ABOUT ATOK

I. PRE-SPANISH PERIOD (1400-1892)

A. Settlers

1. The Ibalois

a. Pawigue [Click to Read]
b. Kasdan [Click to Read]
c. Milo [Click to Read]
d. Danao                                                     [Click to Read]

 2. The Kalanguyas

a. Calpo [Click to Read]
b. Dacbongan [Click to Read]
c. Aventew                                                  [Click to Read]
d. Gilod [Click to Read]

IV. THE JAPANESE PERIOD (1941 – 1945)

In 1935, when Paoay was not yet a popular area, an American named Mr. Harold from Camp John Hay established a sawmill in Km. 47, Namegpuegan, Bongdo where he employed two Japanese civilians named Mr. Sato and Mr. Tomita assigning them as managers of his sawmill. These two Japanese civilians befriended the natives of the area, employing them as laborers in the sawmill. The people never suspected that the two Japanese men were gathering information about their place, for the two were spies of the Japanese Imperial Army.

When the natives learned of the coming war, the government started to recruit people to join the military units. All males aged eighteen above, regardless of height were conscripted. They were trained in Sagubo, Kapangan for six months by Capt. Bado Dangwa and Major Denise Molintas. The women were recruited to be cargadores of foodstuff for the guerillas.

A. Arrival of the Japanese Imperial Army [Click to Read]
B. Japanese Occupation [Click to Read]
C. Guerilla Activities

In 1942, Mr. Bado Dangwa and Denise Molintas organized their first guerilla movement which were the M, I, L, K, companies. The L Company operated mainly in Atok and some parts of Kapangan. The outpost commanders were Capt. Felipe Tiotio, Lt. Alfredo Alumno, Lt. Mateo Balao, Lt. Bayod, Sgt. Greg orio Kismod. Corporal Jacinto with sixty-four soldiers all in all under their command.

It was in 1943, when the natives of Atok organized themselves into “bolomen” composed of untrained but brave and courageous civilians. Their task is to safeguard the native evacuees. They were the ones who relayed messages to the guerillas. They built their outpost in Paoay with Mr. Awadi Backian as commander with thirty men, Mr. Tero Balao of Salat with thiry men and Mr. Pagal in Abiang with thirty men also.

D. Economic Conditions

Some of the natives resumed their daily activities like planting camote in their kaingin and those who still had some more potato seeds planted these. But products must be sold to anyone but to the Japanese Imperial Army alone and at a very low price. A kilo of potatoes was bought at P0.15 centavos while in Baguio it was sold for P0.50 centavos. Any of the natives who were found selling their products in Baguio were hanged for a number of days and given no food.

All the industries that flourished during the American period deteriorated under the Japanese period. The logging firm of Mr. Harold and the Molteo’s were burned. Cattle raising declined with the cows consumed by the Japanese Imperial army as well as the guerillas. Houses were burned like the Hotel owned by the Haight’s. All their animals were shot by the Japanese and eaten. All of these led to the economic dislocation of the people. When the war was over all the inhabitants of the area faced this major problem.

E. Social Cultural Conditions
            All schools in Atok were closed and religion was prohibited. During the reign of the Japanese there was relative peace. Nobody was stealing and people became industrious due to their fear for the Japanese soldiers. They were threatened that if anybody was found stealing he was to be punished by cutting off his hands or beheading in the public plaza. There were no cañaos celebrated during the Japanese occupation. Some words were taught by the Japanese to the natives. “Ohayo”. “Konichiwa”, “Kumbanwa” were taught to greet the soldiers.
F. Liberation [Click to Read]
G. The Early Post – Liberation
Agriculture [Click to Read]

Informants:

Mr. Hilario Dangayo – Officer-In-Charge, MAC

Mr. Edward Celo – Pres. Benguet/Mt. Province Seed Growers