Martes, Nobyembre 18, 2014

Filipino Veterans Seek Formal Recognition for WWII Roles BY EMIL GUILLERMO (NBC NEWS)

Filipino Veterans Seek Formal Recognition for WWII Roles
At a recent San Francisco Public Library ceremony to honor Filipino American WWII veterans, Pelayo Llamas stood before a multi-generational group and shared on screen an image most had seen before.

The picture showed General Douglas MacArthur's infamo
us return to the Philippines with his landing in Leyte, depicting what many historians say was a pivotal moment in World War II. The Leyte Landing began the take back of the Philippines against the Japanese and lasted from October to December, 1944. It was a collaborative effort between the U.S. and Filipino military personnel.

Llamas’ point in sharing the photo was to call the audience’s attention to the man directly over MacArthur’s shoulder, standing third from left and wearing a combat helmet, his late uncle and Philippine General Carlos P. Romulo.

At the ceremony, Llamas recalled how MacArthur’s infamous phrase, “I shall return” -- one of history’s enduring battle cries -- was itself a collaboration between his uncle and MacArthur.

“In 1941, the War Department wanted the phrase to be ‘We shall return,’” said Llamas. But Romulo told them that it would have greater credibility if it came as a personal remark from MacArthur.

“He wanted to make sure that the U.S. kept focus on the Pacific so that the Philippines would not be forgotten."

He said that the Filipinos might not trust it coming from the U.S., which had retreated earlier from the Philippines. But the personal touch would make all the difference.

“If he says he is coming back, he will be believed,” said Llamas, quoting Romulo from William Manchester’s book “American Caeser; Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964."

It still took a full three years before MacArthur returned to Leyte in 1944. But Romulo’s  actions in the interim helped to make it happen. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, as well as the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Romulo gave numerous speeches in America leading up to the historic Leyte landing.

“He wanted to make sure that the U.S. kept focus on the Pacific," said Llamas, "so that the Philippines would not be forgotten."

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, as well as the Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Romulo gave numerous speeches in America leading up to the historic Leyte landing.

Now Filipino-Americans want to reinvigorate Romulo’s efforts and ensure history doesn’t forget their community members who fought in World War II. The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project is seeking a Congressional Gold Medal for Filipino veterans, as formal recognition for the critical roles they played.

“If we don’t do this now there won’t be any to recognize.”

“It’s time the Filipinos get recognized for their service in World War II and a lot has to do with what happened in Leyte,” said retired Army Major General Eldon Regua said to the audience at the San Francisco event.

Regua spent 36 years in active and reserve duty, including as Deputy Commanding General in South Korea from July 2011 to July 2013. The son of Filipino immigrants, his uncle also served as a Filipino Scout during WWII.

More than 260,000 Filipinos and Filipino Americans are believed to have fought in World War II. Those veterans include Filipinos in America who answered President Roosevelt’s call to duty, but they also include members of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, scouts, and guerrilla units who served at Roosevelt’s insistence and were placed under U.S. Army command in 1941.

Pelayo Llamas talks about his uncle, Philippine General Carlos Romulo, who walked side-by-side with American General Douglas MacArthur in the 1944 Leyte Landing, at a San Francisco Public Library Veterans event on Nov. 8, 2014.
Ultimately, the Philippines was liberated and the enemy defeated. But not before thousands of soldiers were killed or captured at Bataan and Corregidor. Regua says the time has come to memorialize their commitment.

“There are only 16,000 remaining survivors,” said Regua. “If we don’t do this now there won’t be any to recognize.”

The Recognition and Education Project is the brain child of Regua’s former colleague and fellow Filipino-American, Major General Antonio Taguba, widely-known for leading the investigation into prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.
Taguba envisioned an all-volunteer national effort to help tell the stories of Filipinos and Americans fighting the Japanese during WWII – stories like those of the little-known Filipino guerrilla forces who held the Japanese at bay after MacArthur retreated and the Philippine government went into exile, paving the way for the Leyte Landing.

Lourdes Poblete, now 89, was then an 18-year-old fighter when she was captured by the Japanese, and held in a concentration camp for six months.

"No one is treated well when you are taken," Poblete said to this reporter. She described being tied up with her arms behind her back and then suspended in the air while being questioned. "Every time they don't believe you, they pull it a little higher,” she recalled. “And if your interrogator was really mean, you get a slap in the face."

Lourdes Poblete, 89, was a guerrilla fighter in the Philippines when she was 18. She was captured by the Japanese and held for six months.
Rather than being honored for the roles they played, Philippine military personnel were rendered ineligible for benefits or public recognition when Truman ultimately signed the Rescission Acts of 1946. For decades, the community has lobbied for equity compensation for Filipino vets.

In 2009, Congress finally provided $15,000 to eligible veterans who are U.S. citizens and $9,000 to non-citizens. But community groups claim even though 18,800 have received some payment to date, the U.S. government has denied payment to 25,000 claimants.

"We need formal recognition. Our veterans deserve this.”

The recognition project, however, is less concerned about compensation, and more focused on increasing awareness among Americans of Filipino contributions in the Pacific. The group wants to establish a school and college curriculum, as well as push Congress to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the veterans. The committee hopes to one day raise funds to give replicas of the medal to the remaining vets and their survivors.

“We all know it’s time to do this,” said Regua to NBC News. ”There’s been no formal recognition. We need formal recognition. Our veterans deserve this.”

                                                   THE GREAT GENERAL CARLOS P. ROMULO

Retired Army Major General Eldon Regua makes a presentation on why Filipino WWII vets deserve recognition with a Congressional Medal.



