Guam War Survivors: Part 3 - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam War Survivors: Part 3

by Joan Aguon Charfauros

Guam - 78-year-old Francisco "Kiko" Francisco has been a resident of Mangilao for over 70 years and remembers the day they moved him and his family to Mangeggon. "We stayed there so we stay there until the Americans come in and because they have a play there mango tree, so they told us the mango is ripe because the Marines are red from the sun," he recalled.

Francisco attended school in Mangilao during the Japanese occupation and recalls a time when a Japanese soldier accused him of chewing betel nut. He said, "One day, inside the school, next to me was a kid chewing betel nut, I wasn't chewing and the Japanese caught me when I yawned and he asked are you chewing betel nut? I said, no. he took the fan and slap my face three times," he said.

In the morning, Francisco along with other kids would be forced to go into the jungle and pick wild papaya. Each kid would be given two baskets to fill up. He was only able to fill up one and a half and was scolded by the Japanese soldier and punished. "They slap me again three times no four times...everytime you answer back, they slap you. I said, 'Oh my God, these Japanese, I don't know'," he said.

Francisco was not the only one to be beaten. He watched helplessly as his parents were severley beaten. "When my mother was working in a big field, she got beaten in the back, she was paralyzed for to years and then she died. Then my father, too. He was beaten in Barrigada. What can I do? I was only 9 years old," he said.

Francisco spends his days working at the Mangilao Mayor's Office and enjoying time with his wife Rosita, to whom he's been married for 60 years. Up until five years ago, Francisco would take his kids and grandkids to the Liberation Day Parade every year. Now, 78, and with his kids all grown up, they go on their own to commemorate the day Guam was freed from the Japanese.

On this 67th Liberation Day, we celebrate Francisco L. Fransisco as the grand marshal of Mangilao.

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