November 20, 1944

Emilio was here this morning. He said a Jap officer went to his house at eight o’clock last night with a German. The Jap wants him to vacate his house “to give place for this German”. Emilio who is hot-headed answered “I’m not going to vacate my own house for any German.” Emilio’s wife was nervous because she said there was a long and heated discussion and so she came in and pulled Emilio by the arm and begged him not to speak his mind out because he might be locked up in Fort Santiago. When the Jap left, Emilio said: “I am not going to leave my own house. If the German needs it, I need it too.”

Our building in Avenida Rizal is going to be taken by the Army at the end of the month. It will be used as a warehouse for food supply. All tenants were asked to sign a paper saying they agreed to vacate premises.

Pedro was here too. He has not returned to his house in Galas for four days because the Japs have “zonified” Galas. All males about 400 of them have been brought to Fort Santiago. Apparently, a Jap officer’s corpse was seen in Galas and they are making the arrested men reveal the name or names of the killers.

Sentries have been posted again on important street corners. Everybody is stopped and searched for firearms. The other day I forgot my residence certificate and I had a hard time trying to go home.

A Jap interpreter who speaks quite good English was here this noon. He looked like a Chinese and so I was tempted to ask him what he thought of Chiang Kai Shek. I was very surprised to to hear him say that he thinks Chiang one of the greatest man in the world. He said that the Japanese people also think very highly of Chiang but they regret “Chiang is is fighting for white race”.

I asked him what the Japs think of Gandhi. He said that although Indians worship Gandhi, he is better as a god. He is not a leader in the sense of action. He does not get things done. Or rather, his method of passive resistance cannot attain freedom for Indians. Only action can bring liberty to Indians, he opined. He believes Subhas Chandra Bose, the Indian revolutionary. More capable.

(later)

No raid today. People are sad. They’re beginning to think that the Leyte campaign will take a long time and perhaps the liberation of Luzon will not be effected until perhaps next year. Meanwhile prices of foodstuffs are rising higher and higher, betond the reach of even the rich people.

Aside from the undeniable fact that the masses are really suffering, what with the taking of houses, the scarcity of food, the high prices of everything, the drastic procedures of the military police, the abuses of Jap officials, I think that one of the causes of present unsettled, discontented feeling is impatience. People are very anxious to see landings in Luzon. They know that there will be great hardships and fighting and perhaps death but they want it now. They want to get it over with, the sooner, the better.

Will listen to San Francisco at six. I like Commentator Sydney Rogers. I have one criticism about radio broadcasts in America. They spend much time in silly nothings in broadcasts to the Far East. They don’t realize that people listening here are doing so at risk of their lives. What they want to hear is the news. They don’t care to hear a musical program. They want to know: what is happening now in Leyte? Why are there no raids? When will landings be effected? How strong is the force? Of course, not all things can be revealed. But they want to know the news. They want especially — war news. Commentaries on the news. The radio stations in U.S. must remember that people are tuning in under great risks.


November 19, 1944

Air raid. I can hear the roar of U.S. planes. There goes one explosion. Quite strong. Must have hit an oil tank. Sound of planes diving. Sort of gets into your nerves. Dogfight, perhaps, strafing. Machinegun sounds like corn being dropped on a tin can. Dolly is shouting. She says there is a plane in flames and it can be seen from the kitchen window. Ack-ack. Sounds like a big door being slammed right against your ears. Mama is calling grandpop. The old fellow does not like to go in the shelter. Subcannon. Sounds like punching bag. More ack-ack. Shrapnel raining on cement court beside house. More bombs being dropped. Vic still outside watching planes. He says “It’s the sight of a lifetime. U.S. planes are diving very, very low.” More bombs. Earth and house shaking. No more Jap planes flying. Japs beside house are ringing a bell, some sort of signal. There goes the air raid siren, late again. Tia Mameng taking her breakfast in shelter. Mateo is outside chasing the horse. Five planes now circling over Murphy. Strafing. Hard to see planes right now. Sun is just above horizon. View from my window is very beautiful. Green fields, nipa shacks, carabaos wallowing in mud pools, Australian cow right beside Vic’s mare. Only ones absent are the birds. They fly away when they hear the planes. Panfilo is shouting. Says he saw a man trying to steal fruits from backyard. Thief must have thought we were all hiding in the shelter. Told him not to run after the fellow. He must have been hungry. A lot of hungry people these days. Sun is above trees now. I like the morning air. Exhilarating. Rooster is crowing. I wonder if the white leghorn has laid an egg. Eggs cost ₱15 each. More detonations but very distant. Planes are probably hitting Cavite. Slight breeze blowing. Birds are back on tree outside my window. They are flapping their wings. My favorite “maya” is chirping her usual song. Raid’s over.

