June 21st, 1946

June 21st

Started early in the morning to put letter to Nena in shape. Had made so many corrections and insertions of thoughts that came to me in the middle of the night that had to write all over again. In a way it is good as in this manner I retain a copy of the letter for file in case the original does not any reason go through or we are repatriated to the Philippines before the censored mail gets there. Did not go out for morning exercise for this purpose but kept on finishing and polishing the letter——must be careful not to appear to take things too lightly nor yet to give impression of too much sophistication. Moreover must consider mother’s feelings in the matter as she and other children will undoubtedly read the letter too. Finished the letter, 8 pages just in time for deadline before exercise at 3 in the afternoon. Do not intend to let anybody here read or know about it, except perhaps Ossie for possible critical review.

At afternoon exercise Ossie and I went for some violent sitting up calisthenics, and afterwards I tried old time tricks on a tree on the yard, pulling up pushing body down, flagging –almost sprained my clavicle muscles— pain all day and slight all night. Osias started to sing “The Old Gray Mare she ain’t what she used to be, many many years ago.” However perhaps with continued practice the muscle will limber up again. At any rate the bending exercise with feet up I do in bed arising I can do much easier now with a more acute and than when I started some time ago. Must not permit the pound to cross the Rubicon.

Sent Nena a clipping for Pepito Abad Santos about Kawakami’s suicide. Suppose however they know about that too in Manila. One of the press services may have sent it over.

No grass pulling again. Probably no more hereafter as yesterday we saw Japs pulling the grass in the areas we were cleaning last week. Serves us right for not doing the job properly——most of the Nazi’s just go out to sit and talk among themselves or to the Nazi girl prisoner or even to Rose.

Went to bed early because of fatigue from whole day writing and violent exercise in pm. Was asleep already at 7. Woke up during middle of the night—the wind had changed direction and was blowing into my room with spattering rain. Had to get up to close the windows so that rain would not get in to wet my desk and trunk. Also mosquito bothered still in spite of another spraying in the morning. Had to splash around with small towel now and then during the night.


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.


April 29th, 1946

Haircut at 9 am. today——Old barber—1 zipper.

At exercise this afternoon Laurel wanted to discuss what we thought Roxas would do on collaborationist issue. He is for contacting Roxas directly as soon as we get home as to his plans. I suggested that as far as I’m concerned don’t think it advisable to talk to Roxas directly or indirectly as I feel he would act in the best interest of all without any prompting from any of us, which after all, he may resent. Moreover both Aquino & I are almost sure Alunan & the crowd in Manila must certainly have already discussed this matter with Roxas, as it was one of the hottest issues of presidential campaign. Don’t believe it would be dignified on our part to.approach Roxas personally in our own interest, we should leave him to act absolutely freely as we know, he is fully aware of everybody’s situation during Jap occupation.

Papers we got today, Nip Times of April 27 & 28 practically concede Roxas election.

Junior Lieutenant came in at 4 p.m. for cigarette money. Gave him Y16.


April 25th, 1946

Early today rec’d April 8th number of “Time.” While going down to breakfast heard that Stahmer had been put in solitary confinement. Seen him later at his usual seat at table, however, but by morning exercise time he was gone supposedly taken out to be sent to Germany either to testify in the Nuremberg trials or to be tried himself.

First news we got thru Laurel Jr. hearing kitchen radio was this am. at exercise time to the effect that Roxas was winning in the early returns which we supposed must be Manila and neighboring provinces five to two. This buoyed everybody up, specially Laurel who had been very low these days. My analysis of reported resuts— (1) that all those who in some way or another had served during Jap occupation, and that included practically every Commonwealth Govt. official of any consequence, both political, administrative, judicial and economic—started to work for Roxas only after lapse of deadline for filing of cases in People’s Court. (2) That all those who in one way or another are personally or politically identified with or sympathetic to us who served the people during enemy occupation, Laurel, Aquino, Osias, Yulo, Recto, Alunan, Paredes, myself, everybody all worked tremendously hard after cases were filed against us, on assumption that Roxas’ record being more or less identified with or similar to ours, his success would result in better understanding or appreciation of our cases or the whole collaborationist issue, for which Roxas was attacked by Osmeña supporters; (3) that people felt Roxas was Quezon man being supported openly by Doña Aurora and thru Morato; (4) the guerilleros really had more confidence in Roxas, was more identified with him than with Osmefia; and (5) that all thinking and responsible elements in Phil. must have condemned Osmeña’s unholy alliance with the dissident groups of Hukbalahaps and others. We all hope the final result will be considered a popular vindication of our course of action during dark days of enemy occupation. This means, the Confesors and the Cabilis who claimed monopoly of patriotism have been kicked in the ass by the majority of the people themselves.

