February 11, 1942



The parish priest agrees to use of their convent. Admirable spirit of cooperation.

No. 201 is an old man. He has been all over the world: Russia, China, Japan, America, almost all countries of Europe and all over Africa. Very interesting fellow. He speaks Japanese, Russian, Spanish, English, little Chinese. He has even stayed in New Zealand and Iceland.

Loveliest place for him in the world is Peking. Next, he says, is a place in Africa which I don’t remember now. Third, London. He dislikes America. Likes South America. Likes Baguio, very much.

According to 201, Mrs. Quezon’s farm in Arayat has been completely looted by communists. He said communists entered farmhouse, started drinking, playing piano and finally wore clothes of the President.

I have a slight cold. Was drenched by rain yesterday. Car stalled on way.

Will entrust this diary to 201, when I return to Bataan HQ. He is very paternal. He said: “I am a young kid.” Makes me feel like a child. I am already 21 yrs.

All funds in group 23 exact. Gen’s suspicions unfounded. Several hundred pesos in group 16 unaccounted for!

No. 16’s brother succeeded in climbing old KZRM building, through fire escape, and got Philippine National Anthem for Voice of Freedom. Corregidor had only U.S. anthem.

Price of matches going up. No. 16 said “Price of girls also going up. Even old ones are again in circulation.”

February 2, 1942

HQ, Intelligence, Bataan


This place is getting to be a Post Office. Lorrie Tan wants a letter sent to his family. Manny Colayco wants his family contacted. “I left them with nothing,” he said, “I don’t even know where they are,” he wrote. Tony Perez has a letter for his sweetheart and one for his mother. All letters were censored. Received word from Fr. Hurley in Manila. He asks that news be given the Superior in America that “everything is o.k. with Jesuits.” Will refer this matter to Ortiz in Rock. Other men were here begging, pleading that we be kind enough to “send this little or just this two or three words to this and that person.” The General is very angry. He has ordered all agents and officers to stop bringing personal notes. He said: “This is an intelligence service not a Post Office.” Fred said the General has become very strict because he noticed that one of the letters which somebody wanted delivered was addressed to a German in the suspected list of the Philippine Army. We are having the American sergeant who wrote the suspicious note called to this HQ tomorrow.

Talked to Tony Perez this morning about penetration in Mt. Natib. He said they walked for two days and nights without stop, clambering cliffs, clinging to vines at times to keep their body steady, in a desperate effort to escape encirclement by the Japs. He said it was a pity some of the weak and wounded were left behind. There were men he said offering all their money to soldiers to “please carry me because I can no longer walk.” He said that he and a friend carried a fellow who had a bullet wound in the leg. “Some of the boys” he said “fell down the precipice because the path was very narrow, in some cases just enough for the toes.” He expressed the opinion that if Japs had followed their gains immediately and emplaced a machine gun near the cliff, they would all have been killed. “It was heart-breaking” he said. “There we were trying to run away from Japs and sometimes we had to stay in the same place for a long time because the cliffs were very irregular, at times flat, at times perpendicular.” He said that most of the men discarded their rifles and revolvers to reduce their load. Most of our artillery pieces were left, he stated. “We were happy,” he recounted, “when night came because it was dark and the Japs would have less chances of spotting us but then that made our climbing doubly difficult because it was hard to see where one was stepping especially when the moon hid behind the clouds.” He opined that the Japs probably never thought that one whole division would be able to escape through those precipices in the same way that we never thought that they would be able to pass through the steep cliffs of Mt. Natib. Fred said he will write a poem entitled “The Cliffs of Bagao” in honor of the Dunkirk-like retreat of the 1st regular division.

Leonie is also thinking of writing a book on Bataan. He says it will be fiction. It’s much easier that way, he stated.

Fred and Leonie keep on making notes of every incident and story they see and hear. Fred will write a non-fiction book.

I wish I could write a book myself but I don’t think I can. Maybe I’ll just write a couple of article for Free Press or Bulletin.

Received a letter from Baby Quezon. She wants to send a note to Miss Mary Angara. The General said we shall make an exception for the President’s daughter.

Life here is getting harder and harder. I noticed everybody is getting more and more irritable. Nerves, I think. Food is terribly short. Just two handfuls of rice in the morning and the same amount at night with a dash of sardines. Nine out of ten men have malaria. When you get the shivers, you geel like you have ice in your blood. Bombing has become more intensified and more frequent. The General is always hot-headed. Fred and Leonie are often arguing heatedly. Montserrat and Javallera are sore at each other. And I… well, I wanna go home.


