April 30, 1942

For the last couple of days, aerial attacks on Corrregidor have persisted intensely. An escapee from Bataan said that they are suffering from incessant bombings by hundreds of planes coming from all directions. Bataan has a length of some 70 kilometers while Corregidor is an island of two or three kilometers in width. Therefore, they cannot possibly be attacked simultaneously by so many bombers.

According to Tokyo, the carpet bombing is being launched to effect the surrender. Radio San Francisco, however, claims that Corregidor is still resisting. No attempts have been made to predict how long the resistance will endure.

Water in Manila is very scarce. Due to Japanese mismanagement of the waterwork system, water cannot be properly distributed. Electricity is likewise being rationed. Electic wires have disappeared and the operation of the electic plant is deficient.


April 30, 1942

Hosp. # 1 Bataan, P.I.

April 30 12:05 AM. Warned to be ready to leave hospital for PW Camp at any time — left at about 12:15 Am. Rode in truck to Balanga arrived at 4 AM Slept — had fine big serving of Rice at breakfast and noon Japanese are being very liberal and Courteous One soldier took my watch but later I was questioned about it without any reference on my part & later the watch was returned!!


April 30, 1942

Our troops at Mabaay Gate still holding. Tagudin force now reported at Cervantes. The bridge here is out so they will have to build feery, but that is easy. The Japs are the best carpenters and road builders in the world. The public officials at Bontoc are evacuating to Lubuagan. Guess it won’t be long now. We all feel that the Japanese were somewhat forced into this thing by a few of our diplomats. But now that we are in it we will have to fight it out to a finish. They have won the initial rounds and will have things their own way for two more months. But after that we will have our innings.


April 30, 1942

Submitted to Mrs. Escoda the following list embodying the urgent needs of war prisoners in accordance with wishes expressed by officers and men now in Capaz.

I. FOOD

A. Organization: N.F.W.C., Girl’s Scouts, etc.

B. Necessary items: 1, rice; 2. mongo; 3. salt; 4. sugar, panocha; 5. camote, cassava, gabi; 6. lime, calamansi; 7. galletas, biscuits; 8. bananas, papaya, mangoes, guavas—any kind of fruit in season; 9. coffee, tea, ginger; 10. milk; 11. salted eggs.

II. MEDICAL SUPPLIES

A. Organization: Department of Health

B. Necessary items: 1. quinine, iodine, mercurochrome; 4. disinfectants (kreso, lysol, bichloride); 5. alcohol; 6. muslin for bandages; 7. tape; 8. cotton or kapok; 9. sulfathiazol.

III. CLOTHING

A. Organization: Women’s Committee

B. Necessary items; 1. undershirts, shirts, shorts, sweaters, socks; 2. blankets; 3. shoes, slippers; 4. towels.

IV. FINANCE

1. Personal solicitation. 2. Contribution in kind.

V. TRANSPORTATION

A men’s committee to take charge of arrangements for trucks, jitneys, etc., to transport personnel and supplies.

VI. UTENSILS

1. Cooking; 2. forks, knives, spoons, pans, bottles; 3. pitchers, basins; 4. rake, shovel, pick, brooms; 5. empty cans for glasses; 6. tissue paper; 7. empty gasoline cans for water and water wagons.

VII. DISTRIBUTION

1. Bureau of Health; 2. Women’s committee. 

VIII. FIELD WORKERS

Field workers operating under groups in charge of distribution are to be limited to Bureau of Health doctors, nurses, social workers There must be a strong, aggressive, efficient leader.

IX. GENERAL SUPPLIES

1. fuel; 2. cigarettes; 3. matches

The chief consideration is time. Relief must reach the camps with as little loss of time possible if more deaths are to be averted. Average deaths per day according to more accurate reports are over five hundred.

The Japanese are still very strict. They do not permit visitors. They prohibit relatives from sending food and medicine to the captives.

There is a rumor that one of the staff officers of the Japanese Army called Gen. Homma’s attention to the inhuman treatment accorded Filipino and American war prisoners. Gen. Homma was said to have answered: “Let them die, to atone for the thousands among us that also died.”

Today’s Tribune shows pictures of Recto, Yulo and Paredes drinking a toast with Japanese staff officers in a Malacañan reception.

Teofilo Yldefonso, world-famous breaststroker, several years Far Eastern Olympics’ record holder, died in Capaz. He was wounded in Bataan. In the concentration camp, gangrene developed in his wounds. No medicine could get to him. He died in a lonely nipa shed.

