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April 22, 1944 (Saturday)

Official Reception at the Philippine Embassy. At 4:00 p.m. an official reception was held at the Philippine Embassy given by the Ambassador in honor of the Philippine Special Gratitude Mission. The party was held at the Embassy gardens, attended by such dignitaries as Premier General Hideki Tojo, Minister of Foreign Affairs [Mamoru] Shigemitsu, Minister of Greater East Asia Aoki, Imperial Household Minister [Tsuneo] Matsudaira, and other ambassadors and representatives of embassies. The pensionados assisted Ambassador Vargas in entertaining the guests. Premier Tojo kindly approached us pensionados in the course of the party and talked to us about the course of our studies. We were indeed greatly honored by this kind gesture of such a great man towards us mere pensionados. A very cordial atmosphere prevailed during the reception, our “big shots” mixing with the Japanese “big ’uns.” It was a nice spring afternoon, the sakura [cherry trees] in full bloom, and the Filipino flag tied to a tall flagpole in the center of the garden waving proudly beneath the clear blue sky.

(We met the wife of the Spanish Minister to Japan and her niece and, talking to them in Spanish, we showed them around the garden and tried to entertain them.)