26th of August 1902

In the afternoon of the other day, the Officer of the Day came with a copy o the declaration of amnesty, informing the prisoners that the Governor had received orders to put on the next ship to Manila, those who signed an oath in accordance with the stipulation in said decree. Since all the prisoners except Mr. Ricarte and me, had sent their duly signed papers yesterday morning, the Captain came this afternoon to administer the oath-taking of the petitioners. One of them, Mr. Tecson, postponed his oath-taking until tomorrow, after having thought about it well.

Then the Captain announced that those who took their oath were free from then on, with the option to live inside or outside the prison house. Those who choose to live inside may leave anytime of the day, as they wish. Those who want to return to Manila shall embark on the first ship sent by the Government until the 25th of the next month.

The Captain asked me if I was ready to sign the oath, and I said I could not decide here, but in Manila, since, I had to be first familiar with the laws that the United States had passed in the Philippines, their plans for the future and the state of public opinion regarding the same. That is why I asked to be sent to Manila as prisoner, where I could make my decision.

This afternoon, we also learned from those who came from Agaña that our companions residing in that city have already taken their oath.

1st of June 1902

All prisoners living in Asan have signed and issued the following petition:

“THE GOVERNOR OF GUAM: The undersigned Filipino prisoners, exiled in Asan Prison house wish to bring to your attention the following:

“That the manual work aimed at the well-being of the prisoners, is still being performed by individuals who came here as servants, to some, not all the prisoners. Some of these servants have been performing said job even for those who are not their bosses.

“Since some of our companions who have brought along the most number of this group have transferred to Agaña, the servants who have remained in the establishment refuse to serve those who are not their employers. A few prisoners, such as Mr. Mabini’s brother and Don Francisco de los Santos’ son, claim that they (the servants) came solely out of affection and in consideration of their relatives. Others have done so to return the favors they received from their respective employers; therefore, it is very unfair to make them serve other people to whom they have no obligation at all.

“The prisoners certainly understand the logic of this argument and they believe that a just measure that must be taken is to distribute the work equally among them; however, in consideration of some points raised by the American authorities regarding the social position, irreproachable conduct and generosity of the civilized and strong individuals, and before resorting to any course of action, they have agreed to:

“Request you to assign two young men, under the employ of the Government, to perform manual work in the Prison house, such as house cleaning for exempted persons, fetching water and rationing, etc. The undersigned are convinced that you will do everything to grant this request.

“God bless you with long life.”

This petition was brought about by a series of discussions and arguments among the prisoners for a long time. Each one feels that doing another, who naturally, can not do anything but grumble. These discussions make prison life all the more boring. Now we must know if the Americans will get rid of this problem. Maybe they don’t understand, neither do they feel sympathy for us. One can not deny that all men are of the same nature, they are all alike, even if they have diverse cultures, no matter how each nation claims the contrary, in the name of national pride.

30th of April 1902

As a decision to the appeal of March 24 and signed by 23 prisoners, the following order has been sent to us:

“ORDER: Five prisoners will be allowed to visit Agaña daily between the hours of 9:30 A.M. and 4 P.M. The Officer of the Day will check three prisoners upon their departure and return. An abuse of this privilege by one prisoner will cause an immediate withdrawal from all. –J.F. McGill, Capt. U.S.M.C.–Commanding Post.”

In view of this order, Mr. Llanera issued a communication to the Captain and asked: First, for purposes of compliance, if those who are considered servants shall be considered prisoners, or can they accompany the five prisoners, if they so decide, since they are not actually prisoners; second, if the visitors can ride on the car; and third, if they can bring along some foodstuffs from the Prisons.

24th of March 1902

As to the course of events this year, nothing has improved our situation. It is true that the Captain, after seeing the boxes of canned meat delivered to us intact, gave us a supply of fresh meat thrice a week; however, after three weeks, this has been forgotten, and the same boxes were returned to us, and which until now have remained untouched in the prison’s storeroom.

