Paul Esmérian

Paul Esmérian

(1912-1969). Former French officer.

8 Dec. 1941

What a morning! At dawn, half-asleep in my hotel room, I hear the voice of Mrs Smith, my neighbor, and make out the words “Japan”

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9 Dec. 1941

First night-time alert! Complete blackout. Hotel gloomy, you can’t see a thing, people bump into each other on the veranda and sit on chairs already

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10 Dec. 1941

Yesterday evening in her garden with a Frenchwoman, Mademoiselle V., very nice. Calm evening, she gives me her impressions of the war in France, at

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24 Dec. 1941

At six o’clock at the tailor’s, waiting for my new suit to be finished. The sirens sound a good five minutes after we hear the

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26 Dec. 1941

The air raid alert yesterday morning — Christmas Day — took me by surprise as I was riding in a caramata [horse-drawn buggy] back from

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29 Dec. 1941

Very nasty air raids on Saturday and Sunday — that’s to say, since Manila was declared an “open city”. On Saturday the alert lasted over

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31 Dec. 1941

The year ends today. President Quezon has declared a three-day holiday. A number of shops have put up signs saying “Happy New Year”. Such wishes

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1 Jan. 1942

Happy New Year, my friend! Our dear sick patient’s situation seems desperate. The lines held by the USAFFE have been broken to the north and

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2 January 1942

Three weeks after that last peacetime Sunday, Manila is like a deserted city. Enormous black clouds, againstwhich even the tropical sun is powerless, fill part

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3 Jan. 1942

Yesterday afternoon a Japanese plane looses off several bursts of machine-gun fire in the neighborhood. I make the children, who are playing in the garden,

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4 Jan. 1942

Up early this morning. At seven o’clock it’s hardly light. Went to market. On the way, went past three Japanese checkpoints. I wasn’t stopped or

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5 Jan. 1942

This morning, to market, on the other side of the river. Fish, pork, few vegetables, no rice. No Japanese soldiers.Calm day. The evenings are exquisite,

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8 Jan. 1942

Still in Santa Ana. A little surprised still to be free. This morning L.R. [Le Roch, the French Consul] comes to seeAnne and is not

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10 Jan. 1942

If it didn’t bode so threateningly for the future, the new situation would be highly comical. In front of the BayView Hotel, where “third parties”

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12 Jan. 1942

Nothing new that concerns me. A simple life, a novelty for me, divided between the market, cleaning up of the garbage, and working in the

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14 January 1942

An eventful day. Until ten o’clock nothing unusual. Market, breakfast, cleaning the house. At ten o’clock Betty [Lander] receives a telephone call from one of

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16 Jan. 1942

Yesterday returned to Santo Tomas taking some provisions for Angela [Templer]. Very depressing. Queued endlessly among the Filipinos, in the heat and dust. Impossible to

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17 Jan. 1942

Nothing to report. Yesterday afternoon, went to see our neighbor and landlord, Mr R. [Redfern, either RichardJames or Frederick Ralph]. He’s a British subject but

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18 Jan. 1942

Yesterday afternoon, towards six o’clock, I’m coming back from a short walk with Colia [Nicholas Balfour] and as I approach the house I see Redfern,

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7 July 1943

[Describing the UST Education Building:] The corridor benches … are mostly occupied by old men, holding forth on the latest gossip… [in the foyer] clouds

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