On September 3, 2020, the nation has commemorated the 75th year anniversary of the end of World War II in the Philippines. But the majority of the Capisnons did even notice this historic event.
As my homage to this milestone in our history, let us revisit the Capisnons’ place in WWII in the Philippines.
On January 18, 1942, President Manuel L. Quezon, then holed in Malinta Tunnel, Corregidor Island, radioed the then governor of Capiz, Gabriel ‘Kuroki’ Hernandez, to prepare 15,000 cavanes of rice as provision for the Filipino soldiers.
On the 20th, Capt. Lino Conejero of M/V Legaspi and Capt. Jose Amoyo, master of Bohol II were summoned by Quezon.
Conejero admitted that he was not familiar with Capiz, so he requested Amoyo, a native of Batan, Capiz (now Aklan) to pilot the vessel.
Since Conejero spoke a little English, it was Captain Amoyo who assured MacArthur and Quezon that they would return to Corregidor bringing the needed supplies for the starving soldiers.
The following day, they met briefly with Quezon for final instructions.
President Manuel Roxas brought mail for Capiz, a letter to his mother, and several letters to Governor Hernandez from President Quezon.
On January 24, 1942, the two merchant captains arrived in Culasi wharf. However, General Bradford Chynoweth questioned them. Finally, after calling Corregidor and receiving the confirmation, the American general ordered the release of the rice, salt, sugar, dried fish, fresh fruits, eggs, and canned goods.
On January 31, 1942, M/V Legaspi departed from Capiz and arrived in Corregidor in the morning of February 3, 1942.
On her return trip, M/V Legaspi, loaded with cargoes from Capiz, was intercepted by Yaeyama, a Japanese minesweeper, on March 1, 1942.
With this story, let each Capisnon never forget but also learn from this model of generosity exemplified by one of our forefathers.
I just think that this—along with other virtues—is just what we need in these hard times.