Diary of Basilio J. Valdes

December 9, 1941 – Tuesday

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People of Manila nervous trying to leave Manila for a place away from aerial bombardment. Those who owned cars rushed frantically to towns near Manila. Those who did not own means of transportation were willing to pay exorbitant prices for trucks and automobiles. Prominent families moved either to Antipolo, Taytay, Marikina or San Mateo and Montalban. Some even moved to Los Baños and towns in Bulacan.

My girl, Charito(Nucay) must have caught cold during the night, while rushing out of the house during the raids. She developed fever and cough.

At 11 a.m. while I was in my office the air-raid alarm was sounded. The Japanese planes entered Manila and passed over Philippine Army Headquarters in a beautiful formation, in two waves, one of 26 planes and another of 28 planes. They flew directly to Cavite Navy Yard and bombarded it severely. They destroyed most of the buildings there, part of the oil deposit and part of the old historical town of Cavite. Admiral Rockwell narrowly escaped death when the Commandancia was hit. He saved himself by jumping into a deep canal and staying there until the bombing was over. He lost all his clothes and other belongings. His cook was killed, a Filipino who loyally stood to his post.

The afternoon was quiet.

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