We have been making do with the little that we could ask to be bought from Agaña in terms of vegetables, meat and fish, since one of the servants of our companions in Agaña is now allowed to come every day in the ambulance-car of the Government, if it does not carry numerous load. Mr. Legaspi has taken the trouble of making purchases for the prisoners and he has been doing us a lot of service. Besides, our friends from Agaña think of us once in a while and send us gifts, among whom I owe Mr. Dimayuga special favors.

In spite of all this, a lot us have upset stomachs and resort to vomitting after meals. Perhaps it is the meat and other canned goods that we have to eat, out of necessity ever since we arrived in the island. The doctor ignores this upon consultation with him. My friends, desirous of taking all possible means of relief, sent the following appeal to the Captain:

“MR. GOVERNOR: The undersigned Philippine prisoners, do respectfully entreat you:

“That you will permit them to go out of the Prison up to Agaña town, every morning at the hour you may name, under the obligation of returning on the evening at the chosen hour.

“The undersigned beg you to grant us this favor with no other purpose, apart from the promotion of their spiritual and physical health, than that of looking for a change in their food. The necessity which has forced them to take, contrary to their custom, canned foodstuffs for more than one year, has spoiled their stomach so that now after every meal, instead of feeling satisfied, they feel nauseated and about to vomit.

“While out of the Prison, the undersigned promise to behave as peacefuland honest citizens and, if necessary, to execute faithfully the conditions imposed upon their companions in Agaña, as well as any other requisite you may deem necessary.

“Herewith, please, accept the greetings and respectful compliments of your obedient servant.”

This letter was signed by all prisoners, except Messrs. Ricarte, Barruga, Villarino, Salvante and me.

Last few days of December 1901

This month predicts a sad future for the prisoners in the prison house.

Ever since we arrived in the island, we have been fed with canned goods and it was very seldom that we were given fresh meat during the time of Commander Orwig. We had canned meat, canned salmon and bacon, potatoes, etc. Although in the last few days we were already satiated, we did not mind it too much since we were still able to buy from the Commissary sardines, shrimps in cans, ham and other things.

During the time of Captain Shaw, who manifested great concern for us, we were served salmon and given a supply of fresh meat twice a week. Besides, during this time, we could ask either though the guy with a shaven head or through our cook who also had a shaven head to buy for us vegetables, chicken and other goods.

Shaw finally left and Captain McKelvy assumed command. This time, we no longer had potatoes but beans; we could not buy from the Commissary other than cigarettes and they stopped giving us fresh meat. Besides, our head-shaven cook had left and was replaced by Agramon, another companion of ours, who was paid a salary of 30 pesos; however, we were still able to ask the milkman and the servants of those who transferred to Agaña, and who came to visit us often, to do this favor for us, since they were allowed to ride in a car-ambulance that plies through Agaña and Piti (round trip) three times a day.

Then the prisoners ran out of money and the milkman stopped coming, because only a few were able to buy milk. Later, our companions’ servants in Agaña were prohibited from riding in the ambulance, which was solely intended for the Americans and the government service. First we appealed to Captain McKelvy and then to Mr. Pressey, Judge of the Court of First Instance and Assistant to the Governor, that we be supplied fresh meat, as it used to be during the time of Captain Shaw. They promised to do so, but this was never fulfilled.

Lastly, at the start of this month, the prisoners could no longer eat canned meat, no matter how they forced themselves, because they felt nauseated and wanted to vomit. I found out later that the cook, in agreement with the prisoners, did not want to get the ration of canned meat from the Commissary, which supply was to last for ten days. Thinking Captain McKelvy would be offended, I talked to Mr. Llanero, who, being the President, represented the prisoners, so that he could write the captain telling him that the canned goods have not been claimed and that he was advising him about this so that the goods would not be wasted, since the prisoners would not take them.

