When the American soldiers landed in Batangas – 1945

Batangas Map
Map of Batangas province. Way below it (the white space) is Mindoro. Alitagtag borders Taal Lake on the south side.


This is the continuation of the article that appeared on Pacific Paratrooper’s blog about my parent’s escape from the Japanese when the American soldiers landed in Batangas in 1945. If you have not read it yet, I advise you to go to Pacific Paratrooper’s blog first before you continue reading this article. Thanks.


My father was uncomfortable staying in Alitagtag because where they were hiding was not that far from the main road. It was only a mile away even though it was wooded and close to a ditch. Dad decided to take a chance and leave Alitagtag. After dark, they joined another group and moved to another location south of the main road somewhere near Bauan where my mom’s family lived. Some of the townspeople were moving to farms farther south away from the main road.

They decided to leave after dark. Dad made a papoose bag and carried me in it. Mom grabbed some clothes for us and a scarf to cover her head. They thought it would be safer where they were going because the Japanese camp was so close to Alitagtag and the Japanese might advance to Alitagtag and meet the Americans head on.  Dad’s two younger brothers joined them. They left under the cover of darkness.

As they passed the main road, they looked all around them to see if there was anyone in sight.  Nobody was around. They safely crossed the main road, went quietly through people’s yards and began their trek. It was total darkness and not a sound could be heard except their footsteps. As they reached the farm beyond the houses, there was a faint glow from the moon above. They walked at a very fast pace. Dad was leading the group as they followed a trail he knew. They headed south passing through farmland. They reached a small rise then turned east towards the place where two big mango trees, a local landmark, were and turned south again. Every so often, they would stop and listened for strange sounds. When they thought it was not a Japanese patrol, they kept their steady pace. The quiet of the field was only broken by sounds from the night owl and bats roaming the night. They kept on looking back but could not see a thing.  

They veered left through another path which would take them to Bauan. This time, the moon disappeared behind the cloud. Everything around them went pitch black.  They slowed down their trek, trying to listen to any noise or movement. They had to be alert to any possible danger. They found a clearing and rested for a while. They might have dozed for an hour. Then they saw the moon begin peeking through the clouds again. They decided to move on. They kept on walking that seemed like forever. They reached Bauan as the dawn was coming up.

They went straight to their Ninong sa Kasal’s (wedding sponsor) house near Bauan town market. The town was still quiet. Not a soul was up yet. They knocked at the door. The mayordomo opened the door. Dad asked if his godfather was home but was told he left with his family for Mindoro where it’s safe.

“I’m not sure it’s safe anywhere anymore. The Japanese are killing civilians now, not just soldiers and guerillas. Are you staying here?” Dad asked. The old man told Dad they were leaving town soon and would go into hiding.  

“I think you should leave now and go to some remote barrio where the Japanese do not venture at all,” Dad told the mayordomo.

Dad decided to move on and find my mother’s family. They went to Asis, a small barrio between Alitagtag and Bauan far from the main road where my maternal grandmother and uncles were hiding. My maternal grandfather died when Mom was five years old.

They were only at Asis a few days when they noticed a black cloud coming from the west. From where they stood, they could not see the flame but it was definitely a big fire. They saw black smoke shooting up to the sky coupled with bright light on the horizon. They had the suspicion that the Japanese started burning some areas. Dad was worried about his parents who were hiding in Alitagtag. He hoped the fire was not there. Mom thought of her aunt and her aunt’s family who were hiding near Taal at a sugar cane field.

Dad told Mom he had to go back to Alitagtag to make sure his parents were OK.

“What about your brothers?” She asked.

“They are staying with you and the baby. You’ll all be safe here. Take care of the baby in case I don’t come back.”

Dad walked back to Alitagtag. He followed the same path he did a few nights before. It took him all day. He could smell the smoke as he was getting closer to the main road in Alitagtag but it looked like it was coming from the northwest of where his parents were. The air was gray with smoke. He crossed the main road and it was empty. Nobody was around. Looking right and left, he ran across the street beyond the houses and into the fields. So far he had not encountered any Japanese soldier.

He reached the area where his parents were hiding. His parents were glad to see him. He found out everything was fine there except the Japanese started burning the villages from Muzon about two kilometers from where they were all the way to Taal in retaliation for their losses in Muzon.

