December 21, 1942

Yesterday, the bombing continued – thank goodness it was not near us. Planes flew overhead, but they went in the direction of Barotac Viejo and Sara.

Last night we all slept well, but at daylight we were already awake and dressed. Shortly afterwards we heard the drone of planes and looking out of the window, we saw two planes flying over the road to Sara. On their way back they flew over us again.

Yesterday afternoon two soldiers and an officer from the Philippine Army passed by and they told us that Martha Rey’s house was a direct hit.

Our nerves seem to be affected with all this bombing and machine gunning – even the children feel it, but perhaps later on we will get used to it like the people in Europe.

December 19, 1942

This morning we had a bad fright, and remained most of the morning in the shelter. Yesterday morning, about 3:00 a.m. the Japanese entered the town of Barotac Nuevo and by daybreak the planes began bombing the surrounding barrios and the sugar central, as well as the main roads. We could see all this very clearly.

The soldiers in Barotac had to retreat as they cannot offer any resistance when the Japanese planes clear the way.

Everything was quiet last night and we all slept well. Before retiring, we could see fires all along the way, the Philippine Army was burning the houses they had not burned before.

This morning at 7:00 a.m. we heard a plane overhead and it circled and bombed over the town of Anilao (about 31⁄2 km from here). Then it flew towards our direction and bombed a nearby hill where a market had been set up under a mango tree. The plane then flew over us and bombed the town of Banate; on its return it few over Estrella’s rice field where the workers were picking rice. It dove towards them, dropped a bomb and machine gunned the people – fortunately there were no casualties.

May 18, 1942

We have been here for 1 month. This nipa hut we are staying in is very well concealed and off of any paths. It is on a hill and we have a view of surrounding areas and hills. The dogs and angora cats love it as they have such a big space in which to run.

Every day we hear rumors and we cannot believe all, but we know it to be the truth that Dr. Caram was caught in Iloilo and compelled to work for the Japanese.

The Japanese have sent out circular letters to all the barrios for the people to return to the towns and cities. However, once you return it is very difficult to leave. If you are seen carrying any bundles you are shot on sight. The conditions in Iloilo are terrible, half of the city has been burned by the USAFFE (U.S. Army in the Far East) and the Philippine Army, so the Japanese are concentrated mainly in Jaro. They are occupying the large homes – Mr. Montinola, the Lizares mansion, and others. The water system has been destroyed twice and the men that are in concentration camps are carrying water.

The Iloilo Mission Hospital which had transferred to Calinog in the early days of the war has gone back to Iloilo and Dr. Porras is still the director. The Philippine Army considers him a collaborator and an order has been sent out to shoot him on sight, and also Tering Mijares and other civilians who are cooperating with the Japanese. A few days ago the Mission Hospital truck came out of the city to Calinog and it was shot at by the USAFFE thinking that Dr. Porras was in the truck. Instead, it was a driver and a helper – both were wounded seriously.

We have also heard that Ramon Lopez was in Jaro when the Japanese landed and was not able to get away.

Before I go any further, I want to give you a description of our hideout among the high hills. It is a two-room nipa shack nestled among the bamboo trees. There is a tiny kitchen and a dining area, and another room which is a little larger which acts as our living room and bedroom. At night we spread the mattresses on the floor and in spite of all we sleep comfortably. There are eight of us who sleep in the large room and the servants sleep in the smaller room (3 of them). The animals sleep under the house (the cow and calf, 3 dogs, and Billy, the cockatoo, with the chickens who belong to the owner of the house. The 3 angora cats and Dickie, a blackbird) sleep upstairs with us.) Noah’s Ark, Dorothy calls it. It’s a scream when all the animals begin to make noise at the same time. Dolly calls it the Madhouse of Alabidhan (Alabidhan is the name of this barrio). In spite of it all we do have our jokes.

Two days before the invasion Dr. Bernas had a front tooth extracted, and Millard lost one of his front teeth three days ago. In the course of a bridge game last night, Millard looked at Dr. Bernas and said, “I will run you a race in growing another tooth.” We surely had a good laugh as in the manner it was said it sounded very funny. Whenever we play bridge to help pass the time, Coné and Meñing (Dr. Bernas) have a gun beside them. The law doesn’t exist anymore and the bandits are running wild in the hills and countryside. The Philippine Army is also shooting the bandits. The other day we saw walking over the hill about 50 men. Among them were 11 bandits which had been caught by the Army in Passi looting civilian homes, and they were being taken to Army headquarters situated in the mountains.

Coné has been with us ever since the invasion and I am very thankful that he was able to get away from the hospital before the Japanese arrived.

Yesterday Capt. Alvarado told Coné that he had to report to the security area below the high mountains, so he is leaving tonight with the captain and six soldiers. They do not want to cross the road in daylight, as it is very dangerous. It is a 2-day hike across the country.

At the present time all hostilities have stopped as the American officers and Japanese are negotiating for a truce. Mr. Powell (now a colonel) is being detained in Iloilo as a hostage. We are very anxious to know the outcome and we will not know until Coné returns. He expects to be gone a week or so. If there is an armistice we will leave this place and move into a bigger barrio where there are more people and houses for protection from the robbers, as they travel in bands. We have to protect ourselves since the Japanese have no control in the countryside. They have established order in the city, but not in the country. In the bigger barrios, the men take turns watching out for them, and they are shot on sight.