(later)

Had a poor breakfast. Rice and dried fish. Had a Jap visitor, a new neighbor. He belongs to the Propaganda Corps and he censors Philippine Review articles. He claims the Americans be surely defeated in Leyte. He admitted aerial superiority of U.S. but said Jap suicide unit will take care of U.S. carriers. MacArthur has landed seven divisions in Leyte already, he said. Japs also have seven divisions, he explained. “And since our lines of supply are shorter and America’s very much longer,” he opined. “MacArthur’s forces will be either driven off or annihilated.” He praised Gen. T. Yamashita “who conquered Singapore and has new ideas on aerial warfare.” Marshal Terauti is in charge of Indo China, he said. The Jap said that [Indochinese] are cooperating much more than Filipinos. No guerrillas there, he added. He revealed that very little food supplies came in nowadays from Southern regions for Jap Army. He deplored hunger now prevalent in Philippines. “This is due” he said, “to pre-war economic dependency of Philippines with United States.” He also admitted superiority of American production. “But” he added, “with Japanese spirit, we shall surpass them in near future.” He disclosed that Jap textile factories like Kanebo and others are now producing planes. Our conversation was interrupted by sound of strafing.

Air raid alarm was sounded and he ran to our shelter even before the women. I stayed outside and watched the planes. They dropped bombs over Manila bay at Jap ships. Tribune just arrived. Claims Mac forces completely surrounded.


November 16, 1944

I went around the City yesterday to see the effect of the bombing last 13th and 14th. About 14 ships were sunk in the Manila Bay Area aside from the partial destruction of Jap military installations in the City.

Ermita district got the greatest share of civilian casualties, because they are very near the shore. There were many dogfights on top of the Bay and everybody was talking about that lone U.S. fighter that was being chased by two Japs that “suddenly swerved and machinegunned one Jap till it plummeted to earth, chased the other which ran away and then suddenly turned into flames.”

The Apostolic Delegate and the Archbishop’s Palace were partly damaged by the raid and the Japs capitalized on these things, placed them on the front page and squawked about “Anglo-Saxon violation of religious beliefs of Catholic Filipinos.”

The fact is that the Archbishop and Apostolic Delegate left their respective places months ago because the Japs used their residences as ammunition dumps. Several Manila churches were also filled with boxes of ammunition.

Japs have spread their supplies throughout the City under trees, in parks among bushes to minimize destruction from bombing. To really destroy all Jap suppy dumps, the whole City would have to be destroyed because they have used private homes as warehouses.

Yesterday I saw sailors, survivors of sunk ships, lying wearily on the grass under the shade of trees at Taft Avenue. They looked hungry and half-dazed and their clothes were smeared with oil. They were just sitting around looking at nowhere and their faces looked pitiful.

I saw two truckloads of Jap dead passing Taft Avenue and there was a bad odor that made me feel sure that the trucks carried corpses. Due to lack of transportation facilities, carts covered with white sheet were also seen in several Manila streets pulled by Jap soldiers. All Japs had their caps off in respect to dead inside carts.

Meanwhile the Japs are frantically vacating their military establishments. They are commandeering houses of civilians to hide from U.S. bombs. Schoolhouse amid civilian houses in Altura is now Military Police headquarters which was bombed in last Tuesday’s raid.

Manilans are ready to suffer damage to their properties and even death to themselves as long as they get back their freedom. One Manilan said: “Let them bomb my house if that’s going to hurry things up.”