February 1, 1942

Civilian Camp



Thousands of homeless civilians here. A lot of hungry men, women and children. I saw a little girl trembling when she heard the rumbling of a truck. Shell-shocked. It is an awful sight.

Sent here by General to interview some of the civilian evacuees. Perhaps some of them may have information on Japs.

Talked to a man of about 24 years. He was crying. He said the Japs caught him and his wife when Japs advanced. He said the Japs tied him to a chair and in his presence more than 10 soldiers abused his young wife. “Then the other night,” he recounted, “they told me to fetch water. I escaped and left Lourdes, my wife.”

One man said Japs are in Balanga schoolhouse and they have tanks under trees in the town plaza. I asked him to sketch the place by memory.

The civilians built houses out of tree branches. Some of the soldiers helped them. Many were suffering from malnutrition.

Presence of these civilians –thousands of them– will further diminish our food supply. We cannot permit these people to starve.

Raid. Can see 14 planes. Very small.




Several Jap spies caught mingling with civilians. They will be brought to our C.P. for questioning. My sergeant says: “How do we know, sir, if some of these people are spies posing as homeless victims of Japs?”

Japs bombed civilian army. Pandemonium. Panic. Men, women and children killed. Saw long procession of dead being carried out through small gate in endless line of stretchers.

Will stay here tonight but I don’t think I will be able to sleep with horrors I have seen and heard.

January 30, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan


Filipino officers in USAFFE may get same pay as Americans, according to General. There is no reason why an American should get higher pay than a Filipino doing the same job with the same rank. Both are undergoing the same risks and both are human beings. To hell with the superior air of some Americans!

Beautiful message from MacArthur to Roosevelt. Wrote Mac: “Today, January 30th, your birthday anniversary, smoke-begrimed men covered with the murk of battle rise from their fox-holes in Bataan and batteries in Corregidor, to pray reverently that God may bless immeasurably, the President of the United States.”

Heavy raids today. Japs hit Cabcaben and Mariveles airfields.

Saw P.I. Army planes flying at three o’clock in the afternoon. Three of them. Good sign.

Reports from City indicate people cheered by raid on the 27th. Manilans started shouting recklessly. Some said: “They’ll be back in a week.” Japs started to run and hide, according to operatives. It must have been a great day in the old city.

No confirmation of rumors about Batangas landings.

Received letter from Mr. Romulo.

The General repeated his intention to send me on secret mission to Manila.

The general joked me. He said all unmarried girls in Manila will be married to Japs. “Too bad about your G.F.,” he said.




Operative just arrived from Manila. He carries a note from mama. He says the folks are all well and that Mrs. Osmeña was at home when he gave them my note. Mrs. Osmeña wrote a small letter to the Vice Prexy. Leonie also received a note from Annie and a knitted sweater. This is a great day!

January 29, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan

Japs have encircled the 1st regular. I wonder what will happen to the boys there. This is a great calamity.

Apparently, Japs crawled through precipices of Mt. Natib. After penetration, they made a flank maneuver and concentrated fire on rear of Segundo’s line.

Reports from radio indicate Japs are wild about their victory in Singapore. Jap planes have dropped copies of Tribune announcing Tojo’s independence promise and Tribune page carrying signatures of members of executive commission agreeing to Jap aims.

Ration reduced. Food supply fast decreasing. For brunch, we get two handfuls of rice.

The general said he might send me to Manila or Nueva Ecija one of these days.

Morale slightly on downgrade. Some skeptical about convoy.

Had a silly discussion on a silly subject with Fred and Leonie. “Are whores capable of true love?”




False alarm. Major Javallera came in shouting: “I have sighted the spearhead of convoy.”

Called up off shore patrol to check up. Officer in charge says: “Its just the gun-boats in Corregidor. They moved over to the other side.”

Men are weary. Some still full of hope. I have often seen men stand on high cliffs gazing out into the sea looking for the convoy.

Rumors that a Negro Army has arrived and landed in Batangas.

Rumor that the convoy has reached Visayas.

While going to HPD this afternoon a plan strafed truck before my car. I dove out of car and hid in clump of bushes on side of precipice. Bruised my knees.


