Our troops at Mabaay Gate still holding. Tagudin force now reported at Cervantes. The bridge here is out so they will have to build feery, but that is easy. The Japs are the best carpenters and road builders in the world. The public officials at Bontoc are evacuating to Lubuagan. Guess it won’t be long now. We all feel that the Japanese were somewhat forced into this thing by a few of our diplomats. But now that we are in it we will have to fight it out to a finish. They have won the initial rounds and will have things their own way for two more months. But after that we will have our innings.
At 5 o’clock in the afternoon the honorable president received a verbal report from two officers coming from Mount Tila, to the effect that the Americans had taken all our trenches in Tila; that General Pilar had been killed by being shot through the head; that other soldiers had also been killed; and they, the officers, were sure the Americans must be in Angaqui at this very hour. According to the statement of the officers, General Pilar died at 10 o’clock a.m.
At 8 p.m. the honorable president, his retinue, and the remaining troops marched out of Cervantes and started for the Cayan settlement, reaching there at 12 o’clock midnight, and immediately going on toward Tadian. At this last-mentioned place we took a direction toward Bagnen.
At every step we found the mountains getting higher and the cold more chilling. It was 3 o’clock in the morning. A strong wind was blowing. The cold becoming more and more intense was penetrating almost to our bones. Our skins had become dead to feeling and our lips drawn and purple from cold. We traveled on over the precipices, which each moment seemed to get deeper because we were getting higher and higher. The first rays of the sun shone dimly in the east and night bade us farewell; but the intensity of the cold was the same.
We never halted in our journey. At 6 o’clock in the morning we could make out the settlement of Bagnen, and one hour later we arrived there.
Departed for Tubao, where we rested in the evening; then to Aringay, Cava and Bauang, where we took our meal; then to Naguilian. We intended to stay here to rest for several days; but at 10 o’clock in the evening of the 19th or thereabouts, the proximity of the enemy forced us to flee, taking the trails through the mountains of San Fernando and Bacnotan to the outskirts of San Juan and Balanang, where we arrived at 8 o’clock in the evening. We slept here; and on the following day, the 21st, started for Bañga and Tagudin, where we took our lunch. We continued our trip to Candon. We spent the night in this place. The next day, the 22nd, we headed for Salcedo, where we ate lunch; then for Concepción, where we spent the evening. On the 23rd, we departed for Angake. We suspended our trip for a few days, until the 30th, when we proceeded to Cervantes, Lepanto.