Filipino Guerillas – Photo Credit – Pinterest

Apparently, the Philippine guerillas in Batangas, a ferocious looking group of Batanguenos, ran into a group of Japanese soldiers a few days ago. A fierce skirmish with the Japanese soldiers ensued at the junction of Alitagtag and Muzon. The fight ended with some Japanese casualties. The Japanese thought the revolutionaries came from Taal so they set fire to all the houses from Muzon all the way to Taal.  

As the fire started to spread out, people near Taal did not think it would reach them since it started too far from where they were. But as the fire spread through several villages, people who were still in their home started scrambling and ran for their lives. They went running to the sugar cane fields away from the main road. They joined some villagers who were already hiding there. But the Japanese made sure they burned the whole perimeter of all sugar cane fields including those which dotted the roadways to Taal so people had no way of escaping. They were trapped.

My grandfather told Dad to go back to Bauan and bring back his family to Alitagtag. So the next day, Dad was back on the dirt path going back to Asis to take his family back to Alitagtag. However, Mom insisted on staying for a few more weeks till everything calm down. They stayed for a couple of months until they got word that Alitagtag was now safe.

After large-scale enemy resistance in southern Luzon had collapsed, the Japanese in Batangas unleashed their brutal campaign of torture, rape and butchery against the Filipino civilians. Groups of men were rounded up and sent to a building and then the building was doused with kerosene and burned. Thousands of residents were massacred both in Lipa City and in Bauan. One of Mom’s relatives went to one of the so called “meetings” in Bauan where people were locked up in a schoolroom and then the building was doused with kerosene and set on fire. He died in that massacre.

Alitagtag was lucky to be spared the wrath of the Japanese because rumor was the Mayor was a Japanese sympathizer. Behind their back, he was also working for the Americans giving them intelligence report on where the Japanese were. There was a saying around that time, “Pilipino Tagu, Pilipino Turu” meaning Pilipino hides then Pilipino points in the other direction”. The mayor was playing both fields thereby gaining good graces from both parties.

Thanks for reading this article. My parents survived the war. Mom is still alive at 95. Dad passed away in 2007. The story was related to me by my father on their last visit to the United States before Dad died.






How my father spent Christmas Eve 1941

Christmas Eve

Dec. 24, 1941

As they were nearing Tarlac, they were hearing explosions close by. There were more explosions it seemed. Looking further out, they could see clouds of black smoke billowing up in the sky, then more explosions. Every so often, they would stop on their trek and waited till the explosion stopped. It just went on forever, it seemed. It could not possibly be too far because it sounded too loud. They were getting very nervous. They knew heavy fighting must be going on somewhere nearby. They could smell the gunpowder. They were hoping they would not encounter the enemy on the road. The road was very busy at certain sections but they had not seen any Japanese troops. They were mostly American soldiers and Filipino soldiers going the other way. At around 4 PM, they hastened their pace before it really got dark. They were determined to reach the provincial capital of Tarlac.

They were looking for the municipal building where they usually stayed for the night when they heard the roar of army trucks and a band of Japanese soldiers approaching in their direction. There was no time to run away or hide from them. They knew the Japanese soldiers saw them. If they ran, chances were the Japanese would fire their guns. Better to stay calm. Still, there was that fear that they could get shot. Some of the Japanese soldiers got off the trucks and with their bayonet-tipped rifles brandishing away waved at Benjamin and his group and told them to stop.

Benjamin took a quick look at Ramon and his brother nodded. They all stopped and stood frozen. The group thought that was the end of them. Still they tried to remain calm. They bowed to the Japanese soldiers who bowed back. One of the soldiers started talking in Japanese to his comrades and then turned to them. He looked at them up and down, one after another. The soldiers nodded their head. They talked to each other again in Japanese while Benjamin and his group waited. They could not make anything out of what they were saying but they were scared. They did not know what these soldiers were going to do.

“Dear Lord, please help us.” Benjamin was praying in silence.

Then one of the soldiers took a step and looked at them holding their packs.

“What’s in those packs?” one of the Japanese soldiers asked. He spoke little English.

“Clothes.” Ramon said automatically and bowed. Everyone bowed too. In his nervousness, he forgot about the corned beef that they exchanged with the American soldiers a few days ago. Within minutes after he said “Clothes”, he remembered the corned beef suddenly. He felt sweats running down his shirt. He tried to remain calm.

