We took our breakfast at 5:00 o’clock. At 6:00 o’clock we were on our way to the airport. I could not explain why when we parted from each other most of us were silent and in tears. It was probably because we were not so optimistic as to what will be done to us in Manila. Or perhaps it was the result of about five months of paternal association among us. We arrived at the airport at about 8:00 o’clock due to the bad roads and stops caused by defects in the truck engine. The airport is near the town of Puerto Princesa itself. As we left the barracks and the colony itself, we felt something for these places that was hard to explain as they were the scene of our martyrdom for our beloved country.
At the airport we got a good glimpse of the might of the United States. There were countless B24’s which we saw in action in Manila and in Baguio, and B29’s which devastated and crippled Japan. We became more convinced that Japan had absolutely no chance.
We left the airport at about 8:30 a.m. in 24-seat transport of a line called “Atabrine”. It reminded us of the daily doze of Atabrine pills we took in Iwahig to protect ourselves against malaria. After going over countless small islands we arrived in Manila at about 10:45. There was nobody to receive us. Our guards had to telephone for trucks. One truck arrived at about 12:30 p.m.; we had been waiting impatiently on account of the extreme heat. The truck was small and one-half of it had to be filled up with our baggage. We had to be crammed in the small remaining space. The trip was as bad as when we were herded in a hold in a boat on our way to Iwahig. As we reached the main Manila South Road, and we turned left, it became clear to us that we were going to be incarcerated at the New Bilibid at Muntinglupa.
We arrived at this place at about 3 o’clock. There we were met by Minister Tirona, Mayor Guinto, Vice Minister Pedrosa and others. Later we met Don Miguel Unson.
Thin mush, coco milk, and tea for breakfast. I’ll say this — the tea tasted more like tea than the coffee resembled coffee.
Here is a case of violence that happened yesterday afternoon. A colored man by the name of Huff who seems to be somewhat “valiente” got some beef bones from the Japs and made soup to sell. An old sea captain by the name of Owen had some words with him over the soup. I haven’t been able to find out exactly what the argument was. Anyway, Huff struck the old man, who then walked a short distance and fell. They got the stretcher to take the old man to the hospital but he died before arriving there.
Huff is now in jail. I don’t know what they will do with him. Huff beat up another colored man (74 years old) about 3 weeks ago.
I used to cook with the Captain while we were both at the Gym. He was a nice old man. He was a British subject.
Twenty four B-24’s came over this morning and plastered Grace Park systematically. They passed over the field three times and sowed bombs like a farmer sowing seeds. The first trip they came over the right of the field and let loose their loaf and turned right over us where we had a fine view. The next trip was over the left side of the field and the third right up the center. The field must be plowed like a rice field. Was a wonderful sight. That is one thing that we have — a good box seat. The planes went over Marikina Valley, near San Mateo and gave them some pineapples.
Later about noon some small planes either P-38’s or dive bombers worked San Francisco del Monte over. Appeared to be way out by the river.
For lunch — a cup of thin talinum soup. Supper, or dinner if you want to be “high hat”, we had a small ladle of rice fried with talinum and some canned meat. It was very good but lacking in quantity. I could have eaten four times as much.
I am making a “crazy-patch-work” quilt out of an old bed spread. I am sure looking forward to the day where Mama and the girls see it. I am certain that they will say it is a work of art. Well, it helps to pass the time and keeps me from thinking of my empty stomach.
The story about Dugglby and the others being taken to Japan is not true. They are in Manila or Montinlupa. So that is that. I wish the Commandant would leave. Maybe we could get something more to eat.
Saw something yesterday that illustrates the spirit of Santo Tomas. One gray-brown dog was fighting with three black dogs. All of the dogs were of about equal size. Finally the gray dog broke away and started to run. A man who was passing by kicked the poor gray dog as it went past him. That is Santo Tomas for you. Kick them while they are down. Or, you might say — Democracy as she is lived.