Diary of Louise Fillmore Blancaflor

April 11-27, 1943

We were awakened by the sound of machine guns last night coming from several places. Meñing (Dr. Bernas) said it was best for us to go downstairs (ground level) to avoid getting hit by stray bullets. Last year he had fixed a bullet-proof room as there was so much guerilla activity at that time. A cow and a carabao were killed in front of their house at the time. We all went downstairs. The boys were already there, as that is where they sleep now. The shooting continued for a while.

It is rumored that the guerillas have started their activity again, had entered La Paz and set fires in La Paz, Jaro and Manduriao. Whenever the fires occur during the night, the Japanese always shoot around the fire, so if there are any guerillas, they will get it.

April 9 was the anniversary of the fall of Bataan and last week, one of the released Filipino officers that took part in the battle visited us. He told us of his experiences and how he had saved his life six different times.

On April 27 the S.S. “BANAHAO” a former Coast Guard cutter now in the hands of the Japanese was sunk off the coast of San Joaquin, not far from Iloilo. Imagine the excitement of the people knowing that an American submarine is near our island! The Japanese have now stopped shipping from island to island and they are very concerned. Some of the survivors of the cutter (Japanese and Filipinos) were brought to the Iloilo hospital.

Eleven days ago the guerrillas cut the water supply in Maasin, and two truckloads of Japanese with some Filipinos were sent to repair it. They fixed up the damage, but on the return home, one of the trucks was blown up by a mine. The other truck was saved because it was farther away.