January 8, 1945

Breakfast — thick lugao made of rice and rice flour and a small ladle of coco milk. Made hot water and made soup of coco milk, lugao, and salt. Had something hot although it was not so good. The camp is about out of salt. They never put any in the mush and I have just enough for tomorrow morning.

A flight of our big planes came over this morning and I saw a sad but also terrible and awe inspiring sight. One of the planes was hit and soon caught fire. One man bailed out at once and drifted down through a screen of anti-aircraft fire. The plane left the flight and fell in pieces over near the San Juan river, either on the Santa Mesa or Mandaluyong side. Big fires where it fell. The air was full of burning pieces. Saw what appeared to be three parachutes on fire. Pretty tough on the boys. The crew of those planes are from 9 to 12 men. Well, such things must be but I don’t like to see our boys get it like that.

There are three landings on Luzon today, San Fernando, La Union, Nasugbu, and on the Tayabas side.


November 6, 1944

Air alarm at 4:30 a.m. One plane shot down and crashed near Mandaluyong. Exploded and lit up the country side. All clear sounded at 6:29 a.m.

Air alarm again at 7:27 a.m. Heaviest bombing and anti-aircraft fire of all. All clear at 11:10 a.m.

12:40 p.m. air alarm. Planes already overhead. Saw 20 planes bomb and strafe Marquino valley; appeared to be between Marikina and San Mateo. Strafing continued for about twenty minutes. Several fires started. Quiet at 1:30 p.m.


November 5, 1944

Just came out of the shelter so I’m quite dirty right now. The bombing was quite stiff and the mud on the sides started to scatter all over the place. I can’t stand the shelter so I went out to take a look at the dogfights. Saw a plane shot atop Camp Murphy. First it started to spin downward and then there was smoke and finally it lighted up in flames. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. I don’t know whether it was Jap or U.S. The bombing began at about 8 a.m., just after Mass and it ended at 8:30. They came back again at 10. I wonder if they’ll come back before this afternoon.

Perrucho was here and he was complaining about his salary. He is receiving ₱22o plus corn ration of 200 grams. That’s certainly not enough. A ‘papaya’ costs ₱50. If you take your lunch downtown, it’ll cost you around ₱300. Then, of course, the conversation was all about the war. People think Luzon will be invaded before the Elections. Anybody who thinks otherwise is considered a defeatist. Papa told us not to speak very loud because outside the house there is a Japanese sentry. The Japs are very strict these days.

Everything is quiet right now, although we are still under ‘alert’. The radio is still blacked out. If you look out of my window and the see the fields and the carabao wallowing in the mud near Tito’s shack, you’d think there was no war.

Now I can hear the motor of Jap planes. There are three of them flying near Murphy. There are four columns of smoke in the direction of Mandaluyong and another one around Pasay.

Mama’s calling me for lunch. She says we better eat early because they might come back again.

I listened to the press dispatches from Leyte last night. In fact, I’ve been listening for the last of three nights. I like the shows of Dunn, Flarety, Clint Roberts, Cummison and others. The Time Inc. story was also very good.

P.S.

This is shocking news. Eking Albert was captured. You probably heard of his escape from Muntinglupa and his guerrilla activities. He is a great loss. He had a thousand and one ideas and he had nothing but his country in mind. He is a great kid.

Because of Eking’s arrest and the arrest of Gen. de Jesus I am very cautious these days. I have made arrangements for a hurried escape, just in case the Japs start knocking at my door one of these nights.


September 26, 1944

Big posters were displayed in various parts of the city, depicting the barbarism of the American bombers, inciting the people to air their indignation and to rise in unison to fight for their independence and national integrity.

Instead the people are feeling not indignation but joy. During and after the raids, they are not angry nor fearful but trustful that the bombs would fall only on military targets, and hopeful that these incursions will put an end to their captivity and their miseries.

What really cause public indignation were the abuses committed by the Japanese after the bombings aside from those they had been regularly committing.

After the bombings, the Japanese hurriedly emptied the Port Area of their gasoline tanks and anti-aircraft equipment.

Many of the Japanese anti-aircraft batteries have been installed in residential and commercial zones, in vacant lots, on terraces of tall concrete buildings, and in front yards or campuses of schools. In some case, the anti-aircraft nests were transferred to new locations, for fear that the former sites had already been installed, so that the greater part of the city has become a military target.

The Army has started commandeering Churches and convents, at least those within the city, which up to this point had been spared. The Sta. Cruz church is being used as a storage for ammunition barracks; Binondo Church was burned, and this left the three most populated districts of Manila without churches. The churches of Mandaluyong and Diliman are also being commandeered. The convents of the Franciscans, Augustinians and Recollects are now finally occupied after a month of fruitless protests.


November 18, 1943

Four days of typhoon and devastating floods. Rarely had I seen such torrential rains, and certainly never during this month of November. The flood was high in all streets and ground floors of buildings in all districts of Manila, except Intramuros. The electric plant was inundated and the big light factory of Laguna blew up and for four days we had no light, no streetcars, no telephone, no cooking gas, no newspapers, no radio and almost no running water. Were we in Manila or in Batanes?

According to the old folks, they had not seen a similar flood in the century. In some districts, as Paco, Singalong and Mandaluyong, the water rose to a height of two or three meters. A good number of persons were drowned although the newspapers were silent about them, failing to make mention either of the storm or of its destruction—as if it were another war secret. If the observatory had announced the whereabouts and direction of the typhoon, many would have prepared for it. But the weather, which was the most common topic of conversation, was kept a secret as if on it depended the course of the war.

As the wind blew with greater fury, and the rain fell more torrentially, four big fires broke out.


Lunes 1 de Agosto 1898

Desde las 11 y media de la noche hasta la una de la madrugada ha habido en la línea de defensa desde S. Antonio á Mandaloyan el tiroteo más estrepitoso que se ha oído en estas islas desde que hay yanquis en ellas. Cañones, ametralladoras y fusiles jugaban á porfia sin cesar de una y otra parte. Mucha gente de la Ermita ha huido de sus casas refugiándose en la Escuela Normal donde han pasado la noche más de 2,000 personas. Han reventado muchas granadas de procedencia yanqui en toda la esplanada que hay desde la ciudad murada hasta el campo de batalla: una granada ha estallado en una sala del Cuartel de la Luneta y ha matado á tres soldados y herido á diez; otra en el Puente de España matando un caballo; otra en la Ermita matando un muchacho y un hombre. Otras muchas han caído en diversas partes sin causar desgracias. En nuestra casa de Sta. Ana han estallado dos, disparadas desde Mandaloyan y en la huerta de la Escuela Normal tres, sin causar, á Dios Gracias, ningún daño personal. Una de estas últimas ha reventado en la huerta, y un casco ha entrado en el cuarto del R.P. Superior, dormitorio actual del P. Algué y ha destrozado la ventana con gran espanto del P. Algué y de algunos hermanos que estaban observando desde la ventana contigua. El P. Algué acababa de salir de su dormitorio por providencia de Dios. En las trincheras hemos tenido un muerto y siete heridos. Los cascos de granada recogidos en el Observatorio llevan la marca de un Arsenal de los Estados Unidos.

From 11:30 last night until 1:00 this dawn, firing along the defense line from San Antonio Abad to Mandaluyong was the heaviest so far heard since there have been Yankees in these islands. Cannons, machine guns, rifles exploded without let-up on both sides. Many people from Ermita escaped their houses, seeking refuge in the Normal
School where more than 2,000 refugees spent the night. We had one dead and several wounded in the trenches. Recovered grenade shells in the Observatory bear the trade mark of an arsenal in the United States.