January 23, 1945

Breakfast, lunch, and supper same as yesterday. The camp is out of wood with the exception of green acacia. They have already burned dining tables and parts of the dining shed and yesterday and today they used benches and chairs from the fourth floor school room to supplement the acacia.

This morning a large chunk of anti-aircraft shell tore a hole through the roof of the Education Building and wounded two men. The later Santo Tomas version is that the shell exploded near the bathroom on the third floor and only one man suffered a very small scratch. Well, that’s Santo Tomas for you.

Quite a bit of bombing around today.

I made a mistake about the chow. Yesterday we had mixed talinum and camote greens. Looked like something the dog left. Mrs. Carter gave me some raw talinum and I mixed it with salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar, chili and garlic. I bummed everything but the salt. It was hot but tasted fine with the soy beans. We didn’t get such a generous helping of the beans tonight and they were not cooked enough. That is because of the fuel shortage.

My feet are swelling again in spite of the medicine. The Doc says “too much salt”, so I will cut it out for a while and see how things turn out.

Done some sewing today and unraveled some very nice thread from sock tops. Some job I have on the crazy patch work quilt but I will get it done. The work keeps my mind off of other things and helps the time pass away.


January 10, 1945

Thin mush, coco milk, and tea for breakfast. I’ll say this — the tea tasted more like tea than the coffee resembled coffee.

Here is a case of violence that happened yesterday afternoon. A colored man by the name of Huff who seems to be somewhat “valiente” got some beef bones from the Japs and made soup to sell. An old sea captain by the name of Owen had some words with him over the soup. I haven’t been able to find out exactly what the argument was. Anyway, Huff struck the old man, who then walked a short distance and fell. They got the stretcher to take the old man to the hospital but he died before arriving there.

Huff is now in jail. I don’t know what they will do with him. Huff beat up another colored man (74 years old) about 3 weeks ago.

I used to cook with the Captain while we were both at the Gym. He was a nice old man. He was a British subject.

Twenty four B-24’s came over this morning and plastered Grace Park systematically. They passed over the field three times and sowed bombs like a farmer sowing seeds. The first trip they came over the right of the field and let loose their loaf and turned right over us where we had a fine view. The next trip was over the left side of the field and the third right up the center. The field must be plowed like a rice field. Was a wonderful sight. That is one thing that we have — a good box seat. The planes went over Marikina Valley, near San Mateo and gave them some pineapples.

Later about noon some small planes either P-38’s or dive bombers worked San Francisco del Monte over. Appeared to be way out by the river.

For lunch — a cup of thin talinum soup. Supper, or dinner if you want to be “high hat”, we had a small ladle of rice fried with talinum and some canned meat. It was very good but lacking in quantity. I could have eaten four times as much.

I am making a “crazy-patch-work” quilt out of an old bed spread. I am sure looking forward to the day where Mama and the girls see it. I am certain that they will say it is a work of art. Well, it helps to pass the time and keeps me from thinking of my empty stomach.

The story about Dugglby and the others being taken to Japan is not true. They are in Manila or Montinlupa. So that is that. I wish the Commandant would leave. Maybe we could get something more to eat.

Saw something yesterday that illustrates the spirit of Santo Tomas. One gray-brown dog was fighting with three black dogs. All of the dogs were of about equal size. Finally the gray dog broke away and started to run. A man who was passing by kicked the poor gray dog as it went past him. That is Santo Tomas for you. Kick them while they are down. Or, you might say — Democracy as she is lived.


January 2, 1945

10:45 a.m. Another flock of our planes just passed over. No air raid alarm and no rough stuff.

We had a tasty dinner yesterday. Two scoops (small) of rice, camotes and carabao meat fried with garlic and leeks. mmmm! tasted mighty good. Also a fair sized ladle of meat gravy. Would have liked to have had double the helping. Then my poor little tummy would have been full for once.

Breakfast this morning — just mush. I got some hot water and mixed some of the mush on the hot water with salt and had a hot drink. Trying to fool myself, but no can do.

At 3:30 p.m. 10 B-24’s passed over Quezon City, going east. Anti-aircraft batteries shot at them but no hits. (They drove them away.)

Rice and mixed camote and talinum greens with meat gravy. No taste.


December 28, 1944

No air raids; very quiet.

We started the day with just mush. No sugar, milk or coffee. Two small ladles of mush 70% rice 30% cornmeal. Incidentally, there is no more corn unless the J.A. brings in some more. Tomorrow for breakfast will be just plain rice mush. Not much nourishment to that.

This noon we had a very small cupful of soup made of talinum and camote leaves. Tasted like very weak dishwater.

For supper we fared a little better. We had a small ladle of rice, a ladle of camotes cooked with the skins on, a spoonful of mixed camote and talinum greens and a ladle of so-called gravy made of other vegetables.

I have never had a square meal for 7 months and for the last four months never more than 1/3 enough to satisfy my hunger. And, oh, boy, am I hungry.