January 18, 1945

Feeling lazy. Not much doing — just a few of our planes around taking observations. Breakfast — same. Lunch — soy bean soup. Supper — a stew made of soy beans, camote, corn meal. These were real soy beans, not meal and it tasted good and I didn’t get hungry so soon. I am now down to 117 lbs. Mosquito weight.


January 17, 1945

I won’t write lying down tonight. The same breakfast except that I starved myself last night and saved a few pieces of camote to mix with the mush. It improves the flavor. Of course, I had tea, and that helped. Lunch — a ladle of thin soup made of camote leaves and vines. Looked like very dirty dishwater and tasted — well, we’ll let it go. Use your imagination. Tonight, we had a stew made of camotes, ground kidney beans and rice. It was good, but as usual, lacking in quantity.

Here are a few quotations on prices of the few things one can buy in the canteen. Soy sauce ₱55.00 a beer bottle full; cinnamon ₱33.00 90 grams; Vinegar ₱33.00 a beer bottle; Pepper ₱36.00 90 grams; Garlic ₱43.00 150 grams. Nothing else. They say that the canteen will close soon.

We have another scandal and the Japs are all riled up. A newspaper man by the name of Eisenberg went over the fence last night and they haven’t caught him yet. They took the man who slept next to him and put him in jail.. It may make things harder for the rest of us. Time will tell. He wanted to get away and get his story of the starvation in the camp back to his paper first. Well, that seems rather selfish. He could get the whole camp into trouble, say, another cut in food, which we just can’t stand. And, a lot of young men had to move from the Gym to the main building today on account of him.

Quite a lot of our planes around over Marikina, Malabon, and points north this morning. Most of the bombing was quite far north. Well, they are sure pounding them. We haven’t seen any Jap planes for several days now and that is a welcome relief. Our camp Generals and optimists have them in Angeles, Pampanga and paratroopers holding the Calumpit Bridge. Well, I hope that it is true.


January 16, 1945

Same breakfast but Mr. Carter’s tea went good. No lunch. A ladle of camotes with gravy for supper. And, oh boy, the worms. But believe or not, I am developing a taste for the darned things, as bitter as they are. There was plenty of bombing today — out around Malabon and Marikina. Our boys are giving them the works now. On the north, they have reached Bambang, Tarlac. I hope that it is true.

I am writing this lying on the bed. Some lazy guy, eh ? Done a little more washing today and some more work on my crazy patch work.


January 15, 1945

Same old breakfast, but Mr. Carter gave me some real tea last night so I had hot tea for breakfast. No soup for lunch and did my stomach make a fuss. For supper, a ladle of thick corn meal mush (they call it tamale) with some very weak and thin gravy.

Saw two P-38’s pass over today. There was no rough stuff. They were probably only on a scouting trip. Well, our boys are already across the Agno River in Pangasinan. It won’t be long now. They took up all of our chow tickets last night and re stamped them. They discovered that they were serving about 200 meals more than there are people in camp. Someone counterfeiting the tickets. They broadcasted the news first so they didn’t catch anyone. Must have been some of the “big shots” mixed up.


January 14, 1945

Thin mush and hot water for breakfast. Thinner soup for lunch and a small ladle of rice and some fair gravy for supper. Incidentally, the cassava flour used to thicken the gravy cost ₱280 a kilo.

Very quiet all day. Some planes passed over and dropped a few eggs.


January 13, 1945

Thin mush and hot water for breakfast and thinner soup for lunch. For supper, a stew made of corn meal, a few kidney beans, camotes (also few), coco lard. Not so bad. But anything tastes good right now.

Twenty four B-24’s came over this morning 10:00 a.m. and from what we could see, they plastered Marikina Valley near Pasig. About 1:00 p.m. some smaller planes were operating far out over Quezon City. No Jap planes around yesterday and today. What a relief after three years. There was one Jap plane took off from Grace Park about 5:00 this morning. But as I didn’t see it my eyesight was not damaged.

We were notified today to keep all containers full of water and to strictly observe all blackout regulations tonight. Now, I want to fill my bucket with fresh water but there is none running at present.

Lots of oil fires around today. It shows that our friends know there is no chance to take it with them. Now, isn’t that just too bad ?


January 12, 1945

Cornmeal mush with a little rice in it for breakfast. Well, the air was full of our planes this morning. They were blasting things up north of here. That helps pep us up.

I have been laying here on my bunk listening to some fellows talking about chow. They make me so darned hungry that I would eat a dish rag.