The soldiers looked at them up and down again and decided they looked harmless. The content of the packs was forgotten.

One of the Japanese soldiers said in a very stern voice, “Drop down those packs and go over there.” They looked where he was pointing. He was pointing to the farther side of the building with a clearing.

Slowly Ramon obediently dropped his pack and everyone followed his lead. They put down their belongings on the ground. “That was a close call,” he thought. At least for now, the storm has past.

Pointing to one side of the building, another soldier said, “No. Bring your things to that side of the building instead and hurry up.” They turned to where he was pointing then looked at each other and nervously picked up all their packs.

As they were taking their belongings to the other side of the building, Delfin whispered to Benjamin, “What are they going to do to us? They can’t seem to make up their mind.”

Benjamin answered, “I have no idea but I don’t like it, whatever it is.”

Ramon said to the six of them, “What can they do to us? We are civilians. We are not soldiers. Just do what they want us to do. Hopefully, they will not harm us.”

“Get moving. Get moving. We do not have all day.” Another one of the Japanese soldiers barked.

“Follow me,” the ringleader said. They did not know what to do. They looked at each other and without saying a word, started following the ringleader. They had no choice.

Benjamin started wondering what the soldiers were up to. Are these soldiers about to kill them? What would happen if they did? “God, please help us.” He prayed again.

They got to the other side of the building and came upon a battlefield which was littered with corpses, wrecked trucks, guns, cartridges, maps and backpacks all strewn everywhere. Some of the bodies were on top of each other. The sight was unbelievable. The stench of the dead bodies in the tropical heat was awful. They wiggled their nose and covered their mouth. Some of the dead bodies were covered with flies and then the flies tried to land on their faces. They shooed them away quickly.

There were hundreds of men, in various conditions of carnage, young men in their late teens and early twenties all bloodied and lifeless. There were huge abdominal gashes, some with buried or protruded shrapnel. Some have severed arms. Others lost their legs. Some had disfigured faces and mutilated bodies. Some had their skull opened probably with bayonets or samurai swords. There were bullet holes and dried blood all over their bodies. Some of the dead had their eyes open and thousands of flies buzzed and maggots started swarming around the bodies. It was a gruesome sight.

“Kura, Kura”, the Japanese leader said pointing to the scattered dead bodies. “Pick them up and bring them over there to the front of the building.”

They looked at each other and felt disgusted. They were incredulous. They could not believe what the Japanese soldier was saying. Their two cousins, Elias and Felipe, who had weak stomach threw up. One of the Japanese soldiers saw Elias and Felipe.

The Japanese soldier came over to them and with his bayonet stumping on the ground said, “Are you a man or a woman? Get up or you’ll be one of them.” pointing to the dead bodies. Elias and Felipe still nauseous tried to straighten up and moved slowly to the task at hand. Benjamin felt nauseated himself but he tried to control himself. Ramon held his stomach hard to keep from vomiting. Manuel, Francisco and Delfin looked at them trying hard not to vomit. They spat on the ground and tasted bile in their mouth.

One by one, with heavy heart and disgusted looks on their faces, they picked up the dead bodies of men, American, Filipinos and Japanese killed in the heavy fighting. They were so afraid to protest for fear of the consequences. They wanted to stay alive.

They started picking up the bodies and just dropped them in front of the building. Then one of the soldiers rushed back to the front of the building.

“Not that way. Like this.” He pulled some dead bodies and then dropped them in a neat pile. Then he changed his mind. “Bring them instead to the back of the building and pile them up in a low”.

Benjamin gave him a quizzical look.

“Like this.” The soldier said. He walked from one side to the other side.

“You mean in a row.” Benjamin bowed. The soldier bowed back.

The group tried hard not to laugh. Benjamin saw their mouth curved slowly in amusement. They were smiling. Benjamin caught them and gave them a dirty look. They quickly stopped smiling and pretended not to hear the conversation.

Then they dragged the dead bodies from the front of the building to the back of the building without saying a word. They lined the bodies from one end of the building to the other end. The stench of the dead bodies was so awful but they tried to ignore it. Their nose kept on twitching but they moved on. They finished the first row.

All the while, the Japanese soldiers were there watching them, leaning against a tree chatting, smoking and drinking. Someone had his cigarette hanging from his lower lip and looking over his shoulder while talking and watching them. Someone must have told a funny joke because you could hear their laughter. Then the leader of the soldiers slung his weapon on his shoulder and stood up straight and walked toward them.

