April 17, 1942

Meeting on rice-production at the Legislative building under the auspices of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Rafael Alunan. Main problems discussed:

(1) Emergency plan for encouraging production of rice and other food crops to meet the present emergency:

(2) Long-range program for increased rice production;

(3) Methods for increasing total production;

(4) Methods for improving the rate of production per hectare;

(5) Elimination of marginal lands;

(6) Soil fertility and conservation and use of fertilizers;

(7) Diversification of crops and home industries of rice farms;

(8) Reduction of cost of operation through labor-saving devices;

(9) Development of irrigation system and improvement of irrigation practices;

(10) Stabilization of the rice industry through organized marketing and distribution and the granting of lands to small farms.

Will close the radio. Can’t stand Japanese music.


April 16, 1942

Mauricio Cruz told my brother that a certain captain stated that he saw my son Philip 3rd embarking on a boat for Corregidor. On the other, Jorge de Leon, Jr. called me up and stated that together with his uncle, Luis Dizon, PASUDECO’s secretary, he was able to talk to my son, in San Fernando, Pampanga. He said Philip had fever and malaria.

Dr. Antonio Vasquez offered to accompany me to San Fernando. He gave me some quinine which is at present worth its weight in gold. But he said it is better not to give any medicine if it is malaria, because this causes a tendency to hide the disease due to the formation of spores. He stated that I should not worry because the Malarial cases from Bataan are of the mild type because it is still the dry season. Malaria becomes fulminant during the rainy season, he revealed.

Mr. Fukada said he was not able to secure a pass for me to San Fernando. He stated that the High Command does not want to give privileges to anybody. “If they give to one they must give to all,” he said.

Chairman Jorge B. Vargas offered me his car. He asked one of his Japanese aides if he would be willing to accompany me even if I did not have a permit. The Japanese was willing to take the chance.

Later in the evening, Mr. Fukada called me up in the house. He said: “Better postpone your trip, doctor. The prisoners now being sent to different concentration camps. Plenty confusion there. No names. Send to Capaz and everywhere. Better wait.”

Still later in the evening, Gregorio Nieva phoned: “My son Tony was seen entering Bilibid at about 6 p.m. Maybe your son is with him.”

Mary left for Cabanatuan. There is also a concentration camp there. She said she would see what she can do from there.

This is like looking for a needle in a haystack.


April 15, 1942

A Spaniard was called to Fort Santiago. While waiting for his investigator, he started cursing a Japanese soldier in Spanish. He thought the Japanese could not understand him. It so happened that the Japanese spoke fluent Spanish, having been in South America. The Spaniard left Fort Santiago black and blue.

Submitted a report on the capacity of warehouses:

Capacity bags

Floor area   sq. mts.

1. NARIC operated

PVO, Pureza St.

riente, Evangelista st.

Manila Rice Mill, Dagupan st.

Francisco Rice Mill, Azcarraga

2. Proposed (estimated)

Alhambra, Teodoro Alonzo

Cheng Siong Lam, Dagupan st.

Nestle’s Milk, Azcarraga

Adjoining Nestle’s Milk

La Insular, Reina Regente

TOTAL  

300,000

10,000

50,000

10,000

90,000

85,000

75,000

70,000

70,000

760,000

3,900

375

610

300

1,279

1,100

1,000

1,000

1 ,000

10,564

Mr. Concepcion, chief, warehousing division, explained that to load PVO bodega to full capacity, rearrangement of piles should be made. He also stated that the capacity of Oriente has been reduced as portions of the two compartments are (being) utilized by the National Trading Corporation for storing milk and the other chambers are used for fumigation.

A Nazi and a Filipino had an argument at the Astoria restaurant. The Filipino said: “Now you are winning the war. But in the end, you Axis fellows haven’t got a chance. This is just the first round.” The Nazi: “I can’t permit you to talk that way. Do you still think this is a democracy?” And so the Nazi called a Japanese officer who was standing nearby. The Nazi showed his swastika band and said: “This man is talking against the Axis,” The Filipino banged the table and told the Japanese: “Officer, this white man said that all brown men are monkeys.” The Japanese got the Nazi by the collar and kicked him out of the restaurant. Said an onlooker: “Nazi-pa.”


April 14, 1942

Received a phone call from Joe Escaler, Jr. He came from San Fernando, Pampanga. He said he saw my son Philip with several thousand captives. My Japanese supervisor, Mr. Fukada, was beside me when I received the news. He congratulated me and I thanked him. I asked him if he could secure a permit for me so that I can look for my son. He said he would take the matter up with the High Command.

