July 18, 1945 Wednesday

Life here is very monotonous. We see the same things and do the same things over and over again. We try to occupy our time, to entertain ourselves. We go to church every Sunday and pray the Rosary in a body in the evening. We have learned to do manual work such as sweeping and cleaning our premises. We have learned to sew, to wash clothes, to make our bed and to do other household odd jobs. We exercise regularly, and in my case, on Sundays when we are allowed to go to the town plaza for recreation, I play baseball. Every Monday, we are allowed to see moving picture shows, and in our quarters we hold programs to entertain ourselves composed of singing, boxing, poetry recitation, magic, etc.

Each of us has his special activity. Chief Yulo likes to meditate and brood over our situation. Speaker Paredes spends his time taking up matters with the prison officials as our spokesman, talking to the enlisted class, playing solitaire, reading, writing and entertaining himself with local girls who pity us so much that they try their best to console us. Recto has returned to his old love — writing poetry. He also reads extensively. He furnishes us with a lot of entertainment with his orations and amusing jokes. He also plays card games. Alunan takes it easy and spends his time reading and taking care of his health. Paez reads and plays “a holoy”. Zulueta has a carpentry shop and a kitchen. He spends a good portion of his time preparing a meal and eating it with gusto. Sabido enjoys making predictions which, unfortunately for us, never come true, ponders on economic problems, reads and plays a little card. Justice Bocobo reads and writes much and prays. Madrigal takes a lot of reducing exercises and is continually planning for the future development of our country. Sanvictores is the exercise booster and reads considerably. Luz entertains us with his jokes and interesting conversations. Gen. Francisco is suffering because of the injustice done to him and to forget, he reads constantly. Sebastian has the most diversified activities; he reads, writes, sings, exercises and plays cards. He has also been the most helpful to his companions. Abello reads much, and, as an experienced secretary and being the Benjamin, he is the jack-of-all-trades in the party, helping in everything. Sison keeps himself very busy by taking care of the beautification of our premises. He is also our spiritual head, conducting all our prayers. Bayan takes care of all engineering work and plays chess. His teeth are giving him a lot of worry. Lavides has no specific hobby; he likes to do whatever could be of help. Aquino watches over the games played by others, sometimes taking part himself and pondering on what this is all about. Urquico is pitied by all of us as he is always sick. The most interesting activity is that Paredes. Some young girls, in their eagerness to cheer us up, have been sending food and letters. Don Quintin takes pains answering their letters which are very entertaining, although devoid of all romantic expressions. We could see in them their deep sympathy for our unfortunate situation. They ask us to write in their autograph books. I wrote the following: “July 15, 1945. Unknown to you, but deep in his heart is engraved a sincere feeling of gratitude for the sympathy bestowed upon us who suffer terribly for having served our motherland.”

I recall those days during the luncheon meetings of the Ministers. Instead of discussing the specific tasks assigned by the Japanese, we would while away the time by sending notes to one another across the table. These notes expressed the nationalistic sentiments of each one of us. They were written in Spanish, Tagalog and English. I wish now that I had conserved these notes which could help very much in our defense. I liked the notes written by Claro M. Recto best. Recto would scribble a nationalistic poem in a matter of minutes, revealing what was in his heart and mind. I too scribbled a lot of notes and poems.

Inside the stockade there are now very few incidents. All are doing their best not to mar our reputation. There are some exceptions. Someone was placed in the isolation cell for one day for having stolen some clothes. Two men were placed in isolation for a week for having foolishly tried to escape. Another was almost similarly punished for defying an order to work. He was excused, however, as he showed that he really had hurt himself while working the previous day. He yelled at the Lieutenant, but one good trait of an American is that he does not hesitate to admit that he is wrong.

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 Mindoro; and Dr. Julio Luz.

They brought much news and many newspapers. Some of the news are sensational.

Wer were surprised to see Justice Bocobol he had never been a pro-Japanese, although he admires some of their virtues. He has always been sympathetic towards the Americans. He attributes his detention to the fact he was one of the signers of the first Manifesto and was a member of the first Council of State.

