Just came out of the shelter so I’m quite dirty right now. The bombing was quite stiff and the mud on the sides started to scatter all over the place. I can’t stand the shelter so I went out to take a look at the dogfights. Saw a plane shot atop Camp Murphy. First it started to spin downward and then there was smoke and finally it lighted up in flames. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. I don’t know whether it was Jap or U.S. The bombing began at about 8 a.m., just after Mass and it ended at 8:30. They came back again at 10. I wonder if they’ll come back before this afternoon.
Perrucho was here and he was complaining about his salary. He is receiving ₱22o plus corn ration of 200 grams. That’s certainly not enough. A ‘papaya’ costs ₱50. If you take your lunch downtown, it’ll cost you around ₱300. Then, of course, the conversation was all about the war. People think Luzon will be invaded before the Elections. Anybody who thinks otherwise is considered a defeatist. Papa told us not to speak very loud because outside the house there is a Japanese sentry. The Japs are very strict these days.
Everything is quiet right now, although we are still under ‘alert’. The radio is still blacked out. If you look out of my window and the see the fields and the carabao wallowing in the mud near Tito’s shack, you’d think there was no war.
Now I can hear the motor of Jap planes. There are three of them flying near Murphy. There are four columns of smoke in the direction of Mandaluyong and another one around Pasay.
Mama’s calling me for lunch. She says we better eat early because they might come back again.
I listened to the press dispatches from Leyte last night. In fact, I’ve been listening for the last of three nights. I like the shows of Dunn, Flarety, Clint Roberts, Cummison and others. The Time Inc. story was also very good.
This is shocking news. Eking Albert was captured. You probably heard of his escape from Muntinglupa and his guerrilla activities. He is a great loss. He had a thousand and one ideas and he had nothing but his country in mind. He is a great kid.
Because of Eking’s arrest and the arrest of Gen. de Jesus I am very cautious these days. I have made arrangements for a hurried escape, just in case the Japs start knocking at my door one of these nights.
The problem of scarcity was getting to be so acute as to create fear of serious unrest among the suffering masses. In Pasay, the people looted the market and, in an instant, the stalls had been cleaned out. The pillage was caused by the very high prices of foodstuff. A sack of rice cost ₱180.00. A purchaser would go to the market with twenty or thirty pesos to buy provisions for the day, but went home with a little supply and an empty pocket. Wages increased a little, but how could a worker survive on two or three pesos a day? And how would an employee receiving one hundred pesos a month eat and clothe himself and his family? The salary should be increased five times to provide a decent income.
Some boys came to school, not knowing that classes had been suspended. The Fathers and the workers went to the seashore in the school bus to get sand with which to barricade the vestibule entrance with sandbags. A van came from Calamba with sacks and more sand from Pasay. It will take us more than a week to cover the windows and doors with about a thousand sacks of sand. We took off our habits and started to work. We were helped by some students and cadets.
By midmorning, we were taken aback by American soldiers installing a big anti-aircraft in front of Letran College. Two of the soldiers, soiled and emaciated, with their rifles hanging, approached me asking for confession. I invited them to the chapel. They knelt without putting down their rifles.
After hearing their confession and giving them communion, I asked them to take a cup of coffee. They said they came from Clark Air Base. The night before and early in the morning, the Japanese raid had caused enormous destruction. They could not tell how many American planes were burned or how many pilots, mechanics and officers were killed. Casualties were heavy on their side. They were scared, but they left Letran physically and spiritually relieved.
Other camps in the outskirts of Manila—Nichols, Murphy, McKinley—have suffered similar destructions. Fires can be seen from all over the city. From our roof, they look imposing. Witnesses inform us that many houses are burning in Baclaran.
In the afternoon, the anti-aircraft gun in front of Letran College was removed, to our great relief. The same thing is happening in other places where pieces of artillery had been installed. The military placed them, removed them. There seems to be widespread confusion in the military organization. Cars, trucks and buses ply about with a seeming lack of direction. The military have begun commandeering vehicles for the transport of military personnel. They pay well for their use or purchase.
The infernal barking of guns continued throughout the night. One could not tell whether they were firing at the planes, at people, at the lights, or at ghosts.
Heaps of bamboo poles were being burned during the night. They were arranged like fans and inverted cones. As they burned, they presented a pictureque and beautiful sight, if one was in the mood to enjoy the spectacle.
We were told that the youth would be called to active duty, especially those who had already been trained in college and those who had complied with military training in cadres. Many want to be reactivated, and they have volunteered. Most of them were told to wait. The country is in danger and the youth are anxious to defend her, but their services are not accepted. Here is an enigmatic irregularity that is hard to explain.
Reported for duty yesterday afternoon. Regt. behind trenches at Pasay, about 3 miles from walled town. Insurgents shots heard at intervals through day & frequently at night. One insurgent killed about 30 paces in front of E. Cos outposts night before last. The 14th. line extends to Manila Bay on the right — rumors of a move on Parañaque thick — this will give the 14th the brunt of the attacks. Rumors of other moves in various & sundry directions also plentiful.
Lay down at Sn Pedro, tired out, for I had carried Sgt Burtt’s traps besides my own. Fighting was on all night along the outposts. We were sent out without breakfast to the cemetery where we deployed as skirmishers, Co. D on left. The line, complete, extends from El Rio Pasig to Pasay on the bay where the 14th US and 4th Cav. were. The ins. were 1200 yds in front, showing that our ill-advised retreat cost us over six miles. Desperately hot, but we threw up trenches, and now as I write it is morn & our line is 14 mi. long. This was our second day.
This is lovely day and not so verry warm we are doing Guard Duty at the prison 19 of the political prisoner are relieved much to their Joy but this is only the beginning of that Kind of work Hustead christopher Sullivan Lewis C.J. Jennwine Collins C. Harrison Max and Ciste are on the Sick List
This is a lovely day and not too warm. We are doing guard duty at the prison. Nineteen of the political prisoners are relieved, much to their joy. But, this is only the beginning of that kind of work. [Frank] Hustead, [Frank] Christopher, [Frank] Sullivan, [Charles] Lewis, [Fred] Jennewine, Charles Collins, Max Hannan and [Gilbert] Cuite are on the sick list.
Weather is pretty we had a nice Shower during the night wich settlet the dust nicely this being my Birthday I had an invitation from my german Friend to supper with him wich I in deed enjoyed he also gave me one Box of his best Cigars we also had 3 splendid Meals at our Quarters and hope it will continue Rush Lnadis Herrington Fox Brain Baird & christopher are on the Sick List
The weather is pretty. We had a nice shower during the night which settled the dust nicely. This being my birthday I had an invitation from my German friend to supper with him which I indeed enjoyed. He also gave me one box of his best cigars. We also had three splendid meals at our quarters and hope that it will continue. [Ray] Rush, [Jacob] Landis, [Charles] Herrington, [Robert] Fox, [Frank] Brain, [John] Baird and [Frank] Christopher are on the sick list.
Weather is fine but terrible hot we have no Dressparade this day I went down the Beach and gathered up some Shells and watched the Boats going in and out the River the Cable between this City and Hon Kong is in working Order again everybody is in good humor Soapy is baking some more nice Buiscit and we have another issue of fresh Meat Rush Landis & Herrington are on the Sick List
The weather is fine but hot. We have no dressparade this day. I went down to the beach and gathered up some shells and watched boats going in and out of the river. The cable between this city and Hong Kong is in working order again. Everybody is in good humor. Soapy [Frank Sullivan] is baking some more biscuits and we have another issue of fresh meat. [Ray] Rush, [Jacob] Landis and [Charles] Herrington are on the sick list.