Diary of Ramon A. Alcaraz

July 14, 1942

Despite previous announcements that all sick POWs in Capas would be released, as in fact many were released already, there are still many sick POWs in Camp that the daily death is still about 100.  This may be a big reduction to the 500 daily deaths when my roommate Sagun died last May 16 but the living conditions – facilities, food, sanitation, flies – are still sub-human compared to Malolos POW Camp.  I was just talking with a comrade from Bayombong yesterday who was pale but not bedridden.  He died last night.  The same with another comrade from Tayabas in our building who died the other day.  Today, I discovered that those released sick POWs came from provinces whose peace and order condition are rated by the Jap Adm. as having returned to normal.  And so those sick POWs remaining in Capas are from provinces still considered not peaceful or not returned to normal.

Capt. Eugenio G. Lara ’38 my former PMA uppie visited his classmate with us, Lt E Baltazar ’38 this afternoon.  He shared with us stories of the horrors, brutalities and experiences he had during the death march.  He was Ateneo ROTC Comdt. when WW II broke out and proud to tell us the gallant actions of his Ateneo ROTC boys that became a part of his Bataan Anti-Tank Co.  He introduced a young Atenean with him, Sgt. Alfred X. Burgos.  I will not forget the fascinating story of Lara about his CO, Maj. E. Cepeda USMA ’32, our former PMA Comdt. Sometime last May when 500 POWs were dying per day, he suggested to Cepeda that they escape.  According to Lara, Cepeda bawled him out that he felt so small and ashamed.  However, two days later, Lara discovered Cepeda gone — he escaped.  An hour after Capt. Lara and Sgt. Burgos left, my Mistah Job Mayo came to visit me and we had a long chat.  I gave him  four tablets of sulfa.

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