24th day, Jan. 20, 1945

Up early. We have eaten another hearty breakfast. We are all fixed up for our trip to the beach. We believe the “Cat” will come down to take us out today.

We feel too anxious to get to our final destination.

We fail to be picked up again today. We are heading for Tolong, where we are to be picked up tomorrow, according to latest instructions.

The Russian steamroller continues to make headway, crushing all opposition on the way.


23rd day, Jan. 19, 1945

We wake up this morning in high spirits. We have a very nice breakfast—as a despedida. All of Col. Andrew’s officers eat the morning meal with us.

We set for the beach after breakfast and boarded the sailboat “Mispa.” On board each of us anxiously awaits the humming of a friendly plane, the “Cat,” supposedly to pick us up.

Here comes a faint sound of an engine. Every one is at attention to catch the progressive approach of the buzzing engine. It fades away. We are all disappointed. A few minutes later, another humming of propellers catches our ears. We turn our faces south eagerly fixing eyes towards the southern skies. Out of a sudden a “Cat” shows up through the clouds. Excitement seizes us, believing it was going to land. But it continues its course northward and disappears in the distance. Later two fighter planes come up to the scene—combing the skies around us continuously. We have been waiting already for an hour and a half and when the Cat failed to return, we went ashore.

Here comes the “Cat.” But it does not alight. Our hope for the day to be picked up fails of fulfillment. We are coming back to the beach tomorrow.

We all got badly beaten up by the heat out on the sea. We return to Col. Andrew’s quarters tired. Yet we have eaten a good lunch.

We are not depressed at all, for we know tomorrow the chances will be good of being picked up.


22nd day, Jan. 18, 1945

Warsaw has fallen! This is the principal feature of the broadcast this morning. Russia certainly knows how to time her punch to produce the desired effect. This is a fatal blow to Germany. Russians are just now 15 miles from German Silesia. It appears that this Russian drive will throw Germany off balance and probably knock her down for the count should the European Western front be continuously hammered hard and strong by the allied forces as to prevent Germany from sending reinforcements to the Eastern front, The Eastern situation should hasten the collapse of Germany.

The Philippine war front has become front page news all over the world. This war has definitely placed the Philippines conspicuously on the map. At least for the next generation, American and Australian children will be studying closely Philippine geography and history. We are no longer an unknown item in world affairs.

1 1/2 billion dollars for naval construction in the Philippines. What a large sum that would be sunk by America in the Philippines!

Philippine laborers and business men would have a big share. This war is therefore a blessing in disguise.

Poor Peralta. He again committed a big foul by sending a message to Abcede on “crooks.” He exposed once more his idiocy to Abcede.

Today, we receive the message that tomorrow a hydroplane will be picking us up— from our beach.

Should nothing miscarry tomorrow, we could be taking our lunch somewhere in Leyte or on some other point.

May God be with us—during and after the trip.


19th day, Jan. 15, 1945

The days have been warm for the last 15 days, when this month should be cool and fresh as in previous years.

What a terrible time the people of Pangasinan must be having now! Poor people! they have been overcome twice already. First by the Japs, now by the U.S. forces. They are in the path of the typhoon so to speak.

I made a walk to the beach this morning, a very nice walk, indeed.

The Japs have not struck back yet. Are they reserving their punches for a final showdown, when the allied forces are near Manila? It might be too late.

The Japs, as things look, are sandwiched already. I feel quite sure that landings will be made in Batangas and Atimonan.

Within this month a decisive battle will be fought on the plain of Luzon.

The grim decision and determination of America to redeem the Philippines at any cost definitely settles the question as to the form and system of government that we should have here—no other than democracy.

I expect a message to come either today or tomorrow on our trip to Leyte or somewhere.


18th day, Jan. 14, 1945

We should leaving today, if the point of contact were accessible and near enough from where we are now.

Why is Osmeña in Florida? Is he ill?

On this news broadcast last night, there was a message that [we] should be at a certain landing at 7 a.m.

I have a strong feeling that a big responsibility is awaiting me. What that is I do not exactly know. But I have an idea that it would have something to do with re-organization of the govt.

