Book Details

MacArthur fulfilled his promise. Can my uncle do the same?

In the first dark days of 1942, Gen. MacArthur daringly escaped to Australia. He kept his promise to return when US troops stormed back into the Philippines in 1944. Last seen at the dreaded Death March, Junior’s uncle also promised to return... but could he do so? Three purple fruits hold the answer. Set in WWII Philippines and the Pacific, and with the overarching theme of patriotism and a Christian underpinning, I Shall Return is less about war and more about the Filipino and American people—their faith, love, struggles, and their willingness to give their lives for country, family and friends. It relates the sacrifices and martyrdom of unheralded heroes some who occupied the highest positions before the war. The story takes the reader to many towns and provinces;to the dark dungeons of Fort Santiago in Manila; to Bataan where POWs are forced to march in scorching heat without food or water; to the swamps of Candaba where guerrillas snatch escapees from certain death; to a Spanish casa where seven sisters outsmart their guards in a dramatic escape. Woven into the plot are intertwined love stories: childhood sweethearts torn apart by the war, a poor boy in love with a rich girl and a black American lieutenant smitten by a beautiful mestiza-can he overcome prejudice and racial tensions? . With historical introductions, photographs, and rich imagery, the characters and places of I Shall Return come alive vividly and beautifully in a novel of great dimension. This historical novel complements books on WWWII Philippines published in recent years such as The Great Raid by William Breuer, Escape from Davao by John D. Lukacs and Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff.


Book Excerpt

Six hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japanese air squadrons destroyed half of General Douglas MacArthur’s Air Force... My turn to sleep with Fermin became most unusual of nights. It all began when he stirred me awake for the usual prayer past midnight... One time we were riding a horse with her seated behind me when the horse cantered and galloped. She held on to my waist and lower abdomen so tightly, her body and firm breasts against my back, that I got excited all over, inside and out, she momentarily touching my most sensitive part... The Navy under Nimitz competed with the Army under MacArthur for the race to Japan, Nimitz via Formosa and MacArthur via the Philippines... The Kempetai hauled straight to the dungeons of Fort Santiago those caught in the dragnet. Fort Santiago! A glorious past, Manilans would love to recall, it once had, when its last Muslim king, Rajah Sulayman, built at exactly the same site an imposing palisade of logs and mud, a citadel able to ward off attacks from rival kingdoms but not strong enough to repulse the invading Spaniards who came with the cross on one hand, the musket on the other; an ignoble past, Manilans would loathe and cringe to remember, it also had, a past bathed by the blood of nameless and numberless natives they disparagingly called Indios... Our joy, euphoria and exultation were cut short. They were completely supplanted with something the likes of which we never heard before,a news so tragic, so gruesome, so revolting as to stagger the imagination. Old folks called it Juez de Cuchillo... On August 15, Emperor Hirohito told his people: It is according to the dictates of time and fate that we have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace… by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is unsufferable...


About the Author

Cosme R Cagas

Cosme R. Cagas edits the Philippine ILLINI,had been an editor of scientific journals and organizational newsletters and has published several short stories and poems. He has established four foundations, including the University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society in America with 1200 life members and 15 chapters throughout the US,and PEACE that has provided more than 500 artesian wells and water systems for the poor. He is president of the Christ Philippine Missions, which supports 350 scholars and feeds 679 schoolchildren. His many awards include the Most Outstanding Alumnus Abroad of the UP College of Medicine, a John Wesley Missions award, and the LINKAPIL, the highest award given to Filipinos overseas, from the president of the Philippines. The author has pledged that all proceeds of this book goes to charity.