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.


January 6, 1945

Air raid alarm at 7:45 a.m. Eight planes bombed and strafed Nichol’s, Neilson, and Zablan; later a whole bunch of dive bombers worked on them again including Grace Park. Two flights of B-24’s came over during the morning — no bombing close by — probably farther south.

Plenty of raids throughout the day. Our boys mean business now. Won’t be long now.

Note: Grennell, Dugglby, and Larsen were taken outside last night and were told to and did dress in winter clothing. Looks like Japan for them. Not so hot.

Had a rounding ladle of boiled camotes with gravy tonight. Not enough but they tasted good for two reasons. It was a change and they were sweet.

Japanese were burning papers up till 10:00 p.m. and packing boxes and hauling them out of the camp in trucks. Some of our men who went out to the Insular Cold Stores yesterday to get camotes saw the Japanese burning papers on the Plaza in front of that plant. Looks good.


January 5, 1945

No planes today. Everything very quiet. Too much so, I think something will happen soon. Heard today that our rice is cut again. Instead of 600k per day it will now be 550k.

While it is on my mind I will note here. On Dec. 28, the J.A. arrested and put in jail under their control. Mr. Gremmell, who was the Chairman of the Internee Committee (and who by the way was a “Big Shot” since the start and practically run this camp to suit himself), Mr. Dugglby, the Chairman of the Family Aid Committee, and two others named Larsen and Johnson. Johnson was taken to Santiago and hasn’t come back. Today they too Gremell, Duggleby and Larsen to Santiago. We don’t know the exact charges, but it doesn’t look good for the Big Shot. Well, I have no use for him. He has expressed himself too plainly on several occasions. He seemed to think that he owned this camp and ran it until this Commandant came. Gremmell once said, “he did not care for the opinion of the other internees”; nice words, especially as they came from a supposed American. There are plenty more like him in this camp, and some of them are to a great extent to blame for the starvation. There is a big steal going on and nothing done about it. Yet, when they catch old John Doe getting an extra helping of food –15 days in the camp jail. That is Democracy as it is practised today. Oh, this camp is a wonderful place for showing up preachers, missionaries and the upright Americans.

Three years today since I came into camp. All quiet today. None of our planes and one a few Japs.


December 26, 1944

Air raid alarm at 10:30 a.m. Three B-24’s and five P-33’s came over. No rough stuff however. Note: Planes dropped leaflets over City on the nights of Dec. 24-25.

Going back for an important note. On the morning of Dec. 25, Tex Cochran, Deputy in charge of the Patrols at the Gym, (my former job) stopped a man by the name of Staples from going across the walk before time. Staples pulled a knife and cut Tex in the neck and abdomen. Tex nearly bled to death. Someone else knocked Staples down and cut his head. He was also cut with his own knife. Both are in the hospital.

On the night of Dec. 23, Carroll Grenell, Chairman of the Internees Committee and a man by the name of Larsen who works in Grenell’s office, together with Duggelby who is the head of the Family Aid Committee were locked in the cam jail by the Japanese. Grenell’s office and shanty were sealed. A number of papers were taken from Duggelby’s office. Larsen was later released but the other two are still in jail. No one seems to know the straight story.

On X’Mas Eve we were given a little over a tablespoon of jam and 1/2 of a small round of chocolate (15 grams), the first sweet for over 1 1/2 months. I ate my chocolate and kept my jam for X’mas. However, at breakfast on X’mas we had a mixture of coconut milk, sugar and chocolate for our mush. So we had a wonderful breakfast. Two ladles of mush with the chocolate mixture and coffee which looked and tasted like weak dish water. I kept my jam for my mush on Tuesday morning.

For supper on X’mas we had to small ladles of fried rice with some camotes and canned meat in it. A very sumptuous meal, no? By the way, two ladles is double our usual rationing of rice.

We have been getting two ladles of cornmeal mush for breakfast with a thimble full of coconut milk and coffee if and when. One small ladle of “lugao” at noon, ah, so thin. At night one ladle of rice and vegetable gravy.

We are out of coconuts again. The army can’t get any. So no more milk. Last night, Dec. 26, we were told there would be no more coffee. No milk, no sugar, no coffee, no bananas, for a long time now. You can get a calamansi about once every 7 to 10 days.

My stomach must think my throat is cut. My weight, 126 lbs. My spirit, as good as always.