Survival and Atrocity: Remembering the Japanese Occupation of the Province of Aklan, Philippines, 1942–45

  • Frances Anthea R. Redison


This article documents the local narratives of the Japanese occupation of Aklan from 1942–1945 through the use of primary (oral history) and secondary (Historical Data Papers [HDP]) sources. In 1951, President Elpidio Quirino issued an executive order that directed the Division Superintendent of Schools to gather collected histories, which produced the HDP. The World War II section of the HDP focused on the activities of the guerrilla resistance movement in Panay and the war atrocities by the Japanese on the civilian population. Similarly, these anecdotes were mentioned in the oral histories of the people interviewed for this study. Moreover, the newer accounts depict more personal experiences such as daily activities, food security, religious beliefs, the inconvenience of moving, and the informants’ family responsibilities. Given the proximity from the war of the data gathering for the production of the HDP, it is evident that there is a strong anti-Japanese representation in the materials. This research has found that oral history interviews and the HDP are important complementary sources in retelling the local stories of World War II in the province of Aklan.