Diary of Victor Buencamino

January 9, 1942

Talked to an officer whose troops were cut off from the main body of the USAFFE retreating to Bataan. He said the MacArthur strategy in the north was to delay the Japanese advance as much as possible. He recounted the charge of the 26th cavalry. “I saw those Filipino scouts charging armored units, riding on, on, on, matching flesh with tanks. I saw headless riders. . .” I did not make him go on.

Another very busy day. It seems that every day is a busy one. My gasoline petition was authorized, but only 50%. In other words, 50 cans a week. Of these, four to five cans must be given for Japanese demand.

Must make two copies of daily sales reports. One for Col. Yoshida; the other for Mr. Kitajima.

All market deliveries must be limited to 1,000 sacks daily. The opening of the Bamban market was denied by the military.

Rice for NARIC employees not granted. This will dishearten the boys. They must send members of their families to fall in line like the rest of the people. Pills of bitterness make the man…

Obtained approval from the Japanese Army to have a section of the San Miguel Brewery opened for the manufacture of yeast to be used in making bread.

Urged local bakeries to increase their bread output to relieve rice supply. Bakers pointed out that while there is plenty of flour available, their stock of baking soda is very limited.

Dismissed a chauffeur for dishonesty. Matters like this keep me from sleeping. I know I was very strict, but I must use him as an example. You cannot run a big organization like the NARIC with the heart.

Shouldn’t have told Lolita of the officer’s story about the cavalry. Just made her think of our son. She is weeping again. How many mothers must be in tears?

C’est la guerre.

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