The news about a resolution in the Senate referred to earlier has been cleared up. Sen. Ramon Torres presented a resolution providing for the immediate investigation of Senators Recto, Yulo, Paredes, Tirona, Madrigal, Sebastian and myself who are now under detention. He demanded the investigation to vindicate the good name of the Senate and in order to avoid difficulties that hamper the regular functioning of the Senate. He said that he is convinced that our detention is just the result of a misunderstanding, rather than to a real and just cause. He said that his purpose was to determine he qualification of the detained Senators to be members of the Senate. (Philippine Press, June 26, 1945). The Senators are being prevented from complying with their official duties for causes of which the Senate has no official cognizance. Torres asked: “Who of us who are free and fully enjoy our rights as Senators can say that we have a better right, rathen than better luck, than some of those presently detained?” The resolution gives authority to the Senate President to appoint a special committee of five senators. The Senate President is to make the necessary arrangements with the corresponding authorities so that the committee may be given the necessary facilities for the poper discharge of its functions.

Editorial of Philippines Press, June 26, 1945. Present administration “has fumbled, in the opinion of even those who wish it well, the collaboration issue.”

Post, June 24. The nature of the late President Quezon’s “last instructions” to ranking Filipino officials and members of his war cabinet –the crux of the collaborationist problem– was further clarified by Senate President Roxas. At a meeting held in Marikina, before Quezon went to Corregidor, Roxas recalled, the late President instructed those who were to remain behind to “remain at their posts and do their utmost to protect the people” while the nation waited for the arrival of the American forces that would redeem the Philippines’ freedom. Among present: Gen. Roxas, Secretary of Justice Jose Abad Santos, Secretary of National Defense Teofilo Sison, Secretary of Agriculture Rafael Alunan, Secretary of Finance Serafin Marabut, Exec. Sec. Jorge B. Vargas, Philippine Army Chief of Staff Basilio Valdes, and Dr. Jose P. Laurel, then Justice of the Supreme Court.

Laurel, who had been originally scheduled to accompany Quezon to America but who was requested by the late President at the last moment to stay, reportedly asked Quezon, “To what extent should be cooperate with the Japanese?”

To which Quezon was said to have replied, “You may cooperate short of taking the oath of allegiance to Japan.”

Laurel then asked, “Suppose we are forced to?”

For a while Quezon was silent. Before he could answer, Laurel said, “I shall flee and hide in the mountains.”

Quezon: “No, not all of you should do that. Avoid it as much as you can.”

News items on June 24, 1945: Senator Carlos P. Garcia yesterday (June 23, 1945) challenged his colleagues that they resign from the Senate and submit to a national election as early as feasible so that the voters will have a chance to render their verdict on “collaboration” and other issues that now threaten to split the Nacionalista ranks. Garcia took the floor to hit back at Senate Pres. Roxas who on Wednesday attacked him and Rep. Pedro Lopez of Cebu as well as the administration. All elective officials particularly those who held posts under the Japanese, should return their positions to the people because it is the latter who can decide who are the Filipino officials who did such acts as signing the Pact of Alliance, declaring war against the United States, and sending Constabulary with Japanese soldiers to mopping out operations in some provinces. They would wish to know whether Filipino leaders were really impotent to prevent these and other crimes, and if so wh they continued at their posts. He said those serving during Japanese occupation lost the confidence and trust of the people who have remained loyal to the Commonwealth and the United States. Pres. Osmeña is included in the request for resignation.

Senator Garcia accepted Roxas’ challenge that he introduce a bill calling for an early election, but the date will have to be determined after complete order is restored. He said he is willing to have elections held as early as circumstances will permit.

The above apparently is a rejoinder on the part of Senator Garcia. It was an answer to the speech of Roxas of June 21, 1945.

