Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

June 12, 1942

From our roof terrace, we can see the vessels anchored at the Pasig River loaded with packages. The masts and chimneys of the boats at the Bay are clearly in sight. We cannot, however, tell what they are carrying and where they are heading. Neither can we tell the content of the packages and crates piled up along the riverbank. The whole port zone and the area of the river from Jones Bridge up to the Bay are restricted areas.

The vessels sunk by them or by the Americans earlier have already been salvaged. The presence of these vessels is of no advantage to us. We fear that the American planes might spot them and history would then repeat itself.

Groups of soldiers are roaming the city, invading the busy streets, the stores and restaurants of Escolta, Real, Echague, Rizal Avenue, and others. Intramuros and Quiapo resemble Tokyo at high hours of the day. Many houses and buildings have been converted into prostitution dens. Before the war, these spots were located only at the outskirts of the city. Now they have moved into the heart of Manila, quite a smear to the once decent neighborhood of the metropolis.

Meanwhile, manufacturers of liquor are having a grand time. The Japanese soldiers are in a buying spree of both luxury and bargain items.