Women's Auxiliary Service


Filipinas Heritage Library

Filipinas Heritage Library
Makati, Philippines

Josefa Borromeo Capistrano and other women organized the Women’s Auxiliary Service (WAS) in 1943. Its mission was to make sure that guerrilla fighters in Mindanao had food and shelter. Performing hospital and dispensary work, WAS members also administered first aid and treated the wounded. They organized entertainment programs for their patients and encouraged the townspeople to observe health rules. They also sewed, procured, and washed clothes for the officers and men as well as those confined in hospitals. Likewise, WAS members learned methods of reconnaissance, the use of firearms, and self-defense. Some members served as spies, and at least 10 were known to be captured and killed for guerrilla activities. Capistrano, who became a labor leader after the war, refused to be awarded a medal for her war efforts until the WAS became an official military unit of the republic. In 1963, the organization was renamed the WAC (Women’s Auxiliary Corps) and recognized as an official military branch of the Philippine Army. The WAC was disbanded in 2013, after more than 50 years of service.


  • Title: Women's Auxiliary Service
  • Creator: Anonymous
  • Date Created: 1949
  • Location Created: Philippines
  • Type: Photograph (book reproduction)
  • Medium: Photography
  • Art Form: Historical Photography
  • Depicted Person: Josefa Borromeo Capistrano, Women's Auxiliary Services
  • Depicted Topic: Filipina guerrilas

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