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February 18, 1942

As I passed by the store of a Spanish friend, I saw a confused crowd of people who appeared to be threatening him. However, looking at him over the heads of the people from the calesa where I was, he did not appear to be concerned. On reaching home, I called him up. It turned out that he was made a dealer of matches, and the people were scampering to buy. That is how much we are running short of matches. The buyers, however, are buy-and-sell people who expect to make some three or four hundred per cent profit from those matches.

Fresh fish, which abounded before, are now as scarce as old coins. It is not possible to fish in the high seas, nor at the Manila Bay, which is within the range of guns from Corregidor. Besides, the best fishermen we had before were Japanese. They have now turned into fishermen of a more lucrative nature. If things continue like this, the Lenten season will be ushered in by fasting on rice and water.