Interview With Remedios Natad

Remedios Natad discusses growing up amidst hardship in the mid-20th century Philippines, especially her struggles in finding stable employment under the Japanese Occupation, which continued even postwar due to her lack of education.

Interview 4

Interviewee: Remedios Alkisalas Natad, born 1930

Interviewer: Kisho Tsuchiya                        Interpreter: Marjorie Tsuchiya

Transcriber: Dominique Jonietz O. Lucagbo

Date: August 10,2019

Language: Bisaya


My name is Remedios Alkisalas Natad, 91 year old. I was born on October 9, 1930 in Barili, Cebu. My parents were Alipia Delos Reyes, a house wife and Enucencio Alkisalas, a farmer. Working hard was still not enough to provide for the family. Life was hard having 7 siblings. We were able to finish primary school which left us with no opportunities on our future. 

Having no education, I was unable to apply to any jobs and so I helped my father in the farm. We planted vegetables such as sweet potato and this became our source of income.

In the 1940s, Japanese started to colonize Philippines. I was about 12 years old that time and escaping from Japanese abusers was hard. We had to hide in caves and climb up mountains and hide in the forest. We tried our best to avoid encounters with them. Some of my relatives were captured and tortured that made us terrified for our lives. 

We moved to Bukidnon and I got married there. My first husband died because of too much alcohol which disabled his kidney to function properly. By 1978 I remarried as I met my husband in Lugait. We moved again to Puerto in Mambatangan. Life in Cagayan de Oro City was much better. There were better opportunities for jobs and sidelines. We have a farm in Mambatangan where we go every day to bring food and water for the workers. Soon after, income from farming was not enough and so we resorted to smuggling. 

A ship from Del Monte Corporation would dock at the port to import and export products to and from Japan but at the same time the crew would sell merchandise illegally to us. That was our main source of income at that time, aside from tailoring. I would buy things such as television and bring it to Cebu to sell it and would sometimes buy the extra money for crackers and sell it inside jeepneys. I also did trading where I trade the goods I smuggled in return for crackers and sell it again to different places.

I learned that education is vital for earning a stable living, without it people would find it hard to look for proper jobs that would be able to support for a family. My life was not easy but I still got through it with the help of the people around me.

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