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.
We are sending Roxas & Diza back to Panay with certain things—soap and canned food—but more to look things over there & report. Being out of Panay has relieved us of the pre-occupations and pressure on our nerves caused by the strained relations with army elements. In his book, “Russia at War” Vera Micheles Dean writes the following, putting in clear and definite terms the lot of small nations:
“The sad fact is that, in the present state of world affairs, weak countries are bound to be crushed between powerful neighbors as between the upper & nether millstones, and their so called independence becomes a myth in times of emergency. The only hope those countries have of preserving some measure of autonomy is to accept cooperation with others in a federation or other form of international organization, where they, like the great powers, would have to sacrifice some of their sovereign rights, but in return might be assured a measure of political security & economic stability.”
Russia according to Dean is deeply interested and concerned with the welfare of the common man and raising his standard of life.
That Japan has continuously broadcasting on the [American] landing in Luzon, but not confirmed by Allied HQ, is intriguing us—what’s the idea behind it?
We are still waiting for transportation for another [?] destination.
We are trying to be patient & biding our time patiently.
Maj. Ben Hollero, DQM of 9th MD is here today with Capt. Nolan. They are rabid anti-puppets and pro-statehood elements. Maj. Hollero is a great fellow.
I found PA officers here respectable, dignified and intelligent. They are broad minded and strongly condemn abuses of soldiers. They heard unfavorable information about the PA in Panay.
E.J. comes to see us almost every day bringing one sort of thing or another. He is a fine and affectionate fellow.
We eat good fish here. It is fresh. Fat crabs are also in our menu for two days already.
Gen. MacArthur radios that I wait for transportation.
The war situation in Europe is in a critical stage—the German counter-offensive is still raging, though contained.
I thought that articles of agreement among the allied countries were so clear as to admit only one interpretation. Pres. Roosevelt, however, discloses that each party to the pact has his own interpretation, differing from one another.
The Philippine war situation is moving closely to suit us. But we cannot help it.
If we don’t get out during the next two days, I would be much bored here.
I am happy to know that I have a following here in Negros.
Dr. Jose Locsin has made a fool of himself by condemning the guerrilla here in Negros.
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!