September 8, 1945, Saturday

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.


August 28, 1945, Tuesday

Our life within this prison is very monotonous. We do the same thing and see the same things everyday. Once in a while, however, there is great excitement. This is due to occasional fights among the internees. Yesterday, one whom we call Mike and the young boy internee fought and the former emerged from the fight with a broken nose. Today, Spaniard Gil had a scrap with a couple of internees. Gil suffered various contusions on the body. I think the fights are caused by restlessness; we have very little to do now and we are always in a nervous state because of our situation.

The construction of the new camp had definitely been suspended. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that soon we will be leaving this place.

We are still here. The delay in our departure is probably caused by the postponement of the signing of the surrender document from Friday to Sunday, September 2. Bad weather affected the preparation for the landing in Japan by American troops. The document is scheduled to be signed on board the dreadnought Missouri.

The delay was also due to lack of transportation. There are too many of us to go by plane. And there is yet no boat passing through Puerto Princesa. The Mactan expected here left Manila on the 26th and it has to pass through various other ports. At any rate, we expect to be out of this place by next week.


May 2, 1945 Wednesday

On deck this morning. Chief Justice Yulo reiterated his previous statement that he is for immediate independence; that readjustment with the help of America can be done even under independence; that America’s treatment of us is the result of race prejudice.

Zulueta entertained us by reciting Spanish poetry. He said he found a new philosophy. He will not worry nor think about our situation anymore. He will try to recover his health to be able to fight those who have been responsible for our situation.

The convicts who are on board, most of them very poor, have shown deep sympathy for us. They always endeavor to relieve us of all work, including getting our meals. I am after all happy that I am with them as I got an inside view of their hearts. They are better than many of our big shot politicians in that they harbor no vengeance, no hatred, nor envy in their hearts. They are sincere.

Arrived in Puerto Princesa at noon. The port is full of warships, transports, landing barges, launches, etc. We were told that we were staying on board until the next morning. We did not get much sleep because the heat becomes unbearable whenever the boat is anchored.