A photo of the Hunter's ROTC. - Pacific Paratrooper
The Hunter guerrillas were among one of the main guerrilla organizations that were initially formed by the cadets that once served the Philippine Military Academy prior to the war. Under the order of General MacArthur, the Philippine Military Academy was to be disbanded in 1942 right before the Japanese Imperial Army took control of Manila. The younger soldiers studying and training at the PMA (Philippine Military Academy) wanted desperately to join the war effort despite MacArthur’s orders and gathered a substantial amount of recruits who had been part of various ROTC units. Taking what training they had learned from the PMA, the young soldiers schooled their new recruits as saboteurs (ruining phone lines, radio connections, eliminating pro-Japanese Filipinos and spies, and conducting small hit and run raids).
Map of Southern Luzon
The Hunter Guerrillas' location of their activities and headquarters could be found throughout Southern Luzon, Manila, and the Laguna de Bay region.
Recruitments of Hunter's ROTC
The ROTC organization of guerrillas would become one of the few officially recognized Filipino led forces by MacArthur and his staff. Their first phases of recruitment, training, and collection of arms began in the Antipolo Mountains after the surrender of American and Filipino troops at Corregidor. The founder of the Hunters ROTC was himself a Philippine Military Academy cadet by the name of Miguel Ver who even prior to the surrender of USAFFE at Bataan and Corregidor was already going through the motions of collecting recruits to fight the impending Japanese invasion. By the end of the war, the Hunters ROTC would collect over 25,000 recruits and serve as the head frontline guerrilla units for the major raid, the Raid of Los Banos in February of 1945, freeing 2,147 Allied POWS.
One of the youngest guerrilla recruits was the then sixteen-year-old Mario Montenegro who would become a major film star in Filipino cinema after the war.
A post World War II 1957 Filipino film, starring Hunter ROTC guerrilla veteran Mario Montenegro.
Philippines' Resistance: The Last Allied Stronghold In The Pacific
The people of the Philippine Islands during the early half of the 20th century experienced various waves of Western imperialism, two wars of attempted secession from Western powers, and two world wars. And yet the Philippine Islands and its people have received only small subheadings in many American textbooks and histories. The wartime experiences from the perspectives of the Philippine people have gone unnoticed and have become overshadowed by the sociopolitical dominating legacy of American figures like General MacArthur, leader and historical symbol of the Pacific Theater during World War II. MacArthur's famous phrase "I came through and shall return" is etched into every facet of World War II historical narratives, textbooks, and monuments that pay tribute to the Allied forces in the retaking of the Pacific from the Japanese. But It is the lesser known people and leaders of the Philippine resistance against the Axis powers whose efforts and contributions allowed for the effective and speedy return of MacArthur's military forces. The Philippine guerrilla resistance consisted of a diverse cast of Filipino men and women, ethnic and indigenous minorities, American and European immigrants and soldiers, young and old, rich and poor, from farmer to politician. The various units of Philippine guerrillas, their tactics, military resources, and vigor to survive and end the Japanese maltreatment of the Philippine peoples paint the Pacific Theater from 1941-1945 as desperate, dark, and bloody for Asian communities throughout East and Southeast Asia. But their resourcefulness, cooperative efforts to collaborate and network with MacArthur across the South Pacific, and massive grassroots liberation movement directly point to the remarkable value that the Philippine Underground Resistance proved to be in aiding the Allies' ability to retake the Pacific.