Diary of Jorge B. Vargas

June 19th, 1946

Rizal Day! Also Toto’s second wedding anniversary. We drunk our coffee to Rizal’s memory at breakfast this morning —- all five of us. But most of the conversation centered around Nena’s letter still with comments on the pictures she sent of the “mga apos,” as she calls them. Both Osias & Laurel Jr. were struck by Baby June’s commanding forehead — they said watch out for that fellow he looks. very intelligent, he will bear following when he begins going to school — he is bound to be somebody. Aquino thought June’s Junior brother was a girl who looked very much like his own, by the pictures at least. Laurel Jr. thought Nena’s Eddie was a very quiet sort of kid — yes I said & he looks very much like the Locsin’s perhaps the Vargas trace will appear later on as he gets older. Jr. also said Toto’s wife was very good looking & their baby looked very healthy and very much like her mother.

There was some confusion at the bath. Our #1 bathroom was said to be leaking, so I was asked to go take my bath in another room. I went to #3 where Osias usually takes his, the two Laurels always are together in #2. Osias & Aquino had not yet been called out, so that when later on they came Osias insisted on taking his bath in #1 saying he would guarantee not to spill the water on the floor & was taken up on his word. Aquino came to where I was—I had already finished bathing & was ready for my shave. Aquino usually takes his bath ahead of me as he does not immerse himself in the tub, but I do, so that when he came there still some soap in the water although I had taken good care to fill the tub up & let the water spill over so as to push off the floating soap suds that invariably wash off one’s body no matter how much he rinses himself before getting into the tub.

Nine-thirty & still no inspection in my room. Had been cleaning HIE since five-thirty in the morning, having taken down even the handbag that is on the roof of the W.C. & cleared off the dust — Also took out one of my tennis shoes for exercise in the afternoon which Osias & I do together these days —mostly bending & sitting up exercise to reduce the bulge on Osias girth and to try to arrest the growing pounds on mine. Probably they just told us there would be daily inspection so that everybody would start cleaning his cell.

The lieutenant himself finally came around at 9:45 said he was just looking around — dropped on me while I was looking at the snap shots that came with Nena’s letter. The lieut. looked at them too — Said “She is a very good looking girl —~ is he your son in-low?” referring to Toto. When I told him No, the girl is my daughter-in-law, the boy my son he remarked “Your son has very good taste.”

In casual conversation with Aquino at lunch I learned he referred to Toto‘s daughter, the picture where she is alone standing on a chair that reminded him of his own youngest.

Raining today — pair of morning exercise & all of afternoon indoors — While out, Pete said to go back to the rooms to fix up as there were visitors coming, true enough while we were at movies, a group of what looked like Chinese were inspecting. They passed by the messhall as the picture finished & we were beginning to file out, “Scarlet Street” with Joon Bermut. Story of a faithful elderly cashier — with a hen-pecking wife falling in love with a gold-digger in love with a young man. Ends up in the old man killing the girl when he surprises her talking in telephone with her young lover —old man runs away & police & others find the young man in the room with dead girl — He is tried & convicted of murder, is electrocuted but old man later become insane with remorse seeing visions of her & goes on the bum waiting to be tried & executed for two murders but nobody would believe him, even the police. Picture end with old man being shoved off a public park & still wandering around with his guilty conscience gripping him. I wonder who the visitors were? They must have been rather important or perhaps only part of American propaganda for their supposed humane treatment of prisoners — If only people knew that the Americans are holding us here for months without so much as an investigation, much less a trial.

Were taken out to pull grass, but only for a short time as it started to drizzle a bit & the guards did not want to stay out in the rain. Came back to the rooms before or about six and started to paste up on the wall between the windows in front of my desk pictures of Baby Jr. and his kid brother. Nena’s Eddie and Mameng’s Nena. Afterwards made an experiment which didn’t work out at all—-put some water into the little can of glue which was fast coagulating, stirred it up thoroughly and heated the bottom of the can but the glue and the water wouldn’t mix, the glue became too thin and not sticky at all so when Pete came in to bring Aquino’s reconstructed shirt from the girls asked him for some new glue and he promised to give a little after I had cleaned the can again of its miry contents.

Read until about nine-thirty. Before going to bed tried out the Japanese mosquito incense, but found it difficult to light the winding stick and keep it burning and smoking. So the night was full of mosquitoes again as usual. Wonder when they will bring in the mesh screens for my windows!

At morning exercise had a long talk with BaMaw about our conversation back in Oct. ’44 when he told me Marshall Sugiyama had told him Filipinos were not cooperating with Jap Army. Were on the contrary ferociously fighting back and helping the Americans, too many guerillas, and that we should be careful or expect some very bitter experience. This I told BaMaw was the constant background of all my speeches –had to make Jap feel, at least the civilians as the Army top level knew too much of what was going on, a certain sense of security, although a false one, I knew all the time, but to save the Embassy people first from any popular anti-Filipino reactions and try to help the people at home survive better. Asked him whether it would be possible for him to come to Manila to testify at my trial, if there was going to be any, although I rather think now the whole collaboration issue may be allowed to die a natural death eventually, I would arrange for his transportation back and forth and would be my guest in Manila if he came. Said he would be glad to consider as circumstances may command at the time.