<< Previous    1...   5  6  [7]  8  9    Next >>

What about local industry? "There isn't any . . . well, there's a cigarette factory, but that's all. It's sad . . . the kids grow up and there's nothing here for them, so they leave. I have eight kids and they're scattered all over the world."

The Donato family has lived in Vigan for generations. Captain Donato's father installed the town's first electric lights, thereby dragging it a little closer to the 20th century.

Pacita returned with the drinks. "We've been married over 50 years," she said. "We were married during the Japanese occupation."

For the first time Captain Donato spoke about the war years. He was captured in Bataan. "I don't call it surrender," he said. "We were just overrun by superior forces."

Bataan's defenders' last days were filled with a sense of abandonment and false hope - rumors of "mile-long" relief convoys and supplies that never arrived brought despair to the American and Filipino troops. Lack of medicine and widespread malaria caused casualties to soar. Many suffered night blindness caused by lack of vitamin-A in their starvation diets - weeks earlier they had killed and eaten their last packhorses and mules.

April 2, 1942 marked the end of the battle, but not the end of the agony - ahead lay the "death march." General MacArthur delivered the epitaph, "No army has done so much with so little, and nothing became it more than its last hours of trial and agony."
<< Previous    1...   5  6  [7]  8  9    Next >>