Bataan, 1942: views of a father and his son

  (Revised, April 8, 2017) The Philippine Diary Project includes the diaries of a father and his son: Victor Buencamino, and Felipe Buencamino III. At the outbreak of the war, Victor Buencamino was head of the National Rice and Corn Corporation, precursor of today’s National Food Authority. His published diary covers the period from the arrival of the Japanese in …

The Great Escape of the S.S. Mactan: December 31, 1941

Photo above: recently offered for sale on eBay, a Baltimore Sun wirephoto of wounded soldiers aboard the S.S. Mactan. Late at night, on December 31, 1941, an old ship prepared to weigh anchor to escape Manila. Its destination was Sydney, Australia. On board, were 224 wounded USAFFE soldiers (134 of them Americans and 90 of whom were Filipinos); 67 crew members, …

December 24-25, 1941 in diaries

From Malacanan December 24, 1941: Philippine Army Chief of Staff and Secretary of National Defense, Secretary of Public Works and Communications and Secretary of Labor Basilio J. Valdes, and Executive Secretary Jorge B. Vargas, watch as President Manuel L. Quezon administers the oath of office to Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, who also became Acting Secretary of Justice & Acting Secretary …

June 29, 1945 Friday

Yesterday some more “collaborationists” arrived from Manila. Among them were Justice Jorge Bocobo, Dean of the College of Law of the University of the Philippines; Mr. Arsenio Luz, Chairman of the Board of Information and Spokesman of Malacañan with the rank of Minister; Mr. Francisco Lavides, a Representative and lately Military Governor for the district comprising Laguna, Tayabas, Batangas and …

June 26, 1945, Tuesday

It may be asked: If the conduct of the Japanese is as reported above why did we serve in the Japanese regime and later in the Philippine Republic? I had good reasons for not accepting any position in the Japanese regime. Aside from my past relations with America and the Americans, and the position I had held with the Philippine …

June 12, 1942

At Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York. I saw Quezon and Osmeña at 9 a.m. They both seemed depressed, and the latter was absent-minded. I learned the reason for this depression while Morgan Shuster and I were questioning Quezon about his war book. He said he had had one of the most discouraging interviews of his life last night with two owners …

Baguio, May 10, 1942

Last night, Radio San Francisco announced the arrival of President Quezon in that city. And to prove the veracity of such assertion, it also announced that the dead Quezon who was “killed” by Radio Tokyo was going on the air. True enough, Quezon spoke over Radio San Francisco. His voice and energetic diction were unmistakeable. He affirmed that he had …

April 8, 1942 (April 8-9)

Morning After the general heard my report, I took the field telephone and asked for Bat 108 –Manny’s code name in Corregidor. “What’s up, Primo?” he asked. I said: “the line in the east sector won’t hold. By tonight, the Japs will be here. Tell Leonie to stay there.” Manny didn’t believe me, but I was in no mood to …

March 26, 1942 – Thursday

Attended and served Mass. Returned to Del Monte. 12:30 p.m. went with Vice-President Osmeña to Mr Crawford’s evacuation house for lunch. Returned to Del Monte. Packed my valise for the airplane trip. The planes arrived at 8:45 p.m. We could hear the roar of the engines from our house at Del Monte. At 10 p.m. we were told to get …