January 13, 1945

Thin mush and hot water for breakfast and thinner soup for lunch. For supper, a stew made of corn meal, a few kidney beans, camotes (also few), coco lard. Not so bad. But anything tastes good right now.

Twenty four B-24’s came over this morning 10:00 a.m. and from what we could see, they plastered Marikina Valley near Pasig. About 1:00 p.m. some smaller planes were operating far out over Quezon City. No Jap planes around yesterday and today. What a relief after three years. There was one Jap plane took off from Grace Park about 5:00 this morning. But as I didn’t see it my eyesight was not damaged.

We were notified today to keep all containers full of water and to strictly observe all blackout regulations tonight. Now, I want to fill my bucket with fresh water but there is none running at present.

Lots of oil fires around today. It shows that our friends know there is no chance to take it with them. Now, isn’t that just too bad ?


January 11, 1945

Rice flour much and hot water for breakfast. I bummed a piece of ginger and made ginger tea and put some cinnamon in it (also bummed). It wasn’t bad. Thin soup for lunch. but, never mind — the end is near.

A flock of B-24’s came over this morning and plastered what appears to be about the exposition grounds in Quezon City. They did it like Grace Park. There was fires and dirt flying over a spot a mile long. Just before noon two navy planes flew low right over the camp and one of the pilots waved at the internees. It was sure a welcome sight to see the star on the wings of a plane instead of a fried egg.

This afternoon about 20 navy planes bombed and strafed Rizal Avenue extension. Some of them flew low over the camp. Later, they came back and from what we could see, strafed and bombed railroad yards.

This evening there have been a lot of explosions around the waterfront and Tondo, with lots of fires. Looks like the Japs are blowing up things and getting ready to leave. Well, the sooner the better.

Camote stew for supper. Had bacon in it. About like canned pork and beans has pork. Would have enjoyed three times that much. No rice. Did a big washing today and my back is broken.


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 9, 1945

Mush, coco-milk, and coffee, so called for breakfast. Forty seven of our B-24’s came over this morning. They done their bombing and as far as we know, none of them was hit. So glad. Earlier in the morning our dive bombers were operating over near Caloocan. I believe the R.R. shops. Another bunch did some bombing way out in San Francisco del Monte.

Still later fifteen of our planes came in from the direction of the Bay. They flew very low over Grace Park and San Francisco del Monte barely missing the tree tops. When they reached Marikina Valley they gave them the works. The Jap anti-aircraft batteries cut loose but to no avail. They were caught napping with another Yankee trick.

Just before that a big Jap plane came in flying very low over San Francisco del Monte trying to keep out of sight. Three of our planes that were high on the air over Quezon City spotted him and gave chase. They were going on him when they passed over the Marikina Valley. The Jap guns opened fire but our planes went through unscathed. The last I could see they were chasing him over the Antipolo mountains and were right on his tail. He was a lost ball.

We had thin soup for lunch. Maybe none tomorrow. There were no vegetables, soy bean cake or anything else came into camp today.

The Jap commandant broadcast that he has our welfare at heart but it is impossible to find food in Manila. Still they took rice out of camp for their own use yesterday. Oh well.

There has been a lot of explosions in the city this p.m. Sounds as if the Japs are wrecking things.

We had a ladle of rice and another of soup for supper. About one third enough.


January 7, 1945

Sunday started out fine. Bombing started early this morning with dive bombers. They shook up Grace Park and what appeared to be along the river in San Francisco del Monte. The real fun started later when the four motored bombers came over. They sowed small demolition bombs over that area like scattering seeds. Never saw anything like it. It seemed that the whole place was blowing up at the same time. The windows shook here in Santo Tomas like in a heavy thunderstorm.

That is one thing we got out of this. We, on the third floor have a fine view of Grace Park, Quezon City, Camp Murphy, Zablan Field, and the Marikina Valley in the distance. We have a box seat that many people would gladly pay thousands of dollars to see. And it is quite safe in here. Our planes silenced a lot of Jap anti-aircraft guns today. The last time our planes were over today (that is about 3:30 p.m.) there was very little gunfire anywhere.

The Japs have been very busy all day. Packing up boxes and other baggage, loading it on carts and trucks and leaving the camp. It sure looks good now.

The story is that there will be 20 Jap soldiers to guard the camp and only six rifles for the men who are actually on post. The Internee guards will take over inside the fence. Maybe a rumor. We’ll know more later. Note: Lots of the Japs left but there are plenty of guards left.

We had rice and camotes fried together for supper — pretty good. But we will have good chow in a very few days.

Oh, the Japs killed the beef that we were in hopes of getting and took it with them. They also killed their pigs. Oh hum, we’ll get some one of these days


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 3, 1945

Coconut milk, weak coffee and weaker rice mush. Mostly water. Weighed myself this morning. Weighed 119 lb. When I was in the Gym, I held at 170 lb. and now, the extreme low. Oh well, it won’t be long now.

Had soy bean soup for lunch. Not very much but it was hot. for supper, one rounding ladle of camotes boiled with skins on and a ladle of vegetable and mongo bean soup. Gee, was I hungry last night. Couldn’t sleep. My stomach kept inquiring why there was no food. It thought that my throat has been cut so that I couldn’t swallow anything.

We haven’t had a calamansi for about 15 days, nor a banana for over a month and we have forgotten what an egg looks like. The last banana that I had was a little surly saba that never got ripe. Well, I baked it in a fire and ate it “mas que”. Now as to camotes, it takes three times the weight of camotes to equal the same amount of rice, so if we had three ladles of camotes last night, we would have bloated up like a balloon. Now you see why I was hungry.

About 5:45 p.m., saw 4 of our dive bomber type planes fly over Grace Park and Quezon City. The Nips shot at them but the planes did not stop. So that ended a perfect day.


November 27, 1944

Unable to write during last few days because of my malaria. I didn’t feel like doing anything. Felt like the old days in Bataan and the long, horrible months in the concentration camp.

Raids last Saturday. Saw planes bombing Grace Park. First few bombs immediately hit objectives. Black columns of smoke shot upward to sky. Planes dove and dove at objectives again and again. Thrilling sight.

When bombers come flying over, from northeast, they look like schools of little fishes swimming in clouds. Never saw so many in my life. Even Jap sentries in streets, shook their heads and remarked, “Takusan, takusan”, i.e., “so many, many.”

Read an Osaka Mainichi paper, a back issue. It was all about the fall of Saipan. This was a great loss to Japan, a severe blow on Jap morale. With its fall, Jap editor admitted that U.S. has perforated inner defense circle of Japan proper.

Meanwhile Manilans are anxious about Leyte battle. Question being asked by everyone “Why haven’t they finished with Leyte yet?” Some say: “It seems the Army of Kreuger is bogged down.” Reason for this was previous belief that Leyte would be over in “a couple of days.” Undoubtedly, “Leyte battle is progressing slower than expected.”

Continuous rumors of shelling in eastern coast of Luzon.