Thursday, January 20, 2005

Remembering Ambrosio Cacanindin

His name might not ring a bell to many of us, but to a small group of people in Aringay, La Union, that name is legendary. He is Ambrosio Cacanindin, my grandfather and Worl War II Martyr. Here is his story:

When the japanese occupied the town of Aringay, La Union, my grandfather Ambrosio was the Scout Master of the area. During that period, a scout master is highly regarded as a man of distinction. That being the case, he was sought out by the japanese occupation officers and forced to take up the position as Chief of Police of the town under the flag of the Japanese Imperial Army. He was told that if he chose to decline, all the men in the town will be captured and killed. Thinking of his townmates, he reluctantly took on the task. Shortly tehreafter, he was suspected by the guerilla forces as a collaborator. An "arrest warrant" was issued for him by the guerilla officers. Before it was enforced, however, the americans began bombing the nearby towns and Ambrosio managed to escape with his family to a safer area. According to one of her daughters, editha, my mother, the trek included crossing a river with dead bodies floating in it, ducking through coconut trees to avoid the shrapnels from american bombs and passing through japanese-controlled checkpoints.

It was in the guerilla-controlled town where they sought refuge and where Ambrosio and his children were "asked" to go to with them to the mountains. There, Ambrosio was killed for allegedly collaborating with the enemy.

Today, Ambrosio Cacanindin is remembered by his contemporaries and their families as a man who saved the men of Aringay from being massacred. His love for his townmates was so great that he would rather be accused of being a collaborator than to see his fellow man suffer in the clutches of the enemy.