Fred had a tiff with an American lt. who refused to obey Fred because he is “a Filipino captain”, Fred put the Yank in proper place. Congrats.

January 27, 1942

HQ, MIS, Bataan

Vic’s birthday. I wonder how he is celebrating it. Am very homesick.

Fred has a good story depicting state of unpreparedness of Philippines when war broke out. He said he asked a friend: “What is your family doing to prepare in case of war?” And his friend replied: “In our house we are always preparing but not for the war but for the next party!”

The General expressed the opinion that ROTC training was quite impractical. Too much emphasis he said on “Squad right, Squad left”. “Many weeks were spent,” he pointed out, “preparing for this or that parade”.

I told the general that in cadre I was taught how to plant and beautify the camp garden. But none of us ever fired a single rifle shot. I told him I told this to the President when I graduated from cadre training in Murphy. My group belonged to the first batch drafted, I pointed out.

The general said that this war has shown that more emphasis should be placed on jungle fighting: silent deployment, sudden concentration, timely retreat, camouflage, infiltration, ambuscade, sniping.

Bad news: Japs have penetrated Mt. Natib through center of line of 1st regular division. Boys of 1st regular are in wild retreat. Many of them are given up for lost.

If this penetration widens, entire USAFFE line must fall back on reserve lines –the Pilar-Bagac road. This is our darkest hour. I’m praying for the convoy. Come on America!


Heard several front-line boys will get citations: 2 Americans and 6 Filipinos. Will try to get complete dope about their deeds. One Scout recommended for Congressional Medal.

January 26, 1942




Maj. Gen. Basilio Valdes and Major Carlos Romulo dropped at our Command Post this morning. Romulo said they would go to the command posts of Generals Lim and Segundo. They want to see “a little bit of action”.

They got a bit of it when they docked at Cabcaben this morning. The Japs bombed the docks again just when they were jumping out of the torpedo boat.

The General informed Romulo and Valdes that snipers have penetrated lines of Segundo. He told them to proceed with caution. I accompanied Valdes and Romulo down the steep hill leading to Base Camp.

We walked through a small trail skirting the side of a hill, crossed a narrow stream by jumping on boulders amid the stream so as not to get our shoes wet.

Valdes and Romulo rode in a Command Car. They had the driver put the top down so they can watch planes. Japs generally strafe cars in Bataan roads. I told them they would get a lot of dust in their faces. Valdes said: “Never mind the dust. What counts are the bullets.”

Romulo shook my hands before riding the command car and then he looked at the hill we had just descended. “Quite steep,” he said. “Quite steep.” I felt like saying “STEEPENDOUS.”




Col. Willoughby was just here. He talked with the general. He was wearing a doughboy’s cap. I thanked him for the uniform. In fact, he noticed I was wearing it.

Raid from three to six this morning. Saw some of the wounded piled on trucks being rushed to field hospital. Many died.




Missing mama terribly. Prayed for her.

January 25, 1942

HQ, Intelligence Service, Bataan


Talked to some of the boys of the 21st at the front yesterday. Japs have tried to penetrate their lines during last few days but to no avail. Boys are complaining about very little food ration. Many were very anxious to get a smoke.

Japs have dropped a lot of “surrender” leaflets in front lines. Leaflets are about the size of the palm. Front sheet reads: “Ticket to Armistice”. Lower caption states: “You and any number of your friends can walk with these leaflets to our lines. We shall bring you back to your homes.” Back cover of “ticket to armistice” carries picture of some home in Manila or picture of Jap soldiers playing with Manila kids. Almost everybody in front line keeps these tickets as souvenir. There are no cases of desertion. The men know that this is a dirty Jap trick and that they will shoot any of us on sight.

Boys in 41st division are raring to attack Japs. Some of their patrols found the dead body of a young girl. She was evidently abused. Her hair was recently curled. Her dress was smeared with blood. Her finger nails still had manicure. She was a pretty Filipina. Her handkerchief was partly torn. On one side of the handkerchief was the name Erlinda. Troops under Lim have adopted as fighting motto: “Remember Erlinda!” Leonie is now writing a radio script for Voice of Freedom on Erlinda.

