Remembering Col. Jose T. Tando: Remembering Bataan
These days, my husband, our son and close friends have become my audience of choice whenever I get the urge to recall anecdotes and stories about my elders, a manner of celebrating their lives, perhaps a subconscious desire to affirm the precious gift that they were in our lives. Retelling stories about my elders is self-affirmation, a healing act. So I make no apologies for these acts of affirmation and appreciate all who indulge me.
|Col. Jose T. Tando, ©Tando Collection
(Photo: First Lieutenant, 1923)
One of our treasured family members most often spoken about with reverence by my maternal grandmother Maura Tagle Tando and her older sisters, was their first cousin, Col. Jose T. Tando. I called him Lolo, a Filipino title of respect for a grandfather or granduncle. Lolo Jose is my cousin Coralou’s grandfather. He is my beloved grand uncle.
1946 to 1949--After the war ended, my grandfather began a new chapter in his life. On July 4, 1946, the Americans granted the Philippines its independence with Manuel A. Roxas as the first president of the Republic of the Philippines. Col. Tando was assigned as the BN Commander of the Presidential Guard Battalion. Now known as the Presidential Security Group (PSG), its main task is to protect the President of the Republic of the Philippines. By this time, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel, and he also passed the Philippine Bar Exam.
1950—retired from military service.
1952 to 1964--was a President of the Philippine Army Retirees Association. Its membership consisted of Retired Army Officers, up to the rank of General. He also practiced law at this time period.
On orders by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Col. Tando was given full military honors in Camp Aguinaldo—headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, at Malacañang Palace—official residence and workplace of the President of the Philippines; and at his funeral in his hometown Makato, Aklan.
Family, friends and readers have an opportunity to support the Bataan Legacy Historical Society through involvement and donation. I hope that many would agree that it's time to help bring the Bataan Legacy goals to fruition. I invite one and all to visit their Facebook page, @Bataan Legacy, and website: http://www.bataanlegacy.org/.
The Bataan Death March in the Philippines during WWII is part of U. S. History. It must be told and taught as such. I know that Coralou and I will continue to tell the stories of heroism by our elders whose voices are no longer around. Their voices must be heard through us, their descendants.
Published with permission granted by Coralou Tando Terencio Tribo.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED