November 12, 1944

Typhoon is over, the sun is up again and the sky has brightened to a clear blue. The bird that perches on the tree near my window is there again, fluttering its wings and in a while I’m sure it’ll begin to twitter.

No planes this morning. Everybody was expecting them today because they’ve visited us every Sunday morning for the last three weeks. We woke up early this morning because we thought the planes were sure to come. There were many people in Church and everybody hurried home because “they’ll come around breakfast time”.

Instead of the planes came bad news. Ramon Araneta who was brought to Fort Santiago two nights ago died in one of the dungeons. The Japs called up his daughter and said that she could take her father’s corpse. Mrs. Araneta does not know that her husband has died. All Manila knows about this “sudden” death. Everybody thinks that Ramon was tortured. The Japs went up to his house at midnight, searched every nook and corner, every drawer, behind portraits and tapped the panels and floors, questioned his wife, daughters and servants. They they told Ramon to dress up and they took him with them. I was in their house yesterday and three Japs investigated one of Ramon’s maids and they brought her to Fort Santiago also.

This death has shocked Manilans and if the Japs think this will intimidate the people, they are very mistaken. The reaction has been the contrary. More young men want to go to hills. Vengeance is in every heart. His burial will probably look like a demonstration as Ramon is very well known. His death is the fourth in a row. First, Teddy Fernando; then Almazan; recently Preysler, whose wrists and ribs were smashed; and now –Ramon Araneta. Conversation now-a-days is nothing but of Jap atrocities. The greatest propaganda agency for America is not the Voice of Freedom or KGEI or Free Philippines but Fort Santiago.

General impression downtown is that the Leyte invasion has bogged down because of the typhoon and mud and arrival of Jap reinforcements. Some think Luzon liberation will begin only after Leyte has been completely liberated. Others insist that Mac will “pocket” Japs in Ormoc and then “hop” on to Manila.

Meanwhile, Japs are getting stricter, more brutal and desperate. Filipinos have to submit to the indignity of being searched by Jap sentries in almost every street corner. Fort Santiago has arrested many Bataan and Corregidor veterans. They are alarmed at reports of enthusiastic collaboration of Filipino populace in Leyte and Samar and great activities of guerrilla units. It is not an uncommon sight to see dead bodies thrown in public highways. Four days ago, a naked corpse with ten bayonet stabs was sprawled in the small plaza between the Legislative Building and City Hall.

Food situation is getting more acute. Yesterday, a man entered the house and he was thin, haggard, skeletal, with a wound on his feet. He asked for “a little rice or soup or anything”. More such walking-corpses can be seen all over Manila as Jap trucks speed through streets loaded with sacks of rice and vegetables.

Many Jap soldiers in Manila now, probably getting ready to move to battle areas. Some reinforcements to Leyte are being sent to Sorsogon where they go on small launches to Ormoc or Carigara. Very few Jap trucks in City. Soldiers walk. Army men now wear their battle uniforms, steel helmets and camouflage-nets. They stop cars, rigs, bicycles. They confiscate all forms of transportation. The Jap Army is desperate. It has its back against the wall. But before they go hungry, the civilian population will have to suffer first. Hope lies in Mac. Come on America!


April 4, 1936

Breakfast with Quezon. He is in great form. Had dismissed a school teacher and a J.P. in Bicolandia. Said the school master who was a married man with two children had seduced a fifteen year old pupil and she was with child. Her parents had whipped her for two days to ascertain the name of the man. The school teacher denied the story, so Quezon cross-examined both the girl and man. He said “I am no hypocrite, but seduction of a girl pupil in the school house is too much–besides the man denied it and lied about it, so I fired him.”

The Justice of the Peace had let off two of three cattle rustlers brought before him by the Captain of Constabulary because they were parientes of his. The judge’s argument was that the law permitted arrests by the Constabulary–but now they were officers of the Philippine Army!! Quezon said “well you let them go, and I shall let you go to join them” and dismissed him.

I thanked the President for his kind reference to me in his recent address at the University of the Philippines commencement. He said he wanted “those young people to know what you had done for our country.” He rather feared Murphy might be displeased at my receiving mention during his ceremony but Murphy had told Quezon how much this pleased him. Quezon said “I love Murphy as I do you, but he would never have done what you did–he is too sensitive to newspaper criticism.”

Quezon spoke of going for a vacation up to Shanghai on April 27th–and asked me to come for a two weeks trip.

Arrival at 8 a.m. at Catbalogan, Samar. The crowd attending the reception committee on the wharf bore several signs showing the dissension and accusations of oppression in the provincial and municipal governments. The Governor of Samar in his introduction of Quezon mentioned that no men from this province had been given high posts in the Commonwealth Government; and that the province had been neglected in road appropriations. This gave Quezon a fine opening and he went for the governor hammer and tongs–one of his best addresses this season. The crowd understood English, so Quezon dismissed the local interpreter; he then attacked the whole idea of provincialism and “tribal” sentiment–reminded them that they were Filipinos rather than Samar people–that the government was their own–that it was the duty of the government to treat all provinces alike in road appropriations; that he had never favored unfairly his own province of Tayabas. Advised them to pay their taxes, So as to show their patriotism.

Left Catbalogan at noon–through the straits of San Juanico, between Samar and Leyte. Five or six hours of the loveliest tropical scenery. Narrowest place was only just deep enough for a small steamer. We arrived at Tacloban, Leyte, at 4 p.m.–Quezon’s speech on the wharf to a big crowd was as excellent as that of the morning but somehow the crowd seemed duller than at Catbalogan. He went to inspect the new hospital and later to confer with provincial and municipal officials. He then shut off any more speeches. We drove to the United States Military Reservation, the finest Constabulary station I have yet seen. Went to Enaje’s house, and waited for an hour making laborious conversation in Spanish with his brother. Much enlivened by discussing Tommy Wolff’s wounding, capture and tortures by local Filipinos during the United States-Philippine war. I felt ill and wished to walk back to the steamer to pull myself together, but was defeated by our host–there is something of the jailer in a provincial host in this country–he must have his own way, and you must take all his hospitality whether you will or no. The idea of our walking down to the pier, I suppose, made them fear to lose face–they resist you like steel. Quezon then arrived and we went to the Paye Club for a banquet and a little dance. I managed to sit at the table, but couldn’t eat. Quezon talked of his speeches, and I said he should have them taken down by a stenographer, to protect himself against misquotation. He said he was not afraid of that, since under the constitution he had one term only–that it was very difficult to get his friends in the Convention to accept the one term provision, because they wanted him to serve longer–he insisted and “it is one of the best things I have ever done.”

Left at 8 p.m. for Lanao.