Diary of Felipe Buencamino III

September 28, 1944

It’s been a very quiet day except for AA practice early this morning. The Japs are speeding up their defenses. They’re building fox-holes and dug-outs in their gardens. Saw seven AA guns and some cannons rumble through Valenzuela. Joe says they’ve put AA guns at Silencio, very near our old house. They are transferring their supplies into houses and churches. Jap trucks go in and out of Santa Cruz Church. Cine Oro is a volcano of shells. So is Tondo Church.

The Japs have become stricter with the American internees. They were sore about the way they waved at the U.S. planes that flew very low over the camp. All the houses behind Santo Tomas camp will be leveled. Guns will be emplaced over there.

Tia Mary said that two American fliers bailed out at Porac, Pampanga. The people hid them from the Japs. The Americans asked to be brought to Tayabas.

Main topic of conversation downtown is: when will they bomb again? Where will they land? Will they try to get Mindanao first? Or will it be simultaneous with Luzon? When they bomb again will that be a continuous non-stop bombardment till they land or will it be just a trial balloon? I’ve noticed that most people think they’ll bomb again “within the next few days and that’ll be accompanied with landings around Tayabas and Camarines simultaneous with Mindanao or they might even by-pass Mindanao and Visayas”. They think “it’ll be a combined attack by Nimitz’ fleet and Halsey’s and Mac’s Army and it’ll be over in a few weeks.” There is almost unanimity in the belief that “it’ll be over before the year ends” and anybody who thinks otherwise “is a yellow defeatist, a stupid, goodfornothing pessimist”. Somebody said “But look at Davao. They’ve been bombing her for more than a month now and still there are no landings” and the poor fellow was made to pipe down with a chorus of “you’re a wet-blanket, pro-Jap!”

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