Stories from “The Valor Project”

FilAmCreative.org is proud to host “The Valor Project: World War II Stories from the Philippines” this week as they raise money for their documentary film on Kickstarter. This week we will be featuring content from the making of the film by the filmmaker, Rodney Cajudo. – FilAm Creative

Day 2 of The Valor Project guest blogging on FAC. Our Kickstarter campaign has 9 days left!

Please visit and support this creative endeavor!  http://kck.st/1dpKqW6

I’ve met and interviewed so many amazing men and women so far in my pursuit of documenting stories.  Here are a few:

Guadioso Bayani Evangelista

Rodney with Bayani.

Rodney with Bayani.

Last October I drove up to Northern California to talk to Guadioso Bayani Evangelista in the nursing home he was staying in.  During the war he enlisted in the Philippine Army and was captured by the Japanese and was part of the Bataan Death March.  Along with my cousin Abe, we spent a few hours talking about his experiences in the war. His mind was sharp and we were both amazed at his recollection.  He hand drew a map and showed us where he helped defend and even told us a story about how they almost shot future President Ferdinand Marcos, because they thought he was a Japanese soldier.

Major Jose V Samonte

I had the honor of sitting down for a long conversation with Jose V. Samonte a WWII guerilla fighter. He shared with me stories of hardship, loss, and revenge. I could have listened to him for hours and I hope to talk more with him soon. His story and those of his comrades is what I hope to capture with The Valor Project: World War II Stories from the Philippines

Here is part of my Conversation with Jose V. Samonte. Who I like to call the Filipino “Inigo Montoya” Please help me help them tell their stories. Please help us, help him, tell his stories.

Malcom Murray, US Army

malcommurray_vpwatermark

One of these guys once lived in the jungles for a week, living off the land, after being ambushed in Zig Zag pass by the Japanese. The other guy almost died on a three hour hike up a hill on his way to Anawangin Cove, carrying a bag full of Red Horse, and one bottle of water.

One guy lived on nothing but water for a week. The other guy can’t go two weeks without eating carne asada fries.

One of these guys has the other to thank for not having to grow up speaking Japanese.

One of these guys survived a typhoon, got shot in the leg, and the other guy once survived STORMWATCH 2014 and 2 inches of rain and endured a pretty wicked paper cut once when filing Top Secret message traffic.

I’ll let you guys figure out who is who.

Radley Ramirez, Grandson of Hiram Gregorio Filipino Guerilla Fighter

Since I’ve started this project, many people have reached out to me wanting to tell the stories of their Lolo’s and Lola’s that have passed on. One such person is an old friend

Radley Ramirez.

When I was in the Navy, I lived in Virginia Beach for about 9 months. I was there for Intelligence Specialist “A” school. I was actually born in Porthsmouth, VA and my parents were friends with the Auntie Reby Gambito. So when I was stationed there I plugged into the local church and they made me feel at home.

Radley Ramirez was one of the guys I became close with and when I started posting about my plans for The Valor Project: World War II Stories from the Philippines he contacted me and told me the story of his Grandfather Hiram Gregorio. Hiram, was a WWII guerilla fighter and fought against the Japanese in and around Olongapo and Subic. Radley’s grandfather, even wrote his memoirs and gave it to Radley in hope that one day the memoirs would be published to help fellow veterans gain what they were promised by the U.S.

Radley has since shared those memoirs with me and we are offering it up as a reward to our Kickstarter backers. We are helping fulfill his grandfather’s wish and publishing his memoirs and sharing his story.

I spoke with Radley via G+ Hangout about his Lolo, and his memories of his grandfather.

Let’s help get more of these stories documented! Our Kickstarter campaign has 9 days left!

Please visit and support this creative endeavor!  http://kck.st/1dpKqW6

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