Tuesday, August 23, 1943

Your package was most welcome and the santan jam was welcome as sugar… But no notes or anything and its tough when the British are receiving anywhere form one to 2 dozen letters apiece. I’d just like to hear enough to tell me that I can marry you anytime. Maybe next time! Dr. Leach is on the repatriation list and has promised to tell my NY boss all about things here. I hope he does so. We had hot cakes with your jam today and we’re stuffed—it’s good to be that way once in a while, Bill and I are hungry most of the time. We stuff with rice but it doesn’t do much good after an hour or so. I’m still at 152 lbs. or slightly less and have an idea that you’ll have to take me out of this place before I ever gain any weight. If s hard to believe that I’m 15-20 lbs. under what I was 2 years ago. Eggs 30 cents apiece, peanuts 35 cent half pint and fellows stood in line for half an hour to buy one banana for 5 cents.

January 15, 1942

Ignorance is really bliss. Walked right into the American concentration camp in Santo Tomas, without knowing the Japanese prohibited such visits. Saw old friends: Sam Cronin of the Associated Press, Arthur Evans, Duggleby, Dr. Leach, Turner, Stevens, Sam Gaches, Calhoun, Farnsworth, Stewart, Grove, and Duckworth. They ganged around me anxious for news, news, news. “How’s Bataan?” “Corregidor?” “What about the convoy?” “How about food, clothing?“ “How’re the Japanese treating the Filipinos?“ “How’re you? “How’s everybody?” “How long do you think it will last?“ “Oh very short, of course.” “It’ll be over in a minute when the convoy gets here.” “They just got us by surprise but when they wake up back home, you’ll see.” Americans will always be Americans. Concentration camps can’t dampen their spirits. A flight of bombers droned high above, like silver specks. “They might be U.S. planes!” remarked a young lad.

The food and finance committees of the concentration camp have ₱1,000,000 with which to purchase supplies. Dr. Brusselle is in charge for the Red Cross. The Red Cross has six weeks supply. They want to make arrangements with the Japanese regarding an appeal to the United States or Roosevelt or Red Cross for essential food. I mentioned this point to Mr. Noya and he thinks the Japanese Army authorities will not consent. “That’ll be beneath their dignity,” he opined. He gave me a friendly advice: “Avoid dealing with the Americans in the camp.” He implied something about “hostile act.”

Had to report the number of trucks, jitneys, cars, gasoline, and oil NARIC has in stock and how many and how much will be needed for its operation, to secure the necessary permits and passes from the Army authorities.

Vic said he saw our Buick parked near Villamor Hall. It’s now in the hands of the Navy. “I felt like stealing our car,” he said. “It was just parked there without a chauffeur.” Only in war can absurdities like stealing your own car occur.