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Tuesday, February 13, 1945

Would Saint Anthony protect us this day? This was the day his devotees honored him. We needed his help, for only a miracle could save us from all those Japanese bayonets, hand grenades and bullets. Fearing the inevitable, I told my family where I had kept my valuable possessions—the bank notes inside my shoes, the keys to the bank deposits in a small packet, and my jewelry buried in a certain spot in our garden. Even at that time of peril, looters were going from house to house and from lot to lot, picking up whatever they could steal.

We were all waiting, most of us praying silently, others in a stupor of fright or fatigue. Then a smiling brown face appeared in one of the holes in the wall and announced gaily, “The Americans are already here. We are saved!”

Like a marvelous vision of multiple sunrise, the heads of the soldiers of Uncle Sam appeared from behind the wall. They smiled and shook our hands. I could not believe my eyes. Was I seeing things? I murmured, Oh, Lord, if this is a dream, don’t wake me up…

We all felt like Lazarus resuscitated from the dead. Some pessimists told us not to shout in glee. “Who knows,” they said, “if these newcomers are just Japanese disguised as Americans?” Many, however, raised their hands to make the V sign and others shouted, “Victory!” A little girl cried, “Mammy, they’re not Japanese. They have blue eyes —they’re genuine Americans!”

Crying and laughing at the same time, we surrounded the Gi’s. We wanted to express our gratitude, but all we could say was “Thanks, thanks — God bless America, God bless her brave soldiers!”

I murmured a brief prayer of thanks to God. At last I could laugh. At last I could cry in happiness. 

{the diary ends here]