Tuesday, December 16, 1941

President Quezon’s first nationwide talk at 3:30, daylight saving time (changed clocks at midnight last night). Everyone listening. Had told servants to come to listen to radio, thinking it might quiet their fears. Radio clear for preliminary music— “Star-Spangled Banner” and Philippine national anthem—but when Quezon began to speak there was torrential static on all stations. Frantic turning of dial produced nothing but static roars except on one pro-Japanese station (in English) which roared in clearly stating many American ships had been sunk, that U.S. was ready to give up, U.S. was suffering from shortage of rubber and other strategic materials, etc. As soon as Quezon’s speech ended, reception perfectly clear again. Announced that speech would be read at 5:15. We listened, news given—including the report that conditions on land remained the same—but no mention made of President’s speech. Obviously Japanese interference, which was most discouraging and disheartening, to know that they could block radio whenever they wished.

Lavendera (laundress) left this morning without touching dirty clothes of children. Girl cook played with children in afternoon while amah washed their clothes and I thought all was well, then looked out porch and saw cook hurriedly putting big bundles and packages in caramota [caromata] and dressed in best clothes. Realized that she was leaving without telling me and was trying to slip away unnoticed. Had given her evening dresses and other clothes I thought I would not be needing when packed.

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