From Bad-as, we are now hitting the trail to the sea below Sinogbuhan San Joaquin. We are here very early—thoroughly exhausted. Our presence attract the attention of people on the beach. We have eaten our breakfast hurriedly. Our sailboats have been waiting for us. We immediately board them and [?] sail with Point Siaton in Negros as our objective. We feel slightly nervous, for we have to pass through Jap-controlled waters between Panay & Guimaras. Thank God, no Jap motor boat pops up. The wind is intermittently blowing, and we drifted into the mouth of the strait for a while. An East wind blows now, late in the evening. We are now heading fast to Siaton. We feel safe now from the enemy.
Yesterday was quiet, but today there have been so many planes flying overhead that I no longer keep track of them. Early in the morning three formations flew over Iloilo bay and dropped their bombs. We have heard that there is an anti-aircraft gun on a small island on the other side of Guimaras Ialand (between Iloilo and Negros).
At noon, three waves flew toward the same direction and bombed again. Just before bombing, the sound of cannon fire was heard.
It has been reported that American ships have been sighted off the coast of Iloilo!
Today is the third anniversary of the war. Last night I was awakened by the sound of an explosion somewhere in the distance.
At noon we heard the drone of planes and looking out we counted 24 big, 4-motor planes and six small ones (Lockheeds). They flew towards the direction of a distant airfield. I thought they had left us for good, but at 12:40 they returned and flew towards the Iloilo airfield. The next thing we knew they were bombing it! I was somewhat frightened as two formations flew directly over our house, and I was expecting them to drop a bomb on the Garrison across the street. They only bombed the airfield.
The people of Iloilo are very grateful for the careful way the American pilots conduct their raids, and we are not as frightened of the raids as we were in the beginning.
Last night was quiet and we all slept well. Our “fortification” is finished and we feel safer.
I sent John to Iloilo to buy Lipton’s Tea and he came home without it. He thought the price was too much – 1⁄4 lb cost 1,100 Pesos! An American made bicycle is valued at 50,000 Pesos!
Early this morning at 2:00 a.m. I was awakened by the sound of airplanes – they flew over us and a short while later I heard bombing in the distance.
Yesterday and today we had a man working at our shelter to fortify its so that we can remain in our beds even when there is heavy shooting. (Most of us now sleep downstairs.)
At 10:00 a.m. we heard heavy bombing, but could not see or hear any planes. At 10:30 four planes flew over, headed in the direction of the Santa Barbara air field and circles over Iloilo, and flew off.
The day has been quiet and our routine is the same from day to day. No one goes visiting nowadays, and our only visitors are the Japanese from the Garrison. There are very few of them left and the sentry is no longer on the roof.
Coné continues going to Iloilo to take care of his patients in the hospital.
This morning at the breakfast table we gave thanks to God for all His blessings. Coné did not go to Iloilo, as his bike was flat. Bicycles now cost 8,000 Pesos. John served an early lunch (before noon) as at noon there usually is always some excitement. Our Thanksgiving luncheon consisted of roast chicken, “dagmay” (a native tuber which takes the place of potatoes), canned corn, rice, “iba” (a small, very sour fruit made into pickles). For desert, we had “guinat-an” (a dish made from coconut milk, sugar and bananas). While we were eating a Japanese plane flew overhead very low. We did not pay much attention to it, until Puding, the maid, said that there were nine American planes following it. We immediately left the table and by that time the American planes were already in their dive over our house, aiming for the air field. There was no shooting, and the planes flew off. We noticed another fire in the same direction as yesterday, and the planes flew over it to investigate and flew away. After the excitement was over, we continued our lunch, then I took a siesta. At 3:30 we had tea, played bridge, and Meñing and I came out the winners.
We had supper at 6:00 without any interruption, but at 7:00 there was another fire and we heard some shooting.
Many planes flew over today. At 11:00 a.m. a heavy drone was heard and on looking out we saw 50 American planes flying towards Negros. Some came close to Iloilo and we expected a raid. The Japanese guard gave the warning and left his post to seek cover. A few minutes later we saw one lone Japanese plane flying very low towards the air field. It did not land – only flew around, no doubt trying to escape from the American planes.
Last night was very stormy, but we all slept well. Dolly and Junior are eating a little more food and feel stronger today.
It is still raining, and we wondered why the roof was leaking, so Meñing went up to see and found three big bullet holes.
The Filipinos are doing a fine job rescuing our downed pilots. Last week a large plane had to make a forced landing in the sea. A fisherman saw it and immediately went to the rescue. Four American crewmen were rescued and brought to the shore of Leganes (about 20 kms from Iloilo). They were immediately taken to a safe hiding place.
Today three Japanese soldiers form the garrison across the street came to the house. I served them tea and “suman” (a native dessert of sticky rice, sugar and coconut milk). One of them asked if I were Spanish. I told him I was American. His expression never changed and then he said, “You and me are friends.” These soldiers are beginning to look war-torn as some of them have been here since the Japanese invasion, or have been in other tropical areas, and it’s telling on them.