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Trail to Death

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This is part of history that’s often disregarded, our past that I never dared to look back,Not until now, as vivid images flashed my mind like a replay,Of a movie I don’t want to watch all day, No. I don’t want it today. No. I don’t want it tomorrowNo, not even the day after, Because it reminds me of a feast full of sorrow,Days devoid of laughterSeeing my comrades, my friends, each one of them fall after the otherThey’re dead. Maltreated. Executed. Beheaded. Bayoneted. They’re dead. Killed in front of me, and then it struck me,It isn’t a movie, it isn’t my own fantasy,Because indeed it is a painful reality. And no, I don’t want it all over again. No, I don’t want it. No.

Please, don’t force me. No. Please. Don’t. No. Never again. I can’t seem to decipher it,People had been praising me of how heroic I am to be alive,That despite the frightful event of World War II, the Bataan Death March, I still manage to survive,But, do you know how hard it is to live with guilt?That I should’ve save my friends, my commander, my generalThe one that deserve the most to live, instead of me, but during those times,The only thought left in me, is to continue this untrodden journey,Silently crying,In my mind, I’m asking, I’m begging, I’m praying, please let me have the energy to endure another mile,Please, let me take another step to survive. Please, give me the courage because I’m still hoping there’s light hidden behind the depths of unfathomable darkness,I will continue, I will not stop,Never thought of giving up,For the sake of freedom deserved by the upcoming generations of Filipino. Left with no food, on our way, half of us died on starvationAs we walk down the 66 miles trek of suffering, I can hear my citizens plea for help, Can see their tears slowly forming in their eyes,but,What can we do when we don’t even have ammunitionWe’ve been walking barefoot down the trail, not minding our own bruise, the gunshots we got, the broken ribs, the damaged limbs, how deep our cuts had gotBecause all we care a lot is to be able to have even a glimpse of the aftermath. We need to survive. I need to survive. Together, we should survive. All we’ve been trying to do is to save our homeland, But things didn’t turned out as planned,Because as we reached Mariveles, the peak of Bataan, where the march beganThere I foreseen that the evils of war will soon execute my gallant men. Spoils of war, they call usWe’re the losers, the unimportant ones, stain to the conqueror’s collar of successful invasionA shame to the nation,One mere thought of our existence fuels their desire to set my troop’s deteriorationAs the victors of war, Nihongo troops can do whatever they’ll be fond of doing,A cycle of fully accepted wrong-doing,Again and again, it’s unstoppable. Again and again but we’re helpless. Again and again but we can’t do anything. Japanese general ordered, his troops obeyed, While we, defenders of the Pearl of the Orient sufferedInhumane as it is but this is how war worksBeat us with your drastic rifle butts, leaving bruise of no mercyDon’t mind rules of humanity!Beat us with your glorious canes, don’t stop until we surrender ourselves to the unbearable painStill no grace of amity!Let your bayonets, graze our skin, touch the flesh, puncture the veins, blood oozing out everywhere,Every road we walk is filled with cries we didn’t dare shareDon’t care about your rights!Beat us with bloody pieces of bamboo,Don’t stop until your eyes are filled with blood.

Dear friend, Officer Juan Dela Cruz? General Sam?Why did you stop walking? Say, why did you suddenly came to a haltNo. No. They’re coming. They’re doing it again. No. General, please, get up! Walk, don’t stop!No, I will not leave you alone!We will escape together! Come on, let’s go!No. No. No. Red liquid lashed its way out my buddy’s neck, he didn’t beg for mercy, neither beg for helpOnly the tears left in him to cry escaped, saying to die in the battle is an honor, a precious gift of our service we should adoreSo, as we continue to walk, letting out uncountable sighs and exasperated breath approaching San Fernando, the end of marchEvery heavy step we take, is an iron-like undertake,But eyes hoping, soon, war will end, we will be freed,And even though we don’t have anymore blood left in us to bleed,Still, there’s hope that Peace among the nations will eventually be the lead.

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