A Jap soldier passing by the house yesterday asked to come in. He was very pale and he said he was shivering with malaria. He asked for quinine. The fellow had a very sad face and then he wanted to know if this was New Guinea.

A friend of mine told me yesterday that there was Jap nurse who burst out in tears when she read the papers announcing American landings in Leyte. The nurse remarked: “I thought we were winning all the time.”

 

October 16 (later)

More details on Ramon Araneta’s death at Fort Santiago. The phone rang at the Araneta home. Corito, the daughter, answered. Jap from Santiago said: “You can take your father now. He is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD…. do you hear me?” There was no answer. Corito fainted. When her mother came to ask “What’s the matter?” she gathered her strength, pretended nothing had happened, said “I couldn’t understand.” Corito is a very courageous girl. Japs wanted to bring her to the fort also but changed their minds when she was dressing up. They said: “O.K., just stay, we are gentlemen, we take you some other time.” Japs suspected she was typing radio broadcasts from San Francisco.

Minister Arsenio Luz, Jose Corominas, Juan Chuidan, and Dr. Antonio Vasquez were the ones who took Araneta’s corpse from Santiago. Japs couldn’t understand why they went there and there was a long time trying to ask for Araneta. Until finally, one Jap who understood a little English brought them to a room. Araneta was there, stiff on the floor, with a dirty sweater. Minister Luz who thought Araneta was well and to be released was shocked and having been slightly inebriated at the time, he lost his head and started to shout and curse in Spanish “Esto no puede!” until Dr. Vasquez silenced him and said “not here, not here.” Corominas, a good friend of Araneta could not speak. With his pal’s corpse prostrate before him, he looked straight at the eye of the Jap who also looked fixedly at him. He used to be afraid of Japs and Fort Santiago having been locked there too in the past. But at that moment, he was no longer afraid. He had ceased to care. Indignation was greater than fear of death. He kept looking at the Japanese, spoke a thousand words by his silence. The Jap took off his glance, showing signs of shame. The four friends carried Araneta’s stiff body to Luz’s car.

News has been spread that Araneta died of a heart attack. Indications are that he died because he was battered in the fort. His body had contusions around the stomach pit. But the doctors who autopsied his body do not want to talk, not until day of liberation.

It appears that Japs suspected Araneta was listening over the radio. When he received a tip that they might pick him up, he transferred his set to his secretary. Japs caught his secretary who unable to withstand torture began to talk. Japs arrested Araneta midnight. They knocked at his door: “Open up! Open up! Military Police!” His wife who was awake put on her lounging gown before opening door. But Japs broke it before they could get the key.

His night watchman was tied. Four Filipino informers investigated the servants and searched first floor of the house. Japs investigated Araneta and wife and children upstairs and inspected rooms. Japs took ₱40,000 from one of Araneta’s drawers, drank his wine and took canned goods. His chickens, turkeys and pigs disappeared too.

Chief Justice Jose Yulo brought this to the attention of Colonel Nagahama, head of Military Police, a friend of the Chief Justice. He immediately sent investigators to Araneta family to find out the truth. Japs recovered part of ₱40,000 and paid rest and returned one can of sardine, apologized, explained: “you see the men were hungry and had not yet eaten.”

Tragic part of story is that the wife thought her husband was going to be released. Mrs. Jose Yulo, sister of Araneta called her up and said, “Coring, come with me because this afternoon Col. Nagahama has invited us for a cocktail.” Nagahama promised to speed up Araneta’s investigation. He explained that it was because they suspected him of listening to short wave broadcasts. It is evident, however, that the colonel did not know what was happening in his own office and it was possible that at the time of the party Araneta was already dead.

Mrs. Araneta believes her husband died because he was very worried about his daughters whom Araneta loved very much. But, she is taking her husband’s death very calmly because she is resigned to her fate.

To make matters worse, Araneta’s home is being taken by the Navy. The family is now packing up and they don’t know where to transfer. They need not worry about having a home, however, because many families are willing to share their homes with them. A bomb also dropped at the Araneta garden during last Tuesday’s raid. Their house was covered partially by earth and their glasses broke. Apparently the American plane was hit and the aviator was looking for a vacant lot in which to dislodge his bombs and then to land. He found the garden which is quite spacious between the Araneta home and the Hernaez residence. He let go his bombs before plummeting to earth.

