November 7, 1944

Saw some of the Jap troops that arrived recently. They looked haggard, unkempt, underfed. Their shoes were made of black cloth and some were dragging their feet. Their uniforms were very dirty and smelly. Many of them were asking the people downtown f they were in Australia. No doubt Japanese people are being duped by their leaders.

Listened to the Voice of Freedom from Leyte yesterday. Heard Brig. Gen. Romulo speaking. I immediately recognized his voice although at times it sounded tired and far away. Then the Philippine National Anthem was played and I felt like crying. The last time I heard the Voice of Freedom was in Mt. Mariveles. I was lying on the ground, shivering with malaria. Brig. Gen. Lim of the 41st and Brig. Gen. de Jesus of the Military Intelligence Service were listening too. It was April 8th, the night the lines broke in the eastern sector. The Voice said: “Bataan has fallen but its spirit will live on forever….” there were other weary-looking, haggard Filipino officers under the tall trees of Mariveles that night gathered around the radio. All of us had tears in our eyes. Gen. Lim wiped his eyes with a dirty handkerchief and Gen. de Jesus turned around because he did not want to show his feelings.

Heard Clift Roberts speaking from Gen. MacArthur’s headquarters to Blue Network last night. He was poking fun at Radio Tokyo. He said that the soldiers in Leyte listened to Radio Manila and Tokyo for fun. Imagine the difference! Here under the Jap rule, we listen at the risk of our lives. One man was shot for listening in on KGEI.

Walter Dunn speaking to CBS described the rehabilitation work now being undertaken in Leyte. He said bananas cost 1 centavo each; now they cost ₱2.20 in Manila; Eggs at 3 centavoa piece in Leyte and here it costs ₱10 each; corned beef, .13 and here ₱25.

Its raining this morning. Maybe there won’t be any raids. I watched the planes yesterday afternoon hitting Murphy and U.P. site in Quezon City. They kept circling and diving over their objectives and there was practically no ground nor air resistance.

I don’t know why but my Jap neighbor came to the house yesterday. He was full of explanations. “We are just drawing them in”, he explained. I did not say a word. He also stated that their Number 1 General is here. General Yamashita, conqueror of Singapore. Gen. Kuroda is now in Baguio, he revealed.

Walked down V. Mapa with Johnnie and Eddie. We didn’t bow before the sentry. He got sore, called Johnnie. Eddie and I remained on the other side of the street. Johnnie bowed before him. “Discretion is the better part of valor,” said Johnnie.

Jap Military Police are now very active, taking people to Ft. Santiago on mere suspicion. One house near Johnnie’s was raided by about fifty M.P.’s with fixed bayonets. They arrested two doctors living there. According to rumors, the two doctors have already been killed.

The Japs have their backs against the wall. They are fighting a losing fight. Their actions are desperate. They’re commandeering all forms of transportation. Any rig they see, they take. They got all horses. They’re taking bicycles too. Filipinos can’t even ride streetcars these days. Its only for Japs. Everything in the market is being taken by them. They are the only ones using cars. Most Filipinos walk. Somebody said “They might take our legs too.” One fellow laughed at the idea. “I’m not wisecracking,” said the first fellow. “If they take our lives, why not legs.”


November 5, 1944

Just came out of the shelter so I’m quite dirty right now. The bombing was quite stiff and the mud on the sides started to scatter all over the place. I can’t stand the shelter so I went out to take a look at the dogfights. Saw a plane shot atop Camp Murphy. First it started to spin downward and then there was smoke and finally it lighted up in flames. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. I don’t know whether it was Jap or U.S. The bombing began at about 8 a.m., just after Mass and it ended at 8:30. They came back again at 10. I wonder if they’ll come back before this afternoon.

Perrucho was here and he was complaining about his salary. He is receiving ₱22o plus corn ration of 200 grams. That’s certainly not enough. A ‘papaya’ costs ₱50. If you take your lunch downtown, it’ll cost you around ₱300. Then, of course, the conversation was all about the war. People think Luzon will be invaded before the Elections. Anybody who thinks otherwise is considered a defeatist. Papa told us not to speak very loud because outside the house there is a Japanese sentry. The Japs are very strict these days.

Everything is quiet right now, although we are still under ‘alert’. The radio is still blacked out. If you look out of my window and the see the fields and the carabao wallowing in the mud near Tito’s shack, you’d think there was no war.

Now I can hear the motor of Jap planes. There are three of them flying near Murphy. There are four columns of smoke in the direction of Mandaluyong and another one around Pasay.

