June 24th, 1946

Fiesta of San Juan today—a lot of people must be getting doused up today crossing San Juan bridge, and perhaps even Mandaluyong.

At breakfast Osias reported he had talked guards into not changing the rules about bathing and shaving. We had never asked for present schedule he said, but does not see any reason for changing it either.

Laurel after dinner yesterday tried to give me two cartons of cigarettes, saying he had plenty—told him I did not need any more myself, but took one carton of Philip Morris so he took the other carton to Osias, Camels. I prefer Morris, because of it’s milder and sweeter taste.

Just finished another haircut—barber came early they did pretty good piece of work—gave two and one as usual.

Hardly any news from or about the Philippines these days. “Nippon Times” today carries two items but both of Americans going to Phil. Congressional Representatives at Independence Inauguration and McNutt’s Senate confirmation as first American Ambassador to the Philippines, He takes the Opposite number to Murata in the days of the invasion. Well, Manila is already used to having ambassador, so that wouldn’t be very much of a novelty any more. McNutt would probably be.making suggestions to Roxas too, not the least important being U.S. attitude towards allegedly former collaborators. Another interesting piece of Filipino, not Philippines news,
is in Sport column of Burley Harris about Costello winning a boxing bout and Joe Eagle giving an exhibition tilt with another old timer. Both at Kurakwen, Joe must be making plenty of dough these days with his Dai Ichi Taiku Club fights. Wish I could find out really how the Filipino boys in Japan are getting along. Have not heard again for some time from Gavino—perhaps my last letter to him has not yet been delivered and that was in early May yet.

It is getting awfully hot. Temperature last Friday was reported as highest June temperature in Tokyo during last 72 years—34.1 degree cent—93.7 Fahrenheit. ‘It gets hotter than this in Manila but not so sticky as here. Even now as I write my elbows get stick in to the top of table-—One perspires and the humidity turns perspiration with some sort of glue.

Was asked again this morning whether I want cigarettes. Answered yes I gave Steinmetz Y20—-promised to let me have Y2 change later Y9 a carton—-cigarettes came just after afternoon exercise-—2 cartons of chesterfields. Must look for somebody who had Philip to spare for exchange—Guard also called little while afterwards to give the two yen change. He hollered through the door hole “Mr. Vargas” while I was writing this.

_During afternoon exercise compadre Aquino said if he were in Phil. he would outliberal the liberal Party of Roxas by jumping over the fence to the radical side way over to the left to organize some kind of socialist democratic Party. We will see what happens when we actually get home——He may outstrip the communists yet at that. He is always so impulsive.

Grass detail again at 6 pm. It was pleasant with a cool breeze lowing from the southeast—We have cleaned practically the whole place surrounding the Blue Area now. Hereafter gras pulling will be much simpler, less exacting, not that anybody works to fatigue—Osias did not come out and when Steinmetz wondered why told him Osias must have something terrible In his head which he must want to put down on paper in a hurry. True enough when we came back I peeped through his small mesh door and he was stripped down to the waist furiously writing. Went to bed after reading till about ten pm. Didn’t seem to be any more mosquitoes around.

March 30, 1945 — Friday

Early this morning, Tuguegarao was bombed and strafed. The P-51 dive-bombers were strafing with terrifying precision. The Americans probably know we are here. The planes are diving very low –as low as 100 meters above ground. We could hear bombs dropping just a few hundred meters away. Tuguegarao was the worst place since we started this trip. No water. No food. Continuous bombing and strafing. “Seventh Heaven” suddenly seemed better! At 4:35 p.m. the air raid stopped. The whole town was razed to the ground.

Mr. Fukushima, a member of Ambassador Murata’s party, told us to separate our “essentials” from our “non-essentials.” We are to bring only the very essential.

At 6:05 we finished sorting out our “essentials.” We rode our last ride on native soil. We arrived at Tuguegarao airfield at 8:20 p.m. and waited there till 10:55 p.m. for the Japanese plane to arrive. Some of our baggage containing even our essentials had to be left behind.

This was to be my first airplane trip and I was very excited. I sat below the machine-gun turret. A co-pilot sat beside me and opened a package. It was a pilot’s ration. He gave me chocolate out of what looked like a toothpaste tube, some biscuits and yokan. In return I gave him my bag of army biscuits given to me in Tuguegarao. I went up to the turret and saw the deep blue sky. It was hazy and vast and beautiful. I fell asleep.

March 23, 1945 — Friday

At 6:55 a.m. the convoy came to a halt. After resting for an hour I went with a Kempeitai to cook rice and boil water for lunch. We found a flowing stream about kilometer and a half away. We cooked rice and filled up all the containers with boiling water. I went back alone carrying all the heavy stuff. The path was uphill which made the distance seem like five kilometers! I reached the tend on the hill at 1:25 p.m. dead tired!

We got ready at 7:00 p.m. Reaching a narrow trail, we were told only the cars could pass. Papa, Ambassador Murata, Mama, Dodjie and Maning rode the car, which left at 7:35 p.m. The car was to take them to Kayapa six kilometers away. And then return for Speaker Aquino, Minister and Mrs. Osias, Betty and the two children and my three sisters.

When the car did not return by 9:15 p.m. we all decided to walk. We walked for three hours and covered four kilometers uphill with out heavy load until we finally saw the car. Speaker Aquino and party rode the car while Kuya Pito, Kuya Pepe, General Capinpin and I, together with some of the Japanese soldiers walked to Kayapa two and a half kilometers away.

