February 9, 1942

Manila

Great change in the City. A lot of dirty Jap soldiers walking up and down Manila sidewalks. Plenty of soldiers. Had to bow. Saw several people slapped. Must not smoke before sentry.

Manilans go around in bikes. Japs in cars. Many dokars and carromatas. Even race-horses are now being used to pull carretelas.

Manilans seem to be very optimistic. They expect Bataan boys to attack any day now. Constant rumors that the USAFFE is already in Pampanga, that the convoy will arrive in a few weeks, that thousands of Japs being annihilated in Bataan, that USAFFE has a secret ray that blinds the enemy; that the Virgin has appeared in Bataan front.

Saw several trucks covered with vegetables. Awful smell. Underneath vegetables were corpses of soldiers. They will be cremated in San Lazaro.

Many weddings. Cupid and Mars go hand-in-hand. Would like to see my parents but I shouldn’t. Tempted to dial Morita’s number to just hear her voice.

A lot of new Jap cigarettes: Wings, Cherry, etc. Many Manilans have taken to pipe smoking. There seems to be a spirit of novelty going on. Manila is not as gloomy as I thought. Life is not so bad. I wish I could tell boys in Bataan to stop worrying.

Heard a good story. Jap sentry in Avenida Rizal stopped a man for not bowing. He grabbed man and slapped him. The man ducked. Jap got sore and slapped man again. Man ducked again. Jap grabbed man by shoulders then swung him around. Man landed on his feet, stood erect. Jap grabbed man again but this time, man held Jap and threw Jap on ground, flat on back. Man ran away. Wottaman!

Can hear roar of many bombers. They will probably bomb Bataan.

(later)

Met 105. She’s charming, about 28, sure of herself, flirtatious and undoubtedly the type that’s known life. She gave complete reports on Jap bigshots. Will dine with her tomorrow. She says I am younger than what she expected. She says my face is familiar but she does not know my name. “Maybe I’ve seen you in Zamboanga before,” she said. Very tempting type. Also quite smart, maybe also intelligent.

Boulevard filled with people, more than pre-war. Manila is enjoying itself. Don’t they realize that just across the Bay thousands are dying?

Saw many familiar faces in boule[vard]. Hid myself in car. There was Delia biking. Nice girl. Saw Nena Liboro talking to Manolet near Aristocrat. I think I saw Baby Pam also. She was riding in a dokar with a mestizo. Saw Oscar, Emilianito Lizares, Yolanda Marquez –all well-dressed. I am appalled. Manila is having a good time despite everything, is this indifference or resiliency?

Can hear Aquino speaking in radio right now. He is appealing for “cooperation to the end that Asia may be for Asiatics forever.”

Radio news augurs bad future for Singapore. I wonder how strong the British are in Singapore. Japs, I must admit, are winning this war.

Convinced that men in outpost commanding northern route are of poor calibre. Very mediocre report received from them on enemy concentrations, troop movements, dispositions. Tested them on gun identification, plane identification. Some didn’t know difference between fighter and bomber! Others were just spending funds on girls.

On way here, I saw boys giggling. I looked up. Saw them as they were. One was young, shapely. Japs are military and biologic.

Completed arrangements regarding relay of reports from northern provinces. No need of circuiting them through Manila. Operator said transmitters can be installed in cascoes. Japs will have harder time localizing it that way. One operator studying triangular transmission to offset Jap radio-finders. Intrigued by radio broadcasting. Would like to study this matter in spare time.

Will dine with her. 105 is very interesting.

(later)

Good, pleasant dinner. She said she is a widow of an American officer. She gave several green jokes. She said I must stop being business-like and be more friendly.

After dinner, we had a couple of drinks. I’m afraid that although she can take her drinks, she talks too much when under influence of liquor. She insisted on dancing but I said I didn’t know how. This made her more insistent because she wanted to teach me. Told her I was sleepy. She felt insulted. She slept in the next room.

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