The Story of Hal and Paquita Bowie

The Story of Hal and Paquita Bowie


My parents' tale of surviving two World Wars and the Spanish Civil War.

Stories about The Story of Hal and Paquita Bowie

Hal Bowie and Paquita Rodriguez Fernandez nuptials

  • Malate Church, Manila, Philippines

It is 8:00 AM on a sunny Sunday morning and a petite, lovely, dark haired Spanish woman walks down the long aisle of Malate Church in Manila.  Waiting for her at the altar is her husband-to-be, Hal Bowie, a tall, blond American from Mahwah, New Jersey.  As they take their vows as husband and wife, in another island not too far away, the Japanese are busy creating "a day that will live in infamy."  My parents' honeymoon will be cut short by the Japanese invasion of Manila and they will be spending the first three and a half years of their married life in two Japanese internment camps - first in Santo Tomas in Manila and later in the town of Los Baños, Laguna.

My parents were both born during World War I and my father survived the terrible flu epidemic that ravaged the civilized world at that time.  My mother was born in the Canary Islands but was raised in Barcelona.  She witnessed the atrocities committed by the anarchists in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War there and escaped by ship from Marseilles to Manila with her mother, one of her sisters and a friend.

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