3rd day, December 30, 1944

From Bad-as, we are now hitting the trail to the sea below Sinogbuhan San Joaquin. We are here very early—thoroughly exhausted. Our presence attract the attention of people on the beach. We have eaten our breakfast hurriedly. Our sailboats have been waiting for us. We immediately board them and [?] sail with Point Siaton in Negros as our objective. We feel slightly nervous, for we have to pass through Jap-controlled waters between Panay & Guimaras. Thank God, no Jap motor boat pops up. The wind is intermittently blowing, and we drifted into the mouth of the strait for a while. An East wind blows now, late in the evening. We are now heading fast to Siaton. We feel safe now from the enemy.

1st day, December 28, 1944

We leave [Panay] today early, with Osorio as our objective for the night. The day is cloudy and the sun has not come out with its heat. We have made in good time the rough mountain trails, hitting a point a little over Osorio at about 7 p.m. Here we bivouac for the night, on the edge of a little stream. My cargadores sleep on the ground under a huge rock. We take our rest in a vacant small cottage, wherein three of us fit in snugly.

My companions are Roberto, my eldest son, Patsy, my nephew, Sp. Dep. Govs. Golez & Afatalicis*. P.S. Serelina is our principal guide.


*Note: There is no such person. Possibly error in transcription. There was a Deputy Governor Abelardo Aportadera.

December 14, 1944

Yesterday was quiet, but today there have been so many planes flying overhead that I no longer keep track of them. Early in the morning three formations flew over Iloilo bay and dropped their bombs. We have heard that there is an anti-aircraft gun on a small island on the other side of Guimaras Ialand (between Iloilo and Negros).

At noon, three waves flew toward the same direction and bombed again. Just before bombing, the sound of cannon fire was heard.

It has been reported that American ships have been sighted off the coast of Iloilo!

December 12, 1944

I did not sleep well last night thinking of what happened yesterday. The day has been quiet and we did not see any planes.

Coné and Meñing could not work in the garden (we have a vegetable garden) as the ground is too wet, so we played bridge for an hour and a half.

The price of food continues to rise. Can you imagine one egg costs 35 Pesos?!

December 11, 1944

All quiet on the Eastern front last night, but at noon we saw three formations of American planes headed towards the airfield. A short while later the bombs fell. After they bombed, they flew over us. What a peculiar sensation! We know a bomb will not fall on us, but there is always that fear!

Half an hour later, we heard the drone of planes again. Three more formation flew towards the airfield. Just as they were almost over us, they started to release their bombs. What a terrifying sound! It just rained bombs on the landing field! The house shook and the windows rattled, fortunately none were broken.

After the bombing we ate our lunch, and then took our siesta. At 4:00 p.m. Dorothy, Meñing, Coné and I had our afternoon coffee. We had just barely finished when a shot rang out very close to the house! I did not have time to go downstairs when another shot rang out. Millard and Roland were outside playing. When they heard the shots, they crawled along the ground till they reached the door downstairs.

The rice pickers ran from the fields. More than 20 of them took shelter at our house.

I looked out towards the garrison to see if there was any activity. I saw several soldiers run towards their trench. Just at that moment John, our cook, was coming home from picking rice and passed the Japanese in their trenches. He saw a Japanese soldier lying nearby with blood flowing from his chest. He had been shot by the USAFFE.

About an hour and a half later, the Military Police began an investigation. They came to the house – one spoke Visayan very well, and Coné had no trouble in talking to him.

We were all upset for a while and it usually affects my appetite. Thank goodness Coné keeps calm! We heard later on that the soldier died of his wounds in the hospital.

December 10, 1944

Last night was quiet. The only sound I heard was the tail of the cow hitting the side walls of her shelter.

No planes this morning. There were three Japanese planes that flew over during the late evening and headed toward the east.

People are now harvesting rice in the rice fields behind our house. Our maid, Puding, is also harvesting, and John, our cook, will join the harvesters this afternoon. They get paid for their labor.

December 9, 1944

The weather has been stormy since last night, and we feared there would be another flood as the rain fell so heavily.

My angora kitten, Prince, is sitting near me and trying to grab the pen as I write. A month ago, I lost Princess, his sister. It is very difficult to raise these angora kittens at this time as they, too, seem to feel the effects of the war. I still have the mother cat, Pretty, and she is beautiful. Dorothy has two angora cats, also – Raggedy Ann and Andy.

I am looking out of the window while I am writing, and I can see Japanese soldiers repairing the Mandurriao airfield (a mile and a half away). The rain has stopped and the sun peeps through the clouds every now and then. The wind is blowing and it is a cool wind from the north, and we are all wearing heavier clothing.

December 8, 1944

Today is the third anniversary of the war. Last night I was awakened by the sound of an explosion somewhere in the distance.

At noon we heard the drone of planes and looking out we counted 24 big, 4-motor planes and six small ones (Lockheeds). They flew towards the direction of a distant airfield. I thought they had left us for good, but at 12:40 they returned and flew towards the Iloilo airfield. The next thing we knew they were bombing it! I was somewhat frightened as two formations flew directly over our house, and I was expecting them to drop a bomb on the Garrison across the street. They only bombed the airfield.

The people of Iloilo are very grateful for the careful way the American pilots conduct their raids, and we are not as frightened of the raids as we were in the beginning.

December 7, 1944

Last night was quiet and we all slept well. Our “fortification” is finished and we feel safer.

I sent John to Iloilo to buy Lipton’s Tea and he came home without it. He thought the price was too much – 1⁄4 lb cost 1,100 Pesos! An American made bicycle is valued at 50,000 Pesos!