Today, I learned my grandfather was jailed by Marcos. He wouldn’t lie for the dictator’s fake war medals and nonexistent guerrilla army. General Volckmann, commanding officer of USAFIP-NL, testified on his behalf. In his memoir, We Remained, his greatest fear was his officers would be persecuted for “war crimes” against the enemy collaborator.
My uncle says if my grandfather had lied for Marcos, things would have been different for our family. Maybe my father would have never made it to America through desperate means, maybe he would have never married my mother.
Today, a kind, 73-year-old woman from Nevada City found my writing blog and emailed me a list of books that resourced her father’s fight against the Japanese alongside Filipino soldiers during WWII. She told me she would snail mail a book that detailed my grandfather’s troop–the 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry–and their battle activities in Bessang Pass. His troop paved the way for the Americans still fighting General Yamashita.
Years later, Marcos would claim he enacted “war crimes.” Jailed him. Stole my family’s wealth. The nice house and the Jeepneys. If my grandfather had lied for Marcos, things would have been different. This is the story my whole family holds onto.
Today, I learned that stars align in the strangest of ways. One day, I will write that novel within me. I just need more time, more access to resources. One day, I will get there. A novel is brewing inside.