Mama’s calling me for lunch. She says we better eat early because they might come back again.

I listened to the press dispatches from Leyte last night. In fact, I’ve been listening for the last of three nights. I like the shows of Dunn, Flarety, Clint Roberts, Cummison and others. The Time Inc. story was also very good.

P.S.

This is shocking news. Eking Albert was captured. You probably heard of his escape from Muntinglupa and his guerrilla activities. He is a great loss. He had a thousand and one ideas and he had nothing but his country in mind. He is a great kid.

Because of Eking’s arrest and the arrest of Gen. de Jesus I am very cautious these days. I have made arrangements for a hurried escape, just in case the Japs start knocking at my door one of these nights.


September 21, 1944

Note: after the last previous entry, April 20, 1942, the diary resumes at this point.

U.S. planes bombed Manila this morning and afternoon. They came from the northeast like a hundred daggers stabbing through a cloudy sky. They were dark, thick-set, chunkily-built, short-winged, heavy-nosed birds. They had an ominous roar, that rose in an ever-deepening crescendo. They were flying confidently, serenely, masters of the tropic sky. They looked like eagles flying above old familiar haunts, searching for the hawks that once surprised them out of their nests. They were returning to their old home and in their wings they carried tons of revenge.

Mike and I were watching four Japanese planes simulating a dogfight while AA gunners fired smoke-shells at them. Then all of a sudden, Mike shouted: “Look!” He pointed a vast formation of light bombers. We started counting, 20, 40, 80, we gave up the idea. They were so many and they were coming from all directions. Then the AA guns started firing at them and the cannonading began to shake the house and the sky was filled with shell-bursts that looked like flowers blooming. But the planes flew on, on, on, steadily towards their objectives. Dad ran to the garden to watch the planes. They were flying in the direction of Nichols and Murphy. I ran to the window upstairs and I saw a sight that filled my heart with joy. Mike beside me had tears in his eyes. We saw those planes circling around Murphy and then one by one, they dove, dove, dove and the earth began to shake and the windows in my room started to rattle and then columns of smoke and flames rose from where they had dropped their cargoes. The girls ran to the air-raid shelter because by this time pieces of shrapnel were falling on the tennis court. A stray bullet pierced through the roof in grandpop’s room but no one was hurt. This was at 9:40 a.m. I looked at the time because I have been waiting for this sight for more than two years –since the bloody days of Bataan.

The planes came back again at 10, 10:30 and 11. Everybody at home was happy. “It won’t be long no.” Said Mike. The Japanese across the street were very nervous and the sentries ran to their houses to get their steel helmets. It was a funny sight.

In the afternoon, a Japanese soldier who spoke broken English came to the house. He said that the Pier area was bombed and rebombed and that two of his friends were killed. The poor soldier was very nervous and papa told me to give him a glass of water. But before I could get the water for him, the bombers were back again. Joe Meily and I climbed the roof of the garage and we watched them circling over the Bay area. They were flying very low but not a single Japanese plane came up to challenge them.

By night time, there were a dozen fires all around Manila. My aunt and cousins slept on the lower floor of their house “just in case they come again”. While I was just about to sleep, there was a very strong explosion that almost threw me out of bed. Vic says it may have been a time bomb. Then the phone rang. “At last, its fixed!” Says Vic. Bustamante was on the line. He reported that several people were killed in Quiapo by AA shrapnel. He also said that Manilans might have water by tomorrow morning as the Metropolitan Water District was doing its best to repair the broken pipes. I haben’t had a bath the whole day.


December 9, 1941

Some boys came to school, not knowing that classes had been suspended. The Fathers and the workers went to the seashore in the school bus to get sand with which to barricade the vestibule entrance with sandbags. A van came from Calamba with sacks and more sand from Pasay. It will take us more than a week to cover the windows and doors with about a thousand sacks of sand. We took off our habits and started to work. We were helped by some students and cadets.

 

By midmorning, we were taken aback by American soldiers installing a big anti-aircraft in front of Letran College. Two of the soldiers, soiled and emaciated, with their rifles hanging, approached me asking for confession. I invited them to the chapel. They knelt without putting down their rifles.

After hearing their confession and giving them communion, I asked them to take a cup of coffee. They said they came from Clark Air Base. The night before and early in the morning, the Japanese raid had caused enormous destruction. They could not tell how many American planes were burned or how many pilots, mechanics and officers were killed. Casualties were heavy on their side. They were scared, but they left Letran physically and spiritually relieved.

