Shortly after the war in the Pacific broke out in December 1941, the author and her husband stashed supplies to last them six months into three suitcases, and headed into the choking bamboo jungles outside Luzon.
For a year and a half, they lived from day to day, hiding among the little-known mountain people who sheltered and helped them in their grim struggle for existence. Always just a step ahead of the Japanese army, they were forced to move constantly—a week here, a month there. The refugees faced monsoon rains and the fear of malaria; they lived on dwindling stores of food; traded even their most precious possessions with loyal Filipino villagers who wouldn’t betray their hideout—and a few who were not so trustworthy—and assisted the bands of young guerrillas whenever possible.
Macauley’s narrative is rich in characterization: Spalding, the American weakling who shared a part of the journey before surrendering to the Japanese; Placido, the always-opportunistic head of his tribe, who nonetheless protected the refugees and provided them with a home; and especially Fabian, the simple and courageous tao, who time and again risked his own life to help the Americans, until finally they were faced with the choice to surrender to the Japanese or see all of Fabian’s family killed. What followed were the horrifying weeks in primitive Japanese prisons until finally they were taken to the internment camp at Santo Tomas, and, later, Los Banos.
Bread and Rice is a young woman’s stirring memoir, written with profound depth and immediacy, of those grueling, terrifying days on the run.
A gripping true story of heroism, fortitude and the ability to survive against all odds.
Several times while reading this I asked myself "could I have endured this kind of life"? How does one find the strength to carry on with so little hope in sight? This is the authors story of her and her husbands day to day life hiding in the mountains of the Philippines in 1941 during the Japanese occupation of the islands. Though this book deals with the wartime events, it is in no sense a "dated" book. For a year and a half Ron & Doris Macauley managed to live day to day trying to stay alive not only from the Japanese but from the threat of monsoon rains, snakes, malaria and dwindling sources of food. Never knowing who they could trust. Then to be captured & live thru the horrifying time in primitive Japanese prisons. Bread and Rice is one of those reads that left me thankful for what I have and leaves me ashamed for what I take for granted. Written well with depth. A true story of heroism. I truly enjoyed my time with this book.