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.


January 13, 1945

Thin mush and hot water for breakfast and thinner soup for lunch. For supper, a stew made of corn meal, a few kidney beans, camotes (also few), coco lard. Not so bad. But anything tastes good right now.

Twenty four B-24’s came over this morning 10:00 a.m. and from what we could see, they plastered Marikina Valley near Pasig. About 1:00 p.m. some smaller planes were operating far out over Quezon City. No Jap planes around yesterday and today. What a relief after three years. There was one Jap plane took off from Grace Park about 5:00 this morning. But as I didn’t see it my eyesight was not damaged.

We were notified today to keep all containers full of water and to strictly observe all blackout regulations tonight. Now, I want to fill my bucket with fresh water but there is none running at present.

Lots of oil fires around today. It shows that our friends know there is no chance to take it with them. Now, isn’t that just too bad ?


January 9, 1945

Mush, coco-milk, and coffee, so called for breakfast. Forty seven of our B-24’s came over this morning. They done their bombing and as far as we know, none of them was hit. So glad. Earlier in the morning our dive bombers were operating over near Caloocan. I believe the R.R. shops. Another bunch did some bombing way out in San Francisco del Monte.

Still later fifteen of our planes came in from the direction of the Bay. They flew very low over Grace Park and San Francisco del Monte barely missing the tree tops. When they reached Marikina Valley they gave them the works. The Jap anti-aircraft batteries cut loose but to no avail. They were caught napping with another Yankee trick.

Just before that a big Jap plane came in flying very low over San Francisco del Monte trying to keep out of sight. Three of our planes that were high on the air over Quezon City spotted him and gave chase. They were going on him when they passed over the Marikina Valley. The Jap guns opened fire but our planes went through unscathed. The last I could see they were chasing him over the Antipolo mountains and were right on his tail. He was a lost ball.

We had thin soup for lunch. Maybe none tomorrow. There were no vegetables, soy bean cake or anything else came into camp today.

The Jap commandant broadcast that he has our welfare at heart but it is impossible to find food in Manila. Still they took rice out of camp for their own use yesterday. Oh well.

There has been a lot of explosions in the city this p.m. Sounds as if the Japs are wrecking things.

We had a ladle of rice and another of soup for supper. About one third enough.


January 7, 1945

Sunday started out fine. Bombing started early this morning with dive bombers. They shook up Grace Park and what appeared to be along the river in San Francisco del Monte. The real fun started later when the four motored bombers came over. They sowed small demolition bombs over that area like scattering seeds. Never saw anything like it. It seemed that the whole place was blowing up at the same time. The windows shook here in Santo Tomas like in a heavy thunderstorm.

That is one thing we got out of this. We, on the third floor have a fine view of Grace Park, Quezon City, Camp Murphy, Zablan Field, and the Marikina Valley in the distance. We have a box seat that many people would gladly pay thousands of dollars to see. And it is quite safe in here. Our planes silenced a lot of Jap anti-aircraft guns today. The last time our planes were over today (that is about 3:30 p.m.) there was very little gunfire anywhere.

The Japs have been very busy all day. Packing up boxes and other baggage, loading it on carts and trucks and leaving the camp. It sure looks good now.

The story is that there will be 20 Jap soldiers to guard the camp and only six rifles for the men who are actually on post. The Internee guards will take over inside the fence. Maybe a rumor. We’ll know more later. Note: Lots of the Japs left but there are plenty of guards left.

We had rice and camotes fried together for supper — pretty good. But we will have good chow in a very few days.

Oh, the Japs killed the beef that we were in hopes of getting and took it with them. They also killed their pigs. Oh hum, we’ll get some one of these days


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.


December 10, 1941

We received a hard hitting as the planes seared the sky. On one of my way trips to the Palace, I stayed to arrange the schedule of cooks and boys, many of whom had already left Manila. I do not know why I bothered with these details.

Even at Marikina, in the days of harrowing hideout, the family maintained its high spirits. At one time Aurora, the oldest child in the family, had childishly expressed the desire to see the boyfriend of her childhood nurse. The day of the young man’s visit coincided with one of the many crucial meetings of the President with the members of the Cabinet. Attracted by the girlish commotion, he stepped out to investigate the source of the excitement. When told that “Laby’s boyfriend was on a visit,” he too peeked into the room to take a look at the visiting swain. Soon, all the members of the Cabinet had done the same.


December 9, 1941

Nobody believed there was going to be a war. Secretary Vargas called to tell me to join the President and his family in the house in Marikina. From then on, the first family lived in a shelter.