There were many visitors offering condolences to Araneta family. Mr. Ramon Araneta is a well known social figure in Manila. At present, one of his daughters is in the United States. The mother cries when she thinks of this girl who will return home and find her family without a home and above all —-without her father.

To all this, Japs have said ———-So sorry!


October 17, 1944

Still no bombs, I’m sore. We were having breakfast when the “air-raid” alarm sounded. You can’t hear it very well out here in Santa Mesa but the servants in the kitchen said the sentries have placed the red flag and that means there’s an air-raid. I opened the radio to verify and it was blacked off.

Outside the house, the Japanese soldiers were hiding behind the trees and bushes. It’s funny looking at those guys react. The Filipinos are taking it very calmly, in fact, joyously. And they’re so nervous and jittery. Our Swiss neighbor said that some ten or twenty Japs entered his garden and hid in the bushes with their gas-masks on.

There were many planes flying –about 80 of them– but they were all Japanese fighters. Some were flying very low and others could be hardly distinguished above the clouds. Then it started to rain and at about noon time, “All-Clear” was sounded.

Several people were getting disappointed. They are asking: Maybe there is some truth in the Japanese claims of 12 aircraft carriers sunk? Is that why they can’t bomb anymore? Others are angry. They say: “The Americans shouldn’t have bombed at all if they were going to stop like this. It only gave the Japs a chance to spread their dumps into private houses. They should have kept it up, bombed on and on”. Only consoling note is the fact that Formosa is being bombed and rebombed. People say that this is a prelude to the invasion of the Philippines. “They’re neutralizing whatever help Formosa can give to the Japanese here when invasion comes” according to Joe.

Tio Charlie is still here. He can’t go to Baguio because of the air-raid alarms. I wonder if Baguio is a safe place. A lot of people are going there. I think it’s a bottle-neck, a rathole. If something happens to the zigzag, you’re imprisoned there. Oh well…


July 1, 1943

General Homma told the Philippine Mission which was sent to Tokyo to witness the Japanese war machine: “Notwithstanding the favorable report of Prime Minister Tojo, your country remains the most anti-Japanese conquered region. You will be granted your Independence not because you are collaborating sincerely with Japan, nor because you deserve it, but because of the magnanimity of Japan.” Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

And even if Homma did not say so…

Aside from the state of open rebellion existing in the Visayas and some mountainous regions of Luzon, an increasing movement of some kind of fifth column secretly directed is operating with efficiency, both in Manila and the adjoining regions.

In Sta. Mesa, a number of Japanese were killed in three consecutive incidents. Some members of the neighborhood patrols are scared and in many places the vigil has been suspended. The vigilants are equipped with sticks, while the guerillas were armed to the teeth.

Alejandro Roces, Jr., while leaving his house was shot to death together with his wife. The father, owner of the TVT, seeing his son and daughter-in-law being carried, lifeless, into the house, suffered a heart attack and died on the spot. The press published the news of the father’s death but was silent on the cause and manner of the son’s death.

 


February 4th, 1899

It was a beautiful day, Saturday, February 4, 1899.[1] There was peace and happiness everywhere in Malolos because on this day the (peace) Commissioners were to read before Congress the results of the conferences held with the American emissaries of McKinley to reach an agreement between the two nations. Happiness, because the Filipino nation had high hopes that at the end of the conference an agreement favorable to the aspirations of our people would be reached.

In the afternoon, Congress began its session; a numerous public invaded the temple of laws to listen to the outcome of the conferences. Almost all the representatives were at their posts. The session began. Gracio Gonzaga, Secretary of Fomento, representing our government, read the results of the conferences held with the American envoys headed by Schurman,[2] and the Filipinos headed by Florentino Torres.

It was clear that the envoys of the Imperialist Party were not invested with the powers needed to pass any resolution; thus, messages were telegraphed to the McKinley cabinet. In short, nothing was accomplished during the conferences except wasting our time and dampening the spirit of our people.