Other camps in the outskirts of Manila—Nichols, Murphy, McKinley—have suffered similar destructions. Fires can be seen from all over the city. From our roof, they look imposing. Witnesses inform us that many houses are burning in Baclaran.

In the afternoon, the anti-aircraft gun in front of Letran College was removed, to our great relief. The same thing is happening in other places where pieces of artillery had been installed. The military placed them, removed them. There seems to be widespread confusion in the military organization. Cars, trucks and buses ply about with a seeming lack of direction. The military have begun commandeering vehicles for the transport of military personnel. They pay well for their use or purchase.

The infernal barking of guns continued throughout the night. One could not tell whether they were firing at the planes, at people, at the lights, or at ghosts.

Heaps of bamboo poles were being burned during the night. They were arranged like fans and inverted cones. As they burned, they presented a pictureque and beautiful sight, if one was in the mood to enjoy the spectacle.

We were told that the youth would be called to active duty, especially those who had already been trained in college and those who had complied with military training in cadres. Many want to be reactivated, and they have volunteered. Most of them were told to wait. The country is in danger and the youth are anxious to defend her, but their services are not accepted. Here is an enigmatic irregularity that is hard to explain.


September 3, 1941

Our Q-Boat depth charge firing exercises against submarine targets will continue during the week to finally complete the training program. Then, I understand the selection Board headed by C,OSP Capt. Andrada will announce the permanently  designated officers and crew of Q-111 Luzon; Q-112 Abra; and Q-113 Agusan. There are only six slots for Os to come from fifteen prospective candidate that are undergoing this rigid training.  I am keeping my fingers crossed. For EMs, there will be only 17 coveted slots.

Aside from the FA, CAC, and PAAC Training Schools activated two days ago, the following Training Schools are activated today to train the hundreds Os being mobilized:

  • Medical School at Ft. McKinley under Maj. Joseph U. Weaver MC USA
  • Medical School at Camp Murphy under Maj. Jack W. Schwartz MC USA
  • QM & Motor Trpt. School at Port Area, Manila under Maj. Michael Quinn QMS
  • US Signal School at Ft. McKinley under Capt. Lassiter Mason SigC USA
  •  Engineers School at Ft. McKinley under Lt. Antonio C. Chanco CE PA USAFFE
  • Infantry Schools at every Mobilization Centers in all Military Districts.

Manila News today say Nazi forces overran Smolensk after three weeks fighting Stalin’s Army and is now about 200 miles from Moscow.  Meanwhile, British and Russian forces invaded Iran announcing their intention is only to get rid of German Agents and Technicians residing in Iran. They said their forces will withdraw as soon as the threat of German invasion or 5th Column Operation is nullified.


August 13, 1941

Our Q-Boats night attack exercises continue under different situations with greater intensity.  My PAAC Mistah Aranzaso also reported that the 6th Pursuit Sqdn. where he belongs are having intensive exercises at Zablan Field. My other classmates aside from Aranzaso in that Squadron under the command of 1st. Lt. Jess Villamor are Lts. Bartolome Cabangbang, Urbano Caldoza, Horacio Farolan and Pete Aragon.  I got the same report about intensive training exercises from my classmates in the Infantry at Camp Murphy and the Artillery at Camp Dau and Fort Wint since the USAFFE was announced last July 27.

Col. Clifford Bluemel USA is appointed Comdt., CGSS to be assisted by Cols. Clyde Selleck, William A. Brougher, and Albert Jones, all US Army Os selected by MacArthur.

Our Q-Boat training on night sneak attacks was completed last week.  This week, our training  will be on anti-aircraft firing  with drone targets towed by airplanes.

Manila News front page says the British and Soviets warn Iran  to get rid of excess German tourist.  Also, London and Moscow  signed a Trade Agreement.


June 18, 1941

News we got in Manila today states that Washington (DC) orders all German Consulates in USA be closed.  At the same time, Canadian Prime Minister King pledges total support to British  war effort.  On the other hand, Turkey signs Friendship Pact with Hitler.

