October 21, 1972

 

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1.

12:35 PM

Oct. 21, 1972

Saturday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Just arrived from the informal dinner given by Pres. and Mrs. Watanabe of the Asian Development Bank. Only Sec. & Mrs. Alex Melchor, Sec and Mrs. Cesar Virata and ADB Vice Pres. Krisna Moortli were present. Pres. Watanabe is retiring Dec. 25th.

It was a pleasant dinner with much story telling punctuated by laughter.

Proclaimed the emancipation of the tenant-farmer this morning. I attach a copy of my proclamation or decree. This should cause the actual start of the Reformation.

And gave a 1st month report of martial law.

Then met the labor leaders, the rural bankers, the governor, Liberal leaders and mayors of Masbate.

A Japanese straggler was killed and his companion wounded in Lubang yesterday by

2.

Oct. 21st (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

the PC patrol they ambushed.

Camp Keithley in Marawi City is under attack by a band of outlaws who have taken over the MSU radio, raised the red flag and surrounded the PC Prov. Hq. of Maj. Marolomsar, Prov. Commander. Eight of our men have been killed (six outright at Pantar Bridge that leads to the city from Iligan) and one wounded while nine have been killed on the enemy side and one captured who is being interrogated.

Reinforcements being rushed to the besieged forces.

The enemy may number anywhere from 100 to 400. But PC Prov. Hq. under attack holding out.

Other Mindanao units alerted in case this attack is a signal of an uprising in all of Mindanao and Sulu.

3.

Oct. 21st (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

I believe the attackers may be a combination of student radicals (KM and SDK) supported by outlaws. The red flag may show they are communist infiltrated or controlled.

And again this may be a diversion from the Luzon front where the communists are hard pressed.

Or a demonstration that the leaders I talked to and placated like the Alontos and Pendatun do not run things anymore.

Or again this may be a Pendatun and Alonto play to gain a stronger bargaining position.

But we are not going to bargain. We will hit them hard.


December 17, 1944

Last night we continued to hear bombing in the distance. The Bulletin Board announced an American landing on the big island of Mindanao on December 15. No planes flew over us today. The airfield is completely destroyed and the two roads leading to it are a mass of holes.

It’s strange that the animals also sense danger. When there is a shot, the cow and her calf jump. Budigoy (our dog) howls and tries to get away from his chain. The cats run and hide. The chickens and ducks run for the coop when they hear and see the planes. Perhaps they think of the planes as huge hawks.


August 25, 1944

The Japanese Bulletin Board revealed that Davao (in Mindanao) waterfront has been bombed many times by the American planes.

We have heard that the Japanese caught 10 looters who were beheaded, so we do not hear of so many robberies happening.


August 12, 1944

Two days ago it was posted on the Japanese Bulletin Board that Davao (in Mindanao – south of here) was bombed on late Sunday afternoon (Aug. 6) by an American plane – no damage was done as the bombs fell in the water. The next day another plane was sighted. You can imagine the excitement of the people, but one must be careful not to show it, and also be careful of comments.


6-13-44 -3:00 a.m.

Weighed Anchor & still hugging coast line of Mindanao. 700 to 900 Nips in att. hole. No wonder our crowded conditions. (Note-forward gun mount reputed to be a wooden gun only-there is no gun crew for greased since we have been aboard.) I wonder who they are fooling.

2:00 p.m.

In Cotobato Gulf. Still hugging shore. This ship was the S. S. Kearny: We call it the ‘Benjo Maru’ Morale & Spirit of these men on board remarkably good. We have been through so much that we got aclimated to most any conditions soon. Nearly everyone hopes to got sunk by the Americans. No one is worried, and each is willing to take his chances. Just got through shaving. I work give a months pay for a bath now. Holed up at Perange.


6-7-44

6: a.m. Left Lesunge. Anchored at Davao. Quite a fleet in Gulf. 1-13-ship. 3 cruisers, or 6 destroyers – 6 sea planes – two tankers and several freighters. Where we are going is still unknown. Rumor has it that it is a 4 day trip. God, I pray it is a — any longer we will lose some men anyway probably. 1200 men in one hold. Of this 2200 ton ship. Well duck about 100 long an 50′ to 30′ wide. No one can lay down. A hell of a night. I slept partly on the boom. 6:00 p.m.  -—- Still in Davao Bay – Laying on leeword side of Samul Is. Conditions still same, but I am going to get some sleep to move on top of latrine. Two meals /day. Maybe we will leave before tomorrow –  Goodbye Mindanao.


December 24, 1943

The Vice-Rector of Letran College has returned from a trip to the South. According to him, the guerrillas are continuing their war activities although there is a prevailing state of no belligerence. The pacified zone extends some more into Cebu and Panay, but in both zones, peace is uncertain. The embers of hostility continue glowing and the slightest breeze is apt to enkindle new upheavals which could break out into more destruction and bloodshed. In the principal towns, military outposts have remained. However, they do not interfere with the subversives unless they are attacked. In most parts of the Visayas, neither the virtual sovereignty of Japan nor the nominal sovereignty of the Rupublic is recognized, but there is a modus vivendi more or less peaceful between the Japanese and the guerrilla elements.

The convoy in which the Vice-Rector arrived was close to being attacked by a submarine sighted off Corregidor. A number of passengers saw the torpedo which missed the destroyer escorting the convoy.

Apparently, the rumors were true, and even the most skeptical were now convinced that there indeed were pirates in the coasts.

The Princess of Negros, one of the ships in the convoy, had been machinegunned in a previous encounter some weeks ago. Coming from Borneo with five transports loaded with oil and troops, the convoy, escorted by two destroyers, was attacked as it turned around the southern tip of Mindanao. According to the ship’s engineer, the two destroyers were lifted from the water and were ripped in halves. The transports were fired at with cannons and were sunk. Only the Princess of Negros, because of its speed, was able to escape, but was not spared by shells. It lost its bridge where the captain and another officer were killed.

The captain’s family was notified about the accident by the Japanese Navy, without any details of how and where. The public was kept in ignorance about these dangerous wolves roaming the Philippine coasts. But it was an open secret.

Tonight is Christmas eve, and tomorrow will be Christmas… and although we were far from the Christ Child in terms of his poverty, our present scarcity lessened this distance. Only the new rich could afford the luxury of enjoying turrón, as sugar cost three hundred fifty pesos a bag; or taste a turkey, which cost eighty pesos; or buy a new pair of shoes at one hundred and twenty pesos to one hundred and fifty; or purchase a kilo of meat at twelve pesos.