October 27, 1943

Our guests were leaving the College, going French style. They took with them all that was theirs and all that was ours. Among the latter were chairs, beds, tables, cabinets, the refrigerator, bulbs, lamp shades, all amounting to thousands of pesos, specially now that they were irreplaceable. We were disillusioned by the belief that independence would extend to us the pleasure of having our whole building back. But other soldiers were coming in with beds on their shoulders and installing themselves in the divested building. They were sure to be groping in the dark tonight, as their predecessors took all the bulbs with them. It seemed that it was common practice among these soldiers to leave nothing behind whenever they transferred quarters. One of them, whom we approached in complaint and protest, justified such conduct saying that when General Kuroda had to leave the palace of the American High Commissioner which was converted into the Japanese Embassy, all the furniture was taken out, and Mr. Murata had to stay at the Manila Hotel until the Embassy had been refurbished.

October 20, 1943

The text of the Alliance Treaty between Japan and the new Government was published today. The pact was signed by Ambassador Murata and Mr. Recto who was today named Minister of State. One farcical fact hiding behind the formalities of protocol was that the treaty was dated October 14, that is, the very day when the Republic was proclaimed. This meant that the approval by Tokyo and the ratification of the treaty by the contracting parties took place before one of them—the Philippines—became a free and sovereign nation.


            Article 2 of the Treaty provided that “the contracting parties shall cooperate strictly in political, economic and military affairs for the successful pursuit of the Great East Asia war.”

The nature of this strict military cooperation was explained by an appendix to the said treaty: “The Philippines shall apportion all kinds of facilities to the military operations which Japan shall undertake. The Philippines and Japan shall cooperate strictly between themselves to safeguard the territorial integrity and the Independence of the Philippines.”

The negative consequences of this pact, according to official interpretation were:

  1. That the Philippines had to declare war against the Allies.
  2. That no Filipino soldier had to leave his country to fight.

According to the same interpretation, the positive consequences were:

  1. The economic cooperation would continue as it was.
  2. The military cooperation would take place only in case the Philippines would be attacked or invaded.

Through these provisions, it could be seen that the Japanese would continue dominating and utilizing the economy of the country for her ends and that the spectrum of war would move away but not disappear. The people were convinced that when the Americans would come sufficiently near, they would undoubtedly attack, first by air and then by sea, the Japanese ports and airfields in the Philippines. Would this constitute a sufficient cause for a casus belli against the aggressors and to force the government to declare war? The text of the Pact seemed to guarantee an affirmative response, since the Philippines was committed to defend her national integrity and her independence with the help of Japan in case of attack or invasion. Naturally, Japan would do what she believed would serve her interests. If she would feel that the Philippine Army was a hindrance or an enemy, she would rather fight alone in one front.

October 14, 1943

From now on, the Philippines is free, sovereign and independent. Japan so proclaimed, and President Laurel so announced. The inauguration was a family affair. Only the Japanese representatives were invited: aside from Mr. Murata who up to now is chief adviser of the military administration and henceforth to be the ambassador plenipotentiary; the Vice President of the House of Peers, a bearded short man who looked like Bernard Shaw; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives who just flew from Tokyo. The inaugural ceremony was as usual, copied from the traditional program of independence inaugurations within the Sphere.

The truly moving act was the raising of the Philippine flag which for the first time waved in the air after almost two years of prohibition. The ceremony impressed even the skeptical and the non-conformists, attended by gigantic crowd placed by the press first at 800,000 and later at 500,000. There was still a cipher in excess.


It cannot be denied, however, that aside from the captive audience, many came on their own. Many of those who doubted and the recalcitrants saw in the ceremony a national glorification, not Japanese. And there was therefore a greater degree of spontaneity and enthusiasm than there had been in other celebrations in the past.

The inaugural speech of the new President was magistral, delivered pathetically in Tagalog. His program of government is extensive, comprehensive, innovative and conservative at the same time—although not convincing. He accentuated certain totalitarian tendencies of the Constitution, but he prescinded from personal glory and called for national discipline.

Some of the salient points of his program are: general amnesty for political prisoners and the guerillas who surrender within a prescribed period; persecution of public enemies who persist in obstructing the program of reconstruction (for them the Constabulary will be reinforced in order to avoid the humiliation of being forced to seek foreign intervention for the suppression of purely internal troubles); suppression of political parties at least during the formative period of the Republic.

To elevate the status of the masses; fixing a higher minimum wage and helping them materially so that each citizen might be a small proprietor. A new type of citizenry must be developed, to create in each individual a willingness to sacrifice and subordinate his personal interests to those of the State. His obligations are more important than his privileges. He should know his duties as he knows his rights, ready to comply even at the sacrifice of the latter.

To emphasize the dual objective of education: the moral formation and the development of character. It is the duty of every citizen to render military and civil service in accordance with the prescriptions of law. Every student, from the primary school to the university, should submit himself to a rigid discipline and wear the school uniform as

prescribed by specific rules. It is imperative that the family circle be forged. The installation of the paternalistic family, the cultivation of the oriental vitues of piety and filial obedience and the restoration of the woman in her place in the home, are the three cardinal points on which the family should rest.

August 15, 1942

General Homma has left for Japan. His departure was rumored a week ago, and it was one of those rumors which turned out to be true. It was not published by the local press until he had landed safely in his own country. It was Radio Tokyo that broadcasted the news.

Those who have known him describe him as afable, frank and intelligent, but a Japanese through and through. He was replaced by General Tanaka, about whom we know nothing aside from the fact that he has a moustache which protrudes like two brushes.

There was also an announcement that General Hayashi was replaced by General Watti as Chief of the Military Administration. The Honorable Murata, Chief Adviser of the military administration, also flew to Japan, but we could not tell whether he was replaced by another.

Would all these changes mean a new political atmosphere? We have to find that out, not from the press, but from subsequent events.