Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

January 19, 1942*

*probably erroneously published as January 18, 1942 in the printed version

According to the information I gathered, the condition of the internees has greatly improved. The whole length of the fence has been covered with sawali to protect them from curious passers-by. They have organized themselves into groups, according to their professions or vocations, to work as electricians, mechanics, clerks, actors, couturiers, accountants, etc. Others do kitchen chores, police work, digging pits or the garbage, cutting grass, etc.

They also organized a football league with eight teams, composed of British and Spanish internees, and another for basketball, composed mostly of women. The favorite seems to be indoor baseball, in which many Americans participate.

Those who have no one to receive provisions from –and they constitute the majority– are being fed by the American Red Cross. A large gas kitchen was installed for this purpose. I was told that some $4,000 a day are being spent on this. The Japanese, however, do not spend a single centavo for the internees. They alleged that this was the penalty for what the American Army did in burning supplies, notwithstanding the fact that those who did it are now in Bataan and Corregidor, fighting.

The internees also published a mimeographed newsletter three times a week –previously censored– with news about the prisoners. Of course, they are not allowed to use the telephone or the radio, nor communicate outside.

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