February 8, 1942

Today was Sunday! The rotogravure section of the Nishi-Nishi was filled with idyllic scenes. The Japanese soldier was shown worshiping with the Filipinos in local Manila churches. Another picture depicted an old Spanish church in all of its seventeenth-century grandeur. Not a stone had been nicked, but all around there were half-destroyed buildings. Underneath the picture were these hypocritical words: “The Japanese respect the Filipinos and their religion.” There was a dig at Uncle Sam and his people. “A nation that indulges in pretty dresses, nice food, physical enjoyment and expensive fashions can never succeed in establishing a strong nation.”

The money that we sent to Catalino was made to stretch as far as possible. We ate well twice a week.

Today being Sunday, he sent us baked ham, vegetable salad, ubi (a sweet potato substitute with a bright purple shade), and apple pie with cheese.

I had looked forward to the Sunday meal, but a censored note from Mr. Nagy informed me that my dog was very sick. When Catesy found me, I was leaning against the abandoned truck and crying like a baby. Before putting his arms around me, he glanced quickly around to see if it was safe.

“It isn’t only Rags,” I wailed. “It’s the flies, the bedbugs, the bedlam, and the lack of privacy!”

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin