By: Ely Lagajino
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:3 (NKJV)
COVID 19 might be World War III; but harder-fought because of an invisible enemy as thousands have lost their lives in just a few days.
During the Second World War, the American forces in the Philippines surrendered to Japan, but General MacArthur said in a speech, “I came out of Bataan, and I shall return.” Many American and Filipino forces refused to surrender, so they organized guerrilla warfare.
In Sorsogon, two major organized guerrilla groups emerged, one under Major Licerio Lapuz, the PC Commander, the other under Governor Salvador C. Escudero, Sr. Sgt Satur joined the Escudero group and served as intelligence officer. Lolo always carried a revolver and a Bible for self-defense. Before traveling, he dug and buried them, to recover them later.
Tasked to deliver a three-page report and list of new recruits to the governor’s hideout, Sgt. Satur hiked along the road with rice fields on both sides ready for planting. Soon a fast-moving six by six truck with Japanese soldiers approached.
He recited a text, removed his big farmer hat as a sign of respect, as he crumpled and swallowed the papers. Good thing, he was hungry that morning. The Japanese truck stopped, inspected him, and left, believing he was a farmer. Sgt. Satur drank the crystal clear water from the rice field.
Passing by a store, he bought pen and paper, and started rewriting. Reproducing the report proved easy, but remembering the names became “nose bleed.” Thanks to his noisy stomach that seemed to assist him in recalling the names.
On his way home, he carried the money for the recruits’ wages and avoided passing through the highway again. Not only might he encounter another truckload of Japs, but also swallowing paper bills would be problematic.
Reaching their camp, he ordered one of his men to recover his Bible and revolver. The recruit returned without the Bible but retrieved the gun. Sgt. Satur prayed, hoping to meet the person who borrowed his Bible, perhaps when MacArthur returns, or when Jesus comes again.