Diary of Louise Fillmore Blancaflor

January 25, 1943

John arrived Sunday noon with eight men carrying our cargo. According to him very few of our things were taken. All the furniture is still there. Only some of Dolly’s clothes and a few of Dorothy’s are missing. John brought back with him Coné’s trunk, microscope, all of his surgical instruments, clothes, and some of Dorothy’s things. Our safe has been buried. Agustin (Melecia’s husband) has returned to the farm and is staying in one of the small nipa huts to keep an eye on things, as the civilians are also plundering, as well as the Japanese. Sometimes the civilians are worse. If he left the farm completely, there would be nothing left.

Melecia has been quite ill, and when she saw John she cried. She’s been terribly frightened by the airplanes – many people will have their nerves wrecked after this war. The Japanese took all of Agustin’s big Rhode Island Red chickens, and when they saw the big oranges and chicos on the trees, those were taken, too.

The Japanese advanced along the road from Barotac yesterday coming this way, and last night they slept in Anilao (near Estrella’s house) and early this morning planes flew over as a convoy for the troops. They bombed about 3 km from us. It is quite a sight to see them circle and then bomb!

The planes have been flying all day and I can still hear the bombing off in the distance.

Yesterday a soldier from the nearby island of Negros came to see us. He told us that the soldiers there have been disbanded and that he is one of them. There is a rumor of the same thing happening here on Panay. I hope and pray they will, as there isn’t much safety for the civilians, and as long as there is resistance the planes will continue to bomb and machine gun everywhere. Personally, I think it is foolish for the Army to still try to resist with the few arms they have. They believe the U.S. aid will be coming at any time now. The civilians are suffering and are always on the run.