Had about 6 hours sleep but routed out of bed before daylight to breakfast at Wake Island. The sun came up as we ate in the little dining room — with which I have become quite familiar. Arrived Guam about noon; lunched there and took off at 2:30. Guam was pretty hot. Several of our passengers left here, and were not missed — especially 3 or 4 young men who came out for the contractors who are working here. These lads started drinking at 8 a.m., and kept it up all day. One of them — an electrician — said he had a swell job: all expenses paid and pay of about $25.00 a day. Time difference between Wake and Manila is 4 hours, so we sat our watches back accordingly. Arrived Manila at 6:45 p.m., Manila time, and met by Senor Jacinto, Commissioner of Customs, and Mr. ? of the E.C.A. staff. Five or six newspaper reporters on hand. To Manila Hotel. No room for me, because President Sukarno of the Indonesian Republic is paying a state visit to Manila. I am in Foster Knight’s room; he is away for a few days.
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.
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.
Sunday again, you wouldn’t know it, no church services or nothing. Woke up outside Guam. Navy planes patrolling all the time. We lay off harbor. Funny tubs about 100 miles/hr.
Today we were supposed to reach Guam but won’t be there until tomorrow morning. Today starts the third week of this.
Lost a day, maybe sometime I’ll make it up. Weather hot, feel sticky all the time. Hear we are going to Guam so the Pierce can pick up water. Astoria, a light cruiser, the watch dog.
The President Coolidge had picked up the President Pierce (actually, the Hugh L. Scott, as renamed in July 1941) and the Astoria (CA-34, actually a heavy cruiser) that would be serving as armed escort, in departing Honolulu.
If it were the custom of the country for women to attend funeral services, I should have tried to make some arrangement to attend Mabini’s funeral last Saturday with some of my Filipino friends. As it was, however, no better plan presented itself than to go as the great mass of the people went—on foot. Accordingly I walked out to Sampaloc, reaching the square from which the procession was to start at about 4.30. Already a great crowd had gathered, and when the procession finally started, at about 5 o’clock, the broad avenue as far as one could see was packed. It was purely and entirely a Filipino gathering; I saw no Americans other than a few curious idlers, who apparently lived in the immediate neighborhood. The funeral procession itself was thoroughly characteristic: first came a band of music, then a hearse completely covered with elaborate wreaths and drawn by 12 jet-black horses with black plumes and caparisons, and at the head of each a lackey in a strange, old-fashioned black uniform, three-cornered hat and tow wig, all rather oddly suggestive of the vicar of Wakefield. Following came two more hearses with floral offerings, then [at this point, there is a series of perhaps five words, which I cannot decipher] by his family and immediate friends. Immediately behind followed, on foot and bare-headed, but in no special order, his friends and the representatives of various organizations, and the procession proper was closed by another band. And all about this central nucleus, crowding close, but without jostling or disorder, came the Filipino people, thousands of them, many of them on foot, and, as far as the eye could reach, carriages and yet more carriages filling the wide avenue from sidewalk to sidewalk. At first, to an American, there was a certain incongruity about the bands of music, the strange, medieval funeral pomp and the entire lack of any system or formal arrangement of the following people, but after a little this feeling wore away. There could be no question about the wonderful appropriateness and expressiveness of the violin music, and there was something strangely and deeply impressive about the democratic simplicity of this great, orderly, silent gathering, rich and poor together, following in the heat and dust of the street, and about the throng of dark, serious faces, so plainly stamped with the deeper melancholy of a long subject race—a sadness so deep that it seems to have grown into the very modeling of their features.
It seemed as though the whole city of Manila had gathered, and I could not help noticing the large proportion of strong and finely intelligent faces, especially among Mabini’s more intimate friends. Most noticeable, also, and with a certain suggestiveness for the futrue [sic], was the extraordinary number of young men, many of them evidently students, keen, thoughtful and intelligent looking.
The lateness of the hour made it impossible to go out to the distant cemetery, so at the turning of the road I and many others turned back to the city, but a large majority followed all the way.
On Monday evening I called on Senor L. to ascertain whether it might not be possible to obtain some of Mabini’s unpublished writings, and he took me to call upon Senor Rosario, an old friend of Mabini’s, in whose house Mabini had lived in his student days and with whom he had studied law. It proved entirely out of the question to get anything, firstly because all the papers were still in charge of the sanitary department, and secondly because during his imprisonment in Guam and since his return to Manila, Mabini had given practically his whole time to the writing of a large work, a history of the Philippine revolution, which he himself has translated into English, and to an exhaustive study of the laws issued by the Philippine commission during his imprisonment. Senor Rosario showed me the last photograph taken of Mabini, the original of that published in the Renacimiento, and gave me various little personal reminiscences about him: of his tireless industry, his reticence as to his plans, and his habit of shutting himself up along with his work until it was concluded.
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.
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.