Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

March 11, 1942

Queues. Everybody has to fall in line to buy rice, matches, cigarettes and sugar. In front of the few stores licensed to sell those items, thousands of persons formed long queues. They have to wait for several hours before they can purchase their wares. The ones who could buy something were lucky. A family of six was entitled to three packs of cigarettes at ten or twenty centavos per pack and three boxes of matches at one or two centavos. These items were later resold at one hundred or two hundred per cent profit to those who did not have the patience to fall in line.

Some people buy farm products in the provinces and sell them in Manila; others purchase some items in the city and sell them in the province. But this business is becoming more and more difficult due to the scarcity of trucks and to the fact that one has to secure a permit to use a truck. Then there is the danger of the goods being confiscated at any of the police outposts within the city limits.