In the memory of our time: A tribute to my friend PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 14:51

Life is a journey, it has a beginning and an end.

Manuel Enriquez Bulahan is a veteran of World War II. At the early age of
21 more or less, like many other young boys of Zamboanga, he volunteered to serve
and fight under the umbrella of USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far
East) under the American flag.

This was during the commonwealth period of the late president Manuel L. Quezon. He was inducted by Capt. Otto Van Doner, a US officer at Camp Wilson, Calarian, Zamboanga City now known as Camp Navarro.

This batch was immediately transferred to Cagayan de Oro and officially listed in
his military service record as member of the 103rd Infantry Regimen and later on
with other regimens, was moved to Camp Casisang, Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

Manoling was in the battleground of Camp Casisang when the Japanese attacked the camp on Dec. 25, 1941 and their unit was disbanded. Then he returned to Cagayan with his troops. On May 2, 1942 the last defense line surrendered to the Japanese troops. Camp Casisang became a POW (Prisoners of War) camp. Manoling then joined the guerrilla movement under Col. Wendell Fertig. On March 10,1945, he joined the blocking force of Maj. Lecouvre. He was one of the guerrilla officers who fought with others and participated in the liberation of Zamboanga. He was honourably discharged on February 10,1946 in Pasonanca, Zamboanga.

My friendship with Manoling started after Liberation and was strengthened through the years even as he moved to Hawaii and became an American Citizen. I was in Washington State and we communicated through letters. He was a good man. A brother to me, a good friend, a good father to his children and a loving husband to his wife. He made frequent visits to my house and we talked about our experiences just these past few months. Parting ways with our loved ones is truly painful yet we need to stand strong and continue our journey. The friendship we established with Manoling will bind us no matter how far we maybe from one another. I am thankful that I've known him and became part of his journey here on earth. As they say, "Veterans are born in battles." "They never die but they just
fade away."

Goodbye my friend.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 November 2010 15:20