March 11, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan

Japs attempting to penetrate western sector by putting pressure on 1st regular division. Continuous artillery bombardment in eastern front. Three raids this morning in rear areas. Rodriguez Park and Cabcaben dock subjected to intense bombing.

Saw many planes flying in direction of the Rock. On their return, they strafed Mariveles airfield.

Laborers still levelling Mariveles Field. Giant derricks rearing in eastern side of field all day. Do they still expect planes?

Boys fired at a low-flying plane near HPD. The plane turned out to be one of our fighters. We still have four.

Saw several tanks and anti-tanks moving towards eastern front. What does that mean?


Major Javallera is a dull fellow.

He was insisting that the Pampangueña he visits is nicer than the one I visit because “she is better built, curvier, you know…”

I said that the Pampangueña I visit is more intelligent and entertaining and her features are finer and proportionate.

He said: “Ah, I like a curvy body, with lots of dynamite”. “Like that!” he gestured with his hands, indicating the hips.

I said: “The trouble with you Major is that you have no esthetic sense.”

He answered: ” Of course not, I’m not a radio. What you mean –static?”

Those listening laughed.

The Major laughed too but he did not know why.

Gatas Santos is here. Will bring him to rock.

March 10, 1942

Ferrer released. Was badly manhandled.

Mateo Borja and Isias Pacheco arrived this morning after surveying the Bicol region. Reported: a good harvest in Camarines Sur, around 2,000,000 cavans of palay. Price: ₱2.00—₱2.20. In Albay, the NARIC branch was looted. ₱400 was stolen from the safe. But a balance of ₱8,000 remains in the Legaspi branch of the Philippine National Bank.

Charlie Hollman arrived from Calumpit. Said several girls were abused. Part of his clothes were looted. Some soldiers took a fancy to his shirts. One officer took his car (and) gave him a receipt in Japanese scrawl.

Java has fallen after nine days of fighting. Bataan still holds. I am proud of our boys.

Vargas cannot help Pagu. Expressed his regrets. Nobody may interfere with the Military Police. The Japanese themselves are afraid.

On my way home, saw them looking out of their windows, as they were. Noticed men gazing and giggling. The women passing by refused to look. There was a pretty one.

Distance and carelessness lend enchantment to the view.

March 10, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan

Life is getting harder and harder. Morning ration reduced to one handful of ‘lugao’.

Sometimes carabao meat is given. It is made into ‘tapa’ so that the rest can be preserved for some other day.

The mess officer told me that very soon we will have horse-meat for viand. The QM will slaughter the remaining horses of the 26th cavalry. I don’t think I can eat those brave horses.

Bombing has been intensified. Raids are more frequent. Rest periods between raids are shorter and shorter.

More men stricken with malaria and dystentery. Many shell-shocked cases. Several dozen cases of appendicitis and many tuberculosis patients.

Morale visibly on the downgrade. Officers greet fellow officers with remark: “What, is there any hope yet of the convoy?”

Reports from front indicate that the boys there are suffering from blindness especially at night due to lack of vitamins.

Men are weary, exhausted. They work all day and they also act as sentries at night. Men have only several hours of sleep. Sometimes two or three only.

We officers do double, triple work. Many officers are sick, others have died.

Gasoline shortage. Use of trucks and cars are limited. Horses that are not eaten will be used to help out in the transportation problem.

No more quinine. Medicine bottles in hospital are empty. Doctors are working day and night. Wounded have increased.

Paper for SYIM publication very limited. Practically no more stencils. Food for evacuees cut down. One civilian in evacuee camp committed suicide.

Japs continue dropping surrender-leaflets. They have changed technique. Behind surrender-leaflets, they print the picture of a naked ‘mestiza’. Still no cases of desertion.

Fred thinks “It’ll take a long time for the convoy to arrive”. “There is no use deluding ourselves,” he says.

Some of the officers believe Hart’s fleet was beaten in naval battle around Macassar strait.

