June 11, 1942

Heard Pagu was transferred to San Marcelino Police Station. What is the meaning of the transfer? Will he be released? Will try to see him

Held seminar in the office. Made clear my objections to:

1. The threatening, rough, insolent manner of some minor Japanese officials. They must change their attitude if they want cooperation from us Filipinos.

2. The need for better Japanese officials in the Naric. “We want Japanese who can advise us,” I pointed out, “not Japanese whom we have to advise.”

Noticed informer Pascual taking notes of what I said. I precisely wanted him to tell the Japanese my feelings.

Radio Tokyo boasted: Japanese fleet now controls entire Pacific.

Tuned in on KGEI to find out what America had to say about the Japanese claim The radio blared:

“Git along little doggie git along…”


June 10, 1942

Death.

Forty-four persons shot to death for violation of military laws.

The death sentences, it was announced, were carried out on June 7. Eleven others were merely given severe penalties.

The Imperial Forces announced that those who commit crimes against the military laws will be punished severely and without the slightest mercy.

Saw several people trembling as they read the papers.

Among those sentenced were the following:

Juanito Acosta, who was connected with the remnants of the Fil-American forces in Northern Luzon and “who spied on the operations of the Japanese forces.”

Cornelio Pagindian and nine others, who listened to news broadcasts from America, England, Australia and other forbidden stations and who spread and enlarged anti-Japanese propaganda among the people.

Juan Operario, saboteur, who set fire to a Japanese warehouse, reducing most of it to ashes.

Federico Antido, who wounded a Japanese soldier.

HEROES.


June 9, 1942

Everything is done with passes and permits now-a-days. Operation permits for automobiles must be renewed today, and I haven’t done it yet.

Rumors that war prisoners will be released provisionally.

Miracles will happen.


June 8, 1942

Mr. Fukada, Supervisor-de-Facto, has decided to adopt the Kobatake plan for Bulacan. I agreed too but I placed on the record the following objections:

First, that Mayors will likely delegate the work of purchasing to subordinate employees. This will cause: (a) purchase of inferior quality of palay and (b) purchase of underweight bags.

Second, there will be heavy transportation expenses for palay coming from distant places.

Third, there will be great difficulty settling claims for damages from inclement weather force majeure.

A late report announced that the Japanese occupied Bohol on May 23.

Had a good supper. By next year if production is not intensified, we will have to tighten our belts.


June 3, 1942

Military parade held in Manila yesterday. Lt. Gen. Homma reviewed his victorious Japanese forces. The newspapers say there were many onlookers. It was not so. There were very few and the majority were forced to attend the parade. The people did not applaud the troops. There was none of the usual fanfare and cheers from the crowd. Men, women and even children looked grimly, sadly. I kept thinking of the last line of Zulueta’s prize-winning essay during the Commonwealth regime: “And gods will walk on brown legs.” Were these the gods—these men that tramped in their ugly shoes and drab uniforms? There was something about the way they marched, a sort of automatic shoving of the feet forward, their bodies swaying to the left and right, just forging on and on, wearily, doggedly, fanatically…

I felt cold, like awaking from a nightmare.

 

 


June 2, 1942

More deaths in O’Donnell.

A mother heard her son was badly in need of medicine. She begged the authorities to let her see her son. After several days, her pleas were granted. She arrived in the prison camp with a doctor. When she saw her son, the last had just closed his eyes.

People are angry at Filipino high officials. Why don’t they make strong representations with the Japanese authorities? Why don’t they say bluntly, frankly, sternly that if as the Japanese claim, they are our “liberators,” then why don’t they free our sons and brothers and fathers and friends from the concentration camp?

My wife’s cousin broke into the house late last night with tears in his eyes. He received a crumpled sheet of paper from his son in camp. The boy was asking his father for medicine. He was very ill. My wife’s cousin wanted to find out if I could secure a permit to bring medicine for his son. “Surely,” he said, “there is nothing wrong in sending medicine to a dying son.” I brought him to Mrs. Vargas. She will try to use her influence. But maybe, it will be too late. I feel it in my bones.

