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capistrano-attachmentAmidst the perils of the Second World War, women emerged from their respective line of job to take part in liberating the Philippines from the atrocities of the Japanese. Josefa Borromeo Capistrano of Misamis Occidental, together with another Filipina organized the Women’s Auxiliary Service (WAS) in 1943.

She was a former captain of UP Women’s rifle and pistol team, rated a sharpshooter.

Under Capistrano’s leadership, they made sure that the guerilla fighters in Misamis, Lanao and Zamboanga had enough food and safe shelter. They performed hospital and dispensary tasks, their members administered first aid and treated the wounded guerillas. By the end of the war, the Filipinas who served under WAS ballooned into almost 3,000.capistrano-attachment

However, Capistrano refused to accept the Military Merit Medal in 1946. She demanded the Women Auxiliary Service to be recognized first as an official military unit.

In 1963, the organization was renamed the WAC (Women’s Auxiliary Corps) and recognized as an official military branch of the Philippine Army. The WAC was disbanded in 2013, after more than 50 years of

service.

A book about her was written by Erma Cuizon entitled Twilight in Misamis: Josefa Borromeo Capistrano’s Guerrilla Days.

 

References:

Josefa Borromeo Capistrano. Accessed https://www.filipinaslibrary.org.ph/

Roperos, Godofredo M. Two Biographies. Accessed on https://www.pressreader.com/philippines/sunstar-cebu/20140821/281851461899992 on 27 April 2020  from 27 April 2020 from