Bacolod Internment Camp, Negros

Bacolod Internment Camp established on June 5, 1942 in Bacolod North Elementary School, in Bacolod City, on Negros. Harvey C. Pope elected as “contact man” to the Japanese and Arthur W. Woods elected as assistant. The camp has about 140 internees within the first three months.

According to Elizabeth Vaughan, in her book, Community Under Stress, the camp eventually had 86 Americans, 39 British, 4 Dutch, 10 Filippinos, 4 Spanish and 5 Italians, for a total of 148 internees.

Drawing of Bacolod Internment Camp in "Community Under Stress, page 37

Drawing of Bacolod Internment Camp in “Community Under Stress,” page 37

Eating and cooking arrangements were extremely haphazard to begin with.  The great outdoors was their dining room and the earth their table until a cement building was turned over for their use as kitchen and mess hall.  The Swiss Family Robinson at least had a breadfruit tree, but the internees’ only resource was the bounty of their cooks.  Small wonder therefore that they attached much value to the work of Vera Harbort, the chief chef, who with a gang of helpers did all the cooking for the odd one hundred and forty prisoners for the first three months.  At first they had to cook on open fires, with school furniture as fuel; later, alcohol and stoves from the sugar centrals made the culinary task easier.  Mrs. Jardeleza succeeded Mrs. Harbort as cook and, when she was released from Camp, Martha Bullert took on the job for the duration.

From Santo Tomas Internment Camp, by F. H. Stevens

On March 2, 1943, 119 internees are transported to Santo Tomás Internment Camp (STIC), arriving there about March 10th.

Negros Island, Philippines, showing camps at Bacolod and Iloilo

Negros Island, Philippines, showing camps at Bacolod and Iloilo (map courtesy of Google Maps)

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One thought on “Bacolod Internment Camp, Negros

  1. I was a child in Bacolod in one of the mini-Internment Camp with my brothers, sisters, uncle, and parents. The Japanese used these camps to protect the Kimpetai, Officers Quarters, Communication Center, Barracks, motor depot,etc
    from American Bombers. There were a few of these camps strategically position in Bacolod. We know how the Japanese treated the prisoners. Bacolod, we know well.

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