Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

December 8, 1943

Two years of war! How short the time seems to be when one looks back! And how long and interminable when one looks forward! If we would say that the war would last another two years in the Pacific, we would have been branded dreamers or augurers. However, chi lo sa. The same could last a year or two, or even three. A Japanese said that Japan was prepared to carry on the war for twenty or thirty years. Apparently they did not feel very sure about victory and therefore wanted to protract the Allied victory to see if they would be discouraged. As deluded as those who prognosticated a thirty-year war were those who two years ago were announcing a blitzkrieg every month, repeating the same byword: The Americans will be here next month! Hardly had a landing in a Pacific island been made, and the impatient optimists believed that the Americans were at the door of the Philippines. And the Americans were two thousand miles away. The wish is farther to the thought. At the end of this month and year, thousands and thousands of pesos would change hands, transacted by optimists who had been predicting for months that by January 1, 1944, the war would have come to an end with the surrender of Germany. The prisoners of Santo Tomas were confident that by this coming January, they would be liberated by their victorious countrymen. They lived on this illusion, and because they had no other consolation left, they were dreaming aloud. Those among us who, though we were still sane, believed that we still were to celebrate another anniversary of the war before final liberation. When, Oh Lord, would this Babylonian captivity end!