Diary of Louise Fillmore Blancaflor

November 1, 1944

Well, folks, it is getting hotter! The bullets flew so fast, it was terrible! It began at 3:00 a.m. but we did not pay any attention as it was far from us, but at 3:30 the shooting started near us. We all jumped out of bed and ran for the shelter downstairs! The bullets were coming thick and fast! Dolly was too ill to take downstairs and we did not have the time, so Coné and Puding (the maid) grabbed a mattress and made a barricade around her. They threw themselves on the bed with her, while holding up the mattresses. The heavy shooting lasted for 21⁄2 hours near us. When there was a lull we went upstairs, and could not count the bullet holes and spent bullets that had gone through and into the house!! Some bullets were extracted from the walls, and we noticed that some were the heavy type used by the Americans, and others were the lighter ones used by the Japanese. So we knew we were getting peppered from both sides – guerrillas and Japanese – we were in the cross-fire! Puding, the maid, found a bullet on Dolly’s bed, so you can see they were close! Coné thinks the bullet bounced off from somewhere and landed on her bed, but I am not so sure of that.

During the lull, Coné and Meñing immediately carried Dolly downstairs. We placed her in a low bed and surrounded her with two thicknesses of heavy cushions from our rattan chairs. The walls around are well fortified, except for one side, but no bullets could come through on that side because of neighboring houses and the bullets would first have to pass through them. They had barely got her downstairs and finished putting up the cushions, when the shooting started again! Machine guns, small cannon fire and hand grenades! The shooting lasted till 12:00 noon. Then it was all over.

The guerrillas (I shall now call them an Army as they are well organized) came in strong by the thousands! The garrison across from us (formerly a school) was set on fire. We heard a loud explosion and saw black smoke, probably from gasoline. Two neighboring houses were also set on fire. The Japanese had been withdrawing their troops from Iloilo and the rest of Panay, and that is why the Army had been able to come in and take control. We could see them crawling in the fields behind our house.