Skip to content

Tuesday, July 5, 1898

Tonight we are on red alert. Gunshots and cannon fire. Are the American troops getting ready for battle? This morning we went ashore. Three of us went to find out if the good old Coronel de la C___ was still alive since no one could inform us on the latest events. He is alive. We met him in Malate, but he appeared gloomy and crestfallen. Seeing him like that made us sad. Camara is not yet here and the Americans are disembarking. He pretended to be unaware of the situation and asked us for information. Considering the overall picture, it was difficult to reply to his questions, but in the end, we told him all we knew. To raise his morale, I tried to convince him to initiate a possible reconciliation between the Tagals and the Spaniards to fight against the Americans. If this plan could succeed, not even a force of 50,000 Yankees would be sufficient to take over Manila. He made me sketch out the defense plans, showing the forts which surround the place. From the daily reports he receives, he was informed that yesterday alone 4,000 cartridges had been used. He was disturbed by this absurd wastefulness. We cannot be properly conducted if some sense of moderation and order is not inculcated in these men. The Spanish troops have lost their confidence but not their courage.

A substantial amount of defense is going on but there are very few soldiers. The Spaniards are increasing their trenches, and denuding the city of all its trees and gardens. A series of wooden barriers surround the Walled City. Would this system of defense be sufficient for an infantry or artillery attack?

This threat of a siege could last a very long time. For the past six days, Admiral Dewey has been the master of the bay. What is he waiting for? Does he intend to be the master of the Filipinos and Manila, too? Life is becoming difficult. No more changes. No more action. Just nervous tension, each day increasingly more demoralizing. Let the end come!

Tonight, cannon shorts are heard from San Antonio. A huge fire occurred in the city at dawn.