Delfin saw him and flinched, whispered to Ramon, “What is he going to do now?”

“Just stay calm. Let me handle this.” Ramon said.

The group had just finished the first row. As the commander approached them, Ramon bowed to him and asked, “What do we do with the rest?”

“Put them on top of one another.”

“Like sandbags? Ramon asked.

“Yes. Go.”

Without uttering another word, they all went back to work. They just kept on piling the bodies without thinking. On and on, they flopped the dead bodies on top of the first row.

As Benjamin was helping pile all the dead bodies one on top of the other, he could not help thinking about the fate of these young men. How will their parents know that their sons are gone? Some of these soldiers are still young kids, a few years younger than him. The war is only just beginning. How many more men and women and possibly children will be lost in the following months? How many of these young men had their dreams shattered and lost in this battle? How about their sweethearts that they left behind going to accept the fact that they will never get married and have that family and house that they dreamt of? How about those young wives who they left behind? Some probably even have children that were born after their husband went to war. The kids will never know their father. Suddenly he thought of Adelaide, then said a silent prayer to spare him and his brothers. He wanted to see Adelaide. He had to make it home and see her. He had to behave himself so the Japanese won’t harm them. He wanted so much to stay alive.

They worked furiously for almost five hours without a break. At first it was hard to concentrate and the task was so gruesome, it was nauseating. After a while, they became an automaton and they just piled the bodies on top without even thinking. As the night started to fall, they were beginning to get dizzy from hunger. They were so weary and exhausted when the Japanese soldiers told them to stop for the night.

Then out of the blue, which they could not figure out why, the Japanese fed them. They ate a meal of rice and some meat. It was not bad at all considering that they were at war with these people. Benjamin was thinking maybe this was their last supper. God only knew what would happen next. Then like another miracle in the night, the Japanese soldiers left. They were left alone in the municipal building. They looked at each other and could not figure out why they just left them there alone. But they were too tired to worry about it. The soldiers never thought of them running away since it was too dark at night already and they were exhausted from all the work. The soldiers were right but not completely right. It was late so they took out their sleeping mats and due to exhaustion, they all fell asleep in no time except Benjamin.

Benjamin lay awake, decided to go outside and sat on the front stoop of the municipal building. He listened to the faint rumbling of gunfire in the distance and the buzzing of the insects nearby that seemed to converge around him. Now and then, he slapped the mosquitoes haphazardly making a sharp crack at the buzzing sound. Benjamin was so tired that night but sleep was elusive. The sight of those young men kept on coming back. There were more in the field. They did not finish piling them up. Maybe that’s why the Japanese left them alone. He was sure they were thinking of them finishing them up the next day and God knows what would happen next.

The whole thing was really bothering him so much and he kept on thinking about the dead bodies. They were not just white American. People of every color, black, white, brown with blue, brown, green and black eyes. These young kids were here with a mission, fighting for a noble cause to defend the Philippines from the invaders. Benjamin could not get their faces out of his mind.

He sat there for a long time thinking he could get some fresh air. However, the air outside did not smell fresh. On ordinary evenings, you could smell the scent of exotic tropical plants and the evening would be loaded with fireflies dancing in the air but not tonight. It was acrid and smelt of death.

He looked up at the sky. The night sky was clear with the moon shining brightly and there was a sprinkling of thousands of stars. The stars were twinkling so bright and hanging so low. It looked like you could almost touch them. He just realized that tonight was Christmas Eve. It was hard to believe and yet here he was in the midst of a rotten place on Christmas Eve. It did not make sense whatsoever. He then realized maybe the Japanese had Christmas spirit after all and that was the reason why they did not harm them. They also went out to town for merrymaking perhaps. The Baby Jesus must be watching over them.

Then he thought of something else. If it was a different circumstance, they could have been home by this time. They should be about getting ready for the coming of the Saviour, Jesus Christ. It should be nearing the time when they all went to church for the midnight mass and then home and enjoying Noche Buena. “Oh, how I wish we were home now,” he sighed.


Excerpts from the book “BAHALA NA (Come What May)” – my father’s memoir. Benjamin in the story was my father.


