Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

May 26, 1942

Just as we had feared, a member of the Religious Section notified the Letran Fathers that their buildings would be occupied by the Army, although the members of religious congregations would be allowed to continue living in the part they are now occupying. Father Provincial, accompanied by the Spanish Consul, immediately proceeded to protest to the military authorities, but they were instructed to file their protest in writing. In the meantime, American prisoners were sent to clear up the places they had inspected.

A Japanese official came earlier this morning and made a round of the whole building. He summoned me and intimated that within a few days, a hundred soldiers will be coming to set up their barracks here. I told him that it was Spanish property and was religious in nature. He replied that we could protest, but that he would be back within two days to allocate which place would be theirs and which would be ours.

We were all left with a heavy heart. For the last four months we have been clearing the place of the rubble which they themselves had made. We have been putting the finishing touches in the hope that we could open classes in June as promised by the authorities. Now that we have finished repairing the burned roof and the doors, these gentlemen are coming to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Japanese soldiers and “soldierettes” abound in Manila. In Intramuros, particularly around the Palma Hotel, Japanese girls are roaming around in the wooden shoes and kimonos. It is rumored that after June 1st Filipino men will not be allowed to enter into marriage with Filipino women. Filipinos will have to marry Japanese girls. A fee of five hundred pesos would be charged to those who marry a Filipino girl.