The Spectre of Benigno



Colvert, Kathleen

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This thesis is a historical fiction novel set in Japanese occupied Philippines during World War II. Inspired by real family events, this story is told from the perspective of a young Filipina named Maura, who discovers the body of her Lolo, Benigno, after he was murdered by a Japanese sniper. She discovers that he was an important ally to the Americans. Under the shadow of her dead grandfather, Maura will work her way into the guerrilla resistance against the Japanese. As her thirst for revenge introduces her to both the horror and complications of war, she quickly learns that for a young woman, occupation means exploitation. To the Filipinos, she is a beacon of hope. To the Americans, she is a prized pawn in a network of resistance fighters. And to the Japanese, she is to be controlled both body and mind. Navigating these complicated allegiances will unravel her every conceit regarding what is good and evil; what causes are just and right.


This thesis has been embargoed for 5 years. It will not be available until April 2027 at the earliest.


Comfort women, Guerrilla resistance, Philippine occupation, Philippines World War II