Saved by an Angel Dog

by Pinky as related by Great Aunt, Coning Rubiato

World War II had just begun in 1941. The news of the Japanese Army invading the country had reached the little town of Marbel, a settlement in the province of Cotabato, South of the Philippines, where my mother, Digna Doctolero lived with her grandparents and Aunts.

She was 11 years old. Her parents and seven siblings lived in another island 500 miles away. She was only seven when she left them.

They lived on a farm in the country amidst rice fields and tropical forest in the distance. Her aunts were dressmakers, and they would always make pretty dresses for her. Farm life appeared picture perfect oblivious to the fact that trouble loomed just beyond the horizon.

However, on that particular day, the family were busy preparing for evacuation. They cooked and placed a few needed items into a small bundle they could carry along. They cut-off the cone from their high-heeled shoes so they can run faster. Tennis shoes were not invented yet or maybe they just did not have them.

Nighttime fell, and as they were getting ready for bed, they heard a huge explosion. They saw a bright light in the sky in the center of town. They heard somebody pounding on the door and yelling, “The Japanese are coming, they are in Dadiangas! (another town)”

Everybody then grabbed their bundles and shoes, and they ran to the nearby forest. They stayed there all night. In the morning, they were hungry, so they decided to return to the house thinking that the Japanese army would just remain in town. As they were eating, they saw their neighbor ran toward the house and yelled, “The Japanese are here! You better go back to the forest and hide!”

They all went back to the forest, then a Filipino soldier called out Grandpa’s name and told them,
“You and your family need to go to the Barrio Captain’s house. They will kill those who don’t obey.”

People from all over the community assembled at the Barrio Captain’s house. Japanese soldiers surrounded it. People knelt on the ground as they arrived. Since my mother Digna was only 11 years old, she was walked slower than the rest of her family. They had already picked a spot and knelt. As she approached them, a Japanese soldier aimed his bayonet at her, sending a burst of prayer by her family up unto the heavens quickly.

Suddenly, an enormous white dog appeared and jumped on the soldier. He was knocked down to the ground. At that moment, my Mother ran toward her family and knelt with them.

Meanwhile, the soldier struggled with the dog. Two soldiers came to help, but they could not overcome her canine rescuer. Finally, five soldiers wrestled with one dog. Another soldier saw the helpless situation and shot the unnamed deliverer.

Everyone was terrified by the shout of the gunshot but hearts full of gratitude and surprise. There was a pervading sense of calmness among the people. They had just witnessed an incredible display of divine intervention.

They never found out who dog, belonged to. Nobody claimed to have seen the dog before. A big white dog saved my mother’s life. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here to write this.

Shortly after the incident, they were all taken to an American settlement of about a 100,000 people. The American government gave them protection during the war.

beautiful kindhearted ChooChoo

My mother grew up, became a teacher, married my Dad, and had five children. She died of breast cancer at the age of 52 in 1982. Her mission accomplished.



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