January 25, 1942

I remembered Gonzy in my prayers on the occasion of his birthday. I knew his worth. We found our new campsite utterly filthy, having been previously occupied by a PC unit. We transferred to the other side of the river. I fired at a Japanese plane flying low over Limay. This was the first time I fired an MG and a 50 caliber at that. I fired from my car. The lead I took was just right, so I was told, but my bullets were a bit too high. Again we had to build another papag .

December 25, 1941

The traditional Christmas family reunion was complete but for the absence of Felixberto and his family, who were in Palawan and Gonzalo and George, who were both officers in the Army. We were immensely proud of these two officer-brothers of ours. George called up by long distance from Manila saying he was on his way to Bataan. Papa thought that George’s information was just to mislead fifth columnists.

Christmas passed quietly.

December 15, 1941

For the first time since our training started, I returned home with Herme Villarica, a cousin. It’s worth going through all the trouble of training to receive a welcome like the one I received. I felt like a Roman warrior returning from a glorious campaign in Gaul. I found out that every night since the war started, the family has been praying the rosary and the novena for the safety of Gonzalo, George and myself.