May 15, 1942

Old Mr. Walters died yesterday, Expressed my heartfelt condolence to Mrs. Walters on her bereavement.

Kalowa, Burma, occupied by Japanese forces.

A Japanese soldier entered Gabriel’s house and he shamelessly told Gabriel: “How about introducing me to your daughters?” Gabriel replied in a very stern, angry manner: “If that is your custom in Japan, that is not our custom here.”

Edwin Andres is reported somewhere in the mountains of Mindanao. He refused to surrender.

A Japanese officer hurriedly left his car at the Escolta. Told his chauffeur to stay in the car. In a few minutes, he came back. He was looking for his bag. The chauffeur could not explain where it was. The Japanese took his pistol. Shot the chauffeur and then shot himself. I wonder what was in that bag.


May 14, 1942

Two more men assigned to Naric by Col. Uzaki “in view of the increasing activities and the consequent enormous volume of auditing and accounting.” They are Messrs. R. Ishibashi and T. Tegai. Ishibashi will be Chief Auditor and Tegai will assist him.

Pertinent points of Executive Order No. 40 signed by Chairman Jorge Vargas of the Executive Commission initiating “a national campaign for the cultivation of idle lands to produce food crops in view of an impending food shortage, difficulty of importation and the need to avert hunger and “forestall famine throughout the land”:

“1. That a nationwide campaign for the cultivation of rice, corn, camote, cassava, gabi, cowpeas, soybeans, mongo and other short-time food crops suited to local conditions, be started at once under the joint sponsorship of the DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR and the DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE;

“2. That it shall be the duty of all city and municipal mayors to distribute uncultivated public lands within their respective jurisdictions among the citizens thereof preferably to those who are unemployed in order to enable them to plant food crops therein for a period of one agricultural year;

“3. That if for any reason the owner or the one in possession of any such private land is unable to cultivate the same, it shall be the duty of the mayor of the city or municipality where such land is located to turn it over to the citizens of such city or municipality, preferably to those who are unemployed, for the same purposes and under the same conditions prescribed in the next preceding paragraph;

“That it shall be the duty of all provincial governors personally or through the agricultural supervisors, to inspect the activities of the mayors in this food production campaign. The governors and city mayors shall also submit a monthly report to the Commissioner of the Interior and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce on the progress of the Campaign in their respective provinces and cities;

“That any person who neglects or fails to perform any duty enjoined by this Order or who performs any act which defeats or tends to defeat its purposes, or who otherwise violates any provision thereof, shall upon conviction be punished with imprisonment not exceeding six months, or by fine not exceeding ₱200, or by both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.”

I hope Commissioners Laurel and Alunan will thoroughly execute the responsibility imposed upon them by this Executive Order. Our production is not enough to supply our consumption. Consequently, every effort must be exerted towards increasing food production. Contrary to the general public opinion, the Naric has nothing to do with production. It has never had anything to do with it in the past and it still has nothing to do with it. Naric merely takes care of procurement, price-fixing and distribution.


May 13, 1942

When it rains, it pours. Another attack against Naric men in Pangasinan. This time Ramon Villasanta, special cashier and disbursing officer in Rosales was held up. ₱5,000, office funds, was taken from him.

The following is his report:

“On Sunday night, May 10th, I slept in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija. The following morning, I went back to Rosales by calesa. When I arrived at our office premises, I noticed that the office was not yet open and it was past 8 o’clock. This was strange. The office usually opens at seven. I inquired why. Mr. Ernesto Mateo, bookkeeper, told me the story of Mr. Ueno’s death and how Tongson left for Tarlac to report the matter.

“Now there had been previous threats that the Naric office would be raided. Therefore to play safe, I decided to transfer the office cash amounting to ₱5,000 to Tarlac for safe-keeping. For this reason, I entered the office by the back door. The key was in Mr. Castillo’s possession. Castillo is the warehouseman. I opened the safe, took the money, showed it to Mr. Mateo, and then I secretly deposited it in my bag which contained my clothes.

“At about 9 o’clock the same morning, Mr. Mateo and myself, accompanied by our cargadores, five of them, left for Cuyapo following the railroad track. I decided to take this road because it is on an open country and no place where bad characters may hide. Besides it is parallel to the provincial road.

“At about noontime, we suddenly heard a gunshot. Then four armed men appeared from behind the elevations on the side of the railroad tracks and confronted us with guns, one covering me, pointing his gun at my heart. Then they took our baggages including that which contained the ₱5,000 and one of them said he did not want to see our faces again.

“The first person I met in Tarlac was Mr. Ballesteros. He asked me: ‘Did you bring the money? Where’s the cash?’ Then I told him what happened. I also reminded him that it was his instruction and Mr. Ueno’s that I should never leave cash in the safe.”

Submitted Villasanta’s report to the Japanese Supervisor. Recommended that the ₱5,000 stolen be taken up under profit and loss and that Mr. Villasanta be exonerated. I also moved that he be given reasonable reimbursement for the clothing and personal properties he lost while in line of duty.

