Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

February 1, 1944

The Japanese and civil authorities are creating general alarm, bordering almost on panic, among the Manila populace, in attempting to convince the people that there is a real danger of bombing. What is surprising is that a few weeks ago, these same authorities were denying the possibility of enemy bombers reaching the place. Now they are admitting the probability of a visit and are intensifying a campaign to create an alarming situation.

Previously, it was considered a defeatist attitude to admit or predict an aerial attack. However, according to these alarmists, the Americans have perfected the manufacture of six-engined planes that can fly thousands of miles.

These alarmists, however, have worked out one benefit for us: many provincial folks who have taken refuge in the city are going back to their provincial homes and have decongested the city which has long exceeded the population level it could feed. Many others would have evacuated the city, were it not for the fact that they would rather risk being victims of internal threats than of the provincial dangers from which they fled.

An old Visayan woman, on hearing about the dangers of a possible bombing of Manila, exclaimed, “Ah, if they are American bombs, I don’t mind.”