December 14, 2005
Experiencing World War II
In life, people
have experienced things that have an affect on the decisions that they
make. By the way a person acts or talks
can tell you about what kind of person you are.
People learn through the experiences that we have encountered. Everything that we have learned is from the
past and we wouldn’t be who we are today.
Through the research and analysis, I created a “mini-ethnography”
of Araceli Obana Orcena, who is my grandmother during the time of World War
II. Araceli is from the
that I had with my grandmother, Araceli, I told her about everything that I
knew about World War II was from all in history books at school. I understood the whole concept about when and
where it happened and who was involved the war, but never had anything about
the involvement of the Filipinos. The
history books would usually have information about the Americans and the
Japanese soldiers, but hardly the Filipinos.
According to The Philippines: A Unique
Nation by Sonia M. Zaide states, “The Philippines joined the war on December
8, 1941, immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, because of the
Filipino’s love of freedom and loyalty to
As a young child, it is very difficult to
go to the mountains and live there while the war was going on. My grandmother Araceli was only nine years
old when World War II was going on.
Araceli and her family fled to the mountains because they were
scared. In the mountains, Araceli
describes that it was very dark because there was no light, hardly any food to
eat, and no water. The water had to be fetched somewhere far in the mountain and
had to boil it before they were able to drink it. Araceli and her family survived by eating
porridge, casaba, vegetables, and coconuts because the Japanese people were
taking their food. Araceli and her
family survived living in the mountains by bamboo sticks and leaves. According to an interview with Peregrina
Vedad, conducted by Daniel Sumbang, Peregrina who is Daniel’s grandmother also
fled to the mountains of her town Leyte, a province in the
The people in
In this case, Araceli was very aware about what was going on at her age. Araceli was told by her mother that everything would be just fine. According to Daniel’s interview with his grandmother Peregrina, her parents made the choice not to tell her because they said that everything would be okay. According to another interview conducted by Nathaniel Ramos, interviewed his grandmother Pat Naguita, who was only eight years old at the time of World War II. She also wasn’t really aware about what was going on. Pat was told by her parents also that everything would be fine, and saw that many Filipinos were scared. I found out there was a connection with all three interviews with our grandmothers because the Japanese soldiers frightened them. The parents wanted to keep them out of trouble and not have them worry about what was going on. However, today, my grandmother does not see Japanese people differently because people have moved on from people’s mistakes from the past. In fact, I can say that I have nothing against Japanese people today because time has changed and you cannot blame people for something that has happened in the passed. Many people can forget about what has happened in the past because it was all a mistake. I am sure that many Filipinos today have changed the way they look at Japanese people because of World War II.
Being a dedicated person is very important because it shows how much you really care about other people. Araceli was very dedicated to her family. Since she was the eldest child, she was responsible for bringing food to her father when he was taken by the Japanese soldiers. She also took care of her younger siblings because they were so young and didn’t really know what was going on at the time of the war. Araceli knows how to face her problems and doesn’t try to run away from it because it would only make it worse. She wanted to help get her father out, so she did what she could do. In the mountains, she wanted to make sure that her other siblings were okay because they were so young. There was also a connection with Peregrina because during the time when her family fled to the mountains, she was still living her life like how she would normally do. Peregrina played with her sister and helped out her parents. This shows how much our grandmothers wanted to help out with the family during this rough time and it shows how much dedication that they have for their families.
In conclusion, through the research that I have done, I found that the experiences you go through will always have an affect on your life. My grandmother has learned how to live a healthy wonderful life even though she experienced rough times with the Japanese, but learned how to forgive them. I have learned that from all three interviews that they have many things in common. You can learn many things from our grandmothers’ interviews because of the knowledge and wisdom that they have to offer during that time. Experiencing new things will help your knowledge grow and grow as a person.
Batchelor, John “Allied Drive to Victory.” The American
Hall,Inc. 1990, 1989, 1986.
Orcena, Valerie. Interview with Araceli Orcena. November
Ramos, Nathaniel. Interview with Pat Naguita. October 2005.
Sumbang, Daniel. Interview with Peregrina Benusa Vedad.
Zaide, Sonia “The
Nations Publishing Co., Inc. 1999.