At 7:30 I went up to the house of Overseer Laurel to listen to the radio news and it was then that the Voice of Freedom station broadcasted the almost heartbreaking news that Bataan had fallen. Mr. Tiongson who had heard the news from the house of Dr. Velasquez, immediately came to see me. The news struck me with mingled surprise and sorrow. I did not really expect Bataan to fall all that soon, because I was under the impression that the men there had enough food and ammunition to last them many more months. I saw that Mr. Tiongson and Overseer Laurel were just as shaken as I was with the news, and I think that must have been the feeling of most of those who heard it.
The greater significance of what this news might mean to those of us in Mindanao impelled me to call a conference that same evening with Messrs. Tiongson and Laurel. I instructed them to work out the details of the evacuation as I had laid down in December. However, I enjoined them to do so quietly and without creating unnecessary fear or panic among the settlers, employees, and their families. I told Overseer Laurel to see that preparations of land continues without any interference. Also that any preparation for evacuation on the part of employees and settlers should be made quietly and at night, and that except for those who have houses in the farm lots, settlers or employees should be discouraged from moving from their residence in the town earlier than necessary, in order to avoid possible catching of diseases by members of their families.
To me the fall of Bataan marks the beginning of more aggressive and extensive Japanese invasion of more important islands in the Philippines, the Visayas and Mindanao especially. I am of the opinion that unless substantial reinforcements in the form of airplanes, naval fleet with merchant marine carrying plenty of ammunitions and other war supplies are sent to the Philippines, the Visayan and Mindanao provinces will be occupied by the Japanese forces before the end of April. However, I am sure that whatever may happen in the meantime, ultimate victory will be ours. I know General MacArthur and President Quezon will not rest until the Philippines is retaken.
Our conference broke up at almost midnight, and I retired to bed.