Corregidor censored part of our SYIM stuff for tomorrow. Fred had an article describing hard life in Rock, the damp air of tunnel as I described to him and the boxes of ammunition inside the main tunnel. Corregidor claims this gives out information to enemy. Fred explained to the General who in turn called up Corregidor that the intention of SYIM editors was to make boys in the front feel that men in Corregidor are sharing hardships with them; that SYIM editors merely want to paint Corregidor officers in better light, because boys in front think that fellows in Corregidor are having an easy life while boys in Bataan fight and starve. The article remains censored.

During broadcast this evening, I slipped into Montserrat’s tent and got some of Javallera’s canned goods. Now Javallera suspects Montserrat took it. The two majors have decided to separate tents. Major Javallera will put up another tent. He says “It’s better to be alone.” Major Montserrat feels the same way. The general is already aware of the canned stuff mystery. He told me he suspects it is Major Panopio taking the canned goods. Meanwhile Fred, Leonie and I are having the time of our lives laughing at the old fogies. Leonie suspects the doctor knows we three have something to do with the canned goods of Montserrat and Javallera because he has seen us eating in private and laughing to ourselves. Fred said “Let us plant the empty cans in the doctor’s tent.” Leonie suggested: “Let Philip put it under the general’s cot.” The plot thickens…




Heard that a certain Capt. Wermuth, an American, will be given a third or fourth decoration for distinguished service…

January 23, 1942

HQ, Bataan



Cabcaben docks bombed while our courier boat was unloading. Nobody hurt. Japs are squint-eyed.

Everybody in C.P. asking me questions about Corregidor. “How does the Rock look?” or “What do they say about the convoy?” or “They have a better life out there, don’t you think so?”

To pep boys up I told them that Romulo whispered (it’s better to say ‘whispered’ than said) that he had inside dope the convoy would be around in a week’s time, more or less.

This cheered officers up. Fred looked skeptical, though. He asked: “How does he know?” I said: “Ask him that. I just said what he said.”

Leonie told me that in Manila Japs have formed a civil administration. Vargas is head of Executive Commission. Yulo is chief justice. Aquino, interior head; Laurel, justice; Paredes, public works; Alas, finance; Recto, education. Japs have also promised independence to P.I. “as long as she collaborates with co-prosperity sphere.” Aquino and Vargas have urged full collaboration in radio broadcasts.

In staff meeting general revealed that Japs are bringing long-range artillery guns in Ternate, Cavite.

This provoked interesting discussion. Some officers opined Japs might try to take Corregidor by attacking from Cavite side. And then once they have taken Corregidor, they can turn Corregidor guns on Bataan and pulverize every inch of ground. “In that way, USAFFE troops in Bataan will be sandwiched,” it was maintained.

Other officers pointed out difficulty of this move due to Fort Frank which can shell any Jap concentrations in Cavite coast.

Discussion regarding motive behind Jap emplacement of artillery in Ternate still going on now.

Personally I think Japs merely want to ‘surprise’ Corregidor, ‘soften them up’ and incidentally “feel their defenses on Cavite side.”

I do not believe they intend to launch any “landing parties” from Cavite otherwise operatives would have reported concentration of troops in that area.

Ate Romulo’s tuna fish. Shared it with Fred and Leonie. We were careful not to show it to the other officers as there was not enough to divide among everybody. Charity begins at home.

The doctor I think noticed we were eating something privately and he said “How about it, boys?” I am sorry we did not share it with him because I am sure he really saw us eating something and he might have been hurt.




A lot of mysterious things have occurred during my stay in Rock. When I opened my bag, I saw several cans of sardines. When I started asking, “Who owns these sardines?” Fred and Leonie jumped and told me to keep quiet.

It seems the two fellows raided the tent of Major Montserrat. Leonie acted as look-out whilst Fred slipped in tent “under cover of darkness” while the major was listening to the Voice of Freedom. Fred claims the major is in combination with some of the sergeants of the QM dump and he has extra supply.

When the major noticed that his private supply was lacking, they hid the cans in my bag. Right now, the major is still trying to remember where he placed his sardine cans.

At this very moment, Major Montserrat is questioning his tent-mate, Major Javallera, chief of Manila’s secret service. Leonie says he thinks Major Montserrat suspects Major Javallera.

Food is really getting short here. The stuff we get twice a day is not enough and if things continue as they are, we will all lose at least thirty pounds each. I am now 135; pre-war I was 150.

Fred and Leonie think we should let a couple of days pass. The three of us always stick together because we are the lowest ranking officers in this outfit.

Raid again. Must go to dug-out.