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Love is Timeless in War and in Peace: Lourdes Ongkeko’s Personal Journey

Love is Timeless in War and in Peace: Lourdes Ongkeko's Personal Journey
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“Baguio, as we youngsters had noted, inspired us to no end in providing inspiration that would lead us to reach the many futures ahead. We leaned on our humble, successful attempts at achievements as long as we adhered to the rules of discipline that anchored us in our quest for the goals of education.” These poignant words encapsulate the spirit of resilience and determination that characterized the lives of children growing up amidst the chaos of World War II. In a world torn apart by conflict, their personal experiences and unwavering hope shine through, reminding us that love transcends even the darkest of times. 

Published by New Leaf Media LLC, the book “Love is Timeless in War and in Peace” takes readers on a captivating journey through the eyes of Lourdes Ongkeko, a “Child of War.” It offers a unique perspective, recounting personal experiences against the backdrop of a global conflict that shaped the lives of millions. This gripping narrative immerses readers in the struggles, sacrifices, and triumphs of those who lived through one of the most challenging periods in history. 

Lourdes Ongkeko, born in the Philippines in 1928, was only thirteen when their homeland was invaded by enemy forces on December 8, 1941. The book provides a vivid account of that fateful day, capturing the fear and confusion that gripped the city of Baguio. Lourdes, a sophomore at the Baguio City High School, vividly remembers the bombs dropping on their beloved city and the frantic search for safety amidst the chaos. 

“Totally lost was freedom of expression when December 8, 1941, appeared in our city,” Lourdes recalls. Under the occupation of the invading forces, speaking out against the regime was strictly prohibited. Short-wave radio broadcasts became the clandestine lifeline for news, reaching Lourdes’ family in secrecy. The dangers of the guerrilla movement and the sacrifices made by friends and acquaintances are revealed, providing a rare glimpse into the underground resistance against the occupiers. 

As Lourdes’ family sought solace in prayer and shared news reports from the radio, they were constantly aware of the lurking presence of the enemy. Lourdes’ parents went to great lengths to protect their family, including the construction of an air-raid shelter known only to a few trusted individuals. Lourdes’ role as a lookout for eavesdroppers highlights the constant vigilance required to safeguard their lives. 

With the establishment of sentry posts by the occupying forces, life became even more oppressive. Lourdes’ father fell victim to the brutality of the sentries, subjected to a severe beating for failing to bow low enough. The family’s possessions, including precious jewelry and a cherished watch, were confiscated, leaving indelible scars in their memories. These heart-wrenching accounts reveal the harsh reality faced by ordinary civilians under enemy occupation. 

In a surprising turn of events, it was not a mere twist of fate that led them to the Japanese Language School. Instead, it was a carefully thought-out plan devised by Lourdes’ father. Recognizing the importance of effective communication and aiming to avoid any mishaps, Lourdes’ father entrusted him with the task of enrolling in the Japanese Language School ahead of his siblings. Over the course of ten months, Lourdes diligently attended the language school, immersing themselves in the intricacies of the Japanese language. 

When the schooling system reopened, it presented a golden opportunity for Lourdes’ sisters and brother to follow suit. They joined a language course that had been incorporated into the school curriculum, thanks to Lourdes’ initial enrollment and the groundwork they had laid. 

This decision, born out of their father’s wisdom and the family’s collective desperation, turned out to be a lifeline for the entire family. Lourdes’ ability to communicate in Japanese allowed them to establish a unique rapport with the Japanese military in their neighborhood. It was a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the human spirit, finding unexpected paths to survive amidst adversity. 

Despite the darkness that permeates the narrative, there are glimmers of hope and determination. Lourdes’ return to school after the reopening in 1943 signified a resurgence of normalcy. Education became a beacon of light, and the inclusion of Japanese language lessons in the curriculum further reflected the complexity of their experience. 

“Love is Timeless in War and in Peace” is a testament to the strength of the human spirit, the power of hope, and the enduring nature of love. Through Lourdes Ongkeko’s eyes, readers are transported to a tumultuous time in history, experiencing firsthand the trials and tribulations of those caught in the crossfire. This poignant memoir not only chronicles personal experiences but also serves as a reminder of the resilience, bravery, and unyielding spirit of individuals who face unimaginable circumstances. 

As we navigate the complexities of our modern world, “Love is Timeless in War and in Peace” serves as a reminder that love and hope can prevail even in the darkest of times. It is a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the enduring power of the human connection. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking personal insights into the human experience and the lessons we can glean from history. 

To learn more about “Love is Timeless in War and in Peace” and New Leaf Media LLC, visit their website at Let this remarkable memoir take you on a journey through a child’s eyes and remind you of the timeless power of love in war and in peace. 

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