Diary of Basilio J. Valdes

March 15, 1942 — Sunday

Attended Mass and received Holy Communion. We received news of destroyers (enemy) moving on the east coast of Cebu. In the afternoon we received a flash that an enemy destroyer was patrolling the channel between Guimaras and Negros. Stopped a while in front of Pulupandan. Vice-President Osmeña suggested we leave early. I tried to delay the departure to obtain more news. Two enemy planes flew twice over our house apparently observation planes trying to examine the coasts for ships. At 6:15 p.m. we left for San Carlos. When we were near Vallehermosa I saw a Philippine Army Lieutenant and two enlisted men looking at the Tanon Channel/Strait. I inquired from them if they had any news. They said that an enemy cruiser had entered the Southern portion of the Tanon strait and had anchored in front of Tampi. Two enemy planes were circling over the ship. Suddenly one of them dove into the sea and disappeared. Probably due to engine trouble.

We proceeded to Vallehermosa and went to the Headquarters of the unit commanded by Colonel Ballesteros. The information given was confirmed. They further told me that our boat the Princess of Negros had left San Carlos and was hiding behind Refugio Island. We proceeded to San Carlos. When we arrived I received two telegrams one from Colonel Hilsman advising us that the trip was not safe, and another from President Quezon ordering us to cancel trip. We saw the Captain Panopio of the boat and he told us that he would try to escape and hide the boat elsewhere.

We returned to Panubigan at 9:30 p.m. Flashes kept on coming, keeping us awake till 1:00 a.m.