Born and raised in the Philippines, Carol moved to the US in 1975 with her six-month old son to escape the Marcos dictatorship. Her son's father was killed in 1976, summarily executed by the military in a process called "salvaging." His body was never found.
As a single mother, Carol worked full-time to support her family while she continued her activism as a member of the Anti-Martial Law Alliance and the Union of Democratic Filipinos (KDP) in Los Angeles, California.
Today, Carol is a part-time faculty in the Asian America Studies Program at California State University in Fullerton. She teaches classes about Asian American Women, Filipino American Experience, Creative Expressions and Asian American Families. She continues to be active in community work and is an appointed member of the Los Angeles County Commission on Public Social Services; Filipino American Library (FAL) Board of Directors; and the Pasadena City College President's Asian American Advisory Board to support the school's commitment to the life-long learning goals of Asian and Pacific Islander students and community members.
I once more faced a dilemma – how could I possibly take care of a baby and continue my activism, let alone get a college degree? My choices were obvious: get an illegal abortion or keep the baby. I chose the latter, and with that choice I made the decision to accept the responsibility that comes with having a child. It meant stepping back and scaling down on my organizing activities – after all, it was becoming more and more difficult to outrun the military with a bulging belly. My parents were devastated when they heard about my pregnancy but were very supportive. My life as a “revolutionary” shifted to domesticity as I prepared for the birth of my son.
Another letter soon followed, describing what little information our comrades and Lando’s relatives pieced together. He and the two women were last seen in the Quezon province, but no one made it to Bicol. There were many speculations as to what might have occurred, but my comrades chose to spare me from devastating news.
Finally a letter arrived which confirmed what I secretly feared but wouldn’t allow myself to think. Lando and one of the women, Flora Coronacion, were victims of a practice that would later be known as salvaging – the disappearance and subsequent summary execution of suspected “subversives.” The other woman who was with them at the time of disappearance, Adora Faye de Vera, was the only survivor. She was my classmate at UP, and ten years later, in 1986, she would recount their ordeal to me, describing Lando’s fate with his military torturers. She stated that after being detained and tortured for months, the military removed Lando and Flora Coronacion from their location and taken them “somewhere else.” Later on she recounted that the military told her that the other two “did not escape, but you will never see them again.” Additionally she was warned that should she speak about what happened, she will meet the same fate as the other two.
- Written account of Carol Ojeda-Kimbrough
- Interview with Federis sisters Vilma Mira and Delia Pineda, and brother-in-law Pidoy Pineda
- “The chosen road,” by Carol Ojeda-Kimbrough, from The Movement and the Moment, pp. 65-73
- “Open testimony of Adora Faye de Vera,” typewritten, 4 pages
- “Remembering the activist,” Ang Katipunan, May 1985, p. 13
- In Memory of Rolando Federis, by Hector Logrono, friend
- My Recollections of Rolando Federis, by Remedios Mercado Endozo]
On November 30, 2011, I returned to the Philippines to attend the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Annual Honoring of Martyrs and Heroes ceremony where Rolando Federis' name would be included in the Bantayog Wall of Martyrs and Heroes. Rolando's heroism and sacrifice is now memorialized for other Filipinos to emulate.
Pictures are courtesy of Carol Ojeda Kimbrough:
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Tags: Ferdinand Marcos, Marcos dictatorship, Philippines, Martial Law, Philippine, Filipino, history, politics, Rolando Federis, hero, salvaged, Bantayog ng mga Bayani
This is all for now,