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December 24, 1899

We find ourselves still in Talubin. About 8 o’clock in this morning a report came saying the Americans had arrived at Bontoc, the provincial capital, the nearest town to Talubin, and distant from it two hours by the road. An immediate decision was made.

The honorable president told his family and the other women that they should remain in the settlement and allow themselves to be caught by the Americans, and he named Señors Sytiar and Paez to remain also, with the obligation of conducting the women to Manila. As soon us the arrangement was effected, the honorable president prepared himself for the march. The parting was a very sad one for himself and for his family.

The honorable president left Talubin at 11 o’clock in the morning, his family and the other women remaining behind with the two gentlemen charged with conducting them to Manila.

When the honorable president reached the river half way between Talubin and Ambayuan, he stopped there and remained pensive on the bank. But afterwards he called for B. and V., and expressed his opinion concerning the presentation of his family to the enemy; he thought he might greatly influence the imperial policy of the United States. These two doctors, B. and V., then explained that they agreed with him on this point, but that they had not mentioned the fact before, as they did not desire to oppose his ideas. Immediately the honorable president charged V. to go to Talubin at once and get his family, and he wrote a letter to Señor Sytiar, in which he said he had quite decided on carrying his family into the mountains, because of the fact that their presentation to the enemy would greatly influence the imperial policy.

Señor V. at once went away to Talubin, and when he arrived there he delivered the letter to Señor Sytiar, saying that those who wished to do so could remain, except the family of the honorable president, and that his (V.’s) only object in coming there was to get the family. Señor Sytiar answered that he himself had dispatched a letter to the Americans at Bontoc, informing them that the honorable president’s family would present themselves to the Americans, and that therefore he (Señor Sytiar) would be compromised as soon as the Americans arrived, because they would look to him to produce the family of the honorable president, referred to in the letter. Señor V. replied that the letter sent to the Americans in no wise concerned him, as he had only come there for the sole purpose of getting the family of the honorable president. Under these circumstances, then, the family of the honorable president and the two Leyba sisters at once marched away with Señor V. for Ambayuan to rejoin the honorable president’s party. And Señors Sytiar and Paez, fearing the Americans would “fix” (sic) them on account of the deception practiced, followed in rear of the honorable president’s family until they once more reached their old companions on the mountain.

We are all united in Ambayuan at this moment. It is 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The honorable president is meditating over the route we should take. There are enemies in front and behind. The honorable president expressed his opinion to Señors B. and V. and the three agreed that we should set out for Barlig.

Night came on. We could not make the trip because we suspected that there were enemies in Barlig, since there is a road from that point to Talubin. At 9 o’clock at night a letter came from Colonel Sytiar from the commanding officer of the American forces saying that they had already arrived in Talubin and were expecting there the family of the honorable president.

As we did not know which way to go, by reason of the nearness of the enemy, and because the women constituted a great impediment



on this kind of a journey, the honorable president, in view of the critical situation, again ordered that his family should retire accompanied by the gentlemen before designated as their escort.

It is 2 o’clock in the morning. We have spent the night awake and on watch. The women are ready to march.

The watch indicated 2.30 o’clock, and the women marched off to Talubin to present themselves to the enemy. What a most wonderful parting. The honorable president and ourselves remained on the mountain of Ambayuan. The honorable president, having bade adieu to the women who constitute such a great burden on this kind of a trip, and not being able to go by a different route to the Barlig settlement as he had thought of doing, now declined to return to Banane. Therefore, at 3.30 a.m., we resumed the march, passing over the mountains he had traversed on the night of the 21st of the same month.