This piece appeared in the Fall 2011 issue of Our Own Voice, a magazine of the Filipino diaspora.
There’s a legend about General Yamashita, who the U.S. held accountable for war crimes in the World War II occupation of the Philippines. Yamashita was executed shortly after the war, after a brief trial.
They say he stashed away bars of gold bullion, and treasure hunters have been trying to find the riches ever since.
Self suddenly recalled this piece after listening to Joanne Diaz, a poet, whose reading in Moe’s Books self attended last night, along with Jay D and Lillian H, who belong to her fabulous writing group.
Joanne Diaz is an AWESOME reader. Self bought the two collections that were on sale last night: My Favorite Tyrants (which won the 2014 Brittingham Prize in Poetry), and The Lessons.
“The Seeker of Buried Treasure”
He was a shaman. Oh, something very old.
Like the turtle you forgot about that grew to 10 times its size in your mother’s garden.
My uncle looked for the gold bars, you know.
Under the old fort.
Why would they be there? Why would General Yamashita leave them behind? Underneath an old fort in Manila?
Tell me where I can find it, the treasure that the Tiger of Malaya stole, the gold Buddha, the bullion.
The necklaces of diamonds and jade . . .
The rest of self’s piece can be found here.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.