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


  1. Anonymous3:55 am

    you mean world war. There is always a war raging on somewhere. The world is full and will not run out of idiots anytime soon.

    as for the world war -mankind is always capable of that much idiocy.


  2. War is sensless. I can not imagine what my elders had to go through.

  3. A: That's what I'm afraid of.

    Ate Fionski: My parents were kids in the war. Sometimes they talk about it. Rice was rationed. Most of the time they mixed corn with the rice.

  4. this is morbid, sir nick.

    let's just pray we wont be seeing this no more

  5. Anonymous7:48 am

    sana wag na nga natin maranasan yan! nakakatakot..

  6. Dessagirl: di talaga ako nakatulog. Pero binabasa ko pa rin yung book. I want to read the entire thing.

    rho: Sana nga...

  7. ebait
    Would you mind if I added you to my blogroll?

  8. Hi Katana. I would be delighted! I will add you as well.

  9. Its all well and good to hate war and no one hates it more than military men who have to fight the wars, but I would also hope that human nature being what its been for millenia that you and your readers will realize that it is probably not about to reverse itself just because good folks call it a horrible thing. I joined the marines at 17 because I wanted to be one of the few willing to risk my life to take on and destroy when necessary the beastly types that you read about Wat. You can't wish away or make deals with that kind of evilness, it must be destroyed. Can you imagine our world today if there had been no one willing to close with and destroy Admiral Iwabuchi's men because they deemed war too horrible to think about? Are you feeling me Wat?

  10. Phil: Yes I feel you indeed.

    The atrocity was so terrible! If nobody stands up to these terrors, then what will happen to all our days? It won't be worth living at all.


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