My comment: I do not see that an election is necessary to find out the things Garcia said the people would like to know. We have been elected for a certain term under the Constitution and the people’s will should be respected. But under the circumstances, I cannot possibly refuse to resign. It may be interpreted as meaning that I want to hide something. I especially want the people to know that I have never been disloyal to my country. However, it occurs to me that the truth can very well be ascertained by following the constitutional processes. In the case of the senators, they cannot be not allowed to sit while an investigation is being held by a committee of the Senate and until their cases are decided by that body. Such measure as is proposed by Sen. Torres should be adopted immediately. We are entitled to perform the functions entrusted to us by the people if we are not guilty.

Post, June 25, 1945. Roxas accepted the challenge made by Sen. Carlos Garcia, that the questions on which he (Roxas) and the administration differed be decided at an election.

July 14, 1944 (Friday)

Counsellor Lavides left for Fukuoka this morning on his way to the Philippines. I entrusted to him the two pearl rings which I bought at Mikimoto’s. I hope he delivers them.

Saw Felix Marzan at Ueno and then dropped in at Neo Studio after dinner.

The news of our return to the P.I. in one month has kept us all very excited. We only hope we ride in a plane, and that would make it just perfect.

July 11, 1944 (Tuesday)

Went with Pepito A. Santos to Ginza to shop at Mikimoto’s pearl shop where we stayed nearly two hours breaking our heads trying to pick from among the beautiful rings and jewelry on display. I bought two pearl rings (Y63 and Y33) and another with small jade stones (Y99) for Nene Vargas who asked me to pick out one for him intended for his g.f. Pepito bought rings for his sisters and g.f. I hope I can send these things home through Counsellor Lavides who is leaving soon.

June 25, 1944 (Sunday)

Mass, confession and communion at St. Sofia’s Church.

Banquet by Catholic Ladies League of Japan. After mass at Kanda Church, there was a sumptuous banquet given at the “Seiyōken” at Ueno Park attended by Charge d’Affaires Lavides, the Embassy staff and the pensionados. The affair was put on by the Catholic Ladies League on the occasion of the safe return to Tokyo of the first group of Catholic sisters and lay teachers dispatched to the Philippines. After the banquet there were the usual speeches.

We enjoyed talking to the teachers who just arrived from the P.I. about two weeks ago, and they all seemed to have enjoyed their one and a half year’s stay in the P.I.

We sang “No Mas Amor Que El Tuyo,” “Eucharistic Congress Hymn” and “Aikoku no Hana” for our hosts. At the banquet table, I sat with Mrs. Takamine and her two daughters who later invited us to their home for dinner next Sunday.

It was a very enjoyable and quite a big affair with nearly 100 guests present.

(Before going to the “Seiyōken” this morning, we killed time at Felix Maruyama’s (Pinoy) place at Ueno. Miss Okamoto was with us.)

Nisei. After the affair at Ueno, with Sison I made new friends —Betty and Mamie Muraoka, second-generation Japanese (American-born). I found them very nice and hospitable, and I hope to drop in at their place at Toritsukoko again.

June 4, 1944 (Sunday)

Mass, confession and communion at St. Sofia’s University Chapel.

Tokyo Filipinos Gather. The Filipino Embassy House was today the scene of the first gathering of Filipino residents in Tokyo and Yokohama. It was a truly Filipino affair with lechon [roast suckling pig] and dinuguan as the main attractions at lunch time.

The main purpose of the gathering was to organize a Filipino association of Japan, the Kapisanan ng mga Pilipino sa Nippon (Kapini) and draft a resolution pledging loyalty and support to President Laurel and “cooperation for the successful prosecution of the Great East Asia War.”

Charge d’Affaires Francisco Lavides presided over the affair assisted by Secretaries of the Embassy Leon Guerrero and Synchangco. Among those present were the Filipino pensionados now in Tokyo and Yokohama, Dr. Manalang (now temporarily in Tokyo), Radio Tokyo men such as Norman Reyes, Leony Manalang, Moises Bautista, B. Javier, Balais, Filipino boxers “Joe” Eagle, “Baby” Gustilo, “Baby” Valdez, etc. Leony Manalang and “Joe” Eagle brought their Japanese wives and kids along.

At the Nagasakis. After the affair at the Embassy, dropped in at the Nagasakis with Pena and Quiambao. Played pingpong.

