Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

December 3, 1943

Soldiers teemed in streets, plazas, stores and restaurants. And there were rumors that more than half a million more were coming to fortify the country and eat up the little food supply that we had. From the port there were days when more than forty damaged battleships and transports were seen anchored at the Bay. As Hongkong, Haiphong and other ports of the Continent were being frequently bombarded, we were suspecting that Japan had changed its course of providing for the southern front, and re-routed the same towards this country which was the farthest from American bases. But they were not safe even here. Commuters from the Visayas narrated the appearance of monstrous submarines which torpedoed Japanese destroyers almost within sight Cebu and Iloilo. A number of ships salvaged from the Pasig and the Manila Bay were brought to war, only to return to their ocean sepulchres. But the Daihon-ei dispatches remained mute on this destruction.