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!

November 7, 1944

Saw some of the Jap troops that arrived recently. They looked haggard, unkempt, underfed. Their shoes were made of black cloth and some were dragging their feet. Their uniforms were very dirty and smelly. Many of them were asking the people downtown if they were in Australia. No doubt Japanese people are being duped by their leaders.

Listened to the Voice of Freedom from Leyte yesterday. Heard Brig. Gen. Romulo speaking. I immediately recognized his voice although at times it sounded tired and far away. Then the Philippine National Anthem was played and I felt like crying. The last time I heard the Voice of Freedom was in Mt. Mariveles. I was lying on the ground, shivering with malaria. Brig. Gen. Lim of the 41st and Brig. Gen. de Jesus of the Military Intelligence Service were listening too. It was April 8th, the night the lines broke in the eastern sector. The Voice said: “Bataan has fallen but its spirit will live on forever….” there were other weary-looking, haggard Filipino officers under the tall trees of Mariveles that night gathered around the radio. All of us had tears in our eyes. Gen. Lim wiped his eyes with a dirty handkerchief and Gen. de Jesus turned around because he did not want to show his feelings.

Heard Clift Roberts speaking from Gen. MacArthur’s headquarters to Blue Network last night. He was poking fun at Radio Tokyo. He said that the soldiers in Leyte listened to Radio Manila and Tokyo for fun. Imagine the difference! Here under the Jap rule, we listen at the risk of our lives. One man was shot for listening in on KGEI.

Walter Dunn speaking to CBS described the rehabilitation work now being undertaken in Leyte. He said bananas cost 1 centavo each; now they cost ₱2.20 in Manila; Eggs at 3 centavoa piece in Leyte and here it costs ₱10 each; corned beef, .13 and here ₱25.

Its raining this morning. Maybe there won’t be any raids. I watched the planes yesterday afternoon hitting Murphy and U.P. site in Quezon City. They kept circling and diving over their objectives and there was practically no ground nor air resistance.

I don’t know why but my Jap neighbor came to the house yesterday. He was full of explanations. “We are just drawing them in”, he explained. I did not say a word. He also stated that their Number 1 General is here. General Yamashita, conqueror of Singapore. Gen. Kuroda is now in Baguio, he revealed.

Walked down V. Mapa with Johnnie and Eddie. We didn’t bow before the sentry. He got sore, called Johnnie. Eddie and I remained on the other side of the street. Johnnie bowed before him. “Discretion is the better part of valor,” said Johnnie.

Jap Military Police are now very active, taking people to Ft. Santiago on mere suspicion. One house near Johnnie’s was raided by about fifty M.P.’s with fixed bayonets. They arrested two doctors living there. According to rumors, the two doctors have already been killed.

The Japs have their backs against the wall. They are fighting a losing fight. Their actions are desperate. They’re commandeering all forms of transportation. Any rig they see, they take. They got all horses. They’re taking bicycles too. Filipinos can’t even ride streetcars these days. Its only for Japs. Everything in the market is being taken by them. They are the only ones using cars. Most Filipinos walk. Somebody said “They might take our legs too.” One fellow laughed at the idea. “I’m not wisecracking,” said the first fellow. “If they take our lives, why not legs.”

May 1, 1942

Listened to the Voice of Freedom. At the end of the newscast, the announcer said: “Corregidor still stands.” I wonder why he said “still stands.” Does he foresee an eventual inability to stand? Does he know that in the course of the Japanese attack Corregidor will someday fall? “Corregidor still stands” brought tears to my heart.

Demand For “darak” has increased considerably. People who used to have cars now use rigs. Most race horses now pull “carromatas.” Must make plans for more efficient distribution of “darak.”

Just read Military Ordinance No. 3, directed to the Department of Interior, prohibiting the hoisting of the Filipino flag. I know this order will embarrass Filipino collaborators. It will give a hollow, empty ring to their loud vociferations on the unselfish desire of Japan to liberate the Filipinos.

When will the Filipino flag rise again?

April 14, 1942

Reports about the desolation of all the towns of Bataan abound. Not a house, building or church remains standing. Everything has been pulverized by deadly fires from both sides. The inhabitants who escaped death, sickness and bullets are starting to come out from their hide-outs in the mountains, looking squalid and ragged after three months of a miserable life.

Cebu, the historic and most ancient city of the Philippines and the second in the number of inhabitants, in commerce and culture, is almost reduced to ashes.

The controlled press attributed this barbarian destruction to the retreating USAFFE forces. The Fil-American troops, however, fought very hard before retreating to the mountains.

According to Radio San Francisco, Corregidor is still being pounded on with 24-hours raids in these past two days. Waves of bombers flow in almost uninterruptedly. It is said that the anti-aircraft guns had shot down 32 enemy planes.

And finally, Radio Corregidor, which we used to call Radio Bataan, was also shot down—perhaps by gunfire or bombings.

April 12, 1942

We intercepted news from Radio Corregidor that Japanese troops have landed in Cebu. This morning the papers confirmed it, adding that the landings were made at three points in the island. The first capital of the Philippines is now engulfed in the Co-Prosperity Sphere which we have already been “enjoying” for several months now.

Suddenly we were alarmed by strong detonations. We ran up the roof garden and saw a big column of smoke rising from the direction of Baclaran. Although we did not see them, we supposed that American bombers had caused these explosions and fires.

