July 20, 1944

We now know that the Americans are not far from the Islands, as the Japanese Bulletin Board had posted news of landings of American troops on Guam and Yap. I hope the war will not last much longer, as conditions in the Islands are getting worse. So many lives lost every day, and many of them civilians!

The guerrillas have killed so many civilians suspected of being pro-Japanese, and in most cases they were innocent. And if the Japanese suspect anyone of being pro-guerrilla, they are severely punished – usually beheaded, including women and children. If Americans are caught outside the city they, too, meet the same fate.

February 5, 1944

Explosive news spread like wildfire yesterday, causing a great furor throughout the city: that the Americans have landed at the Marshall and Wake Islands and Guam, occupying them. Another portion of it: that Rome has fallen; that Gen. Franco has resigned.

Like all other previous news, it was partly true and partly false. For instance, it is not true that the Spanish chief executive has resigned, yet Tokyo talks about Anglo-American pressures and manipulations on Spain to make her give up her neutrality and demand the resignation of Franco. Rome has not yet fallen, although Allied forces are nearing its gates.

There are landings on the Marshall Islands, but not on Wake and Guam. An occupation of Wake and Guam would be critical for the Philippines since these islands are virtually at the gates of our country and would therefore place us within bombing distance of the Americans.

26th of August 1902

In the afternoon of the other day, the Officer of the Day came with a copy o the declaration of amnesty, informing the prisoners that the Governor had received orders to put on the next ship to Manila, those who signed an oath in accordance with the stipulation in said decree. Since all the prisoners except Mr. Ricarte and me, had sent their duly signed papers yesterday morning, the Captain came this afternoon to administer the oath-taking of the petitioners. One of them, Mr. Tecson, postponed his oath-taking until tomorrow, after having thought about it well.

Then the Captain announced that those who took their oath were free from then on, with the option to live inside or outside the prison house. Those who choose to live inside may leave anytime of the day, as they wish. Those who want to return to Manila shall embark on the first ship sent by the Government until the 25th of the next month.

The Captain asked me if I was ready to sign the oath, and I said I could not decide here, but in Manila, since, I had to be first familiar with the laws that the United States had passed in the Philippines, their plans for the future and the state of public opinion regarding the same. That is why I asked to be sent to Manila as prisoner, where I could make my decision.

This afternoon, we also learned from those who came from Agaña that our companions residing in that city have already taken their oath.

22nd of August 1902

The news of the amnesty is confirmed by the ship that has just arrived. Among the passengers who have come to visit the prison, Messrs. Buencamino and Abreu are worth-mentioning here since the impressions they brought from the United States were too optimistic, I became pessimistic about the whole thing. They were surprised to see that we were still here and promised to negotiate our early return as soon as they got back to Manila.

23rd of July 1902

The foregoing petition did not merit any action and was given a silent response instead. In addition to this, we have not been getting our supply of rice and oil lamp for a month. One day, the Captain, with a frowning face talked to me very sarcastically, because I told Mr. Llanera that as President he should ask for these items in behalf of the prisoners. Since then, I dared not ask for anything.

The ship that has just anchored brought news that a general amnesty was published on July 4. Although this is not official, since the ship left San Francisco on the first day, it nevertheless lifted the spirit of the disheartened and the hopeless.

1st of June 1902

All prisoners living in Asan have signed and issued the following petition:

“THE GOVERNOR OF GUAM: The undersigned Filipino prisoners, exiled in Asan Prison house wish to bring to your attention the following:

“That the manual work aimed at the well-being of the prisoners, is still being performed by individuals who came here as servants, to some, not all the prisoners. Some of these servants have been performing said job even for those who are not their bosses.

“Since some of our companions who have brought along the most number of this group have transferred to Agaña, the servants who have remained in the establishment refuse to serve those who are not their employers. A few prisoners, such as Mr. Mabini’s brother and Don Francisco de los Santos’ son, claim that they (the servants) came solely out of affection and in consideration of their relatives. Others have done so to return the favors they received from their respective employers; therefore, it is very unfair to make them serve other people to whom they have no obligation at all.

“The prisoners certainly understand the logic of this argument and they believe that a just measure that must be taken is to distribute the work equally among them; however, in consideration of some points raised by the American authorities regarding the social position, irreproachable conduct and generosity of the civilized and strong individuals, and before resorting to any course of action, they have agreed to:

“Request you to assign two young men, under the employ of the Government, to perform manual work in the Prison house, such as house cleaning for exempted persons, fetching water and rationing, etc. The undersigned are convinced that you will do everything to grant this request.

“God bless you with long life.”

This petition was brought about by a series of discussions and arguments among the prisoners for a long time. Each one feels that doing another, who naturally, can not do anything but grumble. These discussions make prison life all the more boring. Now we must know if the Americans will get rid of this problem. Maybe they don’t understand, neither do they feel sympathy for us. One can not deny that all men are of the same nature, they are all alike, even if they have diverse cultures, no matter how each nation claims the contrary, in the name of national pride.

2nd of May 1902

In response to the preceding questions, Captain McGill said that the servants are considered prisoners and they will take turns by fives, along with the 23 prisoners who signed the petition; that riding in the ambulance is not possible; and that the goods brought in or taken out by the prisoners shall be inspected by the Officer of the Day.