June 1, 1944 (Thursday)

Summer begins today, our second in Japan. Japanese colegialas [schoolgirls] have put on their white summer blouses—a clear sign that summer has definitely started and spring has definitely gone.

Tokyo Detention House (Tokyo Kōchisho). As part of our school activities, we visited the Tokyo Detention House this p.m. at 2:00 at Ikebukuro-ku, accompanied by Mr. Sakashita of the Daitōa Ministry and Sub-Inspector Satō of the Metropolitan Police Board. The building is a very modern structure housing about 2,500 detained persons, including 500 women. This place is really for detained persons pending trial in court, but there are also already sentenced persons serving their sentence here instead of in an ordinary prison.

We went around the premises, after a preliminary “orientation” lecture given by the warden. We saw the rows of cells, the clinic, X-ray rooms, barber shop, dining rooms, etc. The inmates wear blue kimonos (Japanese style) with a lampshade-like head cover which they put on to keep their identity a secret upon leaving their cells. Strict seclusion, even among themselves, is observed, and even during calisthenics they occupy special “calisthenics cells” separately.

As detention lasts in some cases for months on end, the inmates are allowed to buy their own food at a sort of post exchange inside the prison. In the kitchen we noticed that rations of rice are numbered from 1 to 5 to designate 5 classes of rations, classified as to quantity to be distributed to the inmates on the basis of the physical work they do.

We left the place impressed.

Party at the Embassy. At 6:00 tonight with Pena, David and Sison, we were invited by Mr. [Francisco] Lavides, Charge d’Affaires, to help entertain the embassy guests, high officials of the Daitōa Ministry. At the reception room, after dinner, Pena played the piano and the guitar while we sang Filipino and Japanese songs. The guests also contributed their numbers, and the affair was very gay, with plenty of beer on the house. Among those present was a Mr. Tōgō, head of the political section of the Daitōa Ministry, formerly in charge of the southern pensionados.

We especially enjoyed ourselves when the guests left. Among ourselves we sang Filipino folk songs, such as “Chitchirichit Alibangbang” [“Chitchirichit, Sampaloc (tamarind) Leaf], “Tayo na sa Antipolo” [“Let’s Go To Antipolo”] etc. Joining in the chorus were Charge d’Affaires Lavides, Leony Guerrero, Mr. Sychangco, Norman Reyes, et al. The party broke up at 9:30. The embassy car took us to the dormitory.

May 5, 1944 (Friday)

Heard mass and received communion at St. Sofia’s Church with Quiambao, Sison and Pena. Met Bert Lavides there, too.

Birthday. Today being the birthday of Ikuko Nagasaki, our friend, we brought her a bouquet of tulips after mass early this morning. Her mother and she were surprised and happy to see such early well-wishers. (The tulips cost us Y12.)

Bought books at Jimbocho (Tokyo’s book district): Japan’s Innate Virility, Leading Spirits of the Age, and Current History, all for Y2.80.

Tonight we had a long discussion with our dormitory superintendent. We told him frankly what we feel about his many unreasonable regulations. We told him we can never have a chance to know the real Japan if we are not given an opportunity to meet people and make friends among the Japanese. He felt at a loss when I put to him this question: “Don’t you think it is strange if after more than one year in Japan we shall return to the Philippines without having made one single friend among the Japanese? What do you think we would answer if our people ask us about Japan and the Japanese?”

April 25, 1944 (Tuesday)

Today being Rinji Taisai (Extraordinary Spring Yasukuni Shrine Festival) had no classes.

Visited the Nagasakis with Quiambao and enjoyed hearing such records as “Sampaguita” [ “Jasmine Flower” ], “Arimundingmunding,” “Abaruray,” etc., which we borrowed from Miniong Aquino of the Hoso Kyokai (Broadcasting Station).

Went to the Imperial Hotel this p.m. at 5:00 to accompany Quiambao to see Speaker Aquino and bring some letters.

News of my promotion to captain reached me this evening through Bert Lavides who said he read the news item in a copy of the Tribune. Hope this is true, but it is too good to be true.