1st Friday and Communion – A spiritual happiness & joy which gives strength far beyond mere physical strength – Hope and charity –
There are reports – fairly reliable – of landings at Nasugbu Batangas 2 days ago and at Subic Bay 3 days ago – Nasugbu is to the South on the West Coast – Subic to the North on the West coast – the Subic landing aims at the capture of Olongapo, the naval repair
[separate sheet dated]
Feb 2nd (con)
base, the cutting of the communication of the Japanese forces resisting our advance over the mountains from the Zainbiales Coast, and our advance from Olongapo over the mountains to the East to cut the Japanese retreat into Bataan– The Musugbu landing will aim, of course, at the Cavite naval base, at cutting off a possible Japanese retreat to Teinate & Maic (?) & this evacuation to Bataan– And incidentally, after passing the Tagaytay ridge, will turn towards Manila.
Again these landings to the North & South of Manila Bay, the terrific bombings of Corregidor,
[Separate sheet dated]
Feb 2 (con)
Cavite Naval base, Fraile Island may be the prelude to an advance by task force into Manila Bay – the mines will have to be cleared and there are many wrecks in the harbor –
Gradually, the Japanese are being forced to decide what to do in the South – In a short time, any troops they have there will not be able to join the Northern forces –
Tho’ I am weak today, I feel rested and completely peaceful -I went to Confession last night & to Communion this morning – I saw Jose Ossario and know that if I die Dorita & the children will be sent back by the 1st boat and will be taken care of – It is a good thing to get these arrangements finished – So many now are beginning to collapse and die within 24 hours –
But while this may sound depressing, I am not depressed – In fact, my hopes are high, the news is good – And soon we shall see each other again – And all of this will be a nightmare, gone, dissolved, only remembered on stormy nights when one feels lost and alone – and really despairs.
Landings began Jan. 6th – MacArthur & staff landed Jan. 9th. 9:48 A.M. – Lingayen, Damartis, Dayupan, Mahilaoe taken .20 miles inland – No definite report from South, but it is rumored that the Japs have left Los Banos Camp. Task force shelling Cavite coast & Corregidor –
4-engine bombers went, along Mariquina Valley bombing this AM (22 in all). Later many flew north –
Only a scoop of watery rice mush for breakfeast – But our hopes were never higher! The Jap radio said this morning that they were repulsing our landings at Lingayen which had started on the 6th (5 days ago!)
There are rumors of a task force & convoy outside Manila Bay – Demolition work is continuing –
I am probably under 100 lbs again but it won’t be long – Dorita & the children, thanks to the extra food, are holding up well –
[Separate undated sheet]
Bombing and strafing this afternoon – Large fires started –
Reports of landings are becoming more definite –
Food tonight very skimpy.
Another man died at 900 PM this evening – 2 more are dying – Many are
Air-raid alarm on now since 7:30 AM Jan 6th Definite reports of landings on Luzon – Anbimonan, Batangas, Cavite Province, San Fernando –
Our big planes came over at 10:00 AM and heavily bombed the North Road & Grace Park – Leaflets were dropped (picture of MacArthur & Kruger) with message that our troops were back again, that Filipinos were to get away from military objectives, that our Army was so strong it needed no help from Filipino civilians and that our troops would
[Separate undated sheet]
be here in a few days –
Demolition work continued all day – Apparently in Port Area –
This evening there were terrific explosions not far from the camp –
Perhaps San Lazaro –
The electric power plant, the gas plant & the water works have not yet been blown up.
The food situation is terrible – Thank God, I managed to buy that extra food for Dorita & the children.
In the midst of life we are in death – Pleasant thought – but true of us – The last day of 1944 – Thank God! This year is over – 1945 will at least, and at last, bring release.
I have been kept doped all day – they’ll make me rest, whether I want to or not –
the Japanese are feeding us camotes instead of rice for dinner – In fact, this represents a cut in our calory intake again, as due to dirt, peelings, rotten pieces etc. camotes are needed 5 to 1 – The Japs only count 2 -1 – Some meat came in for tomorrow. That will be pleasant.
I weigh 100 lbs today.
[Separate sheet with date in blue crayon—and designated as second part to Dec.
At the end of November I wrote “If neither the Marines nor the kits arrive, there will be widespread deaths and permanent physical impairment”. Neither arrived & deaths increased in December, the hospitals are full of sick & starved people, The non-hospitalized look as though they should be – The cut in rations on Dec 20th by 25% was a hard blow –
So for January the outlook is grim indeed – Both kits & marines will arrive too late for many internees – And the extent of permanent physical impairment is increasing.
The Military situation improved further. Our forces occupied Mindoro & Polillo Islands – They are within striking distance. We have had no real bombings since Dec. 16th.
[Separate undated sheet]
The time is ripe – the attack can come any day now – It may be one week, it may be six; beyond that I dare not look (unless we get kits and even the basic diet is much too low) – It must be the marines – Then home and rest and good food – Afterwords work again.
Hunger is certainly a terrible thing – From now on I’ll appreciate the full meaning of the word “starvation”! I hope these Japs are punished – all this was so needless and so cruel.
[Separate sheet with date; recto contains text, verso of this sheet contains typewritten document.]
The man next to me fed himself a spoonful of mush this morning & two spoons of soup this noon – Then I fed him the rest – But it was the first step towards doing something for himself – How wonderful it is to see the rebirth of his will to live –
To offset this, the man in front of me is dying – Literally by inches – just when it seems he is going over, he grabs hold of some secret reserve and struggles back – The doctors have given up hope for him –
Out of the 37 patients in this ward 10 are dying & 15 more will not last another six weeks – Every day brings new cases – mostly heart & kidney defects aggravated by starvation –
[Separate sheet with date]
Dec. 29th (con)
Beri-beri and dysentery are on the increase.
6 planes flew over at 11:45 A.M. – A little anti-aircraft fire, but no bombing –
There are rumors that on New Years Day we are to receive packages from the neutral Welfare Committee – 1 kilo rice, 1/2 kilo sugar, 1/2 kilo peanuts, tobacco and cigarettes -We are skeptical – Everything points towards even worse conditions than we are experiencing at the present time –
It is two weeks now since the landings on Polillo and Mindoro – Soon something should break!
Dec. 28th – No action – Tonight at 7:00 P.M. my good friend, the former monitor of our room, Woody Wilson died – Swollen with beri-beri, his heart muscles gone from starvation -Damn the Japs!
My friends are being wonderful to me – one sent me talinum, another a glass of malted milk, another a cup of cocoa & crackers – another some coffee –
I bought for Dorita and the children today 1 kilo rice at $ 80 – and 1/2 lb of margarine at $ 40. I know M.J.O. & all of you want us to live. And we want to get back to you as soon as possible – and not dying – Nor dead like Woody – Poor Woody – he was only 50 years old.
[The remainder of the text is partly on 15 loose top-halves of half-sheets, using the back of a request for a pass and of certificates of ill health and partly numbered sheets.]