We have one of the worst floods in years. Almost all of Western Luzon is under water. While Typhoon Gloring is leaving to the NE (1,500 kms. away) and merely skirted the Philippines sucking in the SW monsoon causing the precipitation, there is a new Typhoon (Phylles is the international name for Gloring and the new typhoon is named Tess) also about 1,500 kms. east of Phylles of Gloring. So we expect the rain to continue.
Our helicopters flew rescue and relief missions following the national highway. But visibility is zero and the Clark Field helicopters did not fly.
Even trucks could not move because some parts of the road like Carmen, Rosales and Dumalupihan are under four feet of water.
Malacañan is under water. The Heroes Hall and the entrance are under one foot of water.
I attach the reports.
Even Mandaue Tatyana Nikolaeva had to ride in a Sierra Lakes cowby to come to the palace for a courtesy call and for lunch.
As of now 166 are dead from the flood and all our rice plantings are a complete loss in Central Luzon the rice granary.
As the Asahi puts it, with typical bombast, “the American troops have at last set their dirty shoes on the soil of Luzon.” the paper thereupon goes to great length to call for “powerful politics” enforced at any cost. But nowhere in the lengthy article does the paper get more definite than the following; “There may be questions pertaining to raw materials, labor, transportation, in addition to other bottlenecks and impediments which, with the progress of the war, are likely to become further accentuated.” The nearest one gets to actual facts is the rather pitiful story that even scouting and training planes in the Philippines have had bombs hooked onto them for suicide dives.
Not all the Japanese are unaware of how things are going. Today a Japanese admitted to me that the situation looked “hopeless”. The Americans, he said, were betting huge sums and Japan had no chips left. We were playing poker, which explains his choice of metaphor.
No, he said, the Japanese did not mind their sons and husbands being marooned and doomed on Luzon as on the other bloody islands of the south; that was a sacred duty cheerfully fulfilled. All the same, what was the use? He had already forgotten those sanguine expectations he had told me about one year ago, expectations of Chiang’s surrender after the victories in central China, expectations of “annihilating” the Americans once they came within range of the tokotai. This was no longer a 50-50 affair lacking only the mediation of Stalin for a negotiated peace. It was now 30-70, he judged, and it was, more than ever, time for peace. But no, not surrender. He could not bring himself to say it.
Afterward I had another chat with a Japanese newspaperman, To him too the situation appeared irretrievable and the future unpredictable. The young people were deeply Asian in outlook, he thought; they hated the America and England for whom their fathers and grandfathers still, in their hearts, had a haunting fear and respect. (Yvonne tells us that the little boy who lives next door to her sticks out his tongue every time they meet and calls her “dirty foreigner”). But nobody knew what time would bring. Would the youngsters hold out to the end, hurling the empire with them into national suicide? Or would the old men smother this fierce frenzy with their knowing pessimism, the instinct of age to save what there was left to save, to compromise, to fix, to bargain, to keep a penny rather than to risk and loose it all?