July 4, 1969

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JULY 4/69

DIARY

     On board 777 THE PRESIDENT at 9:00 PM I am about to take dinner in the dining saloon in this 2,400-ton Presidential yacht which is a carry over from the administration of President Garcia from 1957 to 1961. It was ordered reparations at an alleged cost of five million pesos. If ordered today it will probably cost double the amount. It is the length of a destroyer and originally intended for 18 knots but it is travelling only at 15 knots, never dry-docked or serviced during the time of President Diosdado Macapagal. It had to be repaired by its original manufacturers in Japan in 1966 so that it might continue to be in operation otherwise it would have been sold for scrap iron — such a pity since it is such a beautiful ship. In twenty minutes it will be turning to the point at Surigao street as we have just come from Tandag, Surigao del Sur.

I we woke up at 4:30 o’clock in the morning of July 4th to discover we were anchoring between two islands that guarded entry into Tandag port. The passage from Tandag on the Pacific left side was rather rough some of bottles in the bar room

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either fell from the tables or broken.

I returned to the ship at 3:30 o’clock in the afternoon and I went to sleep at around 4:00 p.m. It was marred by noise in the Pacific side which somehow affected my golf which I attempted to exercise at about 5:30 p.m. I went around on the face on the deck for one-half hour and practiced petty ball net for another half hour after which my usual shower and massage while I worked on some papers and documents.

We have been away from Manila since the 29th of June and we departed from Pier 5 at 11:30 AM to arrive at San Juanico street at 11:30 following morning and off Tacloban at 1:30 p.m.We anchored at the port to wait for the fluvial parade which started at 4:00 o’clock p.m. and which we participated. This fluvial parade is for the Santo Niño of Tacloban. I have been Hermano Mayor for this year and I was transferring the Santo Niño to Tacloban to the new Hermano Mayor, Secretary Eduardo Romualdez of Finance, cousin of Imelda. In the evening I dedicated a new song “IMELDA” in Tacloban, the music of which was composed by Mike Velarde and sang by Ric Manrique, Rita Rivera and Cely Bautista. At 11:30 in the evening we took

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the 777 THE PRESIDENT for Maasin, Leyte del Sur after the dedication of the song. We left Olot where the 777 was anchored for Maasin where we arrived at 6:30 following morning, July 1st, where I was supposed to participate in the Ninth Anniversary of the creation of the Province of Leyte del Sur. Imelda was to take a small plane for the airport at Hilongos and take one of the LCT US small helicopter for Maasin which was one hour drive by car away. Instead however she took the DBP jet helicopter from Olot directly to Maasin which she made in 40 minutes to arrive 10:00 o’clock in the morning just after I had finished inspecting different projects like cementing of the roads, capitol building, school houses and was ready to start the program after the parade at the grandstand of Maasin High School referred to as Pilot High School in as much as it is the pilot project for high school and manpower training in the province. This was obviously the first helicopter that ever landed in Maasin and it attracted attention so much so it endangered the lives of the spectators who milled around the small helicopter. I ordered the two helicopters based at Hilongos at LCT to come to Maasin to seek cover. The reason I am taking the

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boat is first my nose is clogged and the doctors advised meDo not fly while I have severe cold because any sudden changes in elevation may cause a rupture in eardrum or a return of my congestion of the inner ear and at the same time Imelda dreamt of accident in airplane because of the death of President Magsaysay at Mount Manungal on March 17, 1967. Because of the raw reports lately to the effect that the men of the Opposition candidate, Senator Sergio Osmeña, Jr., are planning a sabotage and they are after to assassinate me, she insisted that I do not take plane or helicopter any time now. And there have been on several instances of suspected sabotage of the Presidential plane — Fokker 29 — and the Presidential helicopter which crushed off Bohol made and crush landing in the water in Bohol and sunk after 40 minutes. After turning the point at Surigao del Norte and passing by the Mindanao deep at Dapa the seas have become even and quiet and the boat was quite stable. I find my visit to the provinces by ship more restive as there are none of these hurry and scunny which attend by plane.

