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Jose Abella Diaz

20 September 2010

Jose Abella Diaz was born to Domingo Abella and Concepcion Isaac Abella.  A blue-blooded Atenean, he graduated from high school in 1938.  He was set to finish his BS in Commerce in 1942 when war broke out.

Peping, as he was nicknamed, was among the volunteers from the Ateneo de Manila ROTC who signed up to aid the Americans, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on 08 December 1941.  On 23 December 1941, General McArthur ordered the ROTC disbanded; but  34 Ateneans still found a way to enlist as volunteers and were issued uniforms, army shoes and inferior coconut fiber helmets.  Fifteen of them perished in the war.

Capt. Eugenio Lara took charge of the Ateneo volunteers and scrounged for weapons for the poorly equipped young men at the Ateneo de Manila museum and at the bombed out Nichols Fields.  Their first mision to proceed to Tagaytay and stop the Japanese army coming from the south.  On the eve of New Year Day 1943, they received orders to proceed to Bataan.  Peping stayed with the American forces until Bataan fell on 09 April 1943.  He walked the 97-kilometer Death March and died in Capas, Tarlac .  His remains were never found.

Jose Abella Diaz’s Family Tree can be found on

Research Notes

1.  “The Family of Bibiana Isaac and Manuel Abella”. Date published: 20 April 2008.  Date accessed:  26 May 2010.
2.  Ford, Aida Rivera.  “Where (blue) eagles dared to tread“.  Date published: 2000.  Date accessed:  01 August 2010.
3.  “In Memoriam“.  Ateneo de Manila University official site.  Date published:  27 March 2007.  Date accessed:  01 August 2010.

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