January 21, 1942

You cannot judge a man by his clothes. Not even by his uniform. I inspected the markets today and I saw that the first ones breaking regulations were policemen. They pretended to be enforcing order but they were actually getting as much as four gantas for themselves. Law and disorder!

Four Japanese soldiers and an officer entered a former high government official’s house at midnight a few days ago. They wanted wine and also one of his daughters, the beautiful one. The father protested, pleaded. “Drink, drink all you want, but please, leave my daughter alone.” But lust is insistent, irresistible. Lust is also violent and the officer slapped and struck the father. Fortunately, during the drinking orgy, one of the brothers escaped unnoticed through a side window, slid down the drain-pipe and ran to the Military Police headquarters. Succor came just in the nick of time, just when the bedroom door was being locked. The father was being held by two soldiers and the servants in the house threatened with death if they dared resist. It was just then that the Military Police arrived. The officer and soldiers were slapped and made to apologize. Many versions of this story have spread throughout the city. Some say lust had a bloody holiday. I didn’t care to know just how much happened. I only want the Japanese to know that not everything can be appeased by apologies.

The Bencar and Reyes warehouses, rented by NARIC in San Miguel, were looted. The Japanese are angry. They will order a house-to-house search. Anyone caught with more rice than what he should have, especially if he is neither a rice producer nor a rice merchant, is going to be dealt with drastically. Martial law knows only one language: guns!

Heard Mrs. Christiansen is in the hospital. Offered to pay her doctor’s expenses. There are rumors that her husband has died in Corregidor. When it rains, it pours.

Could not sleep. Only men without worries can sleep. Not even weariness from work can make me doze off. Rest is in the mind. Walked in the garden. Prayed, prayed, prayed. I wonder if my prayers are heard. Implored the Lord to spare my son. I have lived long enough. He is young. “If he must die, O lord, take me instead.”

My wife is different. “God’s will be done,” she prays.

This morning’s headline: JAPAN PROMISES P.I.—INDEPENDENCE. According to Domei, Premier Tozyo declared that “Japan will gladly grant the Philippines its independence so long as she cooperates and recognizes Japan’s program of establishing a Greater East Asia Co-prosperity sphere.”

I handed the paper to a friend. “Read it,” I said, “and give me your comment.”

He took the paper, inverted it and began reading.

“Why do you read that way? “I inquired.

“Because the news is inverted! “he replied.

I think the Philippines is in a funny position. America wants to give us independence. (They’ve been saying this since long, long ago.) Japan also wants to give us independence (sic). Meanwhile America and Japan are converting our country into a battlefield. May I make a humble suggestion? Why don’t they both leave us alone?

Busy day in the office. Called Noya’s attention to the fact that we only have a week’s supply of gasoline at the rate of 9 tins a day. I told him to ask the Army to increase our quota. He says he will take it up.

Lt. Takeda opened the safes. Counted the money and the receipts from January 3, 1942.

Tuned in on KGEI, San Francisco. It sounded so far away. So very far away…

One man was shot for listening to a foreign broadcast.

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