Peace time started after the war. Peace was literally meant the cessation from the dropping of bombs, burning of houses, killings by enemies. As an effect of the war, were the problems of settling to start life anew. The inadequacy of food, medicines, shelter were then the impending problems.
In 1946, Flora Abeya, born April 9, 1913 in her recollection relates how difficult life was during the American-Japanese war. After the war, the difficulty of evacuating came next. Families kept evacuating from different evacuation places. Among others she could remember was Abril Egsaen, who happened to have been born on the same date, April 9, 1913 and her children as his husband was among those recruited to join the battle. Abril was in a worse condition since she was all by herself, pregnant at that, with her sibling looking after her children in evacuation areas.
Flora said that after her family had been evacuating within Sagada vicinity, then in March 1946, with her six children they evacuated moving from Masla to Batayan to Catengan. Since his husband Ricario Abeya was an official of the ili, Flora were many times left with her children. Finally they evacuated in Panabungen and settled from April and returned to Sagada only on July 16, 1946. Flora’s family evacuated in Panabungen to be with their mother Francisca Gallardo and stepfather Anastacio Castro. Castro was ‘jack of all trades’ who was a good cook, sapatero, carpenter, barber, tailor that he learned from Staunton. Flora’s family survived with the earnings of their stepfather. Francisca’s father from Pangasinan was assigned in Besao where he married Isabel. Gallardo. He became Chief of Police in Besao from 1910 to 1912. Earlier than that in 1898, Francisca was only 5 years old when his father Gallardo left to war as a soldier of KKK. Francisca’s uncles from Pangasinan came to get her but her mother Isabel did not like and instead cared for her. Francisca married Bondad from Ilocos Sur who was a Postman. Bondad left Francisca and her two children Juan and Flora. Francisca remarried to Anastacio Castro from Ilocos Norte. Juan married Andrea Dalapus from Besao and Flora married Ricario Abeya. When Flora was asked further what she understood as a child in all those continuing evacuation, she narrated what his father said. The feeling of having been done with the Spaniards, then the Revolutionary government was a sigh of relief but only to experience again the Japanese American war of which they were actual eye-witnesses.
The Japanese were friendly to other Japanese, Melecia said. At peace time, the Yoshikawas returned to the garrison in Sagada from their evacuation camp. At that time other remaining Japanese freely passed the garrisons where the families of Yoshikawa and Yamani (Japanese photographer) were. One time a Japanese soldier gave Melecia Yoshikawa a toothbrush, accordingly for their family’s use. Yokishawa was able to acquire a wide land in Nangonogan that he shared with some neighbors like the Abeyas. Yoshikawa died earlier in 1934.
Putting Melecia and Flora Abeya’s bits and pieces of recollection, it is significant that the sound of the bells served as the unifying element of Christianity and among the natives, either converted or defiant, it was the trading passing trails and rivers that weave together the geography and life ways all the way from the mountain sanctuaries to the coastal villages and vice versa. As Rufino Bomasang wrote in his book (2006, p20), it is believed that the Americans came to the Philippines for altruistic reasons and that America is a land of flowing milk and honey. By contrast, we despised the Spanish regime and proud our forebears resisted the Spaniards. We admired the Americans as our “liberators” from the Japanese.
In the case of Antadao as reported by Tomas Guerzon, a teacher in Antadao in 1953, accordingly, the people of Antadao resisted the opening of a school as it is believed to be a waste of time and as means of acquiring knowledge to fool the people. Their eyes were only opened after WW11 upon experiencing missing some benefits as ‘no read, no write’. To show their interest, the people donated their land as school site and built their own school on free labor.
Likewise in the late 1950s, were Ilocano teachers like Mr. and Mrs. Pio Dacumos, Mr. Flores. More locals finished education, thus songs in Sagada vernacular were composed to express the importance of education. There was the song “Ina, ina ennak maki-oskila, ilam pod ay nan iiyon-a, adida getken ay menbasa …” It is a song convincing a mother to let her child go to school lest she or he be like her or his siblings who can not read.
On socio-economic activities, as trading continued, most vividly remembered in the early 1950s were the Candon traders.of death burial cloth (gamit). As it became popular, others like Dammay Baido and Averyl Binggit Egsaen had to learn the trade and weave the cloth as their additional source of income. In the case of the males, they go for errands or other kinds of manual labor.
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