Dear Grandchild,

franco F. Arcebal

WWII Veteran

Photo credit: Tess. Lotta

Photo credit: Tess. Lotta

Dear Veronica, my great-granddaughter:

You once asked me to tell you about the war, the experiences I had which you have not heard yet about. You are only nine years old. 

This is about my second life—I was sentenced by decapitation when I was captured as a spy by the Japanese Imperialist Army. They tortured me—by baseball bat, water, electric shocks. If I did not escape, I would not be your lolo. I would not be here for you to ask me about the war. 

I was sentenced in the monkey house, the place where guerrillas were captured and sentenced for execution. 

We were six in the monkey house. 

I was the youngest. 20. What they considered fresh and young and robust, something that needed to be broken. 

I was the most severely tortured. My body still remembers. Sometimes I want to forget. But this body, it remembers. 


Your grand-lolo,

Mang Franco