Received a letter from an old friend, Augusto Gonzalez. It was a letter of condolence. He heard Philip died…

Tuned in on KGEI. The commentator paid tribute to the defenders of Bataan and extended sympathies to the parents of those who perished in the fight.

My barber was very lonely. His two sons were reported killed by machinegun fire in Aglaloma, Bataan. After my haircut, a Japanese wanted a shave. My barber refused. He told me: “I better not shave him. I might slit his throat.”


April 13, 1942

The city administration has started issuing ration cards to holders of 1942 residence tax certificates preparatory to carrying out the new plan of selling rice to the public of Greater Manila.

The rice ration cards are good for 90 days, the holders are entitled to purchase one ganta every other day, the cards to be punched every time a purchase of one ganta is made.

Justice Abad Santos captured in Cebu by the Japanese, according to the Tribune.

Picture of American prisoners with their hands up. The Americans had long beards, weary faces and tattered clothes. One young fellow lay sprawled on the sand. He was wearing an air-corps uniform.

The Red Cross was not able to obtain permission to help Filipino and American war prisoners.

Met a Japanese soldier who had three watches on each wrist and several fountain pens sticking out of his shirt.


April 12, 1942

First reports on the fall of Bataan.

Said a newspaperman who was allowed to view the fighting areas:

Once thriving communities that lay in the path of the fighting are now mere shambles and blackened debris. Guagua, Samal, Hermosa, Balanga, Lamao where fighting was protracted bore the brunt of furious shelling and the fighting that followed. Demolished structures, charred vegetation, bullet-splattered shelters, blasted dwellings and abandoned, upturned army trucks and cars—with neither man nor beast in sight—gave mute testimony of what had taken place there previously. Balanga, (the) capital, like other Bataan towns had been obliterated, with hardly a structure escaping the fierce barrage. The cathedral struck by direct artillery hits now lies in crumbled ruins, a mere pile of mortar and stone. The municipal buildings, the water-tower and residential houses around the plaza have been destroyed and the rest of the town wiped out by fire. All along in the wake of the juggernaut of war, towns and barrios follow ____. Huge bomb craters, gaping shell holes by the roadway and fields indicate where artillery duels and air attacks have been fiercest…

Said a radio commentator:

Unkempt, disheveled, haggard, bewildered, many suffering from exposure, others hardly able to walk from lack of nourishment, they came… the old and infirm, the young, the women, tired, timorous, terror-stricken, bedraggled beggars of life, they appeared, many with only the clothes on their back, some with bare necessities, scores with emaciated, blue-lipped infants clasped in their arms…

Said the Tribune:

On that day, from sunrise until dusk, the hillsides and shell-churned fields were brown with staggering, stumbling men—the defeated Filipino-American forces. By the hundreds, they came—blackened by the Bataan heat, hollow-eyed, wasted, exhausted and sore-afflicted, their lips parched with thirst, their eyes wild from near-starvation, their faces yellow with malaria…

Said the Japanese Propaganda Corps:

The Americans placed the Filipino on the front lines and stayed in the rear, compelling Filipino soldiers to fight…

Said a Filipino columnist:

During their several months stay in Bataan, the Americans never gave the refugees food. It was a pitiful sight to see them lining up in the heat of the scorching sun with bandaged injured legs and yellow dirty dust all over them, thin from starvation, fatigue and haggard, sick and…

Said a Manila society girl:

Oh dear, dear, I wonder what time the dancing will begin…

Said a mother kneeling before an altar:

O Lord…


April 11, 1942

All Manila is quiet. Sad. I can feel the loneliness in the streets. A woman reading the Tribune in a newsstand burst into tears. Her husband was a soldier. The boy who skates on the pavement near the entrance to my office was sitting on the sidewalk, dejected. His elder brother was a soldier.

Met Mrs. Gruet. Her eyes were red and swollen. Her son is also in Bataan.

Lolita was weeping the whole day. She asked Mrs. Vargas by phone if the news about Bataan was true and Mrs. Vargas could not speak clearly because she was crying, too. Her son is also in Bataan.

My barber inquired if I could ask the Japanese in my office what treatment the Filipino soldiers would receive. Would they be concentrated? Released? Killed? He was worried about his three sons. He gave them all to the Army.

The Japanese in the next house are singing, drinking, shouting.

In my house, everything is quiet. I can hear my daughters mumbling their prayers…

Uppermost on our minds was my son, Philip. What has happened to him?


April 10, 1942

B A T A A N  H A S  F A L L E N


April 9, 1942

Must order the refumigation of about 400 bags of corn-rice in our Oriente warehouse. This stock is eight months old. It came from Cebu.

Rumors that Bataan has fallen. I doubt it. Will listen over KGEI or “Voice of Freedom.”