I also have an opportunity to rest in the afternoon after the meetings. When I went to Maasin on the first of July and after we finished the meeting at which time Imelda flew by helicopter back to Olot, Leyte which she reached in 45 minutes. The five minutes delay of her arrival was apparently caused by her flying all over the various valleys throughout Leyte to acquaint herself with the agricultural areas of the Province. This is the first

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time she flew southward along the Pacific area by helicopter. I attended the lunch at the Governor’s house (Gov. Yñiguez) where I conferred with former Governor Bantug, Governor Bernardo Torres and the three LP mayors — Mayor Espina of Malitbog and the Lim brothers. At 2:30 p.m. we left Maasin and reached Olot at 9:30 in the evening. I was able to reach the guest house after a separate passage which is around 800 meters away off from the shore. The waves were quite probably about two feet high.

But on the way from Maasin I went to sleep taking a short nap from 3 to 4 p.m. and to work on some papers and read some books.

Same thing is true from Tandag. I was able to finish the conference at the Municipal hall at Tandag at about 2 o’clock p.m. I brought Congressman Gregorio Murillo and Congressman Constantino Navarro with Governor Modesto Castillo and Governor Sering of Surigao del Norte on board with me with some of the mayors, board members and councilors. We were finding solution for the organization of the party and the operations that we are conducting for registration of voters, and information on agricultural development. Agricultural development because we discovered in Surigao del Sur that up to now it has no irrigation system.

I observed on the way to Tago, especially the way to the inauguration, of the road which we have

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opened a stretch of about 80 kilometers from Tandag to Leñgig, the road now having reached the last barrio of Surigao del Sur at San Roque and ready to reach Cateel of Davao at the cost of P2,600,000. For the first time the Bayabas-Kaguit and another town of South Agusan which was used to be unconnected with road are now connected by road. We are trying to finish the bridge at Gamot, Tago — the biggest voting town with the previous registered voters of more than 8,000. Tandag, the capital town, is about 5,000 only.

We are also finishing a 4,000 hectares guaranteed irrigation project in Cantilan in the coast. It should be inaugurated before my birthday on Sept. 11.

Four years ago in 1965 at about this time I have already finished campaigning throughout the entire Philippines but I remember that in the birthday of Imelda she had a small party going to Olot and I landed like Magellan from a small motor launch which could be brought within a meter of sandy beach and from which I jumped into the beach itself. As soon as I became President I recommended to Congress in my State of the Nation address on January 23, 1966 to limit election expenditures and period for campaigning. I recommended the period for campaigning for national offices be limited to 120 days and for local offices be limited to 90 days.

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This was adopted and which is known as the Tañada-Singson law, because they were the ones who authored the bill I presented to both Houses of Congress. Because of this nominations to national offices such as the Presidency, Vice-Presidency and Senators have been delayed. On June 15, 1969 the Opposition or the Liberal Party, after much confusion and a costly consensus as well as a directorate meeting, all presumably financed by the candidates for the Presidency, the presidential nomination in the Opposition listed the officially nominated candidates; Senator Sergio Osmeña, Jr., Senate Minority Floor Leader Ambrosio Padilla and former Speaker Cornelio Villareal whom I have helped to depose in March 1967 because of the need for a fully controlled House of representatives in as much as the members of the Senate even in my own party were beginning to show antagonism towards my proposals who wore too revolutionary for their conservative taste. In his place I used my moral influence over the House of Representatives to support now incumbent Speaker Jose B. Laurel, Jr. I often wonder as to what would have been happening if this was

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not materialized because as of now I occasionally received reports from the Laurel family including one lady, senator whom we have helped to elect from our funds and actively campaigned in 1967 elections. Senator Salvador “Doy” Laurel has an ambition someday. I gathered information he is preparing for 1973 Presidential elections to coincide with the termination of the Laurel-Langley agreement.

