"Thirteen-year-old Rodolfo Balao was in church listening to a solemn Mass when Japanese planes flew over his town in the Philippines and bombed the airfield. Just days after Rodolfo and his family evacuated to a farm high above Tuguegarao, the Japanese took over their town, razing and killing until nothing remained except memories. Rodolfo’s family would not return home for six months.
In his fascinating memoir, Rodolfo tells the striking, true story of his experiences in the Philippines during World War II. Through compelling vignettes, Rodolfo details how his family managed to survive despite their loss of freedom, the brutality of the Japanese officers, and the constant fear of execution. In the face of the chaos of war that enveloped their town, Rodolfo also shares joy-filled moments as he learned to dance and fell in love. After his family escapes once again, Rodolfo finds happiness in caring for his new horse, Pandy. But it is not long before a guerrilla officer demands the horse, forcing Rodolfo to bargain with his life, join the guerrilla group, and change his future forever.
The deeply personal journey through war and its subsequent effects shared in My World War II Story is a worthy tribute and memorial for Rodolfo and all of those whose lives unwittingly became intertwined with the onset of an unforgettable war. "
About Rodolfo Balao
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Published May 3, 2012