Others think convoy will be diverted to Australia.

Still others cling to distant hope of war between Japan and Russia.

Very few believe the convoy will be here in a few weeks.

Some think –very few of them– that “we will all die here.”

Japs have given ultimatum urging immediate, unconditional surrender –or else.

We have chosen the: or else.


Visited her again. She helps one forget this blasted war.

We sat again under the cenniguela tree but I couldn’t stay there for more than an hour.

Fred and Leonie visited the other girl. They will rival each other. They had better make an agreement: one day Leonie, one day Fred.

When Major Javallera found out, he complained. Told Fred: “That’s my territory.”

“That’s all right, sir,” said Fred. “Don’t you believe in Communism? What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine?”

“Stand for private property,” said the Major.

“Abuse of authority, sir,” ventured Fred jokingly.

The Major replied: “All’s fair in love and war.”

March 9, 1942

MIS, HQ, Bataan

Heard Mass. Mass was celebrated beside a huge boulder under a tall tree. I was the server and a very clumsy one at that.

Confessed to priest and got short penance. He was a very understanding priest.

During communion planes roared overhead but dropped no bombs. Priest continued saying Mass without interruption. He is a very good priest, cool and calm. I don’t remember his name.

Priest gave a short sermon. He said: “A country is not made up of its geographical boundaries or its towns and cities and provinces. A country is made up of its people. The strength of a people is its Army and you are the army. Until you have been conquered, the country has not been conquered. Let God’s will be done.”

After Mass I had a short chat with him. He described how he gave a short talk to men in the front before they advanced to clear up ‘pockets’. He said he felt like crying when he saw thousands of men kneeling in the heart of the mountain to receive his blessings in a mass-confession.

He said that officers who had been away from the sacraments for years, some 10 to 20 years, went to confession.

God is in suffering, he said.

I don’t know why but whilst he spoke I kept remembering the cenniguela tree.

March 8, 1942

Ferrer wanted in Fort Santiago again. Sent a messenger to fetch him from his house. He couldn’t go to office today. He went to the fort at 11 o’clock. He should be called Job.

Fixed my papers in the office. Dismissed Valdezco, early. After all, it is Sunday. The man needs a rest. He works too hard.

Fall of Bandoeng imminent, according to Radio Tokyo. This will place the entire west side of Java in Japanese hands.

Will entreat Vargas to appeal for Pagu. Somebody said they gave him the “water-cure” and he spat blood. Must comfort his wife. Poor woman. Will ask his son what his family needs.

Many desertions by Filipino soldiers in Bataan, Domei claims. “With their morale and fighting spirit seriously undermined due to the continuous Japanese bombing and acute shortage of foodstuffs, the number of Filipino soldiers deserting from the Bataan peninsula is increasing daily,” Domei reports.

Domei indulges in wishful thinking.

March 8, 1942

MIS, HQ, Bataan

Zamboanga has been occupied at 4:35 yesterday afternoon. Pao Sen, deputy commander of Chinese Red Army was killed during Jap attack on East Hopei. Port Moresby raided by Japs for the seventh time. Batavia, capital of NEI, is in Jap hands. Sourabaya is now in peril. Broome, on the northwest coast of Australia, subjected to heavy aerial bombardment. Hangars, flying-boats and naval planes were destroyed. All the East is practically in Jap hands: all of the eastern coast of China, Hongkong, Shanghai, Thailand, Indo-China, Singapore, NEI, Borneo, and on the other side Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Wake; and the range of Jap bombers reach up to the coast of San Francisco to the interior of Australia, to the hinterlands of Chungking and beyond.

Only places that still stands within this circle holding up flag of democracy: Bataan and Corregidor.

In Manila, Japs have ordered blackout in waterfront. Reports state that waterfront filled with military supplies.

Night fishing activities and navigation in the Bay are also prohibited. This will make operation of our agents in Hagonoy difficult.

