Welcome to the Global Kalinga e-Rotary Club for the week of Sunday, April 9, through Saturday, April 15, 2017. We are an Internet based Rotary Club based in Quezon City, Philippines with core groups of members in Southern California and elsewhere. We serve our local and nearby communities as well as projects in the Philippines.
This is not inspirational, but reality from a survivor of the Bataan Death March.
Five days he held on as others dropped or were executed.
"If there was mud on the side of the road, we'd try to drink from it," he says.
"If there was wild rice, we'd pick the grain and put it in our pocket."
Sometimes the guards would allow it. Sometimes they'd tie the prisoner to a tree and shoot him – boom – as an example."
I told myself, 'I will survive,' " says Coloma, whose cane punctuates every story. "I wanted to go home.
"On the fifth day, they were crammed into boxcars in San Fernando."
No one could sit down," he says. "There was no place to defecate, no bathroom, nothing," Coloma says. "It was so hot and so filled that some people died on their feet."
When the doors finally opened in Capas, the survivors marched nine more miles to their final destination, Camp O'Donnell.
Of the 75,000 men who began the death march, an estimated 10,000 were executed or marched to death along the way – making it one of the worst atrocities in modern warfare. And it wasn't over yet.
Malaria, dysentery and starvation claimed another 22,000 prisoners over the next three months. Camp conditions were so unsanitary that hospital floors reportedly were covered with bodies, blood and vomit – all covered with flies."
I was lucky," says Coloma, whose weight dropped from 130 to 70 pounds. "I kept an old meat can, not washed, clipped to my pants. With that, I ate a bowl or rice and a cup of water a day."
In July, the Japanese transferred prisoners to another camp.
And that's when a stranger saved Coloma's life." ~ Elias Coloma
1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”
By building your team's self-esteem and encouraging them, the entire team becomes stronger.
Take your time and sing-along (wherever you may be).
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Program—Bataan Death March
These videos are parts 2 and 3 of 4 videos which include the actual Bataan Death March. If interested, consider viewing Part 1 and Part 4
Seventy five years ago on April 9, 1942, the deadly and brutal Bataan Death March began.
As was mentioned in an earlier Weekly Meeting, Frank's uncle, Lt. Col., Dr. Frank S. Adamo, and Celly's uncle, General Aristeo Feraren, both survived the horrific Death March and 3 years as an POW. Also, Andrew, our faithful Rotarian in the Philippines, had a relative who went through t he Bataan Dearth March.
Neither Lt. Feraren (rank at that time) or Dr. Adamo, left any details of the actual Death March. Certainly, the Bataan Death March was so horrific, few Filipino or American soldiers ever discussed the Death March to anyone, even their families—especially their families.Yet, we know what they did prior to April 9, 1942 and after they were freed.
Several days before the famous Death March, Lt. Feraren destroyed bridges in Bataan, being in the Corps of Engineers. This was done to prevent the Japanese forces from entering principal towns in the area.
Shortly after, he was captured and joined the Death March, that led to his incarceration in Capas for a number of months. He credits his physical and emotional strength in enabling him to endure those difficult months in Tarlac..
Lt. Col., Dr. Frank S. Adamo, an Army Reserve, was called up to active duty on Nov. 5, 1940,, and the following spring he was sent to Fort McKinley Hospital in the Philippines as an Army surgeon. Sounds of Japanese planes and bombs awakened him there the morning of Dec. 8, 1941. Japanese troops attacked the Philippines, and Adamo and other soldiers and civilians fled to the island of Corregidor, called "The Rock," in Manila Bay. There, Adamo worked tirelessly to treat wounded soldiers and civilians.
In a Feb. 16, 1942 issue of Life Magazine, he was called "Bataan's medical hero" and described as "slight, grayish, calm." Confronted by mounting numbers of patients suffering from gangrene, Adamo experimented with a new procedure. Amputation of the limb was the accepted treatment for gangrene, but Adamo knew that the gangrene bacillus could not survive if exposed to oxygen. He tried opening the wounds and applying sulfa drugs, irrigating every hour with hydrogen peroxide. The treatment proved effective, and the surgeon was lauded for the many lives - and limbs - he saved. Taken prisoner Corregidor fell on April 9. Adamo was taken prisoner and began the infamous Bataan Death March, a harrowing 60-mile trek. Seventy-five thousand captives began the march; as many as 20,000 died or were killed along the way.
At the prison camp, though he too suffered from beriberi and other ailments, he treated men stricken with dysentery, beriberi, malaria, dengue fever, and malnutrition. In the book "P.O.W. in the Pacific," William Donovan credits Adamo with saving his life. He also treated the enemy. He saved the life of a young Japanese soldier by performing an emergency appendectomy and was rewarded with a precious can of peaches.
Life in a Japanese prison camp was torturous, he remembered. "Mainly for breakfast there was rice, for lunch was rice and for supper was more rice. We also had a few greens we called whisperweed because you could blow through it, soy beans, and once in a while dried salty fish that we mixed with water. "About the only thing we had to do was think. And about all we could think about was getting something to eat." Adamo would daydream about the meals he used to have. "I could almost taste sometimes the spaghetti and veal and chicken. And then sometimes I'd think about how nice it would be to have one more steak before I died." His only communication with his wife in Tampa was a three-word Red Cross telegram: "I am well." Rescue In January 1945, American planes appeared. On the morning of Feb. 4, 1945, the Japanese guards vanished. Soon, U.S. troops liberated the camp. Adamo, like many of the prisoners, was so ravenously hungry - he weighed 95 pounds - that he became sick eating cans of pork.
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