A Rare Glimpse from my Past




Felipa Carlson, in “A Rare Glimpse from my Past”, narrates her difficult story about an attack on her family when she was a young woman in the Philippines. Her family had relocated from their native province of Cavite to take the opportunity to establish a fruit and vegetable farming business in the province of Bataan. During this time, she was going to school at Saint Columban College in the city of Olongapo in the neighboring province of Zambales and was surprised by the sudden visit of her mother who relayed the horrifying details of the attack: Rebel forces from the insurgent New People’s Army roamed the northern island of Luzon and happened to come across Philippine government forces that soon led to an ensuing gun battle on the family farm property. In the aftermath of the destruction, three of her uncles who came to visit and help with the construction of the farm home were wrongfully arrested, beaten during interrogations, and subsequently detained in a military prison by the Philippine government regime of Ferdinand Marcos. During this period of martial law, the totality of the family’s farming assets were unjustly confiscated.


In the period since that belligerence, Felipa’s family returned back to their native province of Cavite with little more than their clothing and bereft for having their loved ones still imprisoned at Campo Olivas in the province of Pampanga. Eventually, her three uncles were released and the family re-established it’s farming business in Cavite and the nearby markets of the metro Manila area. Likewise, Felipa moved on with her life, graduating from college, meeting her husband at the nearby U.S. Naval Base in Subic Bay, and subsequently emigrating to the United States of America where she settled in that country with a new existence and a loving family; she gives thanks to God for her many blessings. However, she can never forget that everyone in this story was irrevocably affected by these wanton acts of destruction, wrongful imprisonments, and unjust personal intrusions on their sense of well-being and freedom.