Maj. Alberto C. Bacani, 102, Filipino WW2 veteran

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Maj. Alberto C. Bacani, the oldest Filipino American World War II veteran known living in the United States, passed away on November 5, 2013 in Alexandria, VA. 


Bacani was the first Filipino veteran recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs under the 2009 Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation law. 

Bacani is survived by his three children, Dr. Robert Bacani, Lyda Miranda, and Milagros Cabagnot; 15 grandchildren; and 31 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Saturnina, and children, Vina Narciso and Jose Alberto Bacani.

A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 9 a.m. at Saint Rita's Catholic Church, 3815 Russell Rd Alexandria, VA. Interment will follow at 11 A.M. at the Quantico National Cemetery in Virginia. He will be laid to rest beside his wife Saturnina who passed away a year earlier.


Maj. Bacani’s short bio:

Bacani was born in Isabela province in the Philippines on January 14, 1911.

During World War II after surrendering to Japanese invaders after the Fall of Corregidor in 1942, Bacani spent 10-days as a P.O.W. and was held outdoors. He said he was "dried under the sun facing two machine guns" of the Japanese. He was later honorably discharged from the US Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE).

He was a school principal and teacher in the Philippines. He retired as a registrar in the University of the East in 1976 before immigrating with his family to the United States. 

Bacani worked as a librarian at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Crystal City, Virginia. Bacani recalled with pride the EPA division library reading room was named after him when he retired after 34 years of federal service at the age of 98.

Bacani, in his nineties, was an active member of the Washington-based advocacy organization, the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans. He regularly lobbied senators, congress members and American presidents on several veterans equity bills.

When asked the secret of his long life, Bacani humbly said, "live one-day-at-a-time."