26 September 2007

The horrors of war

I had a listless sleep last night.

I dreamt that I was running through the streets with bombs going off in all directions. Buildings and houses were being ravaged by fire. While running I can see Japanese soldiers slowly creeping up inside houses with large plastic containers in tow. I knew it contained gasoline; they found a new place to torch.

At another time I would find myself inside a large hall in the second floor of a building. Grenades were being thrown inside the house. Me and the other men, alerted to the danger, would grab the grenades and throw it out the window. Alas, before I could throw mine, it exploded right before my eyes.

And I saw men cramped up in the dungeons in Fort Bonifacio. The Japanese soldiers hurled gasoline at them, followed by a torch!

Men being bayonetted in shallow graves, or beheaded on a whim. Women raped. Children mercilessly killed....

The most shocking scene is the baby being grabbed from the mother and thrown in the air, and another Japanese soldier hitting the defenseless kid with the bayonette, impaling him to death.

The horror of war. It brings out the beast in humans.

I am just halfway through the book "By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II" by Alfonso Aluit, a day-by-day account of savagery and hatred in 1945. I solemnly hope that, for my kid, we will never see war again.

Aluit, Alfonso (1994). By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II 3 February - 3 March 1945. Philippines: National Commission for Culture and the Arts. ISBN 971-8521-10-0.

Related links:
World War II in the Philippines: The lasting effect on the Filipino people by Alfono Aluit
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