Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

May 28, 1942

We were worn out by the day’s work of transferring our things to the portion of the building allocated to us by our “tenants.” Everytime, they would commandeer more rooms and confiscate beds, tables, chairs, and cabinets. I attempted to protest, but the Japanese officer told me: “The Japanese Army occupy the Philippines. Property of Filipinos, Spanish, Americans, no difference. We owners of building. You live here out of place.” And he said it in a tone that left no room for an answer. As I did not want to receive a slap, I did not attempt to make a reply.

Now they use our kitchen, our stove, refrigerator, and most of the furniture, promising to give us a small refrigerator and an electric stove, with an assurance that we are not going to pay for gas and water.

We keep ourselves apart from them, and we put up a gate for our exclusive use.

The first eighty soldiers came in this afternoon. They seem to have a more dignified bearing and are apparently more educated than the ordinary soldiers we have always seen. They belong to the air force, although they are not pilots, as we learned from one of them.

He asked us what happened to our building and when we told him that it was bombed by the Japanese, he was surprised, as they had instructions not to bomb schools and churches. We told him that it must have been a mistake, and since the answer would reflect on the air corps’ efficiency, he would not accept it.