Diary of Victor Buencamino

January 26, 1942

Must encourage the people to do some home gardening. Every available backyard should be planted to vegetables. The Bureau of Plant Industry can provide the seeds to interested parties. Planted tomatoes, cabbage, pechay and radish in my garden. This will help increase the food supply. “Little drops of water make an ocean; little grains of sand make a mountain…”

Things don’t look so rosy in Singapore. The radio says that the three main Japanese mechanized columns smashed through the western, central and eastern sectors of the Malay peninsula penetrating through the 130-kilometer radius of the British Far Eastern base. Looks like the sun that never sets on the British Empire will set on the East.

Many society boys and girls now ride on streetcars. This will do them a lot of good. Soft life begets softies. Youth when tempered in fire, becomes stronger—like steel.

Curfew has been extended from 8 to 10 p.m.

The Japanese have no sense of humor. I was at a party at the Manila Hotel. Seated beside me was a Japanese major. A Japanese civilian, who has been in the States, introduced a hostess to me in joking terms: “Dr. Buencamino, I would like you to meet this young girl. She is thin because the price of rice is exorbitant.” Some Filipinos present got the joke and laughed. I did too. But the Japanese major got sore. He looked at the Japanese civilian angrily and said very tersely “After office hours, no talkee business. Understand?“ The Japanese civilian bowed respectfully and apologized. Must remember to give him my condolence, the poor man!

My statement has not been published. I thought so.

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