October 21, 1972

 

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1.

12:35 PM

Oct. 21, 1972

Saturday

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Just arrived from the informal dinner given by Pres. and Mrs. Watanabe of the Asian Development Bank. Only Sec. & Mrs. Alex Melchor, Sec and Mrs. Cesar Virata and ADB Vice Pres. Krisna Moortli were present. Pres. Watanabe is retiring Dec. 25th.

It was a pleasant dinner with much story telling punctuated by laughter.

Proclaimed the emancipation of the tenant-farmer this morning. I attach a copy of my proclamation or decree. This should cause the actual start of the Reformation.

And gave a 1st month report of martial law.

Then met the labor leaders, the rural bankers, the governor, Liberal leaders and mayors of Masbate.

A Japanese straggler was killed and his companion wounded in Lubang yesterday by

2.

Oct. 21st (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

the PC patrol they ambushed.

Camp Keithley in Marawi City is under attack by a band of outlaws who have taken over the MSU radio, raised the red flag and surrounded the PC Prov. Hq. of Maj. Marolomsar, Prov. Commander. Eight of our men have been killed (six outright at Pantar Bridge that leads to the city from Iligan) and one wounded while nine have been killed on the enemy side and one captured who is being interrogated.

Reinforcements being rushed to the besieged forces.

The enemy may number anywhere from 100 to 400. But PC Prov. Hq. under attack holding out.

Other Mindanao units alerted in case this attack is a signal of an uprising in all of Mindanao and Sulu.

3.

Oct. 21st (Con’t)

Malacañan Palace

Manila

I believe the attackers may be a combination of student radicals (KM and SDK) supported by outlaws. The red flag may show they are communist infiltrated or controlled.

And again this may be a diversion from the Luzon front where the communists are hard pressed.

Or a demonstration that the leaders I talked to and placated like the Alontos and Pendatun do not run things anymore.

Or again this may be a Pendatun and Alonto play to gain a stronger bargaining position.

But we are not going to bargain. We will hit them hard.

December 17, 1944

Last night we continued to hear bombing in the distance. The Bulletin Board announced an American landing on the big island of Mindanao on December 15. No planes flew over us today. The airfield is completely destroyed and the two roads leading to it are a mass of holes.

It’s strange that the animals also sense danger. When there is a shot, the cow and her calf jump. Budigoy (our dog) howls and tries to get away from his chain. The cats run and hide. The chickens and ducks run for the coop when they hear and see the planes. Perhaps they think of the planes as huge hawks.

September 28, 1944

No sign of those Yank planes again — how we wait for them — waiting is now harder than it ever has been before. It is the old old story of hopes raised and then dashed again. I had thought that once started on Luzon there would be no cessation of attack until all was cleaned up, but such doesn’t seem to be the case although they might appear again at any moment. According to one report, the guards are supposed to have said “Yanks have taken Mindanoa” — if true there would be one good reason for the raid of last week. Sooner or later they will have to come to Luzon. Three 25 word messages from home — they are certainly useless forms of communication. I have said before that men here would never recover — I meant that for those who could not help themselves. There are many more who have refused to uphold any standard of either discipline or fair play and they too, I think, will be lost. They can blame only themselves. “The wood detail has been discontinued.” Tomorrow details are way down — we wonder. We shall have to quit smoking before long — we are however better supplied with food for our lack of tobacco. Am now on B¹ shot #23 and have 7 more to go and maybe more. Not much improvement to date. Send them back — we are watching for them!

Sun. Sept. 17/44

It is ten a.m. and raining. Has been raining hard and often for the past two or three days. Gardens not damaged much yet. We have been having blackouts, but they were lifted last night. Rumors are to the effect that Mindanao is being bombed, shelled and attacked. We boys keep quite well, although losing in weight slightly. Food ration was not too bad this past week. Twice we cooked beans to augment the fare. Some say we shall be out of here by October or November. Most think about Christmas or New Year. We often think of our friends in Manila, as we hear that conditions are hard there, and that many are evacuating. I wonder if they are having their meetings this morning. We will go up to the chapel now to hear Dave Martin. We will have our Meeting at one-thirty.

August 12, 1944

Two days ago it was posted on the Japanese Bulletin Board that Davao (in Mindanao – south of here) was bombed on late Sunday afternoon (Aug. 6) by an American plane – no damage was done as the bombs fell in the water. The next day another plane was sighted. You can imagine the excitement of the people, but one must be careful not to show it, and also be careful of comments.

August 7, 1944

The rumored changes did take place, but the bks. Dr. marked both of us “qtrs.” and so, for another month anyway, we will remain where we are. The food situation has now reached a definitely critical stage — we were cut 100 gms of rice which was to be made up by 100 gms of corn, but so far we have not been issued even a good fraction of the corn. Food scarcity is actually so acute that many men have eaten corn cobs and it has nearly been their end. We certainly hope that this time it means that the pinch has actually hit the Island and that it will not be long now — it won’t be one way or another we far (fear?). A story about Mariana Theresa was short and interesting — I hope to get the sequel about the intrigues with Spanish Philip while I am here with so little to do to occupy my time. Another one was of Bismarck and the accomplishments of unified German States — he accomplished wonders but eventually weaknesses came to the front when his ace general died. The world war ruined what was left. Cannot get even the sprinkling of a rumor these days to liven conversation — I cannot read much, this writing is about the limit my eyes will take. Letters indicate our classmates high on Majors list — how I envy them! Irritableness and complete lack of patience and compassion grows again — they seem to be the chief comrades of the empty stomach. Concentration takes much effort. One of the Marine NCO’s sorting mail tells me I have a letter across the street but when I will get it is problematical — we still draw mail by day and it runs about 150 per. Saw FJB the other day and he says copies of my commendation went out and if I do not get satisfaction to let him know right away. Makes me feel better anyhow. Other friends in from Mindanoa — some still there on airfields. Hope things improve before next writing — I pray daily that they will.