Sunday, 29 May, 1898

The blockade of Manila is now a month old.

The weather will worsen. The Americans have not planned their strategy against the city. They are waiting for the ground troops to arrive from San Francisco. Meanwhile, the insurgents have taken up arms, each day coming closer to Manila, where the Spaniards have allowed themselves to be hemmed in. There will be enough time for action when the Americans disembark.

In the bay, we see the English who seem to be well positioned beside Admiral Dewey’s squadron, the Germans giving the impression that they have a strategy, the Japanese who come and go, and the French who wait, observing, fully aware their presence will not influence the coming events.

Each fleet is preoccupied with protecting its nationals. On Thursday morning the French delegates came on board, led by the consul and a French engineer who works at the Compagnie General des Tabacs. We discussed the arrangements: the engineer can provide us with a company ship for transporting the maximum number of men, along with their valuable possessions and provisions, when the attack is confirmed. We think that this will happen anytime now. The ship will therefore come alongside and be protected by our cannons. There is room for a large number of persons. France is protecting the Greeks, the Rumanians, the Valaques, and all her former Levantine clientele –without counting the Turks. Many women of easy virtue are from the Levant. They pretend to be Moldo-Valaques, but whether they are or not, they also need our protection. The fear of bombing poses a great number of social problems.

Essentially, the insurgents are at the moment the masters of the situation. It is their word that prevails on land. They are feared by the Spaniards and have given their support to the Americans. Can the Spaniards’ travail be taken seriously? Everything they do could be merely to give the impression that they alone have prepared defensive measures.

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