Today at 2:00 p.m. we had an air raid warning. Planes flew over us, but did not bomb. Manila, Cebu and Davao are being bombed day and night.
Many Japanese ships have been sunk off the coast of Samar.
The Japanese colonel in charge of the forces on Panay has given strict orders for the soldiers not to shoot at the American planes. Many civilian casualties resulted as a result of this in Cebu, and the planes would return the fire.
The Japanese have stored a large supply of rice in two churches in La Paz. The prices of commodities are still on an upward trend. White Label Whiskey costs 1,200 Pesos a bottle. Even fish now costs 70 Pesos a pound.
Immediately after the all clear signal, rumors spread like wildfire, that Lipa, Tarlac, and Vigan were bombed and that the Americans have landed in Davao, Basilan, next to Zamboanga, or in Batanes; that three American Fleets are in the southern, eastern and northern approaches to the Philippines, each of which is supposed to be much more powerful than the whole Japanese Navy. Other similar rumors are circulating. The Official communique, however, announced that there are air raids over Mindanao and the Visayas, presently being extended to Legazpi and Ligao in Albay where the American planes are deliberately bombing non-strategic persons and places.
American landings have been made in the Palau islands and in Morotai of the Celebes group, east and south of Mindanao. The only resistance encountered were the Japanese garrisons on land. The Japanese air force no longer dare to meet the American pilots. And the Americans are advancing in giant leaps from island to island, from coast to coast. With what interest we followed these movements, and with what avidity we analyze the maps—we are learning our geography—to calculate the month and the date on which the old masters would return! However, those who are impatient are becoming desperate in the face of the cautiously slow pace of the advance, as they were worried about the countermoves. Meanwhile, imminent hunger is driving the people to despair.
We are running short of all things, especially food. A cavan of rice costs three thousand five hundred pesos; a kilo of meat, at a peso each; camote at twenty five pesos a kilo; and Baguio beans at one hundred pesos a kilo. At these stratospheric prices, what will the daily wage earner and the employees buy with their six or ten pesos a day?
The City has taken on a truly warlike aspect, an encampment surrounded by the enemy. But the enemy in this case is within the house: temporarily disbanded army men who post themselves at the foot of bridges, and at major street intersections, paralyzing and obstructing traffic and the entry into the city. It is clear to the public that the preparations of the army are being directed more against their brother Asians than against air attacks.
Undoubtedly, the enemy planes are not going to respect anything in Philippine skies or that the Pacific fleet will direct its attacks at the head of the Empire flanking these Magellanic islands. For the last 15 days, Davao has been under heavy bombings, and so has Northern Mindanao. It was announced today that some near the coast bombed Cebu, Negros and Leyte. Where was the Imperial Fleet hiding, that it could not go out and chase these pirates? The waves of aerial invasion are increasing and it will not be long before the enemy enters Manila, as the optimists on one side and the pessimists on the other are predicting.
What destruction had these raids caused? According to the prevaricating press which nobody believes in no damage was caused aside from the death of civilians and the destruction of their houses. Since the American planes dropped their bombs at random, they could not do any damage except to schools, churches, and hospitals visibly marked with the Red Cross and the humble homes of the Filipino workers, and they only aimed to kill women and children. It would seem that the bombs, before exploding examined the birth certificate of the unfortunate victims. The same thing happened at sea, where the American submarines allegedly sank only hospital ships and ships transporting prisoners who were their own countrymen. As a result of these atrocities, the Filipinos in Mindanao are boiling with indignation, to the point that they had gone to join the guerillas.
Some people are leaving the city and going out into the country looking for a safer place. Since the American bombing of Davao, many people are jittery – really, one doesn’t know whether they are coming or going. The children are continuing their classes but in case of near trouble, the classes will close.
John, the cook, struck a bargain this morning. He was able to buy three hens for 60 Pesos. We shall have one for lunch with red beans (native to the Philippines). This morning we had for breakfast, corn bread that John made baked in an iron frying pan on an open fire, as we no longer have ovens. We use margarine made in Manila instead of butter. Butter is now 30 Pesos a can for 1⁄2 pound.
Yesterday I heard that several “batels” (sailboats) arrived from Davao full of refugees trying to escape from the bombing by the Americans. They think they will be safer here, but we cannot tell for sure as bombing here has not begun yet. At the outbreak of the war, we feared Japanese planes, now we fear American planes. From day to day one does not know whether he will come safely through or not.
Two days ago it was posted on the Japanese Bulletin Board that Davao (in Mindanao – south of here) was bombed on late Sunday afternoon (Aug. 6) by an American plane – no damage was done as the bombs fell in the water. The next day another plane was sighted. You can imagine the excitement of the people, but one must be careful not to show it, and also be careful of comments.