Today’s Tribune carriers a front-page item in bold type entitled “Correction” which gives an idea of Japanese mentality. The story follows:

“In yesterday’s editorial we made a mistake using the words ‘His Imperial Highness’ instead of ‘His Imperial Majestry.’ We hereby express our sincere regret about the matter.”

The Japanese soldier is not merely fired with patriotism. He is also inspired by a religious motive. The Emperor is his god.

Philip’s intimate friend, Johnnie Ladaw, was reported killed in Bataan, two hours after surrender. He was machine-gunned by a tank. Johnnie was No. 3 national ranking [tennis] player. He defeated Frank Kovacs of the U.S. at the Rizal court several months before the war.

When I look at our tennis court, I seem to see him. He was always smiling. Maybe he died smiling…


April 29, 1942

This is the Emperor’s birthday. Our outpost at Mt. Data has been forced back to Mabay Gate, km 114. Major Heinrich lost his personal files at the Lodge. So the Japs probably know all about our organization and plans. Too bad but still think a lot of him. Just hard luck. Word received that the enemy is moving east from Tagudin over Del Pilar pass, an advance detail going ahead and a large road crew following and repairing the highway for auto traffic. Guess they decided the demolition at Mt. Data was too hard to repair.


April 29, 1942 – Wednesday

7:30 a.m. We were advised by Captain Nelson, commander of the President Coolidge that a plane had been catapulted from the Richmond to locate the St. Louis a bigger U.S.N. Cruiser which was to meet us.

At 10 a.m. the St. Louis was on sight. Alarm was sounded, the soldiers rushed to their respective guns, and pointed them towards the direction where the cruiser was coming from. The cruiser Richmond immediately changed course and sailed to meet it with everything ready for battle. As the St. Louis approached and its identity was revealed calm reigned again in our ships. Then the Richmond returned to the Navy base somewhere in the Samoan Islands and the St. Louis escorted us. I saw Capain Nelson who informed me that he does not fear submarine attack, nor airplanes. The only possible attack would come from a ‘surface raider’ and we would be able to handle the situation.

Quite warm. Had lunch and dinner in the President’s cabin and stayed on deck until 1 a.m.


April 29, 1942

Emperor’s birthday. All houses were required to display the Japanese flag. Gen. Homma, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Army, declared that Japan has succeeded in driving out the power of the United States and Britain in the Orient. Chairman Vargas expressed his gratitude “for the many acts of benevolence of the Imperial forces.”

In Camp O’Donnell, a nephew of mine, Tirso, died because no medicine could be given him. The Japanese Army prohibits the sending of medicines to the sick in Bataan.

Attended a party in Malacañan in honor of the Emperor’s birthday. There was plenty of food. I could not eat. I was thinking of the men starving in Capaz.


April 28, 1942

Contrary to rumors, there was no military parade to celebrate the Emperor’s birthday. Nor was there any display of military power. In fact, as a matter of Japanese tradition, the Emperor’s name was not officially mentioned.

The rumors, however, were well-founded. As a matter of fact, a member of the Committee on Festivities told me that a parade was considered, but the idea was abandoned, due perhaps to the public attitude.

The day’s solemnities were limited to a couple of banquets at the Manila Hotel and a reception at Malacañan, given by General Homma (they finally disclosed the name of the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Forces) in honor of the Japanese-Filipino officialdom.

There was a sufficient display of Japanese flags. There was no official pressure, but somehow, they managed to threaten the Filipinos. Word spread that anyone caught without the Japanese flag would be punished. This was enough to make people display them in their houses, calesas, and bicycles. Most people stayed at home for safety’s sake.

Here is a typical sight: a woman was walking, carrying the flag dangling from her hands. When she saw two Japanese approaching, she raised it, and after passing the soldiers, she put the flag down again.

This is symbolic of the people’s attitude towards the new regime. There is no acclaim. Those who accept it do so out of fear. They never believe the slogans mouthed by the conquerors.

Some people sense a certain changes in the posture of the Japanese army since the fall of Bataan. There is less violence. The military police has disappeared from the city and it seems that the custody of peace and order has been left to the Filipino police. Soldiers move about freely among the people. They do not molest anyone, nor are they molested. It’s either that they cannot understand the people or they are not understood. Certainly it is obvious that the people are avoiding them.

They invade the stores, indulging in a buying spree of all sorts of jewelry and novelties. They are particularly fond of wrist watches, wearing them by the dozens at one time. They enjoy merry-making, and although the soldiers do not commit abuses, they give themselves to immoral excesses.