We go to San Fernando, La Union tomorrow to return at noon. This is a counter demonstration of the Ilocanos who want to show solidity behind me. But my fear is that they will march to Manila armed and cause violence to erupt once more at their instigation. So I must stop them.
Fiscal Policy Committee with the Congressional leaders met to assess the monetary situation. The Senate President and Aytona was helpful. Speaker Laurel complained that the congressmen and he were not informed of the decision for a floating rate before approval. Puyat understood but as usual the Speaker did not understand the need for secrecy.
Will start releasing funds for the provinces. Priority has been given to the Tondo project. I meet Enrique Zobel on the project next Friday afternoon.
The trading this day on dollars quoted ₱5.70 to the dollar – much lower than we expected. The black market had reached ₱6.30. The persons who face dollar loan amortizations are complaining of the new policy for a floating rate as they will pay more in pesos but the exporters specially those not in the copra, sugar, logs and copper category are cheering it.
Looks like we still have no funds in government. We should now have only one appropriation act to include even public works and capital expenditures.
The Lopezes are more and more vicious through their columnists. Ernesto Granada happily refers to me as snake-like. He probably knows he is suspected as a communist by me. And so does I.P. Soliongco.
But the Lopez contributions to the radicals is their premium payments for insurance. They do not know that they would be the first to go if the communists take over.
Adevoso and his co-conspirators have met again. They are still at it.
Ninoy Aquino attacked the fertilizer plant project of the sugar planters in a privilege speech – a project that I have already ordered to be suspended.
Villalon testified before the Joint Committee to the effect that the Liberals specially Osmeña funded and encouraged the demonstrations. There must be consternation among the Liberals.
Looks like the demonstrations will continue and they may become more violent.
Met with the PACD and barrio officials who reaffirmed their trust and confidence in me.
Imelda went to the Tondo slums and relates how the children are eating only once a day and in some instances three times a week. So we have decided to convert Tondo into a model city – as a priority project.
Spent practically the whole day attending to the problems of the Tondo foreshoreland slum dwellers. They ask for the land reclaimed from the sea at North Harbor. Last year I gave ₱350,000 to the Bureau of Lands in their presence to spend for the survey and subdivision of the land into residential lots excluding the customs area and land set aside for roads, parks and recreational facilities which they now wish to do away with.
I have given them the responsibility of deciding the conflicting claims and the problems of more than 5,000 applicants to only 3,000 lots if the parks, roads and recreational facilities are included as residential land. And I explained the program of housing (requesting that if it is necessary to accommodate several families in one lot they should agree to condominiums in three or two storey apartments), education through the foster-parent plan of businessmen and employment.
Met with the business leaders on the Tondo problem of housing, education and employment.
Then talked to the Blue Ladies on the capabilities of government to protect them and what government is doing to bring about change.
Asked Enriquito Zobel in the businessman’s meeting to hurry up the Magalang project of the Filipinas Foundation.
Rice flour much and hot water for breakfast. I bummed a piece of ginger and made ginger tea and put some cinnamon in it (also bummed). It wasn’t bad. Thin soup for lunch. but, never mind — the end is near.
A flock of B-24’s came over this morning and plastered what appears to be about the exposition grounds in Quezon City. They did it like Grace Park. There was fires and dirt flying over a spot a mile long. Just before noon two navy planes flew low right over the camp and one of the pilots waved at the internees. It was sure a welcome sight to see the star on the wings of a plane instead of a fried egg.
This afternoon about 20 navy planes bombed and strafed Rizal Avenue extension. Some of them flew low over the camp. Later, they came back and from what we could see, strafed and bombed railroad yards.
This evening there have been a lot of explosions around the waterfront and Tondo, with lots of fires. Looks like the Japs are blowing up things and getting ready to leave. Well, the sooner the better.
Camote stew for supper. Had bacon in it. About like canned pork and beans has pork. Would have enjoyed three times that much. No rice. Did a big washing today and my back is broken.
Twenty minutes of eight — heard planes– spotted eight flying high. Thought they might be Japanese, but the anti-aircraft guns soon let loose and bombs began to fall near Nichols Field and the waterfront — circled around several times and at nine a.m. was quiet (They were caught napping).
At 9:25 a.m. 12 Japanese planes went northwest.
One dog fight over Tondo. One plane down. Air raid alarm off at 10:45 a.m. At 1:00 p.m. another wave of planes came over — alarm went at same time. bombing towards piers. Raid over at 2:11 p.m. 3:30 p.m. alarm sounded — planes came over about 4:00 p.m. Bombed waterfront and ships on harbor. All clear sounded at 5:45 p.m.
The searching of residences and residents of Manila has begun. Taking advantage of the torrential downpours which prevented many city residents from leaving their houses, the military police is conducting an intensive search for arms and prohibited paraphernalia, tracing every nook and corner for possible signs of communications, collaboration or relationships with the enemy. Ostensibly, the search is being directed towards discovering firearms, radio transmitters and other means of communication. They are also looking for clandestine anti-Japanese propaganda leaflets which are mysteriously circulating in large quantities.
Yesterday, the search was conducted in Tondo, extending today through San Juan and New Manila. Not even the church and the Santuario in San Juan was exempted.
The press reported that 18 persons were sentenced to death by the military court and executed. Some of them were killed for looting military installations, others for propagating false pro-American rumors. There are indications that this was not all there is to it. The press is silent about other death penalties.
Made some purchases today and took long ride to Tondo, San Maguil [Miguel] and, in p.m., went out to Senora Rivera’s and as the Church’s chimes pealed out –“Have Mercy upon Us”– at eight p.m. I started for town and took room at Joteleria Espana –R-22.
Lay around quarters all AM. At two met Miss Dunne who took me for a drive. Out out toward the waterworks as far as Deposit where we were stopped. Came back & went out toward old Kansas line pass the Department hospital. Stopped at Cemetery and got flowers. Rode home [in carriage] through Tondo arriving at 4:30. Chicken dinner then guard.
Manila, Luzon Island – Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo
The time is after 9 p.m. The rain is falling, the thunder muttering and lightning illumining the prevailing blackness.
The U.S. mail leaves tomorrow & I have remained close at home all day, sticking to this table, first writing with a lead pencil & afterwards copying with in an article for the Salvation Army monthly published in New York City entitled “Harbor Lights”. The heading to the article is “Five Memorable Nights on the Philippines”. Company was scarce today much to my gratification, as I was thus able to give my thoughts uninterruptedly to literary work.
Cooked breakfast and supper mush, bacon & cocoa.
Tonight while I was sitting at this table writing, the Kragg Jorgensen rifle of a Utah sentry across the way was discharged accidentally. Seemed to hit this house the bullet. The sentry was playing with the breech apparatus.