the new Philippine republic followed in July 4, 1946. In 1950, Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards was established to give recognition to Filipino writers and their craft. Tatlong Taong Walang is a 1976 award-winning Filipino Film by Mario O’Hara starred by Nora Aunor (Rosario), Christopher De Leon (Masugi) andBembol Roco (Crispin).

The film, set during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines between 1942 and 1944, tells the story of Rosario (Nora Aunor), a young schoolteacher engaged to be married to Crispin (Bembol Roco). Crispin leaves Rosario to fight the Japanese as a guerilla, and in his absence a Japanese-Filipino officer named Masugi (Christopher de Leon) rapes her. Masugi later returns to Rosario apologizing for his act, bearing gifts of canned food and rice which Rosario at first refuses. Matters are complicated when Rosario’s father Mang Andoy (Mario Escudero) is arrested by the Japanese and Rosario reveals to Masugi that she is pregnant. Rosario must make a choice: accept Masugi’s proposal to make her his wife (saving her father and ensuring a safe and stable life for her child).

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