March 21, 1942

The Japanese Supervisor asked me to write down the names of the five closest friends of Pagulayan in the office. I refused. He insisted. I told him I did not know. He gave me a veiled threat. I said that if I have to submit names, I would put my name on top of the list. I also told him that if Pagulayan is being detained because of spreading propaganda leaflets, an injustice is being committed. Many people have read, including myself, those leaflets. “We Filipinos,” I stated, “do not necessarily believe everything we read.” The Supervisor was not able to answer.

Spoke to Sanvictores, Alejandro Roces Sr. and Jose Paez regarding the harvest situation in Bulacan.

More complaints against Mr. Inada. He works hard, but he is petulant, inconsiderate to the people. Because of his manners, the people kick against the NARIC.

One man may spoil an organization’s record.


March 21, 1942

Tanco and I toured Bulacan: Marilao, Bigaa, Guiguinto, Malolos, Plaridel and Baliuag.

It is five days since I have written here. I think I’ll stop writing. What do I get by crabbing about my feelings? And supposing the Japanese get a hold of this diary? Oh well, I’m not worried. If they ask me to speak out sincerely, I’ll tell them what I feel. Frankness is better than flattery. I think I’ll continue writing whenever there is time.

Of course, the truth hurts.


March 15, 1942

The Japanese Supervisor asked me to write down the names of the five closest friends of Pagulayan in the office. I refused. He insisted. I told him I did not know. He gave me a veiled threat. I said that if I have to submit names, I would put my name on top of the list. I also told him that if Pagulayan is being detained because of spreading propaganda leaflets, an injustice is being committed. Many people have read, including myself, those leaflets. “We Filipinos,” I stated, “do not necessarily believe everything we read.” The Supervisor was not able to answer.

Spoke to Sanvictores, Alejandro Roces Sr. and Jose Paez regarding the harvest situation in Bulacan.

More complaints against Mr. Inada. He works hard, but he is petulant, inconsiderate to the people. Because of his manners, the people kick against the NARIC.

One man may spoil an organization’s record.


March 14, 1942

Presented my resignation verbally to Mr. Noya. Was “asked” to remain. Insistence on my resignation will be considered a hostile act by the Military.

Another Japanese raised his hand to one of the Filipino employees. He caught the Filipino lying.

The auditors of the Accounting Division will be eliminated. The Army will do the auditing.

Pictures in the Tribune of Japanese soldiers carrying Filipino babies and distributing candies to children. That is not the way to attract the Filipino people. They do not believe everything they read in the papers. What happens to them and to their friends is what remains in their hearts.

Rumor (is) that reinforcements have arrived in Bataan. A friend said he heard over the Voice of Freedom the news that the USAFFE has started an offensive. Rumors that the present commander-in-chief may be removed because of his inability to crack Bataan defenses. Several young boys took a banca at Hagonoy and rowed to Bataan. They want to do their part.

These are the youths of Rizal’s dream.


March 13, 1942

No news about Pagulayan and Unson.

Many complaints from the public and from Filipino employees have been received by me against Mr. Inada, the Japanese who is in charge of the Distribution Department. He is very arrogant. He treats visitors very rudely. Makes them stand before him for hours. How can I call his attention? What is my status? I am a Manager who is not a manager.

The Japanese have a way of saying one thing and doing another. It will take time to understand them.


March 12, 1942

It is getting harder day by day. No matter what the Japanese say they cannot remove the “victor” complex out of their minds. In their relations with the Filipino employees in the office, they treat the Filipinos as “conquered” people, not as “liberated brothers.”

Paez resigned today. His resignation is effective tomorrow. I wish I could retire too.


March 11, 1942

Walked in the garden. Watched the blue heavens. I love the night, especially dark nights. It detaches you from the world. Makes you forget yourself and all your cares. And somehow you look upward, and the longer you gaze, the more you realize you don’t belong here. The mystery of life becomes clearer and clearer. Beyond the stars, you see the answer.

In the darkness, man sees the light.


March 10, 1942

Ferrer released. Was badly manhandled.

Mateo Borja and Isias Pacheco arrived this morning after surveying the Bicol region. Reported: a good harvest in Camarines Sur, around 2,000,000 cavans of palay. Price: ₱2.00—₱2.20. In Albay, the NARIC branch was looted. ₱400 was stolen from the safe. But a balance of ₱8,000 remains in the Legaspi branch of the Philippine National Bank.

Charlie Hollman arrived from Calumpit. Said several girls were abused. Part of his clothes were looted. Some soldiers took a fancy to his shirts. One officer took his car (and) gave him a receipt in Japanese scrawl.

Java has fallen after nine days of fighting. Bataan still holds. I am proud of our boys.

Vargas cannot help Pagu. Expressed his regrets. Nobody may interfere with the Military Police. The Japanese themselves are afraid.

On my way home, saw them looking out of their windows, as they were. Noticed men gazing and giggling. The women passing by refused to look. There was a pretty one.

Distance and carelessness lend enchantment to the view.


March 9, 1942

Paez may resign. Melo and Abes have left already. With Pagu in Fort Santiago, I will be left alone. And it is especially now that we should stick together. Oliveros is trying his best to fill Pagu’s job. Tanco is quite a help, for he gets along with the Japanese. We have a very important task. Yes, there are a lot of difficulties and unpleasantness. But we have to sacrifice personal preference for public service. Even if under the present set-up, only the crumbs that fall from the Japanese table go to the Filipinos, we’ve got to help gather and collect and equitably [distribute] those crumbs, if we don’t want to see our men, women and children starve. Of course, most people, and even high government officials, don’t give much weight to prognostications of shortage and possible hunger these days. They do not see beyond the bowl of rice on their tables. But our rice supply is not an everlasting, never-ending source. The rice in our bodegas is fast being consumed. Importation is not in our hands. And if we don’t pull together and do something about procuring the rice in our fields, it will rot and before we know it, the price of rice will sky-rocket. Then we shall wake up, get excited and alarmed, and vainly search for rice. Some, of course, will have rice stocked in their houses. But many others will have none. And it will be the same old story of the “have-nots” fighting the “haves.” Blood will surely flow and…

Oh well I hope I’m wrong.