I also have seven magnificent classmates in the Civil Engineer (CE) Corps, an elite branch that qualifies only those who graduated with the first 10% bracket in academics. The CE Corps  is also a new PA branch of Sv organized in late 1936 at a remote place east of Camp Murphy at Santolan Road.  As of  this date, my seven classmates in the CE are: Lt. Licurgo Estrada, Aide to Def Sec Teofilo Sison;  Lt Washington Sagun, (my wife for two years) ExO, 31st Engr Bn;  Lt Cipriano de Leon, ExO, 81st Engr Bn;  Lt Reynaldo Bocalbos, Cadre Comdr, Engr Cadre, Calape, Bohol; Lt Pedro M Yap, ExO, 1st Engr Bn; Lt Pedro B Francisco, ExO, 71st Engr Bn; and Lt Ramon Olbes, ExO, 51st Engr Bn.  Lts Licurgo Estrada and Pedro Yap were full pledge Civil Engineers when they entered PMA.  Lt Olbes was originally with us at the OSP but due to sea sickness, transferred to CE.  He was also the Baron at PMA for two years, a record difficult to surpass.

Let me tell you about the three remaining classmates whose whereabouts have not been covered.  Two of them joined the Signal Corps namely Lt Jose Rodriguez who is presently assigned as Instructor at  the Signal Troop School in Fort Mckinley.  The other, Lt Amos Francia, a fellow Bulakenio and a relative is the Div Signal O, 61st Div.  The third, Lt Florencio Causin, the best class horseman went to the Cavalry and is at present assigned to PMA as Equitation Officer.

Just as the practice today, before graduation, we were given three choices of branch of service listing by priority.  Many of my classmate chose the PAAC, OSP, CAC. FA, Inf, etc but none the PC because we felt that one does not need to have a BS degree to do police work.  Our mind was conditioned to technical matters to apply the vast academic  knowledge we have. On my part, I chose the OSP as I predicted a maritime Philippines of more than 7,000 islands whose territorial area is 75% water needs sea power as its primary defense like Japan and England to be a great nation. Capt. Jose V Andrada, USNA ’31, then C,OSP came personally to PMA to interview the many applicants and I was lucky to be among the magnificent seven selected. This accounts for all the 79 members of Class ’40 and their whereabouts.


June 7, 1941

As war clouds continue to gather in our Pacific region with intense Jap mil activities in nearby Indo-China, emboldened by their pact with Germany and Italy, US military dependents are being evacuated to the US mainland. The last batch of US dependents departed today aboard the US Army Transport US Grant.

Intense military training are not confined only to the OSP but PA wide also.  My 29 classmates completed their training at the Infantry School, Camp Murphy, QC under Gen Mateo Capinpin.  Their services are in great demand, so I hear from my former high school classmate and fellow Bulakenio, Cav Faustino “Tinoy” Sebastian, who tried PAAC first, washed out to graduate No. 1 in the Infantry School.  These ’40 new graduates are being distributed all over the 10 Mil Districts as key Os.

According to Tinoy, the assignments are as follows:

Infantry School as Instructors: 3d Lts. Faustino Sebastian, Antonio Perez, Hospicio Tuazon & Ricardo Angeles; 1st Reg Div: 3d Lts David Pelayo, Jose Javier, Pedro Dulay, Alfredo Filart, Lucendro Galang, Delfin Argao, Ed Navarro, Joe Esguerra & Charles Corpuz; Albay: Epimaco Orias; Cebu: Daniel Iway; Cotabato: Salvador Piccio, Abenir Bornales, Marcelino Santos & Mel Acosta; Davao; Ramon Q Nosce, Romeo Lising & Francisco del Castillo; Panay – Ramon Gelvezon; Lanao: Felipe Fetalvero;  Leyte:  Sofio  Bayron; Negros Occ: Uldarico Baclagon;  Negros Or: Pacifico Barrios;  Samar;   Eduardo Soliman; Zambales:  Ciceron dela Cruz; 4th MD-Pedro Bersola;  31st Inf – Diosdado Garcia; & 83rd Inf Div – Aristoteles Olayvar.


Friday, Jan. 19, 1940

Segundo-Daily Reminder - 1940_Page_020

Went to Murphy and inspected M.G. crew in order to equip M.G. units.

Lim called me up early to tell me of his estimate of the situation re McArthur. He told me he had conversations with him wherein he told McA that he was willing to step out of the Army to give way to me to become C of S. He told McA that I am strong, honest, aggressive, full of initiative and a keen mind.

All our troubles re basic policies which have to be changed are the product of one man’s McA without the leveling influence of another. Had the C of S (Santos & V) any idea of their own in military matters these things would not have happened. As it is McA chose dummies in order to have things his own way. But unfortunately the Gen. Staff was not such a dummy and with the fact that this Gen. Staff is very well thought of by the Pres. MacArthur’s had to lose prestige. Mc dug his own grave when he chose dummies for his C of S.

Went to the Augusta flagship.

Met Cole PW. Capt Miller’s re [illegible]