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November 24, 1942

For two days there has been fighting outside of Barotac by the main bridge near the sugar central (refinery). The Japanese used cannons and three shots fell right in front of our farm. No one was killed. An eyewitness came here yesterday afternoon and he told us that Melecia (Coné’s sister) was badly frightened and she and the others left the house and crawled on the ground.

I do not believe our soldiers stand a chance of taking Iloilo now; instead of advancing, we are retreating.

It is Thanksgiving Day and what a day it is! Death and destruction everywhere!

This morning I sent John (our cook) with three other men and two bull carts to Barotac to try and get some of our belongings. They only reached a few kilometers when they were halted by a sentry and told they could not proceed. No civilians are allowed on the road as the condition is very serious again. The Army does not know when the enemy will strike and from what points.

All the people have left Barotac, but Agustin (Melecia’s husband) is remaining. He will try to save the house from being burned, if possible. Many have evacuated toward our area and as many as 40 people are crammed into a nipa shack for several days until they can find other housing. Anything will do in the time of danger.

Most of these people fled during the night and some were separated from their children. Now, just imagine if I had waited to evacuate at the last minute!

We do not hear any outside news and it is terrible not to know what is taking place.