In December 1941, my family evacuated to Bataan (my mother'shome province) when Gen. MacArthur urged the Manilaresidents to leave the city because the Japanese would bombardit prior to invasion. Everything was fine till news arrived that theU.S. Armed Forces were retreating to Bataan to make their laststand. Many people, and we were among them, sought safetyin the forests. But the battles reached out there too. So it wasdecided that we undertake the dangerous return to a now calmJapanese-occupied Manila. With a puppet government in place,life went on but in an atmosphere of unease, fear, uncertainties,and deprivations. We prayed for liberation, but when it came(1945) we got caught in the crossfire again, and most ended upas collateral damage. My story ends with the inauguration ofPhilippine Independence, July 4, 1946 when the United Statesfinally granted it to us.