January 19, 1945

Same old morning meal. Soy bean soup for lunch and soy bean, camote stew for supper and again I feel satisfied.

Plenty doing today. This morning our planes unloaded a lot of heavy bombs on what appeared to be Montalban Gorge. Probably buried a lot of Japs there. Hope so, anyway. This afternoon a bunch of P-38’s were after Marikina Valley. A very big fire west of Malabon. It sure was putting out lots of black smoke.

Well, today I sure got all of the different colors and prints for my crazy patch work that I can use. I got three red cross kit boxes full of that sort of stuff from the bodega. I found thread, yarn, new patches and pieces of various colors besides lots of women’s dresses, drawers and what not. Well, what I can use I can save and take home. Mama and the girls can find use for that sort of thing.

Haven’t seen a Jap plane for about 8 days, and there has been no trains that passed here for about 4 or 5 days now. Things are picking up. All for today.

Oh yes, nearly forgot. Somehow the Japs left their storeroom open. The camp kids got into it and stole a lot of coconut oil They carried it away in 5 lb. margarine tins. The Japs were all hot and bothered. It is now prohibited for any internee to go near that place. Coconut oil is about worth its weight in gold now.


January 17, 1945

I won’t write lying down tonight. The same breakfast except that I starved myself last night and saved a few pieces of camote to mix with the mush. It improves the flavor. Of course, I had tea, and that helped. Lunch — a ladle of thin soup made of camote leaves and vines. Looked like very dirty dishwater and tasted — well, we’ll let it go. Use your imagination. Tonight, we had a stew made of camotes, ground kidney beans and rice. It was good, but as usual, lacking in quantity.

Here are a few quotations on prices of the few things one can buy in the canteen. Soy sauce ₱55.00 a beer bottle full; cinnamon ₱33.00 90 grams; Vinegar ₱33.00 a beer bottle; Pepper ₱36.00 90 grams; Garlic ₱43.00 150 grams. Nothing else. They say that the canteen will close soon.

We have another scandal and the Japs are all riled up. A newspaper man by the name of Eisenberg went over the fence last night and they haven’t caught him yet. They took the man who slept next to him and put him in jail.. It may make things harder for the rest of us. Time will tell. He wanted to get away and get his story of the starvation in the camp back to his paper first. Well, that seems rather selfish. He could get the whole camp into trouble, say, another cut in food, which we just can’t stand. And, a lot of young men had to move from the Gym to the main building today on account of him.

Quite a lot of our planes around over Marikina, Malabon, and points north this morning. Most of the bombing was quite far north. Well, they are sure pounding them. We haven’t seen any Jap planes for several days now and that is a welcome relief. Our camp Generals and optimists have them in Angeles, Pampanga and paratroopers holding the Calumpit Bridge. Well, I hope that it is true.


January 16, 1945

Same breakfast but Mr. Carter’s tea went good. No lunch. A ladle of camotes with gravy for supper. And, oh boy, the worms. But believe or not, I am developing a taste for the darned things, as bitter as they are. There was plenty of bombing today — out around Malabon and Marikina. Our boys are giving them the works now. On the north, they have reached Bambang, Tarlac. I hope that it is true.

I am writing this lying on the bed. Some lazy guy, eh ? Done a little more washing today and some more work on my crazy patch work.


September 27, 1944

In a radio speech yesterday, President Laurel categorically pointed out that the Republic has only one path to pursue, and that is, to extend all assistance and cooperation to the Japanese imperial government. He made this statement rather emphatically, and people tend to believe that it was motivated by the exodus of many young Filipinos to the mountains for fear of being called to active duty in the Japanese Army. They prefer to join the guerillas rather than fight for Japan.

To forestall this possibility, the Military Police, five days before the bombing, “zoned” the towns of Navotas and Malabon, and herded all the men in churches and churchyards. For three days they were kept without food and drink, while houses were searched and suspicious characters were interrogated. According to the press, thousands of guerrilla members were arrested and a great quantity of small arms, ammunitions, dynamites and short wave radio sets were confiscated.


February 5th, 1899

It was a terrible day. From 6 in the morning the fighting began by sea and land. In the afternoon our forces were unable to continue the defense at Caloocan, where the grenades and incendiary bombs fell. Two fell directly on the church tower and confusion ensued. The forces retreated toward Tinajeros and Polo. Left behind when evening came were General Pantaleon García and Major Soriano.

Fully informed of this happening, the President left Malolos for Caloocan and Malabon ordering our forces to return and occupy these places; and if the enemy wanted to retake them, they should do so shedding their own blood in the attempt. The order brought renewed vigor among the troops. Caloocan was garrisoned anew as far as Navotas and Malabon.

The Director of War, Antonio Luna, was in the battlefield the whole Sunday afternoon, stopping the advance of the enemy with a small number of troops, thus showing his bravery and fearlessness on this occasion. Everybody agreed that he was worthy to be in the hierarchy of Division Generals who had displayed their insignia of distinction. This event won for him the general applause and an appointment as Defense Chief of the railroad line.

Five days later, the Americans occupied Caloocan after suffering many casualties. From then on, the line of defense extended along Tinajeros and Tuliajan and as far as Novaliches, where the enemy, suffering many casualties, doubted the possibiilty of breaking that line. They finally pushed the line owing to the fact that grenades were hurled from the fleet in the bay. Seeing the futility of continued resistance, our troops allowed the enemy to advance, but with sizable and numerous casualties, while they retreated to Calumpit and Baliuag to fortify the new line of defense.

Having taken the Tuliajan line, the Americans continued advancing with slight resistance. Malolos was occupied as far as the Bagbag River in Calumpit, where they were quartered for some time.

The Philippine Government, having lost the Tuliajan line to the enemy, evacuated Malolos and transferred to San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, where the Congress convened by Pedro A. Paterno dissolved the Mabini Cabinet and Paterno was called to form a new one. It must be noted that the session, in my humble opinion, was illegal; for, according to news, it was composed of fourteen members only, including their President. The majority of the members present were Mabini’s enemies. That session, therefore, which resulted in the downfall of the Mabini Cabinet, was unconstitutional.

Paterno, now in power with the support of his followers, proposed peace, accepting autonomy. But an unexpected move—a proposed coup d’etat—on the part of General Luna, who was in Cabanatuan, banished from everybody the idea of accepting autonomy; in turn, they became strong advocates of Independence.

 

 


Thursday, June 9, 1898

On Land

This morning saw the beginning of the exodus of Spanish women aboard French, English, and German ships.

It is said that the Americans are holding back the insurgents while Aguinaldo bides his time until the end of the month, not realizing it will be too late. The Union’s troops will have arrived by then, and will have the upper hand.

The city is covered with smoke from fires everywhere, with Caloocan and Malabon in the hands of the insurgents. The noose is tightening around Manila. The last of the Chinese are ready to leave. The Yuen-Sang will transport them to Hongkong. The city looks dismal as the people depart.

The horrors of war are becoming apparent to me. I admire strength and action. Nothing, not even ideas, interests me the way battles do. But tonight I bear witness to these corpses laid to waste by blind, bloody violence. What have these poor Galicians, Andalucians, and lively Sevillians done to be disfigured and bloodied? They are beginning to decay, their eyes half-closed, covered with flies, their mouths hideously open in an attempt to emit a last cry, their hands mangled. They are 20 year-old boys who were thrown 3,000 leagues from their birthplace into the arms of a solitary death without the comfort of a wife or mother.