Either Speaker Laurel or Senator Salvador Laurel is aspiring for the Presidency. Our experience with a lady senator have been rather sad. Imelda personally chose Senator Helen Benitez, President of the Philippine Women’s University, her Alma Mater, as the lone representative of the ladies for senator in that election. We practically ran the nominations through the directorate meeting against the violent opposition of the old party leaders. She was specially mentioned by me in all my speeches in the campaign of 1967. She was given P200,000 for her personal expenses by the First Lady and yet a few days ago as Committee Chairman, in the Senate Committee on Housing, Urban Development and Resettlement, allegedly according to the papers for I have not received a formal report on this matter, she used uncalled for remarks attributed to me that we have violated the law and that

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the 16 million-dollar contract of machinery between National Housing Corporation and the Hildebrand for low cost housing was a waste of funds, because an American Corporation presumably headed by Lock had testified that he could have produced 1/32 of the cost. As J. V. Cruz said in his column – HERE AND THERE — in the Manila Times, this naive assumption by the Committee which adopted this testimony of this American firm is not totally without any reservation nor any concern about the truth and basis of his statement has questioned the integrity of such men like Chairman, Board of Directors of the Development Bank of the Philippines and most prestigious bank, the President of the Philippine National Bank, the Administrator of the Social Security System and the General Manager and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Government Service Insurance System who were organizers of the National Housing Corporation which purchased this equipment.

This is in accordance with my plan to set up a massive low cost housing construction program over the Philippines. This is because according to the experts we need to build 400,000 units every year to meet the requirements of housing shortage in the Philippines, 300,000 of which will be constructed in the

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urban areas and 100,000 units for mostly hard hit typhoon and fire victims and squatters and low income in the labor group.

It was my intention to build houses for the laboring class costing not more than P5,000.00 each with two bedrooms and all the necessary facilities including kitchen, bathroom and toilet and small sala and dining room. No down payment whatsoever payable for a period of 20 to 25 years at a low rate of 6%. The amortization will probably be P1.00 a day. This could be afforded by our laborers residing in the urban areas. We are now hoping that the low-salaried earners will save in the form of rental at an average of P2.50 a day. Thus we have to purchase the equipment necessary to meet the needs for this massive housing. The conflict here arises the boldness such program was initialed for the capital outlay is indeed staggering initially since it is about 16 million pesos but perhaps over a period of _____ years the down payment of 16 million pesos which has already been paid in the form of funds of the national government by some financial institutions which

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made a complete study of the project from the view point of experts whom they have consulted. We have met this problem with the effort to cut red tape in the purchase of equipment. But the Panel-Lock homes succeeded in getting some __________ of a judge issuing injunction. Incidentally one of these judges who has been rude before the Supreme Court as having been guilty of issuing injunction even without a hearing was suspended by me and later on removed from the judiciary, another bold step that we have to take which is unthought of in this society for which respect for the judiciary was at its highest type. We have to maintain the judiciary although grievances of people reaching the point of litigation will be probably redressed.

For after the usual formality and the losing parties have obtained the services of our politicians in the legislature to bring about a legislative investigation to block the project. This was purely the obvious reason for the opposition by the second contractor who claims that they will be deprived of legitimate source of income by the government. When they were called by Chairman Licaros of the DBP and offered the contract to them to build the

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houses at the same rates and under the same terms they confessed that they could not build those houses and yet the zarzuela continues their connection. It was made by no less than the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Housing and Resettlement, Senator Helen Benitez, who owes her position to the First Lady and myself. Perhaps it is necessary to record that recently she lost out in a conflict of boundary in a forest concession in Polilio, Province of Quezon to the Universal Timber Corporation. Before that she had been persisting in demanding the establishment of a sawmill presumably near her farm which I discover from the charges filed by incumbent minority floor leader of the House, Congressman Justiniano Montano, on the road to which she has spent part of the P200,000 that I released for typhoon damage from her provincial allocation. She has sought to obtain some deals in reparations which I refused to participate in and before the war damage educational fund was allocated among the private universities she wanted monopolize the amounts set for private institutions in medical center in the Philippine Women’s University

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all of which I turned down. I wonder what affected her change of position in the Senate.