A man came to the house this morning begging for alms. He was pale and thin and unkempt. He extended his hands tremblingly.

“Please, sir, can you give me some money? I would like to buy some medicine, sir.” His whole body was shivering.

I noticed his eyes. They seemed to be gazing nowhere. His eye sockets were yellow. But his eyes were piercing, penetrating and yet they looked dazed, unearthly.

I looked at his feet. They were swollen and his ankles were bandaged by black, dirty rags. They were feet that had walked and ran and had been soaked in mud and water.

He spoke haltingly, hesitatingly: “Sir, I am hungry. They did not want to give me food in the house over there. They told me I am strong enough to work. Please, sir, could you give me some food?”

This man, I thought, was no ordinary beggar.

“Who are you? I asked

He did not want to answer.

“Do not be afraid” I assured him.

And he told me his story.

“I was a soldier in Bataan. I escaped and walked through the mountains and the fields until I reached Manila. But when I arrived in my house, my family was no longer there. I do not know where they are. I cannot reveal to people that I am a soldier. The Japanese might arrest me.”

And then he opened his shirt. He had six wounds in his body. He was awarded the silver star for gallantry and the purple heart for his wounds.

I stood before the young veteran. Before me was a Filipino hero.

 


June 1, 1942

Constabulary Academy inaugurated. Graduates will be utilized as peace officers, according to Japanese authorities. Several hundred Filipino youths reported for training. People downtown do not look favorably at those who have joined the new constabulary. “Instead of fighting in Bataan, they fight for the enemy,” they comment. “They’ll be used as shock-troops by the Japanese,” others point out. A friend look at the point from a different angle. “Let more Filipinos,” he said, “join the Constabulary so they can get arms and then…”

Bought spare tires for my bike. Gasoline and alcohol are getting very scarce.

 


May 31, 1942

KGEI admitted the sinking of an Allied warship in the port of Sydney by the attack of a special Japanese submarine flotilla.

Rode in a calesa. Asked the cochero: “Who do you think will win the war?” I was curious to know the sentiments of the masses.

“The Americans!” he answered unequivocally.

“Why? “I asked to provoke him.

“Because MacArthur will get plenty of planes and then . . .”

“And then what?”

“Aba, señor, maybe you are from Fort Santiago and then you will report.”

“No, No. You can trust me. My son is in the Army. He is now in Capaz.”

“Ah, I wish I was also fighting in Bataan.”

“But why do you think the Americans will win?” I brought the subject back.

“How can these people win? Look at their trucks, cars, tanks, uniforms. Not so good. It looks breakable like Japanese toys.”

“Well, then, why did the USAFFE lose?”

He thought for a while. And then he said: “Because they were surprised. Even Jack Dempsey, I can knock out if I just hit him suddenly. But when MacArthur comes back with the flying fortress and the bombers and tanks, well, well…”

“What do you mean—well, well . . .”

“I mean it will be just very well, heh, heh, heh!”

“Well, stop out there at Tom’s, on that corner.”

I entered Tom’s. The place had a different atmosphere. The floors were wet and sticky. The people were not as well dressed as in the pre-war days. And the customers were different. There was a pianist playing “My Baby Don’t Care” and a fat lady was singing in a high falsetto.

“Coffee!” I told the waiter.

While waiting for the coffee, a hostess with gold teeth sat on my table. “Please,” she said in a state of semi-intoxication, “protect me from that brute.” She was pointing to a Japanese officer. I did not know what to say. “The Japanese…“ and she started giving a speech against Japan. “Don’t speak loudly,” I said. She spoke louder and louder. “Stop it!” I said. “This man here,” she said, “agrees with me!” “Stop it!” I said. “STOP IT! STOP!”

“Wake up, Vic,” said my wife.

 


May 29, 1942

Auditor Ishibashi and I agreed that any cash shortage or overage should be reported immediately to the Management by the Cashier.

Col. Uzaki will write a letter to the Executive Commission regarding the use of the land at the back of the Naric. We need more space.

Main building will be painted after construction of the garage has been completed.

Played tennis at Philippine Club. Fukada and Nakashima vs. Tanco and I. We defeated them.