 Emil Guillermo is an award-winning TV journalist, and former host of NPR’s “All Things Considered.” His book,“Amok: Essays from an Asian American Perspective” won an American Book Award. His columns on AsianAmerica have been syndicated nationally, and can be seen on the the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog ( His current project is writing and performing the “Amok Monologues,” a series of journalistic theater pieces. He lives in California.


Lunes, Nobyembre 17, 2014


Let Love Be the Reason
By: Deo Antonio D. Llamas

Let Love be the reason for our seasons
With NewYear starts a new  life beacons

Of    new   beginning     hope   of   better  days
Fill      our   hearts     with    smile    in   our  faces

In     the    month     of     Love    embrace    romance
Keep  the   flame  of    passion   with   a  sweet   dance

Stories     and    Love  songs    warms   February    air
Lovers    in    Love ,   hands,  soul & body   embrace

When  the  Sun shines   longer  hours   in   a  day
Where we spend more time to come & play 

Grateful   souls   are  thank   full   for  the  gain 
From      all   their    harvest   sustained    by    the    rain

Lenten      season      reminds     us    of      God's     Salvation
Loves   the    world     that     He     gave     his    only  Son

A time to reflect    and    pray    and    see what Jesus 
Had to say, redeem our soul, our sins He payed 

Festive   months   flower    blooms    in  month   of   May
Enjoys    nature  bounty   and   dreaming  in    the  day

In the midnight sky   see   and  count stars so bright
Enjoy   the  waves   and  sea breeze  in  the  night

As   rainy   days   starts  in   wedding seasons
Hear   the   bells   ringing, singing   in    unison 

Blooming  brides in white   grooms in tuxedos
A  vow  to   remember   exchanging    I    do's 

Overwhelming flood of high  and low  emotions
Finding   true   love  great  source of inspiration

Finding   a   family    and     friends   is    a    delight  
We  are  drawn     shares   our     path   and   seasons

Changing winds      may   come      in July and August
Where seeds sowed in   Love grow strong & robust

What remains constant   is  Love  is  here  to  stay
Against testing  times Love   stands in adversity

With September morn we'll dance into the night
Till the brand new day as the song in the radio plays
As October fest is celebrated once again its harvest
Enjoy the circle of life  and come out at your best

November  is  to  Remember beloved ones  at  rest
 Who have showed us  how to  Live,  what   Love  is 

Christmas  be  the   Season   of   Love   above   all
God became man to  show how  He  Loves us all

Let   Love   be   the   reason   for   all our seasons
With   New   Year   starts   a   New   Life   beacons


What Christmas Is
By: Deo Antonio D. Llamas
What Christmas Is

It’s the season for Giving and Forgiving
As The Son of God Became Man for us
God Gave Him that We will be Redeem
From Death and Sin
Where is Christmas
Should be in every ones Hearts and feel it
Where There Is Joy Peace And Happiness
Only from Believing in Loving Son of God
Jesus our Redeemer
How Christmas be valued
May every Day Be Like Christmas Day Always
Where Birth of Christ Is Celebrated Everyday
Seeing Christ In Everyone & Value Every Man
As Christ died for everyone
When Christmas is cherished
We Honor Jesus Christ As The Lamb of God
In The Manger With Sheep And Shepherds
It Was the Son of Man Born into this World
Humbled himself as one of us
Who's the reason for Christmas
Without Christ There Is No Need for Christmas
It's Not the Gifts Nor The Feast We do Prepare
Christ Gave His Life because He Loves and care
So Man be Gods family in eternity
Truly That is the Reason we should be Merry
Sing with Angels of Gods love glory & mercy
Man Save By Christ Obedience And Sacrifices
Showed us How to live love give and thrived
Merry Christmas and Find What Christmas Is

Sabado, Nobyembre 15, 2014


By: Deo Antonio D. Llamas

It's my birthday I say hep hep hooray
Another year over new one coming my way

I am glad I made it through tough times too
With Happy days with friends and family

I am thankful for Gods loving mercy
And His great loving favors I see

No doubt my faith in Him has strengthen me
Becoming like him living in victory

Born with purpose finding my destiny
To be with God in heaven eternally

I'ts my birthday I say hep hep hooray
Another year over new one coming my way


My Land Our Land
By : Deo Antonio D. Llamas

My Land bless by God with abundance
with his loving hands provided sustenance
for us to enjoy life and all it's substance.

A melting pot of varied race and cultures
have enrich our nature, values that nurtures
a people which believes in its past and future

History have shown us we have a role to play
Pearl of the Orient Inspite of its dark sad days
we will shine brightly and show the right way

Today we are beset with issues as a nation
making decisions that will change our direction
Let us be one in motion, passion and notion

Rising like the Phoenix from the ashes
of corruption, tyranny, ignorance and shame
Let’s move forward let’s make this change

God bless my land, our land today



Great destiny awaits for those who waits
Who takes time to plan and have faith

Who knows when and what opportunity
Will knock at your door and gate

Where you are can make you see
How chances can change your destiny

Follow your heart and happiness
Every choices has its consequences

Also consider the will of the Divine 
May His wisdom guide and you will be fine

Great destiny awaits for those who waits
Grow patience till its appointed date

Biyernes, Nobyembre 7, 2014


By: Deo Antonio D. Llamas

I live to love I love to live
This I will leave
To you I give
Words to live by
Know Believe Love
God yourself and others
Always have faith above
Believe in God who believes in you
I live to give and learn to forgive
I live to inspire and be inspired
I live to lead and encourage
I give hope and courage
I live a life of peace
This I pray you will all remember this