We are now proceeding towards Cagayan de Oro City which should be reached by five o’clock following morning. We may be able to proceed from here to Malaybalay, Bukidnon which I have not visited for sometime since I became President. Incidentally Cagayan de Oro City is within the Province of Misamis Oriental, the home province of Senator Emmanuel Pelaez, former Vice-President of President Diosdado Macapagal. He was my principal opponent in the convention of November, for Presidential nomination in the Nacionalista Party. I campaigned for my nomination from the date I joined the Nacionalista Party in April, 1964 up to the convention time, except the period when I was ill from an infection of the gall bladder in me for about one month. I was told by my doctors it was necessary to be operated on and the alternative was antibiotics but the second attack should probably be dextrose if I were not operated immediately. Imelda said I should not be operated as this would adversely affect my nomination in the coming convention of 1964. This was a chance

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that had to be taken and had to limit my diet to almost no meat and oil whatsoever. I had the gall bladder removed in January, 1967 immediately after my State of the Nation Address on January 23, 1967 when I suffered pains and several attacks before the Joint Session of Congress. Dr. Sison, my attending physician, at the time thought that the campaign was…..

The Presidential yacht is No. 777, the number of votes, that made me win the convention of 1964 as against Senator Emmanuel Pelaez who received 444 votes, in the second balloting in the convention.

Senator Pelaez campaigned for President Macapagal bitterly attacking me on any pretext and ground whatsoever to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in that election of 1965. In 1967 when I noticed that he was beginning to come along to my point of view on any issues where he claims he thought I was right, he decided to re-join the Nacionalista Party and run for the Senate. Most of the party leaders objected to his candidacy for the Senate. We were however able to push his nomination and he came out No. 5 in the election.


April 29, 1945 Sunday

It was 3 o’clock in the morning; the boat started to move. We could not see anything; it was pitch black. Destination unknown.

In the dark, the events of the past days came back to me.

We left Irisan, a town about six kilometers from Baguio on April 12, 1945 headed towards Agoo, an American-captured territory in the Province of La Union. After walking four days and four nights across mountains, we arrived at Pitugan, La Union. Across the river which bordered the U.S.-liberated province, we saw our first sight of our American liberators, a group of soldiers led by a Capt. Linguist. Our happiness at seeing the Americans was such that tears streamed down our faces. “Here are our liberators!” we exclaimed.

The Captain was tall. He might not have been a handsome man but to us he was the embodiment of perfection. He shook hands with Manuel Roxas first, with Jose Yulo next, and then with me. I had shaken hands with presidents (including Roosevelt), emperors (Hirohito and Pu Yi), and princes (Prince of Wales), but I had never taken a hand with more gusto than when I shook the hand of the Captain.

Capt. Linguist was very kind and nice to us. He gave orders left and right, doing everything he could for us. The Americans helped us across the river and, although we were already in the safety zone, the Captain took all the necessary precautions; soldiers with sub-machine-guns were posted around us throughout the night while we slept before proceeding towards the town of Tubao.

Deep in our hearts we felt an unbounded feeling of gratitude. Not for a moment did it enter our minds that our liberators, for whose return we prayed fervently everyday, were going to be our incarcerators.

At 7 a.m., we started for Tubao. When we reached the town of Rizal, we were met by a military truck driven by an American. We boarded the truck and reached Tubao about 10 a.m. Here in Tubao, we saw the place where the shelling of Baguio came from. That same morning, we were taken to Aringay, to the U.S. Army Headquarters. The Americans served us lunch. For the first time since the war, we had a real American dinner with bread and butter, ham, coffee, iced tea, etc. Here we were introduced to the head of the Army operating around Baguio, Major General Carlson.

We were photographed with the General and his staff. The Filipino group was composed of Gen. Manuel Roxas, Chief Justice Jose Yulo, Minister Rafael Alunan, Minister Teofilo Sison, Minister Quintin Paredes, and myself. We were also introduced to Lt. Col. Arcing Arvey. We were asked many questions, one of which was what we thought about the postponement of Philippine independence. As the senior in our party, Mr. Yulo answered for the group—that we were opposed to the proposition. Col. Arvey asked whether we did not need time for economic readjustment. He answered, “There is no incompatibility between the two. We can have independence and economic readjustment with the help of America.”

I was elated at his response as this represented my own thoughts and sentiments. We have heard rumors that the Imperialists had sent men here—Army officers, and men in the C.I.C.—to work for the withdrawal of the independence plan. It was their plan to work through the Filipinos: they want the Filipinos themselves to petition for the postponement of independence. They cannot do it directly in America as the majority of the Americans are against imperialism. As a matter of fact, I was present in the U.S. Congress when they voted down a large appropriation for the fortification of Guam. They argued that America should pull out of the Orient. But the Imperialists want to be able to show that the Filipinos themselves do not want independence. They are absolutely wrong if they think the Filipinos will give up their lifelong desire for independence.

