April 10, 2019

Writers in war(1)

By Elmer Ordonez

LOS ANGELES--The fall of Bataan Day recalls what our writers did during the Pacific War from day one.

Carlos P. Romulo and Salvador P. Lopez, close colleagues at the Philippines Herald, joined the propaganda staff of the USAFFE.

The Herald at DMHM was among those buildings destroyed during the bombing of the Intramuros river front when Manila was declared Open City on the last days of December 1941.

Sent to Corregidor Romulo, before taking the last speed boat to Corregidor, dropped by Manila Hotel to take in some extra provisions.

He saw at the dance pavilion what he described as a scene straight from a Luis Bunuel film — Caucasian couples in a slow drag, cheek to cheek, to the music of a Filipino band.

It was New Year’s Eve and the Port Area was burning and looters were all over the place.

The Japanese entered the city the following day. Romulo left behind his family when he went to Corregidor as part of MacArthur’s staff in the Malinta Tunnel.to leave with MacArthur in his escape to Australia in March a few weeks before the fall of Bataan, Romulo managed to cross over to Bataan to take a plane leaving at the last moment.

The plane could hardly take off because of overloading so those on board were told to cast off their personal belongings — everything including his beloved ivory plated pistol.

Any moment Bataan would fall.

After the war Romulo wrote a book “I Was the Last Man Out of Bataan.”

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