Thursday, February 7, 2008
A MEMORIAL TO GM DOMINADOR FERRER (Part 2 of 4) THE WAR YEARS By James U. Sy Jr.
On September 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland and later Norway , Denmark , Holland , Luxemburg , Belgium , France , and England . Japan , Germany ’s ally, started invading China and Indo-China. With chaos erupting in the Pacific, the Philippines rushed and intensified the military training of the youth. Men from all walks of life flocked to the military headquarters volunteering for combat service.
Grandmaster Dominador “Doming” D. Ferrer was one of these men. At the age of 20, he stood strong with the physique of a bodybuilder, having pumped iron during his teens. He and the others were supposed to be transported to Camp Murphy in Manila for training but the schedule did not push through. Instead, they were trained in Magallon (now Moises Padilla).
On December 8, 1941, 2:30 A.M. (December 7, 1941, 7:55 A.M. US time), the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the mightiest US naval base in Hawaii , and a few hours later, attack to the Philippines started with Davao City . The Philippines was dragged into World War II as an ally of America .
The United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) had 100,000 Filipino soldiers in addition to its American combatants. Many Arnisadores/Eskrimadores were drafted into the USAFFE to fight the Japanese. The late Grandmasters Honorio C. Togle (Togle Style Modern Arnis) and Benito Agui (Bayoneta Carada) were reportedly some of these men while Grandmaster Jose D. Aguilar (Oido de Caburata) served as an intelligence agent.
On May 6, 1942, Corregidor fell and nearly 12,000 Filipinos and Americans were taken prisoners. The following day, Gen. Wainswright was forced to read over Radio KZRH an order to all forces under his command throughout the archipelago to surrender to the Japanese. The group where Ferrer belonged did not surrender but was disbanded and they were ordered to go home.
With the surrender of Maj. Gen. William F. Sharp Jr. on May 10, 1942, the Philippines had fallen to the Japanese as far as the American forces in the archipelago were concerned. But many Filipinos refused to surrender and went to the mountains to continue the war as guerillas. Lt. Liberato Montañes, Lt. Agustin Paraiso, and Lt. Lorenzo Dilag organized a guerilla movement in Negros . Ferrer joined them fled to the mountains of Calatrava and San Carlos to continue the fight.
Also among those who fled to the mountains of San Carlos(?) were Grandmasters Guillermo and Juan Yasay (Yasay Sable). They brought with them whatever amount of rice from their bodega that they can bring and burn what’s left so the Japanese can’t make use of them. GM Juan would go on to do guerilla work, swimming the Bago River to relay information to resistance fighters.
Ferrer, because of his printing skills and experience, was assigned in the Finance Department of the guerilla movement and together with Juanito De La Cruz, headed the printing of emergency notes. It was there that he met his future wife, Margarita L. Briones (b: July 20, 1927), the daughter of Principal Francisco Briones of Toledo , Cebu and School Teacher Jacinta Losaria of Lambunao, Iloilo . Briones was a sorter and checker of the emergency notes printed by the guerilla movement.
In 1944, the uncle of Margarita who was a judge wed Ferrer and Briones in the mountains of San Carlos . The couple was married 3 more times at the San Carlos Church , Bata Church , and University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R) Chapel. They had three children.
fter the war, the Ferrer couple settled in Bacolod City and Ferrer was employed as a lineman and installer with the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) in November 1948 in Silay City . Later, he was assigned to Bacolod where he held another position. He retired from PLDT in 1980 and enjoyed the remaining 27 years of his life. His wife, Margarita Briones Ferrer, on the other hand was employed as a school teacher at the Bata Elementary School .