As a conversation starter, I asked the two Titas and Tito T when the CNY will be this year. It will be on Feb. 8. What is the animal sign for 2016? Year of the Monkey.

Tito T’s animal sign is the monkey. What year were you born? He said 1932. Typical history nerd, I asked him if kaabot siya tiempo hapon (obviously he has). To which he answered yes. They were living in the city during that time but fled to Molo when the Japs first came to Iloilo. But when the Japs moved to Molo, they went back to the city.

What did you do during the occupation? They sold bandi, bukayo, local delicacies. Even the Japanese Soldiers bought from them. Their store was located in front of UI. (Probably referring to the Central Market) Before it was just a one-storey structure and it was not even made of concrete yet. Didn’t you go to school during that time? No, schools were already closed even before they came. They began closing down upon the declaration of war.

Public International Law aspect- War is supposed to commence on the date specified in the declaration or on the date it is communicated to the enemy. However, this formality has not always been observed, e.g. the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. In such cases, the rule is that war is supposed to commence on the date of the first act of force by one state committed with the intent of making war or committed without such intent but considered by the other state as constituting war. Thus, war may start 1) with a declaration of war; 2) with the rejection of an ultimatum; or 3) with the commission of an act of force regarded by at least one of the parties as an act of war. Legalese echos.

So kabalo ka gali Tito magluto bandi kag bukayo? Hindi, hindi, gaabot na sila naluto na. Halin na sila sa probinsiya dala nila mga baligya, ginabakal na namon luto na. Kami lang gabaligya.

T wala ka man gin “conscript” sa Japanese army? Wala, wala. Si Tito N ya? Wala man, wala man. But, he said, not all the members of the Japanese armed forces were actually Japanese nationals, some of them were already Koreans, Taiwanese or Chinese. Were they ever as bad as they say? As far as he can remember, the Japanese forces stationed outside the city, like Passi, were very ma-pintas. Mga Koreano na ma-pintas man. Diri ya sa ciudad wala problema, mabuot man sila. Basta sa sagwa ciudad ya amo na ang damo gamo.

After the war he went back to school. He attended highschool in CPU. He traveled from plaza libertad to jaro on a jeep for 10 centavos. Asked him if may karwahe pa sang una, yes if you’re traveling within the city limits. But going to Jaro, you can ride the jeep at 10 cents or 20 cents. The 20 cent jeep is more sosyal. Most of the female students from Phil. Women’s College rode the 20 cent jeep. Before Western Visayas Medical Center became Western Visayas Medical Center, it was owned by the Lopezes. But before the Lopezes owned it, it was the Phil. Women College.

Tito T is the second boy from the right.

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