We stayed three days in Tubao. We were given plenty of K-rations to eat. On the morning of April 19, a car driven by an American came for us. We thought we were going to be taken to San Fabian as we were made to understand. But before we started the trip, a Capt. Donahue explained to us that we would be brought to San Fernando where he hoped we would not stay long. He was very nice and apologetic.

We were shown the April 18, 1945 issue of the Free Philippines which stated that Gen. MacArthur had announced that American liberation forces “captured four members of the collaborationists cabinet”. The article continues: “The puppet officials who fell into American hands were Jose Yulo, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Antonio de las Alas, Minister of Finance, Teofilo Sison, Minister of the Interior, and Quintin Paredes, Minister of Justice, in the quisling Laurel Cabinet.” It also quoted from the American General, “They will be confined for the duration of the war as a matter of military security and then turned over to the government of the Philippines for trial and judgment.”

We were all dumbfounded. We never expected it.

On the way to San Fernando, we passed through San Fabian, a very busy port. All roads were improved, even widened and asphalted. The roads were jammed with military vehicles, including amphibian trucks. We arrived in San Fernando and proceeded directly to the U.S. Army Headquarters. At about 3 p.m., we were told to proceed to Manila. We were not able to say goodbye to our families.

We arrived in Manila at sundown. We drove around to different places, including offices in the Government Insurance Building and the Singian house just below the Ayala Bridge. It seemed like they didn’t know where to take us. Finally, we were taken to a house in Quezon City, arriving there about 7 p.m. Since may daughter Lily, Mrs. Ambrosio Padilla, lived nearby in the San Miguel district, I asked permission to be allowed to visit her. I was rather surprised when my request was denied.

When we arrived in Quezon City, we were joined by Pedro Sabido, F. Baybay, Jose Sanvictores, Francisco Zulueta, Sergio Bayan and Proceso Sebastian. Zulueta sympathized with me; he too could not understand why I was not allowed to see Lily, especially since we spent several days in Quezon City. On April 21, Zulueta was taken ill and had to be brought to a hospital.

We expected to see Gen. Manuel Roxas who was not brought with us to Manila, but he was not among those who arrived. It is said that he was also detained but given a certain degree of freedom.

In the morning of the 24th, Ministers Claro M. Recto, Rafael Alunan and Emilio Abello, and Gen. Guillermo Francisco arrived from Baguio. Recto and Gen. Francisco were very indignant. Recto said that if he had known what was in store for him, he would have preferred to have stayed in Baguio.

Next day, Wednesday, April 25th, we were all photographed and fingerprinted. I felt humiliated. We were all bitter, and we broke into tears. Generally, however, we thought that even this forced detention was better than our situation in Baguio where we were virtual prisoners subject to the dangers of bombing, shelling, and above all massacre by the Japanese Armed Forces.

In the afternoon, we were fingerprinted and photographed again, Gen. Francisco included. The morning photographed and fingerprinting session was for the Military Policy Command; the afternoon session, for the Counter Intelligence Corps.

When we arrived in the house in Quezon City, I was interrogated by two gentlemen, a Mr. Stanford and a Mr. Hendricks. I was questioned not only about myself, but also about others in the party, and other persons. I was asked about Secretary Kalaw, Mayor Guinto, Vice Mayor Figueroa, Vicente Madrigal, Leopoldo Aguinaldo, Sergio and Nicasio Osmeña, Fiscal Mabanag and Camino Moncado. I tried to make a correct and just appraisal of them.

In the following days, from April 25 to the 27th, I was questioned repeatedly. I was asked by Mr. Hendricks and Mr. Stanford about the Philippine currency taken from banks. I prepared a statement in reply to all their questions. In my report I also mentioned about the seizure by the Japanese authorities of the Philippine National Bank funds in Baguio.

