Januaria Constantino Keller, the Philippines first real movie star better known by her stage name Carmen Rosales, was born on March 3, 1917 in Pangasinan. Due to her husband’s tragic death in the hands of the Japanese, Carmen was dragged in the grim realitiy of the war and continued his husband’s fight in the underground and joined the forces of Hukbo Laban sa Hapon.
Carmen Rosales, a sharpshooter, carrying a 415 caliber gun around the country side of CALABARZON, disguised herself as a man and wore a fake mustache during her guerrilla attacks to hide her identity.
Carmen’s aim to free the Filipino people from the Japanese oppression took her to the countryside of Santa Rosa, Laguna, where she became part of a mission that killed a Japanese collaborator.
Later on, Carmen was forced to flee to Silang, Cavite to escape from being captured, but eventually, the Japanese forces found her. A Japanese soldier gave her an ultimatum— to agree to star in a Japanese propaganda film or to kill all the people in the village in Pangasinan if she refused.
In the film, Guerilyera (1946), they showcased the experiences of Carmen as a wartime fighter. The film is a dramatization of the role she played in our fight for freedom It cast aside the stereotype of Filipino damsel in distress, with Carmen starring as herself, one of the many heroines of the Philippines.
Carmen represents a woman of courage on the battlefield and vulnerability on the big screen. She is a epitome of a fierce, heroid spirit of all Filipino women.
Hukbalahap (Hukbo nq BaLon Laban So Hapon), File Na 118-1 Folder 369. Philippine Archive Collection. (Margland, Washington D.C. National Archives College Park). Philippine Veteran Affairs Office.htp1/17216.1.1171903/Collections/Guerilla/Box%20369/1i3123 6 pdf
Lanzona, Vina A. “Capturing the Huk Amazons: representing women warriors in the Philippines, 19’IOs-1950s” South East Asia Research (Taglor damp; Francis, Ltd.) 17, no. 2 Nig 2009):133-17i. Accessed 28 August 2020 from https://www.jstor.org/stable/23750980
Ms. Ma. Jossel Emannuel Manalo