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January 14, 1942

HPA (HQ, Philippine Army)

Bataan, Mariveles.


Will sleep here tonight as it is too dark to return to our command post. This is a nice place, like a picnic ground. No fighting here, practically no work, except hiding in dug-outs when bombers fly above and waiting for assignment to other units as need for more men arises. HPA unit is a sort of reserve pool for manpower. Other divisions call it HPA –Happy People’s Army. (Corregidor soldiers are jibed with DTS-award, i.e. Distinguished Tunnel Service.)

Manny de Leon was just talking to me a few minutes ago and he said that he has received orders to go to the front tomorrow. He has been assigned to the 201st Engineering Corps. “The trouble,” he said, “is that I am not an engineer.”

Had a long talk with Assemblyman Benito Soliven who is a major. He asked me about conditions in the front lines and he gave me dried meat. The Assemblyman was lying down at the time because he was suffering from malaria.

HPA people got a scare the other night. According to Assemblyman Soliven, marines in Mariveles coast started shouting “Japs! Japs!”. Somehow rumor spread Japs had landed in rear area. As men not organized for defense in HPA, boys started to run and hide in pajamas, for they were in midst of sleep then. When morning came, the boys started returning to their tents and everybody laughed at each other because they found out it was just a false alarm. People in HPA are not armed except with .45’s.

Somebody spread rumor here that Russians have bombed Tokyo without even declaring war. I wonder if this is true. This is one war in which the entire world wishes. Everybody will cheer for both sides to lose.




Saw Edwin at Gen. Francisco’s C.P. He said “still no planes for us aviators. We don’t do anything but wait in our dug-outs. We should be given the DDS: Distinguished Dug-Out Service.”