Malabon, Luzon Island – Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Manila
Tonight a typhoon is commencing. It is now about 8.30 p.m. Had slight falls of rain during the afternoon; forenoon was hot and partly clear. Up early, read a psalm, prayed & cooked breakfast in a hurry; then away to catch the 8.30 train to Caloocan. On the wharf met 3 of the sailors who are staying with us. The hurried away without waiting for breakfast, as did Wagner. The 3 tried to get employment on the U.S. transport “Hancock”. Were asked if C. Robinson sent them. No. Then could not have the job unless they paid $15 each U.S. gold. They returned crestfallen, especially Mc Tagget. Advised them to go immediately up to the house for breakfast. I took train & in a few minutes covered the 6 miles to Caloocan. Stepped off at the depot & made straight for Fort Mc Arthur where is stationed one gun of B. Battery, Utah Light Artillery, 4th section. Private (Bro.) M. H. Ackarett was there. Shook hands with him. He introduced me to his Mormon comrades. I asked the Sergeant in charge of the Section to give Ackarett leave of absence. Willingly granted it. Ackarett buckled in his revolver & took with him a canteen of water. We walked via the causeway between the fish ponds to the long concrete bridge. The broken center arch which blocked my way before is now spanned by a fragile bamboo affair. American sentries are stationed here. We expected they would demand passes but they did not. We crossed the bridge & lo were at last in Malabon, a city so long in sight; so near & yet so far. A city that will be associated in my mind as long as memory continues, with the horrid tearing of shells thro’ the air, & the din of battle.
Our objective point was the Catholic church building with the lofty colonnade facing towards Manila. Was refused admittance by a sentry. A party of American soldiers & a Filipino priest were trying to get track of Chinese who robbed the church. This building, a huge structure, has been partly gutted by fire, but the main auditorium was only burnt on one side. The metal ceiling has almost all been stripped off the wood frame. The Chinese are persistent thieves. Ackarett walked as far up as the native market. Almost all the best houses have been destroyed by fire, but the nipa shacks were spared. Natives are returning to these latter. Malabon consists of 3 or 4 towns & villages separated by water & bearing different names. We visited Concepcion R. C. church. A large painting on the ceiling above the grand altar (which with its statues of saints reminds me of a Chinese Joss house) attempts to portray heaven with the Godhead in the center. A monk with shaven crown has just arrived & is welcomed by the company there, a red hatted cardinal & mitred bishop arrayed in the habiliments of their calling, are in the foreground occupying a place of honor. Heaven according to the artist’s idea is very much Romanized.
In Malabon I pushed the matter of salvation thro’ Christ on the attention of one or two U.S. soldiers.
Took several Kodaks. Visited San Bartolome church and cemetery & tried to enter a Chinese Temple, but U.S. soldiers with the Filipino priest already mentioned, were overhauling a miscellaneous assortment of junk on the first floor looking for stolen articles from the church.
Passed the sentries in the bridge unchallenged & walked back along the causeway once so dangerous, to Caloocan & survived at the cooks tent of Section 4 – just as a shower commenced and dinner was ready. Was invited to dinner of boiled rice, fried bacon, condensed milk & coffee. Accepted the offer & said.
After dinner spent an half hour or so in conversation with the artillerymen then hearing the train coming down from Malolos hurried towards the depot, but the train did not stop, so I returned disappointed. Back of the depot & at the depot the Lord gave me opportunity to declare conversationally the Gospel message to about 12 soldiers of the U.S. regular, 3d & 9th infantry. Gladly availed myself of the chance.
Visited at Caloocan the badly wrecked cemetery, Catholic church, ex-post office & the city hall – ex – alcalde’s Headquarters. This building is riddled with holes made by cannon projectiles & small shot. Up stairs in the latter “casa” Ackarett & I knelt down & prayed. Used my visit to inquire about the state of his soul & to give counsel re serving Christ successfully. Returned to Sergeant’s tent, 4th section, & rec’d 2 or 3 articles in “Review of Reviews”. Gave Ackarett a copy of S.A. “Social Gazette”. Spoke to the Serg’t re salvation.
About 5 o’clock p.m. a Filipino boy brought 2 artillerymen out from Manila in his carromata. Ackarett paid him “medio peso”, 50 cts. Mex. to take me in. Saying goodbye I returned home. The Serg’t invited me to come again.
Was set down about 6 p.m. at No. 2 & commenced immediately to cook supper for myself. Mc Taggert was lying on the floor unwell – dyspepsia & Peter Weigner also came in, so I added to the amount & cooked supper for three. Mrs. Owens loaned me the use of her table, dishes & provided cheese & bread & condensed milk; so we made our meal. She & her husband shared my chockolate.
The day now draws to a close. The night is stormy. Dealt, if I am not mistaken, with about 18 persons, regarding my blessed Jesus & salvation alone thro’ Him. Personal work is often feasible when other forms of labor are impracticable. Night closes stormy; wind tempestuous.