September 25, 1944

We are somewhat disappointed. No raids since the 22nd, although many alarms were sounded. Current is on again, and we hear the local radio announced the proclamation of a state of war between the “Philippine Republic and the United States!” The Japanese radio calls is a declaration of war “on the United States and Great Britain.” The usual chitchat about our bombers hitting churches and innocent civilians fills the one-page newspaper they got out this morning. Actually, the boys did hit Binondo Church and set it on fire, but the Japs had big warehouses full of ammunition right adjoining the church and we are all fairly certain they had ammunition stored in the church itself. There is plenty of ammunition and firearms stored in other churches that I have seen with my own
eyes. Our own church, the Cathedral, has troops in it, and the lovely lawn is full of foxholes and trenches.

I cruised around on my bicycle today. There isn’t much damage to people’s houses—a little stray shrapnel in gardens, stray bullets, etc. The bay seems cleared out. Evidently the ships ran for it, for I am sure our boys didn’t get around to sinking many of them. The big dry dock that the Japs floated over from Cavite was hit, and I think it was sunk—I can’t see it.

Carretela rumors say that tins of crackers and apples were dropped in Paranaque today. Wish they’d aim a few our way—haven’t seen any since 1942.

One Jap plane crashed not too far from us on Vita Cruz. Ethel and I dashed down on our bikes, and so did a million other people. The Japs were awfully annoyed. Waved us all off with guns,

Wish I could see with my own eyes the leaflets the Americans are supposed to have dropped. Nobody I know has actually seen one. It’s always somebody’s cousin, or the aunt of my cook’s grandmother, or some such mythical person who has actually picked one up. They are supposed to tell us to keep cool, stay home, mind our own business—and wait. Sensible advice, except the staying home. I want to see what’s going on.

This declaration of war by the Philippine Republic doesn’t seem to affect the Filipinos much. Prices have shot up in the most horrible fashion. Pork is P110.00 a kilo. Calamansi (small limes) that used to be 50 centavos a hundred, are now 50.00 a hundred. We used them to flavor our rum. Guess we’ll have to drink the rum unadorned hereafter. I have the garden, and banana and papaya trees, so we won’t starve right away.

The radio from London said that the British want their share in the Pacific campaign—who’s stopping them, except the Japs? How’s about them starting in
China?

August 29, 1909

In the early morning of Sunday, the 29th of August, we sailed through the Corregidor Islands and Sailed into the large Manila Bay. We soon noticed the lighthouse of the city of Manila in the distance, and soon after this the numerous lights of the city. At 5 o’clock we stopped a few miles from the city and at 6 o’clock we sailed into the harbor. The eyes of all of us gazed in satisfaction at the old walls and fortresses that surrounded the city. Manila is over 300 years old. The ship dropped anchor by the government storehouse at about 7 o’clock. We watched the foreign faces of the Malayans and Chinese with interest. The Chinese coolies began to load the ship with coal.

At 9 o’clock, we received permits so that we could disembark and go through the city, we had leave until midnight. Oh, how pleasant it was after the long and arduous 24 day journey across the sea, to once again stand on dry land. The tropical Philippine sun above us shone strongly. After an 8 minute walk, we stepped through an ancient gate built by the Spaniards 300 years ago in the city of Manila. After some hundred steps, we entered a square with an old cathedral and many of us went to thank the Almighty for getting us through this journey, then we turned and scattered through this foreign and unknown city of Manila. At noon, I ate with my friend Fitzpatrick in a Spanish restaurant, in the afternoon I went through the city again and into Luneta park. In the evening at about 10 o’clock, I went back to the Buford steamboat to bed.

7/15 Saturday, 1899

Ate well today –went to arsenal and got a sword and looked at the collection of curios which the Spanish have been collecting for 300 years. Great piles of bolos and machetes. Big awkward things. Bamboo “mud” guns & gas-pipe cannon, bound with bamboo cords and cannon balls of lava stones. Stands of old guns, pin fire muzzle-loaders, spears highly polished, blowguns.

Visited Manila Cathedral in p.m. with its splendid old paintings, tombs, marble pillars, galleries & lofty altars, ablaze. Gloomy & quiet with a few people kneeling very straight, a prince of Italy, nobles, prelates, friars, soldiers, favorites, Inquisitors, “pobres” & a U.S. officer. At the organ in the center of the church was seated a black-robed priest, “old & haggard,” but still with an eye like the ancient mariner.

His dry, bony hand wandered over the black keys, and the sublime music bursting forth in mighty volume seems to pray & weep to chant & groan.

Fall upon their knees before the high altar, the strange multitude murmurs prayers –while from some gallery comes the monotonous wail of the Miserere & the dolorous chant echoes thro’ the arches, rises & falls and, at last, sobbing & trembling, dies away like the song of sorrow of a penitent world. As the mournful chant draws to a close the organ falls in a crash –the murmur hushes, and it almost seems as tho from the ivory images upon the altars drops floods of sorrowful tears. No wonder Catholicism has such a hold upon semi-barbarous nations. Her ceremonies are simply grand. Slept in Room 6, Joteleria Espanol.

