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.


May 4, 1942

Mr. Fukada thinks I should organize a group to visit wounded Japanese soldiers in the various Army hospitals in the city. He said: “If you help Japanese soldiers, the High Command may permit you to also help Filipino soldiers.” Told this to my wife. She will refer the matter to Mrs. Vargas.

Mr. Isagii, assistant of Col. Uzaki, wants the price of rice in Parañaque investigated. I wonder why.

Planes have been active the whole day. Japanese aerial superiority has given them the initial advantage in this war. KGEI claims American factories are now geared for large-scale production of bombers. The men in the work-shops are just as important as the men in the front. Time is an essential factor in this war. If the Japanese are not able to entirely drive the Allies out of Asia, the Allies will in due time drive the Japanese back to the Japanese mainland. American production, her factories and workmen are playing a decisive role in this total war. The Japanese claim that fighting spirit will give Japan victory. The future alone will tell which holds the key to victory: Spirit or Production?


May 3, 1942

Civilian evacuees from Bataan report that the Japanese are hastily building large bamboo stairs to scale the cliffs of Corregidor. Barges are also being constructed rapidly, probably for landing operations. Artillery has also been emplaced on strategic points of Mt. Mariveles overlooking the surrounded fortress.

No news as to when Filipino war prisoners will be released. Some say “they’ll be freed at the end of the war.” Others think it will be when Corregidor surrenders. Meanwhile deaths in camp are progressively mounting. “Almost a thousand a day,” according to a Red Cross doctor.

Landings by Japanese forces in Cagayan, Mindanao. Manuel Roxas is there. I understand he is now a general.

Japanese cigarettes make me dizzy. But I’ve got to get used to it. Chesterfields are too costly.

This is my impression of the Japanese in my office after five months with them. They are hard-working, slow, patriotic, serious, without humor, arrogant at times if you don’t stop them, excessively courteous sometimes, speak too long over the phone, not concerned with the way they dress, slaves to plans, follow orders strictly, automatically, but not so very well versed with the rice industry. I believe they will learn more from the Filipinos regarding the rice industry than we will from them. I’ve told this to our Supervisor-de-Facto in one of our conversations. I told him: “We want men that will teach us; not men that we have to teach.”

In the final analysis, this war has been a great lesson for the Filipino people. Our nation will come out the better for it. The blood of our youths has not been shed in vain.

 


May 2, 1942

Must call Goyo Anonas. I was told his son is with Philip in Capas. Told Lolita to inform Mrs. Jose Meily that her son Joe was seen alive on the day of surrender in Mt. Mariveles. My cousin Nena Lopez-Rizal is very worried. There is no news of her son Andring. Mrs. Gruet met Lolita in church. She said: “You are lucky. Your son has come back. Mine…” and she broke into tears.

Churchill was right. War is blood and tears…


May 1, 1942

Listened to the Voice of Freedom. At the end of the newscast, the announcer said: “Corregidor still stands.” I wonder why he said “still stands.” Does he foresee an eventual inability to stand? Does he know that in the course of the Japanese attack Corregidor will someday fall? “Corregidor still stands” brought tears to my heart.

Demand For “darak” has increased considerably. People who used to have cars now use rigs. Most race horses now pull “carromatas.” Must make plans for more efficient distribution of “darak.”

Just read Military Ordinance No. 3, directed to the Department of Interior, prohibiting the hoisting of the Filipino flag. I know this order will embarrass Filipino collaborators. It will give a hollow, empty ring to their loud vociferations on the unselfish desire of Japan to liberate the Filipinos.

When will the Filipino flag rise again?