Nothing new that concerns me. A simple life, a novelty for me, divided between the market, cleaning up of the garbage, and working in the garden — we’re going to have a vegetable plot in one corner, where we we’ll plant maize and carrots.
Yesterday morning finally had myself registered at the Bay View Hotel! The Japanese authorities are in the manager’s office. Two young Japanese girls, plump and smiling, take the form on which I’ve given my name, nationality, etc., as well as my passport, which is returned to me a few minutes later, together with a photo and a Japanese visa. In one corner, officers are laughing, drinking tea and smoking. A civilian official is affably giving information to the Spanish and Belgian nuns who like me have come to be “registered”.
The sight of a Manila devoid of Anglo-Saxons is curious. A lot of filth in the streets, the municipal garbage collection service having been suspended for lack of trucks. The population has to burn or bury its rubbish. The lawns bordering the Walled City, once so green, are now all yellowed. In the streets lots of cars, having clearly been involved in accidents, are left abandoned. Endless queues in front of centers distributing rice, severely rationed.
I go to the University of the Philippines, occupied by the Japanese, to get information about what my British companions should do. I ask the sentry if I can go in. He doesn’t understand a word. Along comes an officer who speaks a few words of English. Wearing a big smile, he doesn’t understand what I want but finally enthuses about my great height! Through another door I finally get the information I want. It’s given to me amid laughter and smiles, interrupted for a moment by an order to stand to attention occasioned by the passing of an officer.
Vague rumors circulating in the market about reinforcements reaching the USAFFE. I’m skeptical. The Americans still holding out in the Bataan peninsula near Corregidor. All night and early this morning, the sound of gunfire fire in the distance. The sky is frequently covered with Japanese heavy bombers, flying very low. An impressive sight.
At home, everyone is cheerful and smiling. Anne tells me stories about Monsieur Bouts and his eccentricities.