Hello everyone, Chris here. This journal entry from Thanksgiving in 1994 was among Lolo’s papers, so I thought it would be nice to see it again now in 2016.
Today is Thanksgiving Day. I am on duty as Courtesy Officer (Security Guard) in the LANDINGS APARTMENTS at the corner of Sligh Avenue and Habana Streets in Tampa.
The cold weather has set in. The breeze near the Egypt Lake is cold and has caused me to have a sore throat when I came inside Room 301, my office – a storeroom of carpentry items. I ordered the sore throat to go away from me, as God’s property, and asked God in the name of Jesus to heal me. I claimed the promise of Jesus Christ that “whatsoever you ask in my name, I will do it” as true, and concluded the Bible’s quotation: “by His stripes you were healed.”
When I came back at 1:00 A.M. from my tour around the property, my “sore throat” was gone! Praise the Lord. “Resist the devil and it will flee from you,” says the Holy Word! I just did that and it worked. Praise the Lord.
I just read the story DOUGLAS MacARTHUR, AN AMERICAN SOLDIER published in the National Geographic magazine of March, 1992. Now I am recalling all those events that I have experienced related to him during World War II.
The first bill passed by Congress when the Philippines became a Commonwealth Government in 1935 with Manuel L. Quezon as the first President, was Act No. 1, THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT initiated by Gen. MacArthur. It called for the calling of all able-bodied male citizens 20 years of age to be trained for military service.
Cadres were erected throughout the Philippines for trainees. At that time I was 17 years old and just graduated from high school.
My uncle, Lt. Antonio Bravo, P.C., C.O., 39th P.C. Co., Kiañgan, Ifugao, Nat. Province, wrote my father to let me go on vacation in Kiañgan after receiving my letter containing our graduation program of the CSC High School, Bangued, Abra, with me as an Honor Student.
This brought me to Kiañgan. When I became 18 years old in May, 1936, Tata Anton convinced me to enlist as a Constabulary soldier, saying that whether I liked it or not, I’d become a soldier anyway when I reached 20 years of age, as required by law. MacArthur authored this law Commonwealth Act Number 1, , the National Defense Act of 1935.
Gen. MacArthur was then the Military Adviser of President Quezon. I witnessed in Camp Murphy, now Camp Aguinaldo, the presence of Gen. MacArthur reviewing the troops as Field Marshal when I became a soldier and was assigned in the Office, Secretary General Staff, Headquarters, Philippine Army, in 1936 after my enlistment as a Private in May, 1936, as orderly of Major General Paulino Santos and of Col. James B. Ord, U.S. advisory staff member under General MacArthur.
When Col. Ord died in a helicopter accident in Baguio, Major Dwight D. Eisenhower took his place and occupied an air-conditioned office back of Gen. Santos’ office in the Oriente Building, Binondo, Manila. That was in 1937, when I was promoted to the rank of Corporal. I was then the youngest Corporal in the entire Philippine Constabulary and Philippine Army at age 18 years only! Praise the Lord!
For this promotion, I am very thankful to God. As a private, my salary was ₱14.00 per month ($7.00).
For my being able to go to a night school to study LAW with my salary of ₱22.00 per month as Corporal, I am very grateful to God.
For becoming a scholar with a grade of above 85% in the Arellano Law School, I thank God.
For being a Cadet Captain in the National University ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps), I thank God.
For being a 3rd year law student in 1941 as a scholar, I thank God.
For marrying Pat on April 2, 1941, I thank God.
For surviving the Battle in Bataan, I thank God.
For surviving the Bataan Death March, I thank God.
For surviving as P.O.W. in Capas, I thank God.
For surviving near-death experiences in Bayombong, N.V. and during World War II, I thank God.
For returning to Manila in July, 1945, I thank God.
For my promotion to Sergeant before the war, and to T-Sgt. during the war and to M/Sgt. after my return to military control in 1945, I thank God.
For my receipt of my late brother’s back pay that enabled me to buy a house on Zamora Street, Pandacan, Manila, in 1946, I thank God.
For my becoming an officer in 1948 with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, M.P.C. (PA), I thank God.
For my promotion to 1st Lieutenant in 1949, I thank God.
For my promotion to Captain (a wish of my mother) in 1950, I thank God.
For my becoming a Lawyer (a wish of my father) in 1950, I thank God!
For my survival in the fight against HUKS (Communists) in Central Luzon in Operations on Mt. Pinatubo from Sta. Cruz, Zambales, to Subic and Bataan as PRO and General Court Martial Officer, I thank God.
For my survival in fights vs. Huks in Central Luzon as S-2 (Intel. O.), 1st Bor. Combat Team, P.A., in 1951, I thank God.
For my return to Manila as Instructor, P.C. School, Camp Crame in Luzon City in 1952, I thank God.
For my wonderful assignments in Camp Crame from 1952 to 1957 living inside the Camp, I thank God.
For my transfer as Instructor, PMA, Baguio, I thank God.
For Tony’s passing the PAD exam and becoming a Cadet in 1959 and graduating in 1963, I thank God.
For Betty’s passing the exam for accountants, I thank God.
For my retirement in 1965 as Major, P.A., I thank God.
For my job as Civic Action Liaison Officer, USOM (United States Operations Mission) in South Vietnam and later in Luzon, Community Development O, 1965-67, I thank God.
For returning to Manila in November, 1967, and missing the fearful Communist Tet offensive in Vietnam in January, 1968, I thank God.
For my job as Property O, USAID, U.S. Embassy, ITG, in Manila, giving away excess military property 1968-1970, I thank God.
For my fulfillment of my one last remaining ambition before I died, and that is to see the United States of America, in October, 1971, I thank God.
For relocating from Philadelphia to Tampa in 1973, I thank God.
For my job with Chelsea Title & Guaranty Company in Tampa from 1973-1976, I thank God.
For the approval of my United States citizenship in 1973, I thank God.
For Pat’s and sons’ joining me in Tampa, Florida, I thank God – Bobby and Jun in 1973 and Pat in 1974.
For the organization of PAAT (Philippine American Association of Tampa) on November 24, 1975, on Thanksgiving Day, at Lowry Park, Tampa, Florida, with me as President, I thank God.
For the very successful First Inaugural Ball of PAAT in the Sheraton Hotel in Tampa in 1976, I thank God.
For our Balik-Bayan with Pat in 1976 and her healing from Kolam in Manila, I thank God.
For our meeting with President Ferdinand E. Marcos in Malacañang (me, Pat, and Joey) in 1976, I thank God.
For our return to Tampa in 1976, with Pat, I thank God.
For our stay with Betty in Arlington, Virginia, I thank God.
For our new VA-financed property on Branch Avenue in Tampa, Florida, bought in 1976 with Pat, I thank God.
For my job as Senior Paralegal O., Bay Area Legal Services, Tampa, in 1978-1981, I thank God.
For my retirement with Social Security pension in 1981, I thank God.
For the sale of our property in March, 1982, I thank God.
For Pat’s going to rest on Easter Sunday, April 11, 1982, I thank God.
For my marriage with Maria on September 3, 1982, and twelve years of blissful, wonderful life together, I thank God.
Praise the Lord! Thank you, my God. Amen. JBS