Personal Ironies, Leyte Gulf, and KanColle

For those who worry about these type of things, today is part of the four-day anniversary of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the series of sea battles that spelt the end of the Imperial Japanese Navy as an effective fighting force, and paved the way for the eventual retaking of the island of Luzon by proving the US forces a beachhead in the provinces of Samar and Leyte.  Specifically, today covers two segments of the greater battle: the Battle off Samar, where a smaller force composed of destroyers and escort carriers (codenamed Taffy 3) drove a qualitatively superior IJN fleet which, among other things, included the supperbattleship Yamato, and a throng of heavy cruisers; and the Battle of Surigao Straight, which historians count as one of the last battleship to battleship engagements in modern history, with the US forces successfully crossed the T of the hapless admiral Nishimura’s forces.

I’m not normally one to think about anniversaries of World War 2 battles, but this one in particular (and the retaking of Leyte in general) is kind of personal, as my father’s side of the family hails from Leyte, specifically Ormoc.  We’re quite sure that he, as the eldest of his family, was already around during the Battle of Ormoc bay (it’s kind of an inside-joke in the family about how, despite “officially” being listed as born in 1946, he really was born in 1943, but the former date stuck because the original birth certificate got destroyed along with the Census office during the retaking of Ormoc), but as with everything about his early life, he’s been pretty close-lipped about it.  

Same goes with both his parents.  The most I could get out of him was a shrug, and a crack about how, as civilians, lola and lola didn’t have war stories to share.  And he kind of doubted that stories about how they escaped to the mountains (the area where the Geothermal plant now is located) and lived on kamote while waiting out the fighting between the Americans and the Japanese, would be interesting.

The irony comes in, of course, in the present day, with myself being a fan of Japanese-created media, playing a browser game based on moe personifications of many of the ships that sunk during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.  And to pile on more ironies, some of my highest-leveled ships just happened to be part of Admiral Nishimura’s ill-fated fleet at Surigao Straight: Fuso, Yamashiro, Mogami, and Shigure.  See the screenshot below to see what I mean:

From Top Left to Bottom Right: Battleship Fuso, Battleship Yamashiro, Aviation Cruiser Mogami, Destroyer Shigure

From Top Left to Bottom Right: Battleship Fuso, Battleship Yamashiro, Aviation Cruiser Mogami, Destroyer Shigure

Funny how things worked out, as Yamashiro and Fuso where the first battleships I got in the game.

Now imagine her being TORN IN HALF, which was the fate of the real-life Fuso during the Battle of Surigao Straight.

Now imagine her being TORN IN HALF, which was the fate of the real-life Fuso during the Battle of Surigao Straight.

As for things unrelated to history or KanColle… Well, it’s payday today, though that meant that a significant chunk of my salary went into paying off some bills as usual. Specifically, the Maynilad water bill, the PLDT bill (which I grudgingly did), as well as a 2000-peso deduction to my VISA card debt.  What remained (about three thousand pesos worth), went into my savings as usual.

Didn’t go home straight after that, as I was aware that the internet still wasn’t up, so I killed two hours at an internet shop doing some idle browsing.  After my time was up, I went back home, and took a later afternoon nap as per practice.  And hey, when I woke up, we had net access again, so it was sort of fine.

Tomorrow is my nephew’s baptism, but we still haven’t received any message from my sister what time we’re supposed to show up.  Tatay expects it to be early anyway, so this means waking up early and heading off to Quezon City.  Should be fun, as I’ve never visited their new house yet.

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