Good day to all of you especially the panel and Mrs. Madeliene Bordallo and all the visitors. I am Elvina Reyes Rios and I am from Agat. I am living in Agat at the time of the war. I was 13 years old at the time of the Japanese. I was made to work in the rice fields. I was made to work in the garden in Agat. They took me to Jalaguak. They made me borrow...
I was made to work by the Japanese. I was only 13 years old at the time. I was living in Agat with my parents. I was made to work in the rice field. I was made to work in Piti planting rice. I worked in the village of Agat to be in the garden. I was made to work in Jalaguag. The damage on my back is still there because when I was busy clearing land and I would stretch my body, the Japanese would throw rocks at me. It is still there on my back. When I was done working in Jalaguag clearing the air field, I was taken to Fena from Nimitz Beach, I walked from there at 2 in the morning after being roused from sleep by my mother to get ready to go to work. I'd get to Fena at 6 in the morning and if I was late at least one minute, I would get one slap on my mouth. For three minutes, it was three slaps on my mouth. When I am done in Fena, I would grate 125 coconuts. I would get off at 6 pm and by the time I got home to the ranch at 9 at night.
I was always by myself in the jungle. There was no road, no people on the road, only myself all alone. When I get to the ranch, I'd tell my mother about how scared I am by myself. She'd always plead for me to go or else we'd get beheaded if you don't work.
If I tell the Japanese that I don't feel well they'll touch me to see if I have a fever.
You women here, you know that something visits us every month then I don't like telling them that I wasn't feeling well because of that and then they'll just tell me to go to work whether I like it or not. I get sick from stomach cramps and I'd tell my mother I didn't want to work but she'd tell me about us being killed if I didn't work.
I'm sorry. I cannot say anymore.
Real People Real Stories. A weekly testimonial series provided by the Office of Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr. The testimony of Elvina Reyes Rios is recorded in the Guam War Claims Review Commission public hearing held in Hagåtña, Guam December 8, 2003. This story sponsored by the community involvement of Seabridge, Inc. Photo courtesy of Expressions Studio.