Coincidence, fatality, Machiavellian stratagem, or concerted action between the American Army and their envoys—the truth is that on that same day, Saturday, February 4, the last groups of soldiers sent by McKinley disembarked at the plains of Santa Mesa with their cannons facing San Juan del Monte, where the advance forces of the Filipinos were stationed. On that day, the talks were terminated without coming to any agreement. Our fears did not take long to come to a head.

The evening was quiet with a silver moon shining; Malolos was happy; a dance was being held in the house of Mrs. Concha del Rosario, widow of Mapúa. Gen. Artemio Ricarte and Col. Luciano San Miguel, commanders of the Santa Ana line in Manila, were paying homage to Terpsichore. While Malolos was in deep slumber without any suspicion of an unrest, between midnight and 1 o’clock in the morning, an unusual noise woke the unsuspecting inhabitants. The cry of “War” reverberated everywhere. The hostilities had begun!

We woke up at 1 o’clock and went to the Central Postal Station, where we met the Honorable President of the Philippine Republic issuing orders. All the prominent members of the government were also there: Gen. Ricarte, Col. San Miguel, [Teodoro] Sandico, and others.

About 3 o’clock, Gen. Ricarte and Col. San Miguel boarded a train for Sta. Ana; Moreno and I accompanied them. At 5 a.m. we reached the station at Caloocan and continued on foot to Maypajo. Before reaching it, Ricarte and San Miguel separated from our group and took the road to La Loma; Moreno and I proceeded to the trenches at Maypajo and reached them at 5:30 a.m. Here we learned of the impossibility of reaching Manila; Moreno has been appointed chief of the volunteers from Manila.

After a while some soldiers from detachments in Solis arrived informing us that they were leaving because they had no longer any cartridges. I left Moreno at 6 o’clock to be in Caloocan with the intention of establishing an emergency field hospital while waiting for the military health unit to take some action. A few steps away sounds of guns and cannons rent the air while shots whistled by, instilling in me the fear that the end was near. During intervals, I made my way and reached unscathed the municipal building where I intended to attend to the wounded. I had hardly gone upstairs when I saw a warship in the bay opposite the building. I left for the railroad station; but barely twenty meters away a grenade fell. I entered the station and saw a wounded man, but as I did not have anything with me to help him, and knowing the impossibility of requesting medicines from Malabon, I departed and took the train for Malolos.

When I arrived home, Choling[3] told me that I was a coward because I had abandoned the fighting. I explained to her that I had come to get bandages and medicines because there were none there. I went to the drug store and requested everything needed for first aid. When I inquired for the cost, the pharmacist refused to collect. At 1 in the afternoon of the 5th, after lunch, I returned to Caloocan bringing my surgery satchel. I found [Antonio] Luna, José, [Leon Ma.] Guerrero and [Anastacio] Francisco, Inspector General of Military Health.

At 4 p.m. a stretcher arrived bringing [José] Torres Bugallon, Major of the General Staff, with a broken right thigh; he was very pale, looking almost bloodless owing to profuse hemorrhage. He stretched his hand upon seeing me, relating at the same time how he had been wounded.

He said, “I was leading the troops when I felt I was wounded, but continued marching about fifty meters farther; then I fell. I felt I was being dragged and then I lapsed into unconsciousness. I did not know anything more until I found myself here today. Bitter and endless fighting continued on both sides.” I asked him to stop talking and he kept silent.

Luna and I applied first aid to him then he was transferred to the Lolomboy Hospital at Bocaue. He died, however, on the way. The body was taken to Malolos, where it was buried. I was left in Bocaue, where I intended to establish a hospital; but with the presence of De Jesus and Cordero of the medical corps, I proceeded to Meycauayan, where I spent the night. On the following day, I stayed in the Polo station to attend to the wounded. On the third day, seeing that the medical staff of the military unit had taken complete control of the situation, I returned to Malolos.

[1] Manuscript carries year of 1900.

[2]Jacob Gould Schurman.

[3]Consuelo de Santos, youngest daughter of Marcelino de Santos; Barcelona married her on July 6, 1901.


