Yesterday, at past eleven in the morning, there was a very strong earthquake, the strongest and longest that I have felt in my life. This was followed by others of lesser intensity, occurring at intervals of 15 to 20 until this morning.
They say the tremor destroyed the following:
The two stone houses of the Filipino proprietor, Don Eulogio de la Cruz, which were completely destroyed; the house occupied by Messrs. Gerona and Dimayuga; another one occupied by Messrs. Trías and Simón Tecson; the new civil hospital; two stone houses occupied by the club; and the tribunal-house presently occupied by the Court.
Also destroyed were a portion of the house occupied by the owner, Mr. Dungca; the walls of the stone house which served as a government-house; the house of the Fiscal (roofing and the garden fence); the big college and the public school which had cracks; one side of the house that was occupied by Don Pablo Ocampo and Mauricio; the roofing and walls of the convent; and the tower which was split from top to bottom.
It is said that of the total houses in the whole town, only three or four remain habitable.
Big holes were formed in front of the Protestant church and in various areas. A long crack on the ground, starting from the sea cuts through the different parts of the town. Water gushed forth from some of these holes, inundating a street. Fortunately, there were no personal casualties.
[The diary ends here]
The following moved to Agaña together with their four servants: Julian Gerona, Pablo Ocampo, Maximino Trías, Simon Tecson, Lucino Almeida, Norberto Dimayuga, Juan Mauricio, Silvestre Legaspi and Eulogio González.
The American authorities also invited me to live in Agaña, with a promise to take care of my sustenance, but I refused.
This afternoon, Don Pablo returned with Mr. Gerona. These two men told me that the soon-to-be Judge of Batangas promised to talk to Mr. Taft about our freedom, if the three of us would individually write him a letter asking for the same.
The two have written their letters respectively, and I requested Mr. Gerona to thank him for his good intention; but I deem it not the opportune time to ask for my freedom, since I do not know if my presence will be prejudicial or not, to the pacification of the islands. However, I am confident that the American government shall grant it to me, at the right time, even if I don’t ask for it.
Messrs. Carmona and Rivera embarked for Manila. We do not know if the former has been freed or he is just summoned to Manila on some matters; the latter is not a prisoner, and for this reason, he is allowed to return to Manila on account of his sickness.
A warship unexpectedly arrived in the afternoon, with Commander William Swift on board. He is supposed to replace the Governor who is being called to the United States. Mr. Schroeder and his family boarded the ship at the first hours of the evening.
The new Governor has visited us for the second time. His first visit was the day after he took his oath of office. With him is Mr. Paul Linebarger, a passenger of Kilpatrick, which is anchored at bay, who is going to the Philippines to assume the post of Judge in Batangas. According to him, he came to see me if I wanted to send anything to Batangas. Naturally, I thanked him for this.
He wanted to hear my opinion about Philippine matters; in all sincerity, I told him I could not, being away from the country for more than seven months and therefore, I am not aware of the changes that have been affecting my country. He said I could ask him whatever I wanted to know, as he is aware of the happenings in the Philippines. Not giving this much importance, I decided not to respond nor ask anything. Before leaving, the Governor invited Don Pablo Ocampo to Agaña.
the Marine ship Solace has just arrived, bringing two captains and some lieutenants of the Marine Infantry on board. Captain Shaw came to inform us that he has orders to leave for the United States aboard the same ship. He will be replaced by the most senior of the captains who have recently arrived, Mr. W.N. McKelvy.
Don Pablo Ocampo presented him a gift on behalf of all the prisoners. It is a book of poems in English and the book is made of Japanese cloth with Japanese designs. Our other companions gave him silk handkerchieves as souvenirs. I gave him a tobacco case made in Baliwag with my initials on it and a dedication that reads:
“The Filipino prisoners of Guam will always admire Captain Melville James Shaw, for he has scrupulously accomplished his duties as a Commanding Officer without neglecting the gratuituous teaching of the English language…”
Knowing that the wife and daughters of the Governor will embark one of these days, in order to spend their vacation in Yokohama, Don Pablo Ocampo gave the former a smaller cloth-bound book of English poems with Japanese designs. This is our dedication:
“The Philippine prisoners of Guam cannot forget Mrs. Schroeder, as a living remembrance of the kind-hearted American lady.” (Signed by a committee.)
As a remembrance, the Captain gave us an Atlas which is in the possession of Don Pablo Ocampo. The governor’s wife went to the headquarters to thank the committee of prisoners.
At 11:00 a.m. we boarded Rosecrans that was anchored at Manila Bay. The prisoners on board were the following:
Artemio Ricarte, Pio del Pilar, Maximino Hizon, Mariano Llanera, Francisco de los Santos, Macario de Ocampo, Esteban Consortes, Lucas Camerino, Julián Gerona, Pedro Cobarrubias, Mariano Barruga, Hermógenes Plata, Cornelio Riquiestas, Fabián Villaruel, Juan Leandro Villarino, José Mata, Igmidio de Jesús, Alipio Tecson, Apolinario Mabini, Pablo Ocampo, Maximino Trías, Simón Tecson, Lucino Almeida, Pío Varicán and Anastacio Carmona. All in all, there were 25 of us, excluding the 9 accompanying assistants of the prisoners. Among them were my brother, Prudencio Mabini, Mr. Ocampo’s brother-in-law (Pablo), Mr. Rivera and a young son of Francisco de los Santos.
We boarded at about noon. Since there was no lunch prepared for us on the boat, we had to wait for dinner, as it was already late in the afternoon.
Nevertheless, I believe a number of us did not feel hungry then, for we were more overcome by our emotions that day.