September 25, 1944

Yesterday we started moving out of the old UST building in Intramuros. We have transferred everything we could to the Seminary in Sulucan which is the only building at our disposal. We can not carry on with classes as they are held in one of the most dangerous zones vulnerable to bombings.

The building was needed by the Japanese. We made no resistance, but we filed a protest, and we rejected the offer of the Japanese to pay for the use of the buildings.

Similarly ejected from their convents were the Assumption Sisters, the Dominican Sisters of San Juan del Monte, the Augustinian Sisters of La Consolación, those of Looban, and the Jesuit Fathers of Polo where they had taken refuge after having been ejected from other places five or six times.

September 21, 1944

They have arrived!

At 9:30 in the morning and 2:30 in the afternoon, without any siren warnings to those who after so many exercises were caught unprepared, several squadrons of American planes appeared from the East. They came at a very high altitude. Then they descended, speeding past the clusters of bursting anti-aircraft shells until they were a few hundred meters from their targets releasing their bombs and returning to their formation, some gradually, other perpendicularly depending on how they were being trailed by barking anti-aircraft guns. Sometimes they were in a chain-like formation as they plunged into a dive, or they converged in several groups over their targets. They had set fire to a number of ships anchored at the Bay, and to planes at the Nichols airfield, Grace Park and San Juan del Monte—the four cardinal points of Manila. The American planes were either long or short or small in size. The bombs were likewise small, and did not produce as much noise as did the Japanese bombs, but the vibrations caused, and the shaking of floors and walls, were greater. The hum of the engines was ominous. I could not determine the speed. Anti-aircraft batteries creating a horrifying noise were scattered all throughout the city.

Damage was great. According to the press, a hundred civilians were killed. If the figure was correct, it did not include the hundreds of Filipino workers who, together with the Japanese soldiers, were killed in the airports and in the ships at the bay. Many were killed by the cascade of anti-aircraft shells, and others by the shells which exploded upon falling back to earth. There was a literal rain of bullets and shrapnel all over the city.

In the evening, fire was blazing in the Bay where the damaged ships were burning. The light and detonation of explosives could be seen and heard for many kilometers around, and the grand finale of one of the explosions was a little fantastic and moving, like an earthquake of an alarming intensity. The explosion was heard 90 kilometers away.

(Undated entry)

(Note: The specific date of this entry is not provided, but the following context precedes the entry in Dr. Alzona’s paper: “She was one of the charter members and the first secretary of the Philippine Antituberculosis Society which was founded on 29 July 1910. Towards the end of the same year she was found to be suffering from tuberculosis. She was at her office on the Escolta (No. 105) to attend a meeting of the Philippine Antituberculosis Society. While getting things ready for it, she wrote in her diary…” So for purposes of placement the date November 30, 1910 has been tentatively assigned to this entry.)

…long spells of cough seized me, which left me, for a time, weak and breathless. Often enough I have had before this time similar coughing spells, but as I felt strong enough to work, I did not pay any attention to it.Today, however, because of the cough and the general weakness which was beginning to get hold of me, I was very much disinclined to work and exertion.I was feverish, nervous and dyspneic. …

(Alzona continues, “When Mrs. Martin F. Egan, the presid nt of the Society, and Dr. W.E. Musgrave, member of the board of directors, en­ tered the office, she wrote,”)

they noticed how I coughed, how ill I looked; so Dr. Musgrave suggested that I go out to San Juan del Monte and promised to have a house built there for me, even though at his own expense, about which Mrs. Egan suggested to have the Society pay for it. Dr. Musgrave made a slight examina­ tion and was rather rough to me. This same time I remember Mrs. Egan treated me very impolitely by giving me her back as an answer to a just question. I asked her whether she could come to the office the following Thursday, as I had to go to San Isidro to fulfill an engagement she herself advised me to make. Soon afterward I left the office extremely depressed and downhearted, because of my hard luck and unfair treatment I had received.

As soon as I got home, I told the people in the house of the advice of Dr. Musgrave and of the seriousness of my condition; also that I intended to go to San Isidro that day and sleep there that night. After lunch, they very kindly advised me to rest awhile . . . .

At 4 o’clock we left Plaza de Goiti in a calesa for San Juan. When we got there, Dr. Garcia, the resident physician, was very glad to see me!l and was all attention and kindness. We were shown the hospital, grounds, and cottages. We were introduced to his – mother and his only sister . . . We lingered here for 1-1/2 hours and then left – with the understanding that I was to return to stay there that night and that Dr. Garcia was to go to the house to get me. Dr.Musgrave telephoned him that same day about my condition and my admittance.My first insight into a sanatorium, for, when I first went there with Dr. V.G. Heiser and others, it was being fixed and altered only.