My son Vic is improving in tennis. He practices with Ampon, national champ. The girls too play every afternoon.

Read Noli Me Tangere. My blood boiled reading the abuses committed by Spanish authorities.

Someone should write another Noli Me Tangere today.

 


May 12, 1942

Mr. Ueno, Japanese supervisor in Pangasinan was killed. The following is a report I received from Tranquilino Tongson, Provincial Inspector of Pangasinan.

“At half past 12, on May 10th, Mr. Ballesteros and Mr. Villanueva arrived from Tarlac to inspect our station. They left between 2 to 3 o’clock. After their inspection, Mr. Ueno, Mr. Villasanta, Mr. Mateo and I went to the house. While chatting with one another, I remember that Mr. Ueno jokingly said: ‘How about flirting around with the girls?’ I answered: ‘It’s still too early.’ However, Mr. Ueno left the house after a while and according to our chauffeur, he took the struck and drove it himself. Having nothing to do, I went to a relative, Dr. Acosta, who lives near the town plaza. After about half an hour or more in his house, the doctor and I heard several shots. In a while, the girls who were asked by the doctor’s daughter to gather ‘sampaguitas’ for the floral procession, came running and informed us that a Japanese with a truck had been killed. Later on, a young man also arrived and told us that Mr. Ueno had been shot at the plaza; that the plaza and the streets were cleared of people because everybody ran; that the windows and doors of all houses were closed; and that many persons fled to the barrio. I didn’t dare come out of the doctor’s house and I slept there that night. Immediately, the following morning, Monday, May 11th, 1 went out of my hiding and took to the fields, away from the road, hiking a distance of about 13 to 14 kilometers from Rosales to San Manuel, where I waited for buses or trucks to take me to Tarlac where I would report the matter. In Tarlac, I reported the matter to Mr. Nomura, who in turn reported the matter to the Military Police. Afterwards, I was instructed by Mr. Nomura to proceed to Manila and report the incident.”

Submitted Tongson’s report to Supervisor Fukada. Expressed my condolences.

 

 


May 10, 1942

Listened to Radio Tokyo. Heard that the Japanese forces operating in Burma have occupied Myitkina, northeastern terminus of the Burma railway. I wonder if the Burmese are wholeheartedly cooperating with the Japanese.

The Coral Sea naval battle seems to have taken quite a heavy toll of ships from the U.S. Navy. The Japanese claim the following U.S. warships were sunk:

“a. U.S. aircraft carrier Saratoga type; b. U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown type; c. U.S. battleship California type; d. Destroyer.”

No announcements were given by the Japanese regarding their own losses. I tried to tune in on KGEI to verify but there was too much static.

Asked three or four people I met downtown what they think of the announcements from Radio Tokyo. They shook their heads and said: “Baloney!”

Dreamt of Pagulayan. He was pale and all in white and he had a black tie. What is the meaning of my dream? The night before Lincoln’s assassination, he had a strange premonition he would be killed because of a dream. According to Carl Sandburg’s biography, Lincoln believed in dreams. How much truth is there in dreams?

 


May 9, 1942

Tired. Lonely. Defeat makes one weary. It saps the strength. Good news gives vigor. Sad news depresses. And when there is nothing you can do, when you are helpless, the situation becomes worse. Corregidor has fallen. What can any of us do? Shall we continue waiting? It is torture to wait when one is anxious.

At Avenida Rizal, the Propaganda Corps has floated a balloon with the announcement: USAFFE SURRENDERS. It is like rubbing sand on an open wound. It hurts.


May 8, 1942

Heard Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright’s voice over KZRH. It was a lonely voice—the voice of defeat. He ordered all USAFFE forces to lay down their arms. He agreed to an unconditional surrender to save the lives of the soldiers in Corregidor. At times, the General’s voice faltered. He had to clear his throat and several times he seemed out of breath. This is America’s saddest hour. Several doughboys were reported killed in a final desperate effort to raise the Stars and Stripes in Top Hill.


May 6, 1942

No peace nor order in Pangasinan. Rosales in turmoil. Two hundred men entered the municipal building armed with revolvers and rifles. They threatened the municipal treasurer with death: “Open the safe or we will kill you!” The treasurer decided that life was better part of valor. He gave them the key.

Rumors that the NARIC warehouse will be next. “Don’t give your rice to the Naric,” argue propagandists, “because the Naric gives it to the Japanese.” The lives of Pangasinan employees have been threatened. Many refuse to continue working.

Life in the provinces today is not worth a dried tomato, according to a Naric employee. He said: “If you cooperate with the Japanese, the guerillas will kill you. If you cooperate with guerillas, the Japanese will kill you. If you cooperate with both, both will kill you. If you don’t cooperate with both, both will also kill you. Whatever you do, you will be killed.”

Let Socrates solve this dilemma.