After a week of separation, I received for the first time letters from my wife and other members of my family. They arrived in Manila last Sunday, April 22. My son-in-law, Ambrosio Padilla (Paddy), and my brother-in-law, Jose Lontoc, drove all the way from Manila to Tubao to get them. My family is now staying in an “entresuelo” in the grand old house owned by Paddy’s mother located in Rodriguez Arias St. In the letter, my wife wrote that on the way to Manila, they passed by Paniqui, Tarlac, to the house of my other son-in-law, Ramon Cojuangco. Ramon confirmed the death of my daughter, Natividad (Neny). I became almost desperate. When we were taken to the U.S. Headquarters in La Union we met some friends from Manila who were officers of the USAFFE. One of them was Major Nakpil who told me of Neny’s death. Before this, I refused to believe it.

My eldest daughter, Lily, and her family were all in good health. I have a new grandson, born during the battle for liberation of Manila. I have two grandchildren now, the other being Josie.

I also learned about the burning of all our houses. But we would have preferred to lose all if only Neny could have been saved.

Mr. Stanford is a very friendly and understanding gentleman. He promised to do all he could for us. He is a Republican and freely expressed his opinion. Naturally, he opposed many of Roosevelt’s policies. Among other things, he said that all allied nations must be made to defray the expenses of the war.

The next morning, we were all happy, having heard from our families and knowing that they were back safely in Manila. At about 11 a.m., an American Lieutenant came to advise that we were leaving at 12:30 p.m. All of us became very sad. We did not know our destination. I tried to get permission to be allowed to go to the house of the Padillas because it was just nearby. My request was denied. At 1 o’clock, a harsh looking Captain came in a big truck. We were ordered to board the truck. The Captain followed us in a jeep. We were escorted by American guards with rifles. We were told not to talk to anybody.

The truck headed for Quezon Boulevard, and when it turned right on Azcarraga St., we all thought we were being taken to the Bilibid Prison. But we drove by the Bilibid Prison and went straight along Azcarraga St. to the North Port. We heard the Captain asking for directions to Pier 8. We were lost for a while; we even went beyond Tondo Church. Finally, we got to Pier 8.

We were left in the open truck for two hours with the sun blazing down on us. We could have been allowed to leave the truck to be in a shady place since the whole place was under the control of the Army. Here we got an inkling of what kind of treatment was in store for us. The Filipinos around who apparently recognized us, looked at us with sympathetic eyes. Apparently, the delay was due to the fact that we waited for the four trucks loaded with prisoners from Bilibid Prison. Among the prisoners we recognized Gov. S. Aquino of the 3rd District, Gov. Urquico of Tarlac, Hilario Camino Moncado and Francisco C. de la Rama. Later, we found out that the two leaders of the Hukbalahap, Luis Taruc and Casto Alejandrino, were also with them.

At about 3 o’clock, we were ordered to board a landing barge. Gov. P. Sebastian had a heavy load, so I helped him. The barge took us to a boat of 7,000 tons capacity named Lewis Morris. We were ordered to go down to the hold of the ship. It was here where we found out that there were many other detainees, about a hundred of us. We were herded in a place too small for us—crammed in the boat’s hold, about 20 by 20 meters. It was hot. We howled in protest. Overhead, someone removed the wooden trapdoor. It became a little cooler. We were all very thirsty. Moncado saved the situation by managing to go up on deck. How he did it is still a mystery to us. I surmised that he used a human pyramid to reach the opening. He was away for a very long time and we feared that he had been caught. To our surprise and jubilation, he appeared and handed down buckets of water to us.

All expressed indignation. We did not deserve such a treatment. Recto said if he was assured that his family would be taken care of, he would rather die. Gen. Francisco said that after having served the Philippines and America, he could not understand why he was being thus treated. Yulo, the coolest headed among us, said, “I will never allow an American to cross the threshold of my house.”

Later, we learned unofficially that we were going to the Iwahig Penal Colony.

We were served breakfast at 9 a.m. At about 11 a.m., the boat stopped. We were allowed to go up on deck. The air was very refreshing. We saw a convoy of over 50 ships.

We were only allowed on deck for one hour after breakfast. Lunchtime came; we were very hungry. No lunch. After 2 o’clock we were told that we were to be given only two meals a day. Then at 4 o’clock, we were told we could go up on deck again for one hour. Finally, at 5 o’clock, they served us our supper of canned salmon. It was abundant.