Diary of Jorge B. Vargas

July 21st, 1946

Could not sleep well during the night, although had retired late almost eleven o’clock. Probably the events of the previous had made so much havoc on our nervous systems we were all upset, because at breakfast everybody reported having passed a bad night. Compadre Aquino even had an attack of slight tummy-ache -— thinks it’s due to the acid in the fruit juice they gave us at breakfast——Everybody, however, was in apparently good spirits —Jr. had even had time to shave his moustache & beard off he had been growing until released. BaMaw remarked to Laurel “So you are going to meet your wife, eh?” “Keep calm doctor, keep calm, like when you are facing death, keep calm.” BaMaw keep calm for awhile just for a little while. Then his eyes twinkled and with a mischievous smile he cracked at Laurel. “You must love your wife very much, no? You compare meeting her like death.” Osias and I could not help reacting to the pointedness & appropriateness of the remark and though appreciating the joke could not help noticing the discomfiture of Laurel and his being thus caught flat-footed without being able to make a gracious retort. He just sort of stared foolishly at BaMaw, who was hugely enjoying his triumph in wits.

Was getting’ ready to bring down my bags on top of toilet ceiling for dusting when the Sgt. inserted ten pkgs. into my hole window. They were “Time” mag of July 8th with Roxas picture on the cover — did not have time to give it the once over before exercise call came; the other another bundle of newspapers from Amelia containing Manila Chronicle of July 4th & its 56 pp. Independence Inauguration Supplement. Started to read Manila papers first & gave Aquino “Time” to gain time. With Amelia’s pkg. came a letter from her dated July 8th — This is pretty quick for ordinary air mail. Will begin packing in earnest sometime after lunch today.

Forgot it was movie-day today—were out for exercise at 1:30 then to the show which lasted until 4:30. Could therefore not pack, but finished letter to C.O. of Sugamo Hq. requesting return of my things they had taken away from my room and giving him any forwarding address: Kawilihan.

After dinner begun distributing some of my things. Chain was started to Tony asking whether I had any extra sports shirts—so gave him two of my best looking of four I have left——one had just come from laundry the other was used for ten days already—Wanted to give him another regular white shirt, but he suggested I better give it to Shimizu and I did. Later gave Shimizu two more undershirts——spalding——those mended by Rose and had large patches on. Afterwards not knowing just what to give, decided on my khaki shorts for Tom. Both Tom and Shimizu have been of great help to us, relieving us of a lot of odds and ends, Shimizu even massaging me in the room, and Tom providing us—Aquino and I—with fruit juice all the time—Together with Jr. they have relieved the Filipino group of all KP duty—Tom was very happy indeed with the shorts—well he might——it’s probably one of the best in Japan now, positively the best in Sugamo being West Point Khaki and properly tailored by a military tailor—- (Chinese) in Manila. He put it on immediately and was jumping up and down the hall. I promised Pekrun a pack of playing cards but when I went to get it from Laurel he had already stored it away, so asked me to wait till next day. To Loy I gave my complete file of “Time” magazine and other mags. He seemed very happy. It requires so little to make people so happy at the opportune time. Then started to play what we called our despedida game of poker. While playing Schulze came to offer to make a sketch of my room. So I kept stopping off and on from poker with Steinmetz holding my hand and making more money at it than I do as he is a much more experienced player—in order to keep Schulze company and resolve some of his inquiries as to positions, pencils, erasers etc. Gave him two Faber pencils brought from Manila in addition gave him a small block of Zipp rubber eraser which I had had for some time and which I thought I was not so very good as an eraser anyway, but Schulze was extremely pleased with it, said it was first real rubber eraser he had seen for months or years and American at that. Now he can really draw with pencil only does not paint except watercolor sometimes, is an engineer draftsman—and showed me some of the nudes he had sketched while in Sugamo— promised to make me one if he can finish both, i.e. the sketch of my room and the nude by tomorrow night. He took the. dimension of my room and said will work on final sketch next day.

Finished poker by 8:45. In final accounting Osias was loser by Y13 which we cancelled, Jr. Y50 after making all kinds of credits. Aquino and I were the winners——Aquino took Jr. one-hundred yen and gave him 50 in exchange. After the game Duerckheim came over and had short chat with me before resting.

Gave Spahn a catalogue for autographing with addresses—the Germans preferred to autograph with their Germany addresses on a separate paper, afraid of the picture of Tojo and myself which appears reproduced in the catalogue. Gave them in return through Pekrun the names and Philippine address of all of us Filipinos.