Late in January*, 1945

(Undated in book but placed after January 23, but before January 28, 1945)

They are advising us to get out. Our wall is high and the top is covered with bits of glass in the cement, but the soldiers climbed it today. Janson has some sort of paper from the Japanese ambassador saying he is a neutral and in charge of several neutral countries. He flourished this and evidently the great seal of the Japanese empire must have impressed the soldiers, for they did not come into the garden. The Spanish woman says the commandant in her house wants us all to go, that we will be burned to death or shot by the Americans. It is evident the Japs plan to burn the town. He doesn’t say where we can go. The roads are choked with people with no place to go. There is no transportation, the Japanese have taken it all. We have hidden our bicycles and would not dare use them.

It is sad to relate that all the Filipinos are not behaving in too seemly a fashion. The Japanese are now
evacuating many houses, all factories have been closed and the employees are taking the stock. The Filipinos are looting homes, I suppose with Japanese permission, and doing it very efficiently, too. We have been watching a house near us, Ricarte’s residence, being literally torn down; piece by piece, the electric wiring, plumbing, wall panels, roofing, pipes, all going, and only the bare uprights remaining. Think the Japs have taken Ricarte to a safer place.

Yesterday I got quite a shock. I heard what I thought was machine gunning, something we haven’t had in the streets yet. But it sounded queer, irregular, and it continued for hours. The houses nearby were afire, one of them an officers’ commissary. In this house the cans were blowing up, giving a very creditable imitation of machine gunning! I’m taking a good deal of kidding about that mistake.

The Mabuhay Rubber Shoe Factory blew up last night, and the smell of burning rubber is horrible. The stock was given to the employees and today one can buy a pair of rubber shoes for P700.00. Cheap at that, if one had 700.00.

The children are getting so warlike they are driving us mad. They play war all day long, murder, fire, pillage, looting, shooting, dive bombing—all good clean fun to them. And are they bloodthirsty! When their father was describing a street battle he had seen, Japanese chasing Filipino looters from a spot the Japs still occupied, and he was talking about the footprints outlined in the blood of one fleeing thief, Jan says: “Only one bloody, daddy?” Disappointed as could be, he was, at so conservative a tale.

The planes are over us again. I can see from my window the Japanese civilian packing up. There is little use to dash to the shelter, I feel I am a little childish in my faith that the American pilots won’t hit our house. Surely they know we live here! I am not too happy under bombing, but I do hate air-raid shelters. It’s close today. Must be the bay.

There are a lot of Japs against our wall. Taking shelter, I suppose. There must be twenty of them. They keep looking up, wonder what for?

Later. I learned what for. The Spanish woman came by after the raid and said we were suspected of having a sending set in the house. That the Japs could hear the key. She said she had convinced them that it was only a typewriter, as she knew I typed a lot. They insisted it must be a transmitter, nobody would be foolish enough to type during a heavy raid. She offered to bring them in for proof. Glad she didn’t. They wouldn’t have liked what I’m writing. Now I have a sheet of paper, with soy bean recipes on it, that I have been copying from a Seventh Day Adventist cookbook to show them, if they ever do come. Guess I am a fool, but whoever said I wasn’t?

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