Tuesday, November 22d, 1898

Manila, Luzon Island –Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo.

A busy day of sight seeing & other work.

Up early prayed & read bible as usual; then cooked breakfast of fried bacon, corn meal mush & corn.

Made supper of bread, guayava jelly & lemonade. Took dinner with Rev. & Mrs. Owens.

Mr. I. Russell proprietor, called early to get copy for the “American Soldier”. Gave him abt. 7 pages Ms. of War reminiscences.

Bought of Private O. Harris agent for Mr. Glunz, unmounted photographers of Manila war scenes. Paid $2 U.S. coin.

About 9.a.m. Private Heines & Lloyd of Montana vols., called at No. 2 with a vis-à-vis (barouche) & with myself, Rev. & Mrs. Owens visited Paca [Paco] cemetery. There witnessed the opening of 2 graves or tombs. The bones of which are to be cast into the big bone pile back of the mortuary chapel. The first (No. 1 in Section 117) had ths inscription. “D.O.M. D. Francisco Garcia Vigil Presbytero Capellan Que Fue del Regimento de Infanta. Jolo No. 6 Fallecio el 19 de Junio de 1888.” The Filipino cemetery employee raked the decayed bones & debris out & looked for valuables but found none.

A military funeral then came in: Private Frank Harden of Co. H. 1st North Dakota vol. Inf. He was buried & 3 volleys fired over his grave. Also the taps by a bugler. This latter was very touching. After the burial we went back to see another body disinterred – a priest. Tomb No. 9 Section 106. Outer circle. Inscription on tombstone “E.P.D. Dn. Jose Santos Rodriguez y Yangelina. Presbytero Fallecio el 17 de Mayo de 1887 Rogud Por El.” In this tomb when the decayed bones were scraped out were found 2 crosses & medals with strings of beads. The 2 medals & a wooden cross plated with silver was given to me for souvenirs. I took 3 Kodak pictures of the disinterment. Centipedes, spiders and roaches were disturbed when the tombs were broken open. These bones go with the rest of the friendless dead.

From the cemetario – Paca [Paco] – we drove through the Malate gate into Old Manila to the Palace where I dropped in upon Mr. Clinton McCullough to see about my receipts. Requested to call at 5.30 p.m. again.

Having a little time our party then went through the great cathedral opposite the Palace. Is a marvelous structure.

The vast building is thickly populated with Spanish prisoners of war. They are camped before & around all the altars.

From the Cathedral drove to the vast range of buildings occupied by the Augustinian monks, facing San Lucia Calle & Puerto Lucia – gate – the church & lower story are occupied by Spanish prisoners. Ascending the stair knocked at a heavy door. Two monks came to the wicket. I asked to see the place. Replied to call at 3.p.m. At that hour, I accompanied by Rev. Owens (they would not admit Mrs. Owens) & Private Hines & Lloyd entered the door – open at this time. Slating our mission 2 friars were detailed to escort us. Visited the organ loft, corridors, dining room, cistern (vast affair) the cells of the monks long ranges of them of vast extent & the library. This last is no small affair. Thousands of pig-skin bound folios & quartos are here. In the library is a full length statue of Saint Augustine, their patron saint. Many modern books crowd the shelves. Some very fine. Guess the library contains 6,000 books. Before we were thru a Spanish friar who spoke a little English, Father Mariano Isar also joined our company. The tables in the large dining hall were being set for 100 priests! At the time of our visit. Thanking our priestly guides about 5p.m. We bade them adieu & called again at the Palace, where I passed on the proof of my receipts & authorized McCullough to print them.

Visitors during the day at No. 2, 11.

After supper the boys wanted a gramophone exhibition. Accommodated them & finished with a prayer & praise service.

Friday, October 14th, 1898

It is still raignen all day we have our Hour Bayonett Exercises in the Morning and dressparade in the Evening this day was a great Feast day for the Natives in the Evening the whole City was illuminated I was also in the Cathreal in the Evening watching their strange Way of Worship this day we recieved another white Duck Shirt and 2 Gingham Shirts Christopher Twist Knotts Miller Daugherty Georg Conn and Milbert Johnson are on the Sick List

It is still raining all day. We have our hour bayonet exercises in the morning and dressparade in the evening. This day was a great feast day for the natives. In the evening the whole city was illuminated. I was also in the Cathedral in the evening watching the strange way of worship. This day we received another white duck shirt and two gingham shirts. [Frank] Christopher, [David] Twist, [George] Knotts, [George] Miller, [Homer] Daugherty, George Conn and Milbert Johnson are on the sick list.