2. Wartime Wawa
My first recollection of my existence started in Wawa, a small seaside barrio in the town of Rosario, in the province of Cavite, amidst the confusion and hardships of an occupied town at wartime. This memory is a combination of some fuzzy images of my own aided by what I heard from my siblings’ and parent’s stories.
Life in the barrio during those days may not have been as difficult as one would think. At the time of my birth there was very little armed resistance activity left and the Japanese Rising Sun reigned supreme over a tractable and demoralized rural populace. People just had to endure the humiliation of having to make a deep bow to the conquering soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army, a small price to pay to stay alive.
At least in the town that my parents settled in there were no known atrocities like those one would hear about in other places. Some of the older folks said that the soldiers in our town were Japanese and not Koreans. Koreans were notorious for their brutal treatment of the subjugated population so the rumors went. My folks felt secure in Wawa.