Febr. 4, 1899

On the evening of this day was placed on guard or rather Cossack outpost at Block house no. 8 in the Santa Mesa district. Our orders were to hold this place and report anything suspicious. A number of recruits had been rec’d on this day by the Filipinos in the shape of wild men from the mountains who were armed with bows and arrows. They wore red breech cloths. [Pvt. James I.] Bowe]s] from our company had been placed on guard. The other private, the corporal and myself had lain down. At about 8 o’clock I heard a rifle shot, a Springfield. We did not pay much attention to this, but directly we heard two more shots. We began to hastily put on our stuff, but before we could get on our belts and haversacks on, firing began on our camp from all sides, and balls began to bing and chug around us. In a minute or two we heard footsteps approaching from camp. It was eight men and a sergeant from C to reinforce the post. Our orders were now to hold the blockhouse and fire only when the enemy advanced in the immediate open and were visible, so during the fire of the night which was incessant we lay sleepless and keeping a sharp watch.


Saturday, Feb. 4th, 1899

Manila, Luzon Island — Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo

A cool breeze reduced the temperature here to such an extent last night that one might feel justified in calling it cold. Reminded me of fall weather in southern Texas. Cloudy today but dry. Cooking breakfast & supper & taking the edge off my appetite with a cold bite at dinner, is a regular feature of everyday life in Manila as my experience runs now.

Since Mrs. Brigadier Brengle wrote me to become a member of the “Acquaintance (with God & the Bible) League”, although I have not joined, I have and am trying to give more time to prayer & bible reading each day.

This forenoon visited the post office but rec’d nothing. Wrote, copied & mailed a letter to Brig. Bruno Friedrich, chief editor of the Canadian War levy, congratulating him on his Christmas number.

Purchased some shells down on the Escolta for my collection. Private Green, B. Battery, Utah Light Artillery dropped in at No. 2. Borrowed of me $1. U.S. coin. Said he would give me $1.50 pay day. Advised him not to give the extra 50 cts. I dont want it in the shape of interest. Green said 4 more cannon were sent out to Camp Santa Mesa today: pieces belonging to the Utah artillery, and more are to follow. Says likewise that reports bring information that 3 Colorado men were killed last night out on picket by natives. War & rumors of war. G likewise said the trains going north are crowded with natives leaving the city. Why they are departing I know not; perhaps the Filipinos expect to rise & burn the city when the attack is made from the outside. Chaplain Stevenson of the Idaho vol. Infantry brought word that he head the foreign consuls have been notified of war.

x x x x

The battle so long expected, has just started. Commenced just as taps were sounding. The roar & rattle of small arms is heard on the outskirts of the city; seems to be over towards the cross-roads –where the Montana troops are stationed. This starts the war. The so-called Filipino Republic is now doomed, –Mrs. Owens is greatly excited. Three Spaniards & mestizos from the lower floor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena have come up stairs. Excepting the shooting now going on — the city is quiet. The Utah artillerymen –brass band across the street from us, are astir. –Two Filipino women have come up stairs.

The horrid din of war sounds louder. Rapid fire guns are at work. Can hear them above small arms & a call to arms us heard in the artillery qtrs. –Now the thunder of a heavy gun. xx 10.40 p.m. Infantry are now hurrying out Calle Jolo to the front. xxx A lull lasting about half an hour. Now there is disultury [desultory] small arms firing, with the occasional roar of a cannon –apparently from a war vessel. xx The Utah sentries across the street state that some small bullets struck their building –a soldier came over from the Caurtel de Meisig. Says he saw a 3rd Reg’t  artilleryman being carried in. In a different quarter the rattle of small arms accentuated with the crash of volleys is now heard. An engagement is in progress –is about 11.30 p.m.–Sleep is out of the question now with the din of war continually sounding, & men getting killed and crippled. xx The rumble of wheels is heard on the streets, probably cannon. –All the Utah cannons are out with the exception of two pieces , which have been left behind for street fighting. xx 25. min. to 12 midnight. Quiet again.

The mestizos of the first floor seem not to care to return to their own part of the house. They are remaining on our floor smoking, talking and keeping me in the qui vive as the battle progresses. xxx Mrs. Owens brought in some cake to refresh the physical man. Is very acceptable at this late hour. —

Past midnight — 12.15 a.m. All quiet, save the whistling of a locomotive over at the R.R. depot.

