Skip to content

January 9, 1945

The Great Day, our Great Day! The troops have landed on Luzon, at Lingayan Bay. That’s just where the Japs landed. I had my money on Mindanao, or did have until they made that landing in Mindoro. But they are here, not two hundred miles away. Oh happy day!

At this moment, I can see thirty or more of our planes slowly soaring just above the reach of the little antiaircraft still functioning, and I feel avenged for those bitter days of December, 1941, to May, 1942, when we watched the Japanese planes pounding Corregidor and Bataan after they’d finished Manila, with never a chance of retaliation on our part. The seaplanes seem to be dropping their loads far across the city, perhaps Sablang Field, or the far end of Nielsen Field.

I heard such a nice story about Nielsen. I hope it is true. Seems the Japs had built dummy hangars there to fool our boys, but the Americans bombed everything on that field except the dummies.

One school of thought places our troops in Cavite, another in Zambales, and one lovely optimistic tale is that they are parachuting in Paranaque. We live very near the dividing line between our town of Pasay and Paranaque, and I cannot quite believe the parachute tale yet, much as I would like to.

All streets, big streets running north and south, are being laid for mines. But the Japanese are a little slow in spots. I watched a lovely performance the other day. Mine laying. One group of Jap soldiers dug the holes, neat, symmetrical jobs, then came the next group to lay the mines, and finally a third group following to cover the mines and stick a little piece of something over the mound. Somehow, on the curve of Taft Avenue extension, the third group got slowed up for some reason, and between them and the second mine-laying group, around the bend, came a group of Filipinos who stole two mines and dashed away in a carretela. The third group of Japanese finally arrived and placidly and methodically covered up the empty holes and stuck in the indicator. I was on my bicycle, and I giggled all the way home; but I am having a hard time making anyone believe my story.

Our tiny street, two blocks long, has a barricade built of logs cut from nearby trees. It has practically everything, mines, sticks of dynamite, sharp-pointed sticks, barbed wire, all dirt covered. I call it “Janson’s Last Stand,” for I am sure if the Americans ever encountered anything so formidable as this tank trap, they’d turn right around (and that’s a joke). The children inspected it the other day, right while the Japanese were working in it, and the kids think they could make a better tank trap with their Christmas hammer and saw, and I am not so sure they aren’t right.

Our reactions to all these exciting events are varied and interesting. I always get what Sander calls “goose pinkles” when I see the big planes. Dorothy gets teary round the lashes, but I must say none of us spends any time weeping. I’ve shed very few tears these last three years, and mostly of rage. We can shed a few of joy soon, we hope. Let joy be unrefined when it comes.

The Spanish woman nearby with the charming house was approached by the Japanese about giving it up. She demurred, but they told her if she didn’t give it up and go away, they would move in with her. She seemed to prefer that to losing her home, so the commandant of our district moved into half her house along with his aide. He is a navy officer, which confirms the report that the Japanese Navy has taken over. However, he wears civilian clothes and has asked her and her servants not to use his rank of captain in addressing him and not to tell the neighbors who he is! Shows which way the wind blows, or the Japs run, methinks.