At 6:30 Tio Pablo took me to San Juan, seeing that it was getting dark and Dr. Garcia had not arrived. As soon as I got there, I went immediately to Dr. Garcia’s house and was there for a long time talking with the doctor’s mother who told me about Dr. Garcia’s studies, his illness and finally his marriage to which she was very,. much opposed …. After waiting for a long time, Dr.Garcia arrived and we had supper with fun and jokes now and then to whet our appetite. After supper Dr. Garcia took me to the hospital dining hall to see the patients’ meal and to the hospital itself to see the patients. Then we sat down on the piazza adjoining his rooms until ten o’clock, when I retired to my tent.The tent was pitched on top of the stone wall surrounding the hospital grounds, the floor being of wood and the rest of canvas. There were two army cots in it, one for me and one for the nurse, one wash stand, one pitcher and one basin and a clean towel.There was no soap and . …


In Camp, MANILA, P.I., May 16, 1899.

DEAR MOTHER: Buenas dias ! (good morning), Como la va ? (how are you). My last note was written just before I received orders to go on a scouting expedition toward the San Juan River three miles in front of the outposts. I took two men and a corporal with only our arms (the men all had one hundred rounds in their belts and I had my revolver) and a canteen. We started about 3 a.m., and after going through rice fields and occasional clearings with breastworks scattered about, by burnt villages and remains of gardens, with occasional wells, we reached a sunken road and then the San Juan River.

I send a newspaper and a priest’s dispensation, taken, while scouting, from a very picturesque Spanish church near the San Juan.

February 4th, 1899

It was a beautiful day, Saturday, February 4, 1899.[1] There was peace and happiness everywhere in Malolos because on this day the (peace) Commissioners were to read before Congress the results of the conferences held with the American emissaries of McKinley to reach an agreement between the two nations. Happiness, because the Filipino nation had high hopes that at the end of the conference an agreement favorable to the aspirations of our people would be reached.

In the afternoon, Congress began its session; a numerous public invaded the temple of laws to listen to the outcome of the conferences. Almost all the representatives were at their posts. The session began. Gracio Gonzaga, Secretary of Fomento, representing our government, read the results of the conferences held with the American envoys headed by Schurman,[2] and the Filipinos headed by Florentino Torres.

It was clear that the envoys of the Imperialist Party were not invested with the powers needed to pass any resolution; thus, messages were telegraphed to the McKinley cabinet. In short, nothing was accomplished during the conferences except wasting our time and dampening the spirit of our people.

Coincidence, fatality, Machiavellian stratagem, or concerted action between the American Army and their envoys—the truth is that on that same day, Saturday, February 4, the last groups of soldiers sent by McKinley disembarked at the plains of Santa Mesa with their cannons facing San Juan del Monte, where the advance forces of the Filipinos were stationed. On that day, the talks were terminated without coming to any agreement. Our fears did not take long to come to a head.

The evening was quiet with a silver moon shining; Malolos was happy; a dance was being held in the house of Mrs. Concha del Rosario, widow of Mapúa. Gen. Artemio Ricarte and Col. Luciano San Miguel, commanders of the Santa Ana line in Manila, were paying homage to Terpsichore. While Malolos was in deep slumber without any suspicion of an unrest, between midnight and 1 o’clock in the morning, an unusual noise woke the unsuspecting inhabitants. The cry of “War” reverberated everywhere. The hostilities had begun!

We woke up at 1 o’clock and went to the Central Postal Station, where we met the Honorable President of the Philippine Republic issuing orders. All the prominent members of the government were also there: Gen. Ricarte, Col. San Miguel, [Teodoro] Sandico, and others.

About 3 o’clock, Gen. Ricarte and Col. San Miguel boarded a train for Sta. Ana; Moreno and I accompanied them. At 5 a.m. we reached the station at Caloocan and continued on foot to Maypajo. Before reaching it, Ricarte and San Miguel separated from our group and took the road to La Loma; Moreno and I proceeded to the trenches at Maypajo and reached them at 5:30 a.m. Here we learned of the impossibility of reaching Manila; Moreno has been appointed chief of the volunteers from Manila.

After a while some soldiers from detachments in Solis arrived informing us that they were leaving because they had no longer any cartridges. I left Moreno at 6 o’clock to be in Caloocan with the intention of establishing an emergency field hospital while waiting for the military health unit to take some action. A few steps away sounds of guns and cannons rent the air while shots whistled by, instilling in me the fear that the end was near. During intervals, I made my way and reached unscathed the municipal building where I intended to attend to the wounded. I had hardly gone upstairs when I saw a warship in the bay opposite the building. I left for the railroad station; but barely twenty meters away a grenade fell. I entered the station and saw a wounded man, but as I did not have anything with me to help him, and knowing the impossibility of requesting medicines from Malabon, I departed and took the train for Malolos.