Our suspicions were later confirmed by the press which reported that the bombs fell on the Los Tamaraws Club, killing 20 civilians and wounding 30 others, aside from burning some residential houses. However the Press remained silent on the fact that many soldiers were killed and that arsenals and munitions were burned.

Radio San Francisco announced that the bombers also punished the bays of Batangas and Davao. Just where these flyers are coming from is a mystery. I believe that they come from an airfield which must still be maintained somewhere in Negros. It is not quite possible that the planes could come from Australia and return.

April 10, 1942

Yesterday, an undercurrent of news alleged that Bataan has fallen. However, we have become so accustomed to such news that we could not tell which was true and which was false, and therefore, we were not overly concerned.

In the evening, tuning in on Radio Bataan—which was no longer in Bataan—we were taken aback by the announcement “BATAAN HAS FALLEN.” Immediately, Radio Manila, which was controlled by the Japanese and which overlapped on the same wavelength, filled the channel with hymns, songs and music, drowning the rest of the broadcast. It was only at the end that we could understand clearly, “Bataan has fallen but the spirit of Bataan stands.” Thus closed a scene, and faces mourned.

Radio San Francisco explained that the attacking forces were four times that of the defending army, and aside from the numerical superiority the attackers were supreme in air, on land and sea. It was added that though still with ample ammunitions, the Fil-American forces lacked food supply. In fact, they had been surviving on rations since January 20. The people believe that the American war supplies had actually fallen into enemy hands, as we had been hearing tremendous explosions these past days.

With the surrender of Bataan, the second chapter in the Japanese-American war in the Philippines ended. The third chapter has begun with the assault on Corregidor.

April 8, 1942

The aerial attack on Bataan is heavy and constant. During the past two weeks, bombers and fighter planes have been flying in small squadrons. These last four days the bombings were concentrated on the mountains of Mariveles, according to Radio Bataan. Corregidor is tentatively left alone for the moment, maybe because it is a tough bone to gnaw, or because they are reserving it for dessert later on. An official report from the USAFFE stated that very superior forces are exerting a strong pressure on the center of the line of defense, and are gaining grounds. This is a bad sign.

Bataan is very well-fortified. For more than three years, military engineers worked to convert it into an impregnable fortress. It is said that the frontal lines of defense are equipped with hidden high tension electric wires and that many Japanese soldiers had been electrocuted during the invasion. Consequently, the Japanese are afraid of Bataan.

But Japanese tenacity is unyielding. Their pride, like a sharp spur, was sharpened further by American propaganda which unceasingly weaves a historic heroism, an epic, a symbol around the resistance of Bataan. Day in and day out, the American press and radio networks intone laudatory hymns and chant the heroic exploits of the brave defenders of these mountains, picturing them as proofs that the forces of the Mikado are not invincible. This infusion of autosuggestion boosts the American morale even after the great losses they have suffered.

April 2, 1942


This place has turned into hell. The Japs are battering the lines from morning to evening, pounding the front from the air with high explosives. rushing the front with tanks and flame-throwers under cover of ceaseless artillery fire.

The rear areas are being subjected to inch-by-inch bombardment. Several AA guns have been silenced. Gasoline and oil supplies are aflame. Parts of the jungle are burning, presenting a weird light at night. Corpses strewn by the roadside staring up at the sky.

Corregidor too is rocking with bombs. We can see columns of smoke rising out of the Rock. We can feel the detonation here when bombs are dropped in Corregidor. The Rock looks like a blazing boulder.

We had no rice today as the mess officer did not dare build a fire. We only had canned goods. ate one sardine for brunch and one salmon for supper. It was like medicine. Had to follow it up with water.

Leonie is very ill. I am afraid he will die if he does not get medical assistance. Romulo said by phone that it would be better to send Leonie to the hospital in the Rock.

Leonie and I have written a plan for the establishment of an underground broadcasting station to operate in enemy-territory to continue the Voice of Freedom in case Bataan and Corregidor fall.

We addressed the plan to Romulo who is in charge of the Voice of Freedom. Romulo said he would take the matter up to the staff in the Rock.

Our plan consisted in putting up a moving radio station to broadcast in Luzon in case the Japs overrun Bataan and Corregidor.

We offered to operate the radio and to broadcast if the plan is approved. Proposed site of station was the island of Talim, in the heart of Laguna de Bay. Operatives have reported that Talim is not yet occupied by Japs.

Received letter from Romulo stating “Roxas will return to Corregidor to join us in the crucial hr.”

March 27, 1942

For five consecutive days now, seven planes have been flying in the same formation and at very high altitude. People believe they are American planes. They even said that they dropped leaflets, though no one can give me any information as to the contents of the leaflets.

A press dispatch from Stockholm stated that according to a BBC report, Japanese bombers heavily punished Corregidor for six hours. Incredible. In order to find out what is happening at the other side of the Manila Bay we have to rely on information from Stockholm.

Radio Bataan confirmed the bombardment, adding, however, that the damages on military installations were light. The newspapers simply reported that “they caused damage on military installations.”

The Japanese High Command in Manila never issued bulletins about their activities. The USAFFE did not stop issuing press releases even when it had nothing to say. The sources of our information are San Francisco and London, since Radio Tokyo also keeps silent about the official affairs of the government.