Philippine History – World War 2 and the Japanese Occupation in the Philippines

World War 2 and the Japanese Occupation in the Philippines

  • On December 8, 1941, Japan invaded the Philippines several hours after bombing Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
  • On December 22, The Japanese forces landed at the Lingayen Gulf and continued on to Manila.
  • On December 26, 1941, General Douglas MacArthur declared Manila an open city on the advice of Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon to avoid its destruction.
  • MacArthur retreated with his troops to Bataan while the Commonwealth government withdrew to Corregidor island before proceeding to the United States.
  1. Bataan Death March
  • The surrendered Filipinos and Americans soon were rounded up by the Japanese and forced to march some 65 miles from Mariveles, on the southern end of the Bataan Peninsula, to San Fernando.
  • The men were divided into groups of approximately 100, and what became known as the Bataan Death March typically took each group around five days to complete.
  • Survivors were taken by rail from San Fernando to prisoner-of-war camps, where thousands more died from disease, mistreatment and starvation.

The Fall of Corregidor

  • The 11,000 defenders of Corregidor held out against intense Japanese bombardment until 6 May 1942.
  • American and Philippine troops suffered 16,000 casualties in the Battle of the Philippines, and 84,000 endured cruel imprisonment or execution at the hands of the Japanese.
  • Of 20,000 American troops captured by the Japanese in the Philippines, about half died in captivity before the Pacific War ended.

Puppet Government


  • In accordance the instructions of President Manuel Quezonto Jorge Vargas, the Filipino officials in Manila were told to enter into agreements and compromises with the Japanese to mitigate the sufferings of the people under the iron-clad rule of the Japanese.
  • On January 23, 1942 the Philippine Executive Commission was established, with Vargas as chairman
  • December 30 1942 – Launched of “KALIBAPI” Katipunan ng mga Lingkod sa Bayang Pilipino.

 Philippine Government in Exile

  • Manuel L. Quezon, the president of the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines, was advised by Gen. MacArthur to evacuate to Corregidor.
  • The presidential party left Manila on December 24, 1941 and became refugees in the island fortress.
  • The inauguration of President Quezon for his second term as President of the Philippine Commonwealth on December 30, 1941
  • While he led the Philippine government-in-exile in the U.S. for the next two years, Quezon’s tuberculosis steadily worsened and he died on August 1, 1944

Guerilla Warfare

  • The guerrilla army got its name from a contraction of the Tagalog phrase Hukbo ng Bayan laban sa Hapon, meaning “Anti-Japanese Army.”
  • Guerilla 3 important functions:
    • ambush or kill enemy soldiers and civilians;
    • to relay important intelligence reports to MacArthur in Australia;
    • kill spies and Japanese sympathizers

Battle Of Manila

  • The battle for the liberation of Manila—waged from February 3 to March 3, 1945, between Philippine and American forces, and the Imperial Japanese forces.
  • considered to be one of the greatest tragedies of the Second World War and One hundred thousand men, women, and children died.
  • Architectural heritage was reduced to rubble—the City of Manila was the second most devastated Allied capital of World War II.
  • “The destruction of Manila was one of the greatest tragedies of World War II. Of Allied capitals in those war years, only Warsaw suffered more. Seventy percent of the utilities, 75 percent of the factories, 80 percent of the southern residential district, and 100 percent of the business district was razed.” — William Manchester, author and historian, in American Caesar
Tags : Japanese OccupationPhilippine History
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