When I arrived home, Choling[3] told me that I was a coward because I had abandoned the fighting. I explained to her that I had come to get bandages and medicines because there were none there. I went to the drug store and requested everything needed for first aid. When I inquired for the cost, the pharmacist refused to collect. At 1 in the afternoon of the 5th, after lunch, I returned to Caloocan bringing my surgery satchel. I found [Antonio] Luna, José, [Leon Ma.] Guerrero and [Anastacio] Francisco, Inspector General of Military Health.

At 4 p.m. a stretcher arrived bringing [José] Torres Bugallon, Major of the General Staff, with a broken right thigh; he was very pale, looking almost bloodless owing to profuse hemorrhage. He stretched his hand upon seeing me, relating at the same time how he had been wounded.

He said, “I was leading the troops when I felt I was wounded, but continued marching about fifty meters farther; then I fell. I felt I was being dragged and then I lapsed into unconsciousness. I did not know anything more until I found myself here today. Bitter and endless fighting continued on both sides.” I asked him to stop talking and he kept silent.

Luna and I applied first aid to him then he was transferred to the Lolomboy Hospital at Bocaue. He died, however, on the way. The body was taken to Malolos, where it was buried. I was left in Bocaue, where I intended to establish a hospital; but with the presence of De Jesus and Cordero of the medical corps, I proceeded to Meycauayan, where I spent the night. On the following day, I stayed in the Polo station to attend to the wounded. On the third day, seeing that the medical staff of the military unit had taken complete control of the situation, I returned to Malolos.

[1] Manuscript carries year of 1900.

[2]Jacob Gould Schurman.

[3]Consuelo de Santos, youngest daughter of Marcelino de Santos; Barcelona married her on July 6, 1901.

Thursday, August 18, 1898

In the fields

The weather has been delightful the past few days. Beneath the huge trees and their thick foliage, the mornings are rather pleasant. The massive branches of the coconut trees intertwine with those of the palm trees. Under the blazing sun, the ricefields resemble a moving sea of silvery green. The gold and emerald beetles, the brilliantly colored hummingbirds, and the flowers in full bloom all vibrate before our eyes like precious stones floating everywhere around us.

The Tagals are resuming work in the fields. Many are tilling the ground using carabaos, their beats of burden, with their huge inverted horns and rings through their nostrils, to pull their primitive carts. Along the road, the Indians are pounding rice or tending to their animals. The peasants have a happy glow in their faces as they peacefully carry on with their daily chores.

When I visited the village of Mandaluyong, the guide given to me by the mayor did not hide his disdain for the Americans, nor did he give any explanation for his compatriots’ error when they received Admiral Dewey in Cavite, but he obviously bore a grudge against Aguinaldo. He simply could not understand why the Filipinos were not free to govern their own country. There was a certain decisiveness in his voice as he soberly explained the turn of events. I would say that an eloquent speaker like him could have come from New York or anywhere else in the world. He proudly announced that the Spaniards suffered more fatalities than the insurgents, a fact later confirmed by the Americans camped outside Manila. I am convinced that only minor losses were sustained on both sides and that, strictly speaking, there was neither a battle nor a war.

On other excursions to Caloocan, Malabon, and San Juan del Monte, we witnessed the same renewal of activity in the fields. The huts which were once abandoned are returning to life, and people are calmly and peacefully building new ones.

A group of officers from B________ used a vedette boat to go up the Pasig. In a small town, a genteel mestizo family graciously received these strangers.

These people, Filipinos to the very core of their being, abhorred the Spanish domination, particularly the frailes, but expressed their genuine respect for the queen of Spain and the young, unfortunate king whom they did not hold responsible for their situation.

Martes 9 de Agosto 1898

No hemos sido bombardeados como nos temíamos. Ha dicho (R. P. Superior) que era seguro que veríamos arriar la bandera Española é izar la yanqui (…). La bahía se ha despejado durante la mañana, dirigiéndose unos barcos á Mariveles, otros á Bulacán y otros á Cavite. Dos barcos yanquis, el ”Mc.Culloc” y el ”Concord” se han puesto de guardia frente á la bocana del río. Hoy y ayer se han celebrado bajo la presidencia del Capitán Gral. juntas de autoridades y de Generales. Se han abandonado las trincheras de S. Juan del Monte retirándose las avanzadas a Sta. Mesa. Las calles de la ciudad están desiertas; solo se ven en ellas soldados, chinos y batas.

Now we were cannonaded as we feared. Today and yesterday, the Board of Authorities has met under the presidency of the general.

The trenches at San Juan del Monte have been abandoned, the troops retiring to the advanced position at Santa Mesa. The Manila streets are deserted, only soldiers, Chinese, and children appear.