Talks on the VP had been current for sometime in Panay. Is there any truth to that now. Let’s wait for developments. The portfolio of the Interior is the ranking cabinet position according to law.

The announcement of Osmeña’s return to America and the message for my evacuation came coincidentally at the same time. Why?


17th day Jan. 13, 1945

Why is Col. Andrews killing the pig? Poor creature! He is a lively animal. Poor thing! My heart goes with him.

It’s amazing how my difficulty in breathing after meals has disappeared since I left Sn. Joaquin. The salt in the sea breeze must have burnt out the substance that weighed upon my lungs.

But when would Gen. McArthur lift us out of here.

Why should America be fighting on Philippine soil at this juncture for such an idea as democracy? What’s the magic in this term?

Just think 800 ships in convoy carrying soldiers, supplies, construction materials, guns, etc. costing billions of dollars for unloading on our soil to accomplish a terrible task of destruction! If these billions were invested in construction projects on a peacetime basis, what happiness and prosperity they would bring to the Filipino people.

Americans dying for the Filipinos! This is the greatest wonder of modern time!

American capital was unfavorable to investing in the Philippines on account of political uncertainty here. Yet, hundred of thousands of American lives and billions in good sound American dollars are now being offered as sacrifices at the altar of democracy here in the Philippines. What a paradox!

Poor civilians in Manila. They are between two fires. They sought, many of them, security there. Now they are in hot water.

The seekers of ease and comfort are now sitting on a pin cushion.


16th day, Jan. 12, 1945

American planes in great numbers are out again, flying over our place. Is there a landing in Batangas?

I felt like saying “Hello, Walt” when I heard him, Walter Robb, by radio, speaking from San Francisco. It was the first time in four years when I heard him again last night. His voice hasn’t grown old. It has the same old tenor inflections, when he was in Manila four years ago. He was fortunate to have left in time.

An important and terrible land battle must be going on in Central Luzon. The planes are extraordinarily active till late this afternoon.


14th day, Jan. 10, 1945

Had a good sleep last night. We have been walking through the camp this morning. There is order, cleanliness and discipline.

We eat our lunch today in Lt. Rexford’s quarters, where air service communication apparatus is at work.

We are treated to turkey and frosted cake baked by Pvt. Orven, a nice young fellow.

I wonder what the Jap prisoner, an aviator, was saying when he passed by, seeing us having a cheerful time, having plenty of food before us.

If these Japs had the food and the things that these Americans have, I am sure they would refuse to go out and fight like mad dogs as they do now.

Rex is a nice fellow. He is quite intelligent.

We leave Abcede’s HQ at 2 p.m. today.

We got in tonight at 7 o’clock, tired.

Our guess that the unusual air activity during the last few days meant a major operation by Gen. MacArthur came out correct. We have just heard the broadcast that this morning the allied forces made a successful landing in Lingayen. What happy news.

McArthur has commenced his march to Manila. Would he get there on his birthday?


13th day, Jan. 9, 1945

Maj. Soliven came this morning and took us out after lunch to Col. Absede’s CP. We reach the HQ late this evening on a motor boat. The trip has been rather monotonous. We find Col Abcede waiting for us. His HQ is upstream and well hidden. Yet the Japs succeeded in getting in there through the back door. The darned fools did the unexpected as they did also in Panay.

The good Col. has tuba, hash & corned beef ready for us and a good dinner.

To our surprise, after dinner, the HQ band started to play dance music. And the girls of the camp showed up dolled up for the dance. We dance, that is, my party, for the first time in three years. We have a good time. This is my first opportunity to be amidst young girls, with their hair and faces well done up.

I have been introduced to staff officers of the camp. They are a fine group of enthusiastic young officers. I like them. They like me too, I presume. Their air is cordial, friendly & cooperative. They do not have the braggadocio of Panay officers. They do not show the insolence of Peralta’s clique. Here they are respectful to civil officers—friendly and helpful.

Col Abcede is sound and understanding. He does not have the imperious pretensions of Peralta.

Some personalities that strike me as interesting are Lanza, Maj. Cunanan and Manas.

I meet here Mrs. Villamor and Lt. Rexford. Why is Mrs. V. going with Rex and Rubenstein?

I have a nice bed here.

I have drunk several glasses of tuba.