Former child spy recalls war days By Juan Escandor Jr.

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Former child spy
recalls war days

Posted: 8:26 AM (Manila Time) | Apr. 10, 2003
By Juan Escandor Jr.
Inquirer News Service

A FORMER child spy for the guerrilla movement remembers happy wartime days that started in the summer of 1942 when the Japanese forces marched into Naga City in Camarines Sur province.

Nene Sadiua-Napoles, now 73, said she was 12 years old and the third in a brood of seven when the Japanese came. Her father, Manuel Sadiua I, who was more than 50 years old then, worked as an underground propagandist, while her two elder brothers, Manuel III and IV, were guerrillas.

"The Japanese soldiers were never hostile to me. They were so cordial and considered me like a Japanese girl," she recalled.

What endeared her to them were her ability to speak Japanese and her fair knowledge of Japanese history. She said her father, who spoke several languages, had taught her the Japanese language and history.

Her brothers would ask her to visit the Ateneo de Naga College (now a university) that the Japanese turned into a garrison and she would tell them the number of soldiers there and where they were posted.

She would sell boiled eggs and bread to the Japanese soldiers in their quarters at the garrison and hang around while engaging them in a conversation.

She remembered a Japanese officer named Captain Tanaka who asked her about her "utosan" (father) and her "ukasan" (mother).

Tanaka, she said, particularly took interest in her family after she told him in Japanese the history of the legendary bloodline of the emperor from god ascendant Amaterasu Onikami.

Later, Tanaka visited her family and gave her father cigarettes and blankets. But her father discouraged the visits because of his and his brothers' involvement in the guerrilla movement.

One time, she said, a group of Japanese soldiers were on their way to their house while her two brothers were still there. She said she went out with her basket of boiled eggs and stalled the soldiers. Her brothers escaped but were told that the presence of another band of guerrillas had been detected and had engaged in a shootout with the Japanese soldiers.

She did not remember how the Japanese were driven out of the city during liberation time. But she recalled how the American planes seemed to drop bombs at random all over the city.

She said they were safe inside an underground bunker that was protected with hundreds of bags of sand that her father piled up in front of their house.


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