Operatives report that nobody has paid attention to Jap announcement that they will drop letters to relatives in Bataan.

Japs organizing Philippine Constabulary. Gen. Jose de los Reyes has been designated director.

Sentiments of Manilans from higherups to masses, strongly against Japs. They resent slapping and other abuses committed by Jap soldiers and officers.

Manilans expecting USAFFE to attack anytime. A lot of rumors about reinforcements.


Will be given wound chevron for injury sustained in reconnaissance patrol. Celebrated. Lt. Maceda brought a bottle of whiskey.

The General asked me: “What’s that you smell of? Have you been drinking?”

I said it was anti-malarial tonic, hic.

He laughed. Said: “Give me some. I’ve got malaria too, hell.”

March 7, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan

Went to her after sunset. Major Javallera said it was o.k. “Spend your furlough as you please but after that back to work,” he said. “How is your thigh?” he asked. I said the wound was healing fast as it was only superficial.

Sat on the grass under the cenniguela tree under the moonlight. Plenty of stars and the sky was blue and the night was beautiful.

I recited some of the poems I learned in school and she recited “Sonnets from the Portuguese.”

She was still wearing the same shorts and I was still wearing my dirty uniform but we both did not mind because we both knew this was war and we had very few clothes.

She said that two big pieces of shrapnel fell inside their shack after hitting a tree. She also showed me a piece of a machinegun bullet.

She looked beautiful in the moonlight with the wind blowing against her hair.

Again I told her that she was very nice to me and that she has made me forget a lot of the hardships of this war.

Again she asked if that was all.

Again I was silent because I really did not know if that was all.

Then I don’t know how it happened but as we lay there on the grass I turned around and kissed her on the lips and she kissed me back and then she said I must not do that again because she….

I said “Because why?”

“Because,” she hesitated but I think it was the truth “I am married to that fellow from San Beda who is now in America.”

I told her why she did not tell me before and she said that she wanted to tell me but she did not get to tell me and that she just did not know why she did not tell me.

I was silent for a long time because I had so many thoughts in mind and I could not decide whether to apologize or to get angry so I just kept quiet.

She was silent too and U could hear her breathing but she did not move from where she was lying in the grass beside me and I could feel her arm against my arm.

The sky was very beautiful above and the clouds would cover the stars and the wind made noise as it moved the leaves of the cenniguela tree. The leaves that were fried by the sun fell on the ground beside us whenever the wind blew the higher branches of the tree.

When I was going to stand up to return to the HQ because it was getting dark and besides I did not think it was proper to stay there anymore, she told me to stay where I was and she said that she was sorry.

I told her that there was nothing to be sorry about and I told her that I had a girl friend in Manila too and I hope she…

She stopped me and she said for me not to say what I was going to say because she knew it already and it would not make her feel well.

Before leaving I shook hands with her and it was quite long and then I told her I would not be able to see her any more because my leave would be over and there would be many things to do.

When I said goodbye, she opened her arms and pulled me and kissed me and she said goodbye, and she smiled.

She said: “When boys try to kiss me, I don’t slap them. I tell them I am married and that stops them.”

She smiled again.

I’ve got to admit that when she smiled and said what she said I felt like a child but I guess it was all due to the moonlight and the stars and the wind and the cenniguela tree and the sound of artillery in the front and of course her tempting way and that lovely smile and smooth complexion.

Or maybe its because I’m a dumb-cluck.

March 6, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan

Could not see her today. Could not leave the HQ. Too much bombing.

Sgt. Sinculan thinks the bombs were dropped near the evacuee camp. She might have been hit. I hope not. Will go there early tomorrow.

Had carabao’s meat today with the rice. Lt. Tatco, mess officer, was able to shoot a carabao in one of the streams of Mt. Mariveles. We fried the meat and it was delicious.

Fred opened a bottle of rhum he received from an American officer. We drank during the bombardment and it calmed our nerves.