May God protect our precious Salvation Army comrades who this morning are facing death, likewise the dear Chistians of other denominations. I know some splendid Christians –Salvationists and church members in this 8th army corps —

The sky is clear but no moon is shining. The city electric lights are driving away the darkness & the search lights from Dewey’s fleet are busy this morning.

10 minutes of 3 a.m. Have just been awakened from an uneasy slumber by the renewed noise of battle –which as re-opened. There is a constant sputter with the roar of great guns now & again. Private Frank Amie of H. Battery 3rd Heavy Artillery is in the street below our front window doing patrol duty. Says he is cold. Have thrown him my handkerchief to tie around his neck. xx This is the holy Sabbath of the God of peace, but the awful discord of war is marring its peace. The crescent moon is now shining out brightly. xxx

 


Sábado 13 de Agosto 1898

Hoy la plaza de Manila se ha rendido a los yanquis. Las primeras horas del día no anunciaban novedad alguna, (…) De repente se ha puesto en movimiento toda la escuadra yanqui. Los Vapores que estaban de guardia han ido á reunirse con los demás y se han dirigido hacia el fortín de S. Antonio. Cuatro barcos grandes que debían de ser el “Olympia”, el “Boston”, el “Raleig” y el “Baltimore” han cañoneado aquel fortín. Luego la han emprendido contra las trincheras perpendiculares á la línea de la playa, jugando el principal papel en el ataque un Cañonero que debía de ser el “Leyte” ó el “Callao”, En medio del cañoneo ha sobrevenido un fuerte chubasco que nada ha estorbado el ataque, A las cinco cuartos de hora de fuego han juzgado los Yanquis que el campo estaría completamente despejado, por lo cual han suspendido el fuego de los barcos empezando á marchar el ejército de tierra en formación hacia Manila. Nuestras tropas agazapadas en las trincheras que aún quedaban, han sorprendido con dos rociadas de balas á los yanquis que entraban con toda seguridad y que se han quedado parados. En esto el “Olympia” y el Monitor “Monterey” se habían colocado frente á Manila, y este último tenía sus cañones de 30^5 centímetros apuntando á la batería de dos cañones de La Luneta, Ha disparado el “Olympia” un cañonazo sobre nuestras trincheras cuyos soldados han recibido luego orden de retirarse mientras sobre las murallas de la Ciudad se levantaba una gran bandera blanca. La plaza, llena como estaba de gente indefensa, no ha hecho fuego sobre los barcos por no atraer sobre sí las balas enemigas. Ha habido parlamentó en el cual parece que los Yanquis se han mostrado generosos en todas las condiciones, con tal que se les entregue la plaza. Los insurrectos han estado á la mira con ánimo de sacar todo el partido posible de nuestra desgracia. La amistad que mostraban estos últimos días, era la simpatía que por el rico moribundo sienten sus domésticos quienes procuran apoderarse de sus riquezas , antes que de fuera venga otro á tomárselas. Un poco antes que los Yanquis han atacado ellos las trincheras y luego han entrado por la brecha que han dejado abierta nuestras tropas al retirarse. La Vanguardia Yanqui que iba á preparar sitio á los demás se ha dirigido al Observatorio…

(..,) hasta las 6 de la tarde se ha visto pasar por las calles de Manila diversos Cuerpos del ejército español que iban á dejar las armas en la fuerza de Santiago. A las seis la bandera española que coronaba esta fortaleza ha sido arriada, siendo izada en su lugar la bandera Yanqui. Los Yanquis que estaban en la fuerza han saludado la bandera con el grito de “urra”  y una banda de música ha tocado el himno nacional delante de la bandera en el paseo entonces solitario de María Cristina (…).

Las trincheras de la parte de Binando y Sta Mesa, continúan defendidas por nuestras tropas mandadas por el GraL Monet y el Coronel Carbó. Hay por aquel lado mucho tiroteo y mañana abandonarán los nuestros aquellas posiciones para que las ocupen los yanquis si les viene en gusto.

