The beginning of the Liberation was in 1944, when the American soldiers returned back to the Philippines. The Japanese Imperial army retreated following the Halsema Mountain Highway. It was during this time that the guerilla forces helped to fight the enemies.
The first battle fought in Atok was in Km.47, Bongdo where the “bolomen” headed by Lt. Bayod one of the guerilla soldiers awaited the retreating forces of the Japanese coming from Baguio. This battle lasted for an hour. The “bolomen” retreated from the enemies for lack of ammunition aside from the fact that they were not trained in the techniques of operating and holding guns.
On March 1944, there were three Japanese soldiers, who escaped in Salat, Paoay. But luckily, they were seen by the “bolomen”. They killed two of them. But the other one fought one of the “bolomen”. The “boloman” was shot at his penis because he was not able to hoot first. Although he was holding a gun, he did not know how to operate it.
It was in the year 1944, that many unwholesome and evil things occurred. A woman who was working in the Kaingin was raped by three Japanese soldiers patrolling the area, after which they ate her flesh. Likewise also in Abiang they killed one “boloman” by the name of Pagal and ate his flesh. These things the retreating forces were able to do because there was extreme hunger for there was no more food to eat. They were also hemmed in already.
The last battle that was fought was in Km. 24, Caliking where there was a lot of casualties on the part of the Japanese. It was where the Japanese Imperial Army built their hide out. The first who fought with the Japanese stationed here were the 21st Infantry. All of them were wounded. Then it was taken over the 32nd Infantry division composed of American soldiers. But many of them were killed and most were wounded. They retreated and the British soldiers took over. Many Japanese soldiers were killed and they were the ones who retreated this time from the British army. This battle lasted for a month.
The last American forces who stayed and built their garrison in Sayangan and Bongdo were the engineering corps. They had fifty tankers and seventy weapon carriers and jeeps. They stayed in Sayangna up to 1946 clearing all the roads and all the ravages of war.
In 1935, there were epidemics in Atok. Dysentery, influenza and high fever plagued the people. There were many people who died due to lack of medicine. Some medicine were given by the government but was not enough to supply the whole population.