by Jessa Jarilla
THEY risked life and limb and left their homes and families to become part of one of the most significant peasant movements in Philippine history. Yet not only have their contributions to that movement been often overlooked, they have also been blamed by some of its insiders as among the causes of its collapse.
In a new book by historian Vina Lanzona, however, the women who once played an integral role in the Huk rebellion are given a chance to tell their side of the story. Amazons of the Huk Rebellion in fact chronicles the experiences of Filipino women during the Japanese occupation, what made some of them join the rebellion, and how it was like living in the worlds of both love and war, fighting for freedom and reform while at the same time falling in love and raising a family.
The Huk rebellion actually came in two phases. The first involved a peasant-based struggle against the Japanese invaders during the 1940s that led to the formation of the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon (People’s Movement Against the Japanese) or Hukbalahap. The second phase was during the postwar era that saw the new Philippine republic still under strong U.S. influence and with a strong intolerance of the Left. Determined not to let the Left establish a political power base, the government launched a series of actions aimed at delegitimizing the Huks and undermining their popular support. The Huks were thus forced to go underground and reorganize in the forests of Luzon to now resist the government – their fellow countrymen. The Hukbo ng Mapagpalaya ng Bayan was then established.
Read full article @ www.pcij.org
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