Saturday, April 18, 1942

At 5:00 p.m. while we were eating we heard two shots and we all ran out to see where they came from. We always thought we were far enough from the main road, but as we looked across the hills in the direction of the road, we clearly saw a line of trucks, tanks, cavalry and bicycle units! You can imagine our excitement – we quickly packed a bag in case we may have to run out of the house, not knowing what the Japanese would do. We were afraid they might stop and go cross-country into the hills. We watched them at a distance for a while, and realized they were continuing their march toward Capiz. We stayed in the house for the remainder of the night, but we did not have much sleep. At about 2:00 a.m. we woke up and could still see them – trucks, tanks, cavalry and bicycles, a steady stream with no end in sight.

Early next morning Coné set out to look for another place farther away from the main road. He found a place about 7 km (5 miles) further in the mountains and away from the road. The owners of the house were willing to vacate their house for us. There are 11 of us in this 2-room nipa house. At night we roll the mattresses on the floor – in the kitchen John, Calao and Adelino (the cook, laundrywoman, and Dorothy’s houseboy) sleep, and the rest sleep in the other room. We are all fairly comfortable.

The day before the invasion, Dr. Bernas sent his cow, calf and horse out of the city to Bingawan by train, but the poor horse met with a terrible accident. A carabao broke loose in the box car and gored him several times. After leaving the train station the horse had a 20 km walk to reach us, and he could hardly go another step when he arrived. Dr. Bernas and Coné treated him the best they could, but for all of their care he succumbed. Dorothy felt terrible and could not help but cry. All her pleasant memories of the horse returned. He really gave them a start in life.

The hospital in Dumalag, where Coné is stationed, was burned down by the U.S. and Philippine Army so it could not provide protection and be used by the enemy. Orders have been given to apply the scorched earth policy. Buildings and houses in Iloilo have also been burned. The main street in Iloilo (Calle Real) and Ledesma St. have been wiped out, but from what we have heard our house on Gen. Luna is still standing.

The Mission Hospital at Calinog had a different plan. They did not burn the hospital, and when the Japanese arrived the staff met them at the door. The Japanese left their arms at the gate and entered bowing.

Dr. Waters and Miss Ernst remained at their posts, but being Americans they were taken to Iloilo City along with Miss Harris, Buckner, Dr. and Mrs. Chambers, and also one Britisher, Mr. Kerr of Warner Barnes. They are now concentrated in the Iloilo provincial jail until they can be transferred to a better place.

In spite of the lack of radios and phones, we always manage to hear all the news that is going on through word of mouth. We have heard that Mrs. Waters’ 3-month old baby became sick and the Japanese allowed her to take the baby and the other two children to the hospital.

April 10, 1942

Here it is. Received word from Gen. Wainwright authorizing me to assemble our PA trainees into the 121st Infantry PA. This gives me something definite to work on. Leave tomorrow for Lubuagan to meet my new Bn Cmdrs. to give them their instructions. Hope they get there.

Cont’d. Bad news. Almost upon receipt of orders to organize the 121st Inf. came the news of the fall of Bataan. Had we only had a fine weeks of intensive training for the Regt. we might have had a fine outfit for the USAFFE big push. But now it looks as if there might be no help for us for a long time. As long as Bataan held out we had hopes of a relief expedition. But now Luzon has no tactical nor strategical value until we can gradually wrk north from Australia. This will take a long time. But we will still try to organize the units to be ready when the time comes, i.e., if the enemy will let us alone.

6 April 1942

0205 One friendly plane took off.

0615 One Jap observation plane sighted.

0858 – 1615 Twelve air attacks by groups of 2 – 9 planes on Section Base, Army hospital, front lines and reserve positions.

Evening. Heard reports right center of front lines was in trouble due to dispersal of 41st Div. (Philippine Army) by artillery fire and air attacks. Beach defense and reserve units being thrown in to try and stop gap in lines.

December 30, 1941 23rd Day of War

The 26th Cavalry of the Philippine Scouts really distinguished themselves. A Lutenaant made the mistake of lighting a cigarette early one morning. An ambushed machine gunner yelled that was the wrong thing to do and they were riddled by the Japanese, losing about 500 hundred mounts, eight officers, and many unlisted men. They were covering the flank. The Philippine Army retreated and left them cut off. They had to take to the mountains around Lingayen and get reorganized.

Dec. 28, 1941

Slept at Dyaka mine. The other Americans had gone on ahead the preceding day. Leaving Dyaka we went up hill on a easy ten percent trail for two hours when we hit trail of Col. Bonnett men, but two days later. Took this trail to old Kyappa now called Pampang. Were told how to get to our proper route to Kyappa proper. Met many PA men on their way back north. Said that Belete Pass was in the hands of the Japs and that Majors Moses and Noble had disbanded their units and had gone on horseback as civilians. Met so many of them and they all told the same story so guess it is true. We kept on to Pampang, then Lt Justo and one American asked permission to go on, granted it.

Dec. 21, 1941

86 Japs transports visible in Lingayen Gulf. Took USAFFE orders down to Naguilian to Col Bonnett to have him withdraw all troops to join USAFFE. Bombed again but no damaed. Moved Mess to #14.

Had hectic night. Informed that I had been misinformed as to the situation”. Went down the Kennon rd. at midnight on PR to find out. I was right. The gate was blocked by Japs per information from PA Engr officer and PA Trainee det. Six of their 16 trucks had been captured.