November 8, 1944

Today was another day of tension and anxiety, as the Nips continued with their surprise raids on buildings and shanty areas. They hounded us to give them the rest of our money, and over the P.A. system we were reminded constantly that if we were caught with more than fifty pesos, we would be severely punished.

Internee Shylocks continued to act as contact men to purchase beans, rice, sugar, and cigarettes from Japanese soldiers and Filipino garbage men. Their risk was great, and so were their profits. One of these piratical traders boasted that he had made over sixty thousand pesos in the last few months. In exchange for a few pounds of beans, rice, cigarettes, or sugar, they received diamonds, wrist watches, expensive jewelry, fountain pens, dollars, and Philippine pesos. No one traded with Mickey Mouse any more. Even the Japanese soldier had lost faith in the occupational currency.

The number four typhoon signal was up, and worried shanty owners were tying their shacks to stakes and trees and praying that their homes would withstand the storm. By nightfall, the wind had turned to a shrieking gale, and the driving rain lashed against our windows and balcony doors. I pitied the shanty dwellers in their frail homes during a storm like this.

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