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September 25, 1944

We are somewhat disappointed. No raids since the 22nd, although many alarms were sounded. Current is on again, and we hear the local radio announced the proclamation of a state of war between the “Philippine Republic and the United States!” The Japanese radio calls is a declaration of war “on the United States and Great Britain.” The usual chitchat about our bombers hitting churches and innocent civilians fills the one-page newspaper they got out this morning. Actually, the boys did hit Binondo Church and set it on fire, but the Japs had big warehouses full of ammunition right adjoining the church and we are all fairly certain they had ammunition stored in the church itself. There is plenty of ammunition and firearms stored in other churches that I have seen with my own
eyes. Our own church, the Cathedral, has troops in it, and the lovely lawn is full of foxholes and trenches.

I cruised around on my bicycle today. There isn’t much damage to people’s houses—a little stray shrapnel in gardens, stray bullets, etc. The bay seems cleared out. Evidently the ships ran for it, for I am sure our boys didn’t get around to sinking many of them. The big dry dock that the Japs floated over from Cavite was hit, and I think it was sunk—I can’t see it.

Carretela rumors say that tins of crackers and apples were dropped in Paranaque today. Wish they’d aim a few our way—haven’t seen any since 1942.

One Jap plane crashed not too far from us on Vita Cruz. Ethel and I dashed down on our bikes, and so did a million other people. The Japs were awfully annoyed. Waved us all off with guns,

Wish I could see with my own eyes the leaflets the Americans are supposed to have dropped. Nobody I know has actually seen one. It’s always somebody’s cousin, or the aunt of my cook’s grandmother, or some such mythical person who has actually picked one up. They are supposed to tell us to keep cool, stay home, mind our own business—and wait. Sensible advice, except the staying home. I want to see what’s going on.

This declaration of war by the Philippine Republic doesn’t seem to affect the Filipinos much. Prices have shot up in the most horrible fashion. Pork is P110.00 a kilo. Calamansi (small limes) that used to be 50 centavos a hundred, are now 50.00 a hundred. We used them to flavor our rum. Guess we’ll have to drink the rum unadorned hereafter. I have the garden, and banana and papaya trees, so we won’t starve right away.

The radio from London said that the British want their share in the Pacific campaign—who’s stopping them, except the Japs? How’s about them starting in