Until Next time. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

Fifty years ago, I came to America as a legal immigrant


Fifty years ago on October 14, 1967, I stepped out of a Philippine Airline flight from Manila into a new country with a third preference visa for professionals. I was a CPA from the Philippines. I arrived at Honolulu International Airport with my vanity case, my handbag with my Philippines passport and a hundred dollars in cash. I also had with me my third preference visa, my US certified medical x-ray and a form that stated I had financial support guaranteeing that I will not be a public charge in the United States. My big suitcase was checked in to go straight to New York.

It was a bright sunny day when I deplaned in Honolulu, feeling in awe of the place as a welcoming Hawaiian lady placed a lei over my head and thankful that I made it across the Pacific after a long flight. I don’t know anybody when I arrived on U.S. soil but with the grace of God and an ardent ambition to go abroad, I was on my first leg on my trip to New York.

I reached NY early Sunday morning at 6 am after traveling for almost 24 hours when I left Manila Saturday night. It did not take me long to land a job in New York. Exactly three days after I arrived in New York, I got an offer from ITT Corporation. They wanted me to start right away and I said I would rather start a week later so I could get acquainted with the city first.

I became a U.S. Citizen in 1973  after being a legal immigrant for at least five years which was the requirement for naturalization. I love my new country and have stayed for 50 years. I’ve only been back to the Philippines four times – in 1993 when my parents had their 50th wedding anniversary, in 2006 when both my parents were hospitalized at the same time, in 2007 I made two trips, when Dad passed away in May and then in November 2007 when I was able to talk Mom into coming to New York but she demanded I picked her up. So I did. It was the last time I was back.

It has been a memorable journey and will keep on going. The United States has been good to me and I am grateful. God bless America!   

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

Kindle Deal for The Iron Butterfly at 99 cents ends today


Kindle Countdown Deal for  “The Iron Butterfly” at 99 cents ends at 8:00 AM PST today, Nov. 13, 2016

The Iron Butterfly is a gripping tale about the intense devotion and ordeal of Regina Buendia, a young mother who suddenly finds herself all alone and penniless with nine young children to support after her husband died. Facing a bleak future, she has to find a way to tackle a male chauvinistic society where men still rule the business world. Will she be able to break through the barrier?

As the Great Depression affected the colonies, she is now faced with new concern – how to survive with business suffering and money being so tight. Just as she thinks she is getting ahead, a major natural disaster happens with terrible consequence to follow. Then her problems become insignificant compared to what was about to happen – the attack on Pearl Harbor and how the war in the Pacific affects their very existence.

An inspiring story of faith, hope and daring ambition.

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda Morgan, The Rose Lady

Author and Garden Writer



I shall return

Gen. Douglas MacArthur fulfilled his promise to the Filipino people that he shall return to liberate them from the Japanese on October 20, 1944.


Excerpts from BAHALA NA (Come What May)


On October 20, 1944, MacArthur landed in Leyte, fulfilling his promise to the Filipino people by wading ashore at Leyte, but the evening before the Leyte landing, MacArthur spoke through a radio transmitter announcing . . .

“People of the Philippines, I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil . . . Rally to me! Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead . . . The guidance of divine God points the way. Follow in His name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!”


MacArthur, wearing his field marshal’s cap, sunglasses and freshly pressed khakis wanted to land on the beach but ran aground in the shallows while still 100 years from the beach. The commander of the craft could not bring the landing craft in any closer and so an irritated MacArthur accompanied by President Osmena and their staffs had to wade shore. It became one of the most famous images of World War II. Upon seeing the newsreels of his landing, MacArthur was so stirred by the picture that he ordered his staff to arrange for all subsequent island landings to begin offshore so he could walk through knee-deep water onto the beach.


Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

Rosalinda R. Morgan

Author – BAHALA NA (Come What May)



Holy Week in the Philippines

Holy Week in the Philippines is celebrated with religious fervor. Here is an excerpt from “The Iron Butterfly”.


During Cuaresma (Holy Week), from Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) to Pasko ng Pagkabuhay (Easter Sunday), Catholic rites in the Philippines were infused with special fervor. It was a time for street pageantry and spiritual cleansing with processions, flagellantes, and passion plays. On Palm Sunday, the devouts brought palm branches to church to be blessed as symbols of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In rural areas, the palms might be dried and ground as a medicinal ingredient. Ceremonies reenacting the washing of the feet of the apostles were held in churches on Holy Thursday and Good Friday was a very solemn day. It was also marked by a vigil and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In churches, priests expounded on Christ’s seven last words spoken on the cross. During Lent, tradition calls for either the reading or singing of the Passion, a book of verses from the creation of man all through Christ’s resurrection, either by an individual or a group as a devotional prayer.