Captain McKelvy got mad, saying that the prisoners have no right to refuse what is given them; nevertheless, he gave us a supply of fresh meat for a period of three weeks. Then, the cook was ordered to receive the usual supply of canned meat, and we were forbidden to ask the head-shaven guys to buy for us anything, since the Commissary takes care of buying what we need. Our companions ordered the purchase of twenty pounds of meat. It cost them a lot of money but the meat already smelled rotten when delivered to them. On the other hand, those who wish to live in Agaña were not granted a permit. We spent Christmas of 1901 with these painful thoughts. This is not surprising to me, because we were brought here precisely to make us suffer. Much as I am willing to suffer everything, I’m afraid my sick and weak body cannot withstand a prolonged self-deprivation. Be that as it may, I am convinced I will die all by myself, when my country shall no longer need my services.

Mr. Pressey invited me twice to live in Agaña, saying I must not worry about the money, since I would have enough. I have refused these offers, thinking it improper to leave our companions during these critical times.

Besides, I must add that in the past few days, when our companions had just transferred to Agaña, several times the community received from them gifts in kind, such as meat, fish and other things. I remember Mr. Dimayuga in particular, who has often sent me meat and vegetables, etc.

Lastly, I remember Captains Shaw and McKelvy, who took the trouble of teaching us (me and some companions) English, whenever their work allowed them to. Some weeks ago, I had given up studying the language, on account of my poor nourishment, which has deprived me of my high spirits, thinking it would be futile to continue, if, in the end I should die here or return to the Philippines, very sick and incapable of doing something good.

Goodbye to you, 1901! You are leaving us with a sad memory, yet a painful mark in my heart. I welcome you, 1902! Let this year be less severe, not with me anymore, but with my companions and friends.

24th of September 1901

The warship Justine arrived from Yokohama and is anchored at this port. It brings the sad news that President McKinley was seriously wounded early this month in an exhibition in Buffalo, when an anarchist attempted on his life. In view of this, a committee of prisoners went to welcome Captain McKelvy, giving him the following message of sympathy:

“DEAR CAPTAIN: All the Filipino prisoners at your command will be very much obliged to you, for presenting to the Governor their heartfelt sympathy, on account of the sad incident that has befallen President McKinley.” (Signed by the committee.)

Mr. Macario de Ocampo also transferred to Agaña, more than a week ago, to work as a designer in the public works section.

12th of September 1901

The following moved to Agaña together with their four servants: Julian Gerona, Pablo Ocampo, Maximino Trías, Simon Tecson, Lucino Almeida, Norberto Dimayuga, Juan Mauricio, Silvestre Legaspi and Eulogio González.

The American authorities also invited me to live in Agaña, with a promise to take care of my sustenance, but I refused.

1st of September 1901

At twelve o’clock noon, our companion, Don Maximino Hizon died of the same illness as Barican; his sudden death is more sudden than Barican’s. It was only yesterday that the deceased felt he was sick. R.I.P.

We also learned that the Governor has granted our companions’ petition to live on their own in Agaña.

11th of August 1901

Messrs. Carmona and Rivera embarked for Manila. We do not know if the former has been freed or he is just summoned to Manila on some matters; the latter is not a prisoner, and for this reason, he is allowed to return to Manila on account of his sickness.

A warship unexpectedly arrived in the afternoon, with Commander William Swift on board. He is supposed to replace the Governor who is being called to the United States. Mr. Schroeder and his family boarded the ship at the first hours of the evening.

The new Governor has visited us for the second time. His first visit was the day after he took his oath of office. With him is Mr. Paul Linebarger, a passenger of Kilpatrick, which is anchored at bay, who is going to the Philippines to assume the post of Judge in Batangas. According to him, he came to see me if I wanted to send anything to Batangas. Naturally, I thanked him for this.

He wanted to hear my opinion about Philippine matters; in all sincerity, I told him I could not, being away from the country for more than seven months and therefore, I am not aware of the changes that have been affecting my country. He said I could ask him whatever I wanted to know, as he is aware of the happenings in the Philippines. Not giving this much importance, I decided not to respond nor ask anything. Before leaving, the Governor invited Don Pablo Ocampo to Agaña.