Diary of Victor Buencamino

April 3, 1942

Will buy a bicycle. My alcohol ration is not enough. It might even be reduced. Most people now ride in rigs, except the Japanese of course. They ride in cars. It is not an uncommon sight to hear a man walking under the blistering sun shout: “There is my car.”

To the victor belongs the spoils of battle.

(later)

Double talk is very frequent these days. People have mastered the art of ambiguity. Here’s a sample of a conversation between two friends who dined with me at the Manila Hotel.

“Japanese music is superb, don’t you think so?” The orchestra was playing a popular Japanese song.

“Not only superb. It is realistic. And also reproductive.”

“Waddya mean—realistic and reproductive?”

“American music, for example is basically savage. It is an improvisation of jungle tom-toms. But Japanese music immortalizes one of man’s best household friends, reproduces that blithe, graceful, nine-lifed creature that women so love to fondle.”

“By the way, where’s Pedro now?”

“They took him for a vacation. So very kind of them.”

“I hope he is all right.”

“Of course, he is. They see to it that nobody hurts you, so they put a lot of men to watch you. And they’ve probably given him bracelets that don’t break unlike those you buy in the Estrella. And not only for his wrist but also for his ankles. They’re so generous, you know.”

“By the way, how’s Maria’s face?”

“Perfect.”

“They told me she was…”

“Yes, she was. Many times. Now she doesn’t have to use rouge. Its all for the better. More economical, practical and attractive. Very attractive.”

“Say, I haven’t seen you for ages. What do you do these days?”

“I’m cooperating with the co-prosperity sphere.”

“How?”

“Oh, I gave them my house and my car and even my face—both cheeks.”

“You also? Why, what happened?”

“I forgot to bow.”

“Oh…

“Well, see you soon… when the sun sets. Its cooler then.”

“Now, I know I’ll certainly see you. The sun is sure to set.”

The orchestra stopped playing, the band leader bowed and several officers applauded.

“Here waiter. Keep the change.”

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