Since my release as a POW last Aug 10, I’ve appreciated my freedom and Jap benevolence, the only tangible among numerous rhetorics. Our people can not forget the plunder and atrocities as slappings of civilians by Jap soldiers continue. Filipinos remain loyal to USA. My thoughts are with our American comrades still POWs in Cabanatuan and elsewhere for a long duration. To date, the Japs have occupied virtually all the western Pacific area up to the approaches of Australia.
I doubt that even with the vaunted industrial might of America if we can be liberated in a year from now — meaning, by Aug. ’43. However, our people are hopeful with all their fate in MacArthur’s promise to return.
Two days ago, the Mayor of Plaridel gave a testimonial lunch for all her USAFFE sons that survived Capas. Gov. Rustia, Judge Roldan, Mrs. Cuenca and the Flor Cruz sisters all from Malolos were there that added sentimentality to the gathering. I cited them for their invaluable assistance when we were POWs in Malolos.
The Malolos Women’s Club under the leadership of Mrs. Cristina Magsaysay Cuenca continues to help the Malolos POWs. As mentioned before, when they found out that we were sleeping on bare cold concrete prison floors during our early days here, they lost no time providing each of us mattresses and other beddings including mosquito nets. Today Mrs. Cuenca accompanied by her able assistant, Miss Luming Flor R. Cruz (whose brother, Perico, is graduating from West Point this month) visited us. I learned from them that they have already made two trips each to Camp O’Donnell and Camp Cabanatuan bringing medicine. They told us the deplorable conditions of POWs at O’Donnell where daily deaths are reported at 400 to 500. Other Ladies Group leaders performing similar civic assistance to POWs at Camp O’Donnell Mrs. Cuenca mentioned are Mrs. Josefa Llanes Escoda, Mrs. Pilar Hidalgo Lim (wife of Gen. Vicente Lim) and Miss Lulu Reyes, a prominent social worker of Ermita well known to OSP student officers of Class ’41 that boarded with her.
And so today, let me salute all our courageous and patriotic women for all their effort to help our POWs where ever they are.