Diary of Lydia C. Gutierrez

Saturday, February 3, 1945

The same half-boring, half-scary life. Early in the afternoon Papa, Frank and Nong came home with 3 bayongful of money.  (Papa had mortgaged the farm.) We knew that the Americans were near so we decided to spend the Japanese money quickly.

Mama and all of us went back and forth to San Andres market. We brought brown sugar at ₱800.00 a kilo; red beans at ₱400.00 a kilo; chicken eggs at ₱100.00 each. A bottle of peanut butter was ₱800.00; coconuts were ₱150.00 each; cassava flour ₱500.00 a kilo; coconut oil ₱80.00 a tansan bottle. Rice was ₱1,800.00 a ganta. (Some sellers asked ₱18.00 Philippine money.) We couldn’t buy more as the sellers just brought the goods to the market little by little. And then 12 Japanese soldiers surrounded the market to get all the food. We escaped and ran home as fast as we could.

Baby and I spent the night in Frank and Josie’s at Georgia St. It was 9 p.m., but the skies were red and orange and bright like sunset because of the fires. We watched the fires from the porch and then went to bed. But I couldn’t sleep. I lay awake. I was very impatient and homesick. By midnight, we could hear faint machinegunning and shooting. But the sound was so far, far away. The night seemed so long.

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