Felt so helpless as Japs flew very low strafing and bombing at will.

Many were wounded. Many trucks outside hospital. We are like rats. Worse.

Major Montserrat is very ill. The doc says he may die.

Listened to Voice of Freedom. Its words sounded hollow after terrific bombardment. When, when, when will the convoy arrive? Will it ever arrive? If it won’t, they why don’t they tell us? If it will, is it military secrecy that keeps them from telling us? Nope, it won’t arrive any more. They can’t pass thru the Jap blockade. They can’t go beyond Macassar strait. Roosevelt was not clear about helping us in his speech. Yes, it will arrive. America is such a great nation. Her factories have stopped building cars. Nothing but planes, planes, planes. They will darken the skies with their planes. The Japs will see. Hell, where are the planes? We are like rats here, running under the ground, living in dug-outs and fox-holes, bombed morning and afternoon and night and morning again. Where is the convoy? And what about the food? Sure, its easy to say “keep on fighting” but you can’t fight without food on your stomach. Wasn’t it Napoleon who said an army marches on its stomach? They boys in the front have been there for more than 60 days without replacement, without rest, without food, food, FOOD. Yes, Voice of Freedom why don’t you answer these questions? That’s what we’d like to know. Words can’t feed us. Words, words, words. Day by day, more and more die. Die of sickness. Die of hunger. Die of bombs. Die of shells. Die of bullets. Die, Die, Die. This can’t go on forever. We are human beings. Do you hear Voice of Freedom, “we are human beings”? You can’t keep matching flesh against steel? Oh hell, what am I thinking about. Sure, help’s coming. Roosevelt said so. America is not going to let us down. The eyes of the world are on us. The whole of humanity is watching us keep up the torch in this orient that’s fast getting enveloped by darkness. This is something worth dying for! Yes, I’m going to die. I am not going to see home anymore. Not going to see mama, papa and……, hell, hell, hell, what am I thinking about… O Lord!

Raid again.

March 5, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan

Brought Sgt. Sinculan with me during my visit. Sinculan’s ankle was badly hit. He is also on furlough. He was given three weeks but he said that two weeks would be enough.

Sinculan talked with the other Pampangueña while I talked with her. She told me that my sergeant had visited the other girl four times already. I told her that Sinculan had kept it a secret.

We sat on the grass again under the cenniguela tree. I told her that the cenniguela tree reminded me of home because in our garden there was a big cenniguela tree outside my mother’s window.

She was wearing the same short shorts and the same ‘bakia’. She explained that most of her clothes were left in Dinalupihan and that the shorts she was wearing belonger to her younger brother.

We ate the last can of jelly and she was very happy. She stated that even before the war she liked jelly so that the jelly I gave her was a real treat.

She asked me when the convoy would arrive and what were our chances of pushing the Japs back if the convoy never does arrive.

She said she felt helpless seeing all these Jap planes flying at will over our lines, bombing and strafing whenever they felt like.

I asked her why she was so anxious to have the war over. I said: “When all this is over I will no longer see you, maybe.”

She started to laugh. She embraced her knees with her hands and then stretched out in the grass again.

She told me to lie down too and watch the clouds floating in the skies. She said that some clouds looked like Santa Claus.

I laid down beside her and I felt like kissing her but I did not have the nerve although I was very tempted lying down there in the grass in the sunset.

Then for the first time I told her that I thought she was beautiful and that she was the best medicine to a war weary soldier trying to recover from a bullet wound.

“Is that all?” she asked and she turned her face towards me.

“Yes,” I said, “that is all I can say.” And that was the truth.

She sat up and she placed her face between her knees. I liked the whiteness of her legs and the smoothness of her complexion.

I told her as she sat beside me whilst I lay on the grass, as I watched her against the background of a darkening sky that she was the type of girl that makes men forget themselves and lose their hearts.

She suddenly talked of my dirty clothes and asked when I was going to have my uniform washed.

It was better that she changed the subject.