Diary of Felipe Buencamino III

October 23, 1944

It’s five days since I’ve last written because I’ve been too excited. So many happy things have taken place which you’ve probably heard. They’ve been very unexpected but certainly most welcome.

Well, first there’s the landing in Leyte. The consensus was that they would land in Mindanao or perhaps Luzon so Leyte was quite a surprise. The Japs have admitted the landing but they’re trying to belittle it. Its been placed in a small corner of the front page. A lot of emphasis is being placed on the Taiwan affair. They’re tooting their horn about the aircraft carriers sunk, which to me is plain baloney. It seems they even had a sort of victory parade in Tokyo. People here think the Jap leaders are pulling the wool over the eyes of the Japs and that ought to be easy because they’re chinky-eyed.

What really was a great surprise was the res-establishment of the Commonwealth Gov’t on Philippine soil. I’m not a very sentimental guy, but when I heard Osmeña and Romulo and Valdes and the rest were already in the Philippines, I wept like a kid. And when I repeated the story of how Mac landed to Dad, his eyes got moisty.

Everybody is jubilant these days. When you walk the streets, people greet you with “Have you heard? They’re here.”

The question now is when will they land in Luzon? When will they be here in Manila? Most pessimistic version is that they’ll be here around the 31st of January. Conservative estimate is one month. I think that if they land in Batangas, they can be here in a week. But I think I’m letting my anxiety get the best of me.

Anyway, there’s one thing definite, certain, they’re going to be here and it’ll be very soon. Quite anxious to see Baby and Nini. Gee, I wish their old man pulled through. Sometimes I think he’s still alive.

Yes, men like him, never die. He is the greatest man I’ve met.

It’s raining right now. A lot of people think the weather is keeping the Americans from attacking Luzon. Darn this rain…

Trains are loaded with Jap soldiers. Emilio says they’re going to the Bicol regions. They expect landings there. In the provinces, all forms of transportation are being commandeered. They take even push carts. Saw several carromatas and calesas in a Jap truck. How can such a poorly equipped army win this war?

I’m going to hear the radio now. Somebody said you can hear the Voice of Freedom again.

Mr. Paier, a Swiss, came to the house excitedly just now. He said he got a report that landings have been effected in Aparri, hooray. Pop thinks this is just “rumor”. I told James, my Chinese neighbor. He jumped with joy. “They better come quick,” he said, “because rice is now at ₱5,000”. I said “Don’t worry, they’ll be here by November 15th”. I’m crossing my fingers.

I can hear the roar of planes this very moment. Nope, they’re Jap. Their planes have a funny roar, kind of metallic and desynchronized. They’re flying very high though…

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