Diary of Salvador H. Laurel

March 22, 1945 Thursday

At 7:25 a.m., the Japanese escort commander signaled us all to stop. The trucks were made to park under the trees and camouflaged with leafy branches. Our resting place was to be on the slope of the hill. Kuya Pito and I had to carry Maning on a stretcher because he had high fever.

Kuya Pito and I cooked rice. We placed too little water at first and had to keep adding water. We added too much water! The rice became lugaw!

We were told we are to travel at night because during the day we might be spotted by the American planes and by the guerrilla. We were to rest during the day. But, then, we had to boil water, cook and do so many things and I am not used to sleeping during daytime. Too bright.

At about 7:00 p.m. the soldiers removed the camouflage branches on the truck. We were on our way. After two hours, the road stated to get narrower. At one point the outer wheel of our truck was dangling over the precipice! A loose stone could mean the end! The soldiers got out and started digging to widen the road as we inched our way forward! Below us was a very steep and deep ravine. I could hear my heartbeat and heavy breathing as we slowly moved on -a meter a minute. After five hours we came upon a high stretch of the mountain trail. It was already daylight.