Las bajas se calculan en 400 por nuestra parte, y 2,000 por la de los Yanquis. Es probable que estas cifras sean exageradas como de primera impresión (…). Al caer la tarde se ha embarcado con su familia para Hong Kong el General Augustin.

Today the plaza of Manila surrendered to the Yankees. The early hours of the day gave no new signs at all. The Boston was guarding off Parañaque, the Petrel and McCallouch off the mouth of the river. The rest of the squadron was idling off Cavite. It must have been about 9:00 when we saw sailing into the bay a merchant vessel flying the German flag. Someone said it must have been the boat bringing peace, and secure in this, we positioned ourselves to watch it as she entered the bay. She was signalled off Cavite where she was heading, and turned back to join the rest of the German squadron near Pampanga. All of a sudden the entire Yankee fleet was in motion. The boats keeping guard sailed away to join the rest and headed towards Fort San Antonio Abad. Four big boats, which must have been the Olympia, Boston, Raleigh, and Baltimore, cannonaded that fort. Then they aimed at the trenches perpendicular to the beach . . . . During the attack, a heavy squall fell, but without disturbing the bombardment in any way. After five quarters of an hour firing, the Yankees thinking the field was already fully cleared, ceased firing their guns, while the land forces began their march towards Manila. Our troops crouched in the trenches still remaining intact surprised with a shower of bullets the Yankees who confidently came and were stopped in their tracks. At this moment, the Olympia and the monitor Monterey had moved themselves in front of Manila, the latter with her 30.5 cm. cannons pointing at the battery of two cannons on the Luneta. The Olympia fired a cannon shot over our trenches, where the troops subsequently received the command to retreat, while over the walls of the city a huge white flag was being hoisted. The plaza, filled as it was with noncombatants, had not fired at the ships lest it draw enemy fire. A parley followed during which apparently the Yankees have shown generosity in all the conditions, provided the plaza be surrendered. The insurgents have watched from the sidelines, intending to take all possible advantage of our disgrace. The friendship shown these past few days was that which his domestics feel for a dying rich man, and who seek to take possession of his riches before others come to claim them. Ahead of the Yankees, they had attacked the trenches, and later entered through the breach left open by our retreating troops. The Yankee vanguard which came to prepare the ground for the rest went to the Observatory, asking Fr. Algue if they could lodge there. Father answered politely he did not think so since the ground floor was filled with refugees, and mainly because if the city resisted anew (for the result of the parley was not yet known) the Observatory despite being a building of an international character would be a target of the cannons of the plaza. Accepting the explanation, they asked Father if there was a place where they could shelter themselves, and he indicated the volodrome. Within a few minutes, some insurgents came to the Observatory, and very politely asked the Father’s permission to put by the window grating the insurgent flag, lest the Yankees claim the building. While Father was trying to dissuade them from it, others proceeded to place it nonetheless. Two lieutenants ordered a soldier to remove it, and on obeying, he was rattan-whipped and the flag remained where it was.

[From the time of the noon meal] until 6:00 in the evening, one could see various units of the Spanish army passing through the Manila streets going to deposit their arms in Fort Santiago.  At 6:00 the Spanish flag which used to crown this fort was furled, in its place the Yankee flag was hoisted. The Yankees who were present in the fort saluted their flag with shouts of “Hurrah!” and a music band positioned at the time of the solitary passage of Maria Cristina played their national anthem before the flag. -— Since the Yankees have taken possession of all the barracks, the Spanish authorities cannot find sufficient place to lodge the troops who are retreating to Manila. The former have filled some churches, and our church, too, if we had not offered them a place in the Ateneo, where the native Regiment No.73 and two artillery companies have stayed.

The trenches along Binondo and Santa Mesa are still being defended by our troops under the command of General Monet and Colonel Carbo. There is plenty of shooting in that part and tomorrow ours will abandon those positions that the Yankees may occupy them if they wish.

Today’s casualties are calculated to total 400 on our side, and 2,000 on the Yankee side. Probably these numbers are exaggerated from first impressions. The family of Gen. Augustin boarded the ship for Hongkong at sunset.