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December 23, 1942

Yesterday after 4:20 p.m. no more planes flew over and we all relaxed. We ate our supper at 4:45 and at 6:00 the children and I retired. I had no more than laid down when there was a loud boom! You can imagine our fright as we thought they were fighting along the main road. It was awful! One loud explosion after another! We grabbed our clothes and ran to the air raid shelter. Poor little Roland – he was so frightened, he was trembling. Dolly seems to be the calmest one here, but last night she was really frightened, too. There was no machine gun fire or automatic weapons, so we then knew we were being shelled from the sea. We prayed that none of the shells would hit us, as the ground shook with each explosion!

After a while we could hear the cannon fire getting farther away, and then it was silent. In spite of it all, we all slept well that night and were up at daybreak. The boys and I, as well as Estrella and her children are sitting near the shelter. Dolly and Rose have remained in the house. The Japanese are now on the main road – we can hear the rumble of their trucks.

An hour ago we all had to leave the house as Salvador, Estrella’s foreman came and said it was not safe to remain in the house as there might be fighting close by. People were already running across the rice fields towards the safety of the hills. Salvador took us to a deep creek about 1⁄4 mile from our place. This creek is hemmed in by rocks and it offers a good protection from stray bullets. As I am writing this we are now sitting by the creek waiting until everything is clear. We can hear the booming of the cannons and guns. So far no planes have passed overhead.

We have just finished eating our lunch here by the creek – we had hard boiled eggs, chicken adobo, dried fish and rice. Around 2:00 p.m. Salvador came and told us it was safe to return to our house as the Japanese were advancing towards Barotac Nuevo. We were in the creek a total of five hours. After we got back to the house we could still hear shooting in the distance as the Japanese were clearing the way.