[In Negros] We had a sumptuous dinner last night—chickens, asparagus, green beans and adobo—for the first time in three years. I heard radio music and a news broadcast. Col. Andrews gave me immediately “Lucky Strikes” and sen-sen gum.
I slept soundly last night. This morning we have real good coffee, genuine fresh butter and American biscuit as well as corn beef. What a change from that of our food in the nets!
Col. Andrews and I chew the rag the whole day long, telling each other of our experiences.
He told me about the broadcast of President Osmeña on the puppets—I expressed myself frankly, that if true, it didn’t strike me favorably.
I find the sentiment here against puppets very strong and condemnatory.
1944 has passed away for over an hour when I woke under the open skies on board this sail boat with no wind blowing. Our ship’s sails are just flapping lazily, while two of the crew sing both English & Visayan melodies. We have a very quiet New Year’s.
A few hours before sunrise, the North wind blew. Our sails filled up & we have been sailing smoothly southward. Then we discover that we missed our objective by a long shot. We executed a “to the rear march”—then the wind disappeared. Now we are rowing our boat, expecting that a favorable wind might pop up any minute.
I have just eaten a hearty breakfast of thick rice soup with broiled fresh fish—the first really fresh fish I have tasted for the last three years.
Despite delays in the trip our crowd remains jolly and cheerful.
Early this morning, we are in front of Pt. Siaton. We just eat bananas for breakfast, I drink coconut water & eat its meat for my morning meal. We have no drinking nor cooking water. We have been trying to land somewhere behind the point but unsuccessfully, the water along the beach has a rough bed of rocks. We are heading for [?] reaching it at four p.m.
We land here to get water, get a much-needed bath and physical evacuation. We cook our supper on shore and have a very hearty meal. Green coconut water and meat have refreshed us.
We are just one third away from our next and final objective in Luzon.
The two other sail boats of our party have not shown up here. They have been left behind.
We are now [?] It is about 6 p.m. I am lying down preparatory to sleep. This is my 3rd New Year’s Eve in hiding.
From Bad-as, we are now hitting the trail to the sea below Sniogbuhan San Joaquin. We are here very early—thoroughly exhausted. Our presence attract the attention of people on the beach. We have eaten our breakfast hurriedly. Our sailboats have been waiting for us. We immediately board them and [?] sail with Point Siaton in Negros as our objective. We feel slightly nervous, for we have to pass through Japcontrolled waters between Panay & Guimaras. Thank God, no Jap motor boat pops up. The wind is intermittently blowing, and we drifted into the mouth of the strait for a while. An East wind blows now, late in the evening. We are now heading fast to Siaton. We feel safe now from the enemy.
We proceed to Osorio early this morning, reaching it when the sun is beginning to be hot. Here we changed the cargadores of my hammock. Eight men are here to meet us. They are almost naked, lean & look famished and undersized due to malnutrition. We find them too weak for the job, so the EP9O carrying me have to take their place, and these Osorio men are given the baggage to carry, instead of the hammock. From where we slept last night to Osorio, I notice new clearings on the edge of the forest—this should be stopped immediately.
Our objective is Badas through Poras. We reach this point slightly after midnight, tho’ we have been made to believe by [?] that we would make it by sunset.
At Bad-as every one feels exhausted. The day’s heat has been very enervating on all of us. Here a change of cargadores meet us.
We leave [Panay] today early, with Osorio as our objective for the night. The day is cloudy and the sun has not come out with its heat. We have made in good time the rough mountain trails, hitting a point a little over Osorio at about 7 p.m. Here we bivouac for the night, on the edge of a little stream. My cargadores sleep on the ground under a huge rock. We take our rest in a vacant small cottage, wherein three of us fit in snugly.
My companions are Roberto, my eldest son, Patsy, my nephew, Sp. Dep. Govs. Golez & Afatalicis. P.S. Serelina is our principal guide.