Last night around 6:00 p.m. we could hear shooting in the distance and it lasted till around 3:00 a.m. So far today I have not heard any shooting, but at this very minute four American planes flew over. I heard them dive and machine gun. Their targets were Iloilo waterfront.
At 2:30 thirteen flying fortresses flew over us. Also several “Lone Rangers” flew over us though they were on parade. Panay does not offer any resistance, so these planes are in no danger, and we are not bombed so much.
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.
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.
All night last night we heard the sound of planes and bombing, still in the same area. The food problem is very acute. Rice is now 300 Pesos a ganta (about 2 ½ lbs.), pork is 280 Pesos a kilo, beef 160 Pesos a kilo. One pair of men’s trousers (not new) costs 2,500 Pesos. 3½ yards of cotton fabric (ABC percale) costs 1,200 Pesos. One roll of Scott Tissue toilet paper is 500 Pesos. There is a rumor that the Americans landed on Leyte and Negros, and the next landing will be on Panay. Everyone is wishing that the critical days were over, and each one has a prayer in his heart that he will come safely through.
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!
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.
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.