Stahmer was back after lunch——apparently bad weather——He may have to stay longer like the Chinese until somebody in the army remembers to give another order. It seems army authorities are at loggerhead as to what to do with him. One party says he is needed in Nuremberg as witness, another party says he is needed here for trial. It’s a toss-up just like most everything in MacA’s head these days.

Afraid had allowed my enthusiasm run away with myself. Read that dispatch about first returns and it merely says from early returns from five precincts, Roxas was leading 5 to 2 —Five precincts! They don’t mean anything in Phil. presidential elections. He may yet win by reason of being already in power and used at least his people, and not quite a few electoral tricks. Anyhow hope we will soon be back.

Rained all day —exercise both am. and pm. inside.


April 24th, 1946

 

All four back issues of NT came this am. just before exercise—-nothing yet about Phil. Elections.

While at exercise was called out I thought for interrogation. Turned out pleasant surprise to be visited by Father Kennedy S.J. who was rector of Ateneo de Cagayan. Said he was liberated from Cabanatuan by Rangers together with five hundred other Americans-—was down to 120 lbs. and had been left behind because might die. Said had just come back from Manila yesterday, going tomorrow to Hokaido for duty with 11th Airborne Div. Asked how he could get in touch with Leoni—-—told him Leoni was last heard from in Gora Hotel. Suggested he inquire from Father Bitter of Joshi Univ. or Haguiwara of Gaemusho or Central Liaison Office of Jap. Govt. ——Said Ateneo High School was back in Guipit but expected to reopen with College courses in San Marcelino Seminary and Sta. Rita Hall on June 5 —also Ateneo de San Pablo (Laguna) Ateneo de Cagayan (Misamis) Ateneo de Tuguegarao— Said living conditions in Manila are still high and dificult, there are more than one million people in city—no farming at all, no carabao yet from India or Siam had arrived——everybody waiting for elections to be over and perhaps things would settle down—prices still high meat 4 to 4-1/2 pesos kilo rice
2 to 2-1/2 pesos a ganta-—Servants very expensive not less than 90 to 120 a month—but servants cannot live on 100 pesos even—Said Lt. Col. Lim, Manuel had been put in charge of all army war crimes prosecution—-Never heard of Tañada —People’s Court seemed to be very slow—Recto indicted about two or three weeks ago, had written a book. but was unable to get a copy—- Will return to Manila in six weeks and will surely pass by here to see me again. Said there was very strong Roxas reaction during last ten days of campaign—Roxas claimed would win in 48 provinces, only conceding loss in North Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija-——Nueva Viscaya whose governor was killed while driving in his car only few days ago. Tarlac about 50-50_ according to Father—about 70% of people in Manila still with malaria—all schools that are open are full—there didn’t seem to be very much news about Collaboration trials in newspapers. Had not met any of my family, but came to see me because he knew all my boys, had seen Ateneo students said Rogelio LaO asked him to look for him—Rogelio left seminary and married American girl who hadd studied in States. Spent more than 1/2 hour with me. Started conversation by stating he did not come as an Army man apologized for his uniform, but as a priest——Hope we will be back in Manila before he returns thru Tokyo, but would certainly be glad to see him again if we are still here, and will look him up if we are already in Phil.


January 6, 1946

I cut out Amorsolo’s Harvest scene, Resurreccion Hidalgo’s Punta Santa Ana and de la Rosa’s Pasig River from art catalogue. Also picture of Kawilihan from cover and use them as decorations in my cell pasting them to wall with pomade.


January 4, 1946

At 9:45 Chaplain Clemen came in and surprised me washing my winter underwear -told him I consider my life as having gone back to the primitive, where one has to do everything himself- Although rather late in life, but it is good to know one can stand it in good grace and good health. Told me he read of proposal to make Philippines 49th state of US. He was in favor. Asked my opinion economically advantageous to Phil. if really agreeable to US but many people would prefer absolute independence -Rather late anyhow now as independence is coming on July 4th.


December 31, 1945

Nothing Unusual -just another day in prison- slept at 7 p.m. straight to 6 a.m. next morning.


December 24, 1945

Xmas service in mess hall at 3 p.m. Germans sang Xmas carol in Deutsch -Chinese sang New National Anthem in Chinese- We sang Filipino National Hymn in Spanish, but only Osias knew the words.