December 9, 1944

The weather has been stormy since last night, and we feared there would be another flood as the rain fell so heavily.

My angora kitten, Prince, is sitting near me and trying to grab the pen as I write. A month ago, I lost Princess, his sister. It is very difficult to raise these angora kittens at this time as they, too, seem to feel the effects of the war. I still have the mother cat, Pretty, and she is beautiful. Dorothy has two angora cats, also – Raggedy Ann and Andy.

I am looking out of the window while I am writing, and I can see Japanese soldiers repairing the Mandurriao airfield (a mile and a half away). The rain has stopped and the sun peeps through the clouds every now and then. The wind is blowing and it is a cool wind from the north, and we are all wearing heavier clothing.

November 21, 1944

It has been stormy with heavy rains for the last two days. In spite of the downpour the Japanese and USAFFE are fighting it out across the Jaro River, about 10 km (7 miles) from town. The fighting continued all day and far into the night.

Considering the circumstances, we rested fairly well, until I heard the sound of rushing water! I immediately called out to Coné and jumped out of bed, only to put my feet in several inches of water! The water rose rapidly, and we had to rush to save some things on the floor. One of Dorothy’s trunks was forgotten until the water was almost two feet deep. Most of its contents had belonged to her father and mother and were precious to her.

The beddings and other articles were brought upstairs. Mattresses were placed on the floor. We were upstairs for about 1⁄2 hour, when the Japanese sentry began shooting. There was no response, so we knew there were no USAFFE soldiers around. The menfolk did not sleep anymore that night, but watched the water level. By around 5:00 a.m. the water rose to three feet!

Dolly’s piano is downstairs and this is the third time it had been wet this year and this is the worst flood we’ve had. Last year we only had one flood.

These floods would not happen if the dike of the Jaro river was repaired but, of course, everything is at a standstill. There is no more electric light, running water or telephone, and nobody really keeps house anymore. It’s just like camping – if one can get enough to eat and a place of safety, that is all we ask.

October 19, 1944

This is a continuation of yesterday. When I heard the heavy drone of planes, Susie, Dolly and I went downstairs to the dining room, which is all concrete. There were already many people there seeking shelter, and I was somewhat amused to see two men trying to get under a table.

Some of us went outside to see the planes – there were about 40 of them, but when they came nearer and started their dive towards the airport we immediately went inside. My, what a racket when they opened fire! One Spanish priest told me it was like “Hell let loose!”.

Iloilo was bombed again, but only military objectives were the targets. I don’t believe there were any casualties.

You folks back home would marvel at the faith and confidence the Filipino people have in the Americans. It makes me proud of my country and people. Also, the Spanish people here have nothing but praise for our pilots. They are so careful in their bombing and are sure of their objective before releasing their bombs.

Coné came to see me after the raid. My nerves are much better since I have seen how careful our pilots are in the raids. Although my cough is worse and he says it is advisable for me to rest completely in bed, so I decided to go back to the house (Dr. and Mrs. Bernas’s house, where the rest of the family are still living). I went home that same afternoon at 5:30 p.m.

October 12, 1944

The air raid warning was blown at 11:00 a.m. and at 11:15 we saw four planes flying overhead very high. They flew over us and headed north.

The Japanese across the street from Dorothy’s house are busy making trenches as they fear the guerrillas may come in again. Every few days there is shooting in the area.

October 11, 1944

All quiet today. The alert signal is still hoisted. According to the Japanese News bulletin, “American task forces are now in Philippine waters.”

It is raining very hard, although the sun was shining this morning. I am feeling much better, my nerves are quieter and the asthma does not bother me so often. I have gained 3 lbs.. and my weight is now 95 lbs.. Coné and the children are well, and they are still at the house of Dr. and Mrs. Bernas.

This morning I bought a can of salmon (2 lb. size) for 75 Pesos. One small sweet potato costs 5 Pesos. Brown rice costs 2,500 Pesos a sack.

In President Laurel’s (puppet president) message to the people, he states, “There will be no conscription of men (Filipinos), but the people must help in providing food for the Japanese Forces.”

September 18, 1944

I am writing this from San Jose College. Roland and I are now staying here, while the rest of the family are still at Dr. Bernas’s house. In case conditions get worse, they too, will come and stay here – also Dorothy and Meñing Bernas. I heard that during the bombing two days ago there were about 25 civilians killed and many wounded. All is quiet, but one is always on the alert. The college is filled with evacuees (almost 300). I am fortunate that I can board with the sisters. They are wonderful to me and are so kind. At present I am eating more, and I hope to gain a little weight.

August 28, 1944

Last night there was shooting in Molo (a suburb of Iloilo) and also in Tanza, near the beach, where the clubhouse “Treasure Island” is located. The “Indians” came in strong and attacked both places. The P.C. (Philippine Constabulary soldiers under the Japanese, all of whom are Filipinos) are quartered in the clubhouse (“Treasure Island”). The “Indians” requested them to surrender, but the P.C. decided to resist them and began firing (perhaps in fear of their lives – the “Indians” might consider them as collaborators). The “Indians” held Molo before the Japanese came and dispersed them. There were no casualties, but several civilians were wounded. Several buildings were set on fire and we could see the blaze very clearly. It is rumored that the “Indians” have attacked several towns outside of the city. We are becoming so used to the shooting that we do not go downstairs unless it is close. Once we did not hear the shooting as Dolly was playing the piano and we were downstairs playing bridge with Dorothy and Meñing. The game was interrupted for a few minutes, and then we saw there was no danger, and on we went with our bridge game.

At 4:00 a.m. we were awakened by an explosion nearby. We heard later that one of the “Indians” threw a hand grenade at the municipal building where the P.C. were housed. No one was hurt.

July 30, 1944

Yesterday morning Dorothy and I went to Iloilo. We were able to get a carabao cart for transportation, and when we were halfway to the city, the yoke got loose and the carabao walked away. The result is that we got a jolt! It is funny all the different kinds of conveyance that people are using – carabao carts, bull carts, horses, two-seater bicycles. The only people who have cars are the Japanese and Gov. Caram. Gov. Caram and Mayor Ybiernas are closely guarded by the Japanese for fear of being assassinated by the guerrillas.

June 30, 1944

Today Dorothy and I went to Iloilo (what’s left of it). I bought two pairs of nylon stockings at 35 Pesos a pair. Dorothy bought a small vegetable dish at 38 Pesos, six dinner plates at 20 Pesos each. All of her dishes had been looted early in the war and those she had left were broken or chipped. We met with a funny incident in one of the Chinese stores. I asked the Chinese proprietor if he had any stockings (in English), and he answered me in Spanish and Japanese.