Easter Sunday marked the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and the purple cloth of mourning was removed from the religious images. Church bells pealed and alleluias were sung. The salubong (meeting) took place. The Easter celebration started at dawn around five o’clock with a procession heralding the resurrection of Christ and his reunion with his mother, Mary. After the mass at dawn, twin processions left the church; one led by statue of Mary, the Sorrowful Mother followed by women and the other led by Resurrected Christ followed by men. The two processions went in opposite direction around the town plaza and then met in front of the church on the way back.


As choruses were sung, the statues “met”, meaning placed side by side beneath an arch adorned with flowers in front of the church. A little girl dressed as an angel, with wings and a halo, will remove Mary’s black veil with a long handled hook. Its removal was connected with superstitions about the harvest (e.g. a smooth unveiling meant a good harvest, a fallen veil drought). It put so much pressure on the little girl who was doing the honor.


When Adelaide was little, she was selected to take part in the Easter early morning ritual when the Blessed Virgin Mary met the resurrected Christ in a procession that went around the block next to the church. Both the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus were covered with a black cloth which the young girls would unveil. Adelaide was always selected to do the honor of taking off the black veil from the head of the Blessed Virgin while another girl would pull off the black cloth from the head of Jesus.


The four young girls would climb an elevated platform. Adelaide and her counterpart each held the pole with a hook and the other two girls held a basket of flowers. Adelaide was to take the black veil covering the image of the Blessed Virgin while on the other side of the walkway the other girl would take the black cloth covering Jesus. After the unveiling, they sang Hosanna, a hymn of praise and adoration and sprinkled petals of fragrant flowers to the crowd as people followed the procession back to church.


Easter was also marked by many other customs related to growth and renewal: the sick were lifted from their beds to receive new vigor; the short jumped and stretched to gain height; parents tossed young children in the air, believing they will thrive; plants were shaken so they will grow well. The fast of Lent ended with a lavish Easter feast.



Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady


Rosalinda R Morgan

Author and Garden Writer

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Book Giveaways to end in 2 days

The book giveaways for “The Iron Butterfly” at Goodreads.com end in 2 days on March 15. Hurry and enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 signed First Edition copies of “The Iron Butterfly” by Rosalinda R Morgan. Here is the link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/170929-the-iron-butterfly.

The Iron Butterfly is a gripping tale about the intense devotion and ordeal of Regina Buendia, a young mother who suddenly finds herself all alone and penniless with nine young children to support after her husband died. Facing a bleak future, she has to find a way to tackle a male chauvinistic society where men still rule the business world. Will she be able to break through the barrier?

As the Great Depression affected the colonies, she is now faced with new concern – how to survive with business suffering and money being so tight. Just as she thinks she is getting ahead, a major natural disaster happens with terrible consequence to follow. Then her problems become insignificant compared to what was about to happen – the attack on Pearl Harbor and how the war in the Pacific affects their very existence.

An inspiring story of faith, hope and daring ambition.


Today is International Women’s Day

Salute to all the women on International Women’s Day!

Today, I want to honor my grandmother for her courage and daring ambition to be the best she could be given the circumstance she was in at that time.  She was the inspiration for my latest book, “The Iron Butterfly”. She was a feminist before the word came into being. She proved that with hard work and unshakable faith in herself, she could break the business barrier when her husband died and left her penniless with nine young children to support, ranging from 2 years old to 18 years old. She managed to bring them all up by herself and still succeeded in the business world .

“The Iron Butterfly”  was my grandmother’s life story – how as a single mother, she managed to survive amidst all difficulties and became very successful in the 1930s without compromising her ideals of a gracious and gentle woman in a male-dominated business world when men ruled everything. 

For more of her life, read “The Iron Butterfly” available at http://www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.


Do you know the capital of each state of the United States? Most citizens of the United States do not know and I blame that on our education system. Kids today are not educated properly, it is pathetic.

My mother, having schooled on the American education system during the American occupation in the Philippines in the 1920s could recite the capitals at a young age. At that time, there were only 48 states. It was portrayed by Adelaide in “The Iron Butterfly”, my latest book, available at http://www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.