It is eleven o’clock and will soon be time for the soup. It is may of soy bean cake today. Something special. I am getting so weak I can hardly get around. We have hopes that the boys will be here on Sunday. I hope to God it will come true. This is my first experience with starvation.

Just broadcasted that there will be no soup for lunch. That is that. Well, I can smoke a cigarette and drink water.

Lots of explosions and fires this p.m. Seems that our friends are wrecking things. Story is that the guards have already left Los Baños. Time will tell. If these birds would only leave here….

Fair gravy and a small ladle of rice for supper. Very good as far as it went.

We have been under a partial blackout since August 22 and total blackout for 7 days. Only a dim light in each corner of the hall.

September 21, 1944 was a wonder day for us. That was the day we saw the first American planes. The air was full of them and they did a wonderful job.

Further notes I will put here as I guess there is no longer danger of search. August 2, 1944 orders came to turn in all money to the Japanese. That caused a scramble. August 22, 1944 Japs came without any warning and searched our room. Took field glasses, typewriter, money, books, maps, etc. Three men went to jail.


January 11, 1945

Rice flour much and hot water for breakfast. I bummed a piece of ginger and made ginger tea and put some cinnamon in it (also bummed). It wasn’t bad. Thin soup for lunch. but, never mind — the end is near.

A flock of B-24’s came over this morning and plastered what appears to be about the exposition grounds in Quezon City. They did it like Grace Park. There was fires and dirt flying over a spot a mile long. Just before noon two navy planes flew low right over the camp and one of the pilots waved at the internees. It was sure a welcome sight to see the star on the wings of a plane instead of a fried egg.

This afternoon about 20 navy planes bombed and strafed Rizal Avenue extension. Some of them flew low over the camp. Later, they came back and from what we could see, strafed and bombed railroad yards.

This evening there have been a lot of explosions around the waterfront and Tondo, with lots of fires. Looks like the Japs are blowing up things and getting ready to leave. Well, the sooner the better.

Camote stew for supper. Had bacon in it. About like canned pork and beans has pork. Would have enjoyed three times that much. No rice. Did a big washing today and my back is broken.


January 10, 1945

Thin mush, coco milk, and tea for breakfast. I’ll say this — the tea tasted more like tea than the coffee resembled coffee.

Here is a case of violence that happened yesterday afternoon. A colored man by the name of Huff who seems to be somewhat “valiente” got some beef bones from the Japs and made soup to sell. An old sea captain by the name of Owen had some words with him over the soup. I haven’t been able to find out exactly what the argument was. Anyway, Huff struck the old man, who then walked a short distance and fell. They got the stretcher to take the old man to the hospital but he died before arriving there.

Huff is now in jail. I don’t know what they will do with him. Huff beat up another colored man (74 years old) about 3 weeks ago.

I used to cook with the Captain while we were both at the Gym. He was a nice old man. He was a British subject.

Twenty four B-24’s came over this morning and plastered Grace Park systematically. They passed over the field three times and sowed bombs like a farmer sowing seeds. The first trip they came over the right of the field and let loose their loaf and turned right over us where we had a fine view. The next trip was over the left side of the field and the third right up the center. The field must be plowed like a rice field. Was a wonderful sight. That is one thing that we have — a good box seat. The planes went over Marikina Valley, near San Mateo and gave them some pineapples.

Later about noon some small planes either P-38’s or dive bombers worked San Francisco del Monte over. Appeared to be way out by the river.

For lunch — a cup of thin talinum soup. Supper, or dinner if you want to be “high hat”, we had a small ladle of rice fried with talinum and some canned meat. It was very good but lacking in quantity. I could have eaten four times as much.

I am making a “crazy-patch-work” quilt out of an old bed spread. I am sure looking forward to the day where Mama and the girls see it. I am certain that they will say it is a work of art. Well, it helps to pass the time and keeps me from thinking of my empty stomach.

The story about Dugglby and the others being taken to Japan is not true. They are in Manila or Montinlupa. So that is that. I wish the Commandant would leave. Maybe we could get something more to eat.

Saw something yesterday that illustrates the spirit of Santo Tomas. One gray-brown dog was fighting with three black dogs. All of the dogs were of about equal size. Finally the gray dog broke away and started to run. A man who was passing by kicked the poor gray dog as it went past him. That is Santo Tomas for you. Kick them while they are down. Or, you might say — Democracy as she is lived.