Saturday, August 7, 2010

Faces of U.P. Los Baños 8: An Addendum to the Los Baños Internment Camp

* the façade of the Dairy Husbandry in UPLB; the diamonds on the image’s either side contain the years 1939 and 1952

* a view of the road towards Putho in Los Baños, with this unidentified mountain in the background

* view of the great Mount Maquiling at sunset

* a bridge that one has to cross in going to Putho; the typical mode of transportation here is the pedicab – a bicycle with an attached sidecar; this bridge is also one of the borders of the big internment camp put up by the Japanese in WWII

* darkness closing in the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Carillion Tower can be seen in the distance

Despite deeming that my tours for the Los Baños Internment Camp were quite thorough, it is always good to find new things that add up to what one has supposed to be complete. The same goes with digging in history.

As in this case, the photos here are essentially additional ones, posted here to supplement the details I have tried to share earlier regarding the WWII Japanese prison that was put up inside the UPLB Campus. One detail (or perhaps more precisely one question) that continues to nag me is the location of what they have called Maitim Hill.

The present Maitim is now a barangay in the town of Bay (Ba’i) but it could have been possible that the name as used earlier to describe something else, perhaps for that elusive hill. Brgy. Maitim is relatively far from the UPLB campus and the hill could have only been close to the Maquiling mountain range, as have been said to me by some reliable people. As to the reason why I am looking for it is that Maitim Hill has been the place where some citizens of San Pablo City, Laguna took refuge when they started fleeing the city during the tumultuous times of the Second World War.

I have been speculating that this hill refers to that isolated hill near the International Research Institute or IRRI which has a cross on top and a big antenna. But I still have misgivings about this conjecture as it was too near the UPLB campus, which was then an internment camp. And it would have only been inconvenient for the refugees as well for the WWII guerillas as, by that time, they could not afford to engage the enemies without thorough preparations.

My identification of that Maitim Hill is yet to be resolved. Things like these keep the fuel alive in me to pursue some historical details (or adventures if I may call them that). Also, it’s what keeps Back Trails alive and kicking, knowing that much can still be learned about our history, no matter how big or small the details are.

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