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1 Jan. 1942

Happy New Year, my friend!

Our dear sick patient’s situation seems desperate. The lines held by the USAFFE have been broken to the north and south. Quite surprised this morning that the Japs aren’t here yet. But the day isn’t over.

Calm day yesterday, except for the many explosions almost everywhere from the demolitions being carried out by the American army. About 5 p.m. to Anne Balfour’s house in Santa Ana. They had been warned that a large fuel depot nearby was going to be set on fire and that it might not be possible to keep it under control. We stay on our own in her little nipa hut after putting cotton wool in our ears. The explosion isn’t as loud as we’d feared. An enormous cloud of smoke at once escapes from the depot and we go into the garden to see the sight. A vision of hell. The flames shoot right up and mingle with the thick grey smoke, lit by the setting sun and accompanied by continuous muffled explosions. The Filipinos look on without appearing to be too panic-stricken.

Later, in the night, the sight of the smoke, glowing red and the color of copper, is magnificent.

Lots of people out walking on the boulevard yesterday evening.