As the Battle of Manila raged on with bombings and killings happening around the city, some people sought refuge at the campus of what was then known as the De La Salle College. Throughout the war, the school was allowed to operate despite the fact that a portion of the campus has been taken over by Japanese forces, thanks in part to its location which at that time was already considered the city outskirts, away from the activity going on in Intramuros and Downtown Manila. It also helped that some of the Christian Brothers were of German nationality, whose country is allied with Japan, giving them and the school a safe pass.
When the battle first began, the Christian Brothers (the Catholic teaching congregation that runs De La Salle) gladly took in some families who hoped that being in the campus would insulate them from the bloodshed and destruction going on outside. They, as well as the Christian Brothers, believed then that given the free rein the Japanese gave to De La Salle throughout the war, the campus and the people taking refuge there would not be touched. Sadly, that would not be the case.