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January 18,1942

“You can’t put a good man down,” they say, and the cochero is that good man. He is king of Manila again, as virtually all gasoline-driven motor vehicles, with the exception of military cars and vehicles authorized by the Army, disappeared from Manila’s streets. I’ve given up my Super-Buick. I’m using a small Crossmobile. It is very economical. It has only two cylinders and very small tires. These are not days for luxury. Any old rattle-trap will do as long as one gets to his destination.

Saw a Japanese wearing a dirty undershirt with a towel wrapped around his neck riding in a Packard. “The worm has turned,” remarked my chauffeur.

The rice mill at 1010 Azcarraga was opened this morning. The following things were found:

(1) About 100 sacks of palay.

(2) Hessian cloth that will probably be enough for 40,000 sacks.

(3) Sack-making equipment, which has a capacity of about 15,000 sacks per day. Japanese soldiers accompanied Tanco to the mill and he asked them to guard it.

Supervisor Noya suggested a re-arrangement of desks in the office. He moved his desk next to mine. No objections.

Lt. Takeda will release NTC papers after 2:00 p.m. We can close 1941 accounts.

“NARIC,” said Mr. Noya, “may become the Controlling Foodstuff office.” He said that he admires the way I handle the office, notwithstanding my age. Do I look so old? Except for the dash of grey hairs and wrinkles, I feel young. I am young. He agrees.

Vicente Sabalvaro, manager of the National Food Product Corporation, reported this morning the result of his survey of the 200 hectare vegetable project in Marikina, Montalban, and San Mateo. He said that we should obtain permits from the Army for the delivery of seeds to Montalban and San Mateo, as per our requisition from the Bureau of Plant Industry. According to him, the municipalities of Montalban and San Mateo will turn over to us all their communal lands on condition that they be paid a yearly rental of ₱1,200 and ₱600, respectively. “The farmers,” he said, “are now harvesting the present crop. It is necessary that they be directed to prepare the land for the next planting. To rush the project, which is essential to supply the needs of Greater Manila, please get permission from the officials of the Japanese Army, so that we may proceed with the project without delay.” Passes and permits, permits and passes from the Army for anything, for any silly old things. Pretty soon you’ll need a pass to visit your own grandmother!

The fighting in Bataan must be fierce. Ten truckloads of corpses covered with vegetables passed Avenida Rizal.

Dead men tell tales, after all.