Here is an excerpt from “The Iron Butterfly”:

“We are learning about Geography. I love Geography,” Adelaide said.

“That is nice. So what places are they teaching you?

“We are learning all the states of the United States.”

“Fascinating. How many are there now?” The driver decided to test her.

Without even thinking, Adelaide blurted out, “48.”

“You are good. I bet you don’t know the capital of each of them.” The driver gave her a furtive look. He was so sure Adelaide did not know them.

“I sure do. I know all of them.” Adelaide challenged him.

“All right. If you can tell me all of them before we reach your house, I’ll give you back your 5 centavos.” He was certain that any kid her age did not know all of them.

Julian nudged Adelaide. “Do it,” he told his sister.

“OK. Here they are.” Adelaide began slowly, counting with her fingers and concentrating with the task at hand.

  • Alabama – Montgomery
  • Arizona – Phoenix
  • Arkansas – Little Rock
  • California – Sacramento
  • Colorado – Denver
  • Connecticut – Hartford
  • Delaware – Dover
  • Florida – Tallahassee
  • Georgia – Atlanta
  • Idaho – Boise
  • Illinois – Springfield
  • Indiana – Indianapolis
  • Iowa – Des Moines

She paused, took a quick breath and recited in rapid succession.

  • Kansas – Topeka
  • Kentucky – Frankfort
  • Louisiana – Baton Rouge
  • Maine – Augusta
  • Maryland – Annapolis
  • Massachusetts – Boston
  • Michigan – Lansing
  • Minnesota – St. Paul
  • Mississippi – Jackson
  • Missouri – Jefferson City
  • Montana – Helena
  • Nebraska – Lincoln
  • Nevada – Carson City
  • New Hampshire – Concord
  • New Jersey – Trenton
  • New Mexico – Santa Fe
  • New York – Albany

She stopped, took another quick breath, looked at her two brothers who smiled at her. “Keep going,” Cayetano said.

“Where was I?” she asked.

“30 – New York,” Julian said.

She raised her fingers, closed her eyes for a second to think and then continued counting and reciting the rest.

  • North Carolina – Raleigh
  • North Dakota – Bismarck
  • Ohio – Columbus
  • Oklahoma – Oklahoma City
  • Oregon – Salem
  • Pennsylvania – Harrisburg
  • Rhode Island – Providence
  • South Carolina – Columbia
  • South Dakota – Pierre
  • Tennessee – Nashville
  • Texas – Austin
  • Utah – Salt Lake City
  • Vermont – Montpelier
  • Virginia – Richmond
  • Washington – Olympia
  • West Virginia – Charleston
  • Wisconsin – Madison
  • Wyoming – Cheyenne

“Whew! That was excellent. I’m impressed. You got me,” the driver said. Adelaide, breathless for reciting all 48 states, smiled contentedly. The driver handed her back the 5 centavos.

“Thank You,” Adelaide said. Cayetano and Julian clapped their hands.

Author’s Note: Alaska with Juneau as its capital was officially added on Jan. 3, 1959 and Hawaii with Honolulu as its capital on Aug. 20, 1959.

My new book, “The Iron Butterfly” is now available on Amazon.com


Your wait is now over. The much-anticipated Vol. 1 of the series Journey to Freedom is now available for sale at www. Amazon.com.  It is a historical fiction based on real-life events of my grandmother’s life supporting nine children after her husband died. An inspiring story of faith, hope and daring ambition. Here is the link:


The Iron Butterfly is a gripping tale about the intense devotion and ordeal of Regina Buendia, a young mother who suddenly finds herself all alone and penniless with nine young children to support after her husband died in the pre-WWII era. Facing a bleak future, she has to find a way to tackle a male chauvinistic society where men still rule the business world. Will she be able to break through the barrier?

As the Great Depression affected the colonies, she is now faced with new concern – how to survive with business suffering and money being so tight. She then finds herself in a new adventure but not all is rosy. As her children grow up, she is faced with new dilemma about her children’s changing attitudes towards married life.

Just as she thinks she is getting ahead, a major natural disaster happens with terrible consequence to follow.

Then her problems become insignificant compared to what was about to happen – the attack on Pearl Harbor and how the war in the Pacific affects their very existence.

Get your copy now! Thank you!!