Upon arrival in the CAPAS CONCENTRATION CAMP (CCC), I was immediately assigned to guard the barrels of water drawn from the nearby river. That same night I took a bath and washed my clothes, using the shaving cream as my soap. I felt very good. Praise the Lord!
Later on Capt. Geronimo Siwa, who shared his tent with me in the forest of Bataan, invited me and Joselito to the Officers Quarters, where we became a part of its personnel.
Our commander was Maj. Benito Sulivan, a Congressman who donned the uniform on Mobilization, and later on was replaced by Lt. Col. Simeon Valdes.
Major Sulivan said: “We are very fortunate to become prisoners fighting for our Country and USA, and to be called HEROES later on. Not every generation has an opportunity like ours! He was right, indeed!
I was one among the officers and was treated as an officer, doing nothing the whole day.
We had our cook and orderly. All that we did was eat, sleep, chat, or play chess, using a chess set I made out of the black clay dug from our latrine. With white chalk, I colored the other set.
Ferdinand Marcos was one of our officers and our beds were side by side. He was not good in chess. I beat him!
One day we sat side by side at our door counting the dead passing by, being carried to the mass burial graves. We noticed the dangling feet of the dead hanging loosely down from the woolen Army blankets under which they were carried by two POW’s with a bamboo pole. The feet were not swaying together side to side but were swaying one at a time, left, right, left, right, like walking!
Sometimes the emaciated, weak, hungry, and sick POW’s carrying the dead also died upon reaching the burial hole and were buried with the dead they had brought there.