July 1942
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Month July 1942

July 31, 1942

Read a Guerillero’s poem. Somebody left it in my desk. Perhaps there are guerilleros in the office:

SOMEDAY

Someday, someday, I’ll live again,

I’ll sing again,

A song with freedom’s ring again.

My heart I’ll give again,

I’ll love again.

Beneath the moon above again.

But now I must flight,

For country and right,

Guerillero is the name for me

And my job to strike for liberty.

For the foe at one dark command,

From sky and shore

Swept down on our native land

And it’s ours no more.

o come and tramp with me

To right this hideous wrong with me.

Oh come and camp with me

Up to the hills with me

 And strike with me a blow for liberty

July 27, 1942

A Japanese civilian came to my office. He spoke arrogantly, bluffingly, threateningly. He wanted one of my rent houses. I showed him that I was not afraid of him. I asked for his name. And when I started dialing for the Military Police, he backed out and changed his tune.

Told Lolita of the incident. She was very nervous.

July 25, 1942

Made arrangements with Dr. Sison for the sending of sick war prisoners to his hospital.

Gave him ₱1,000 as contribution for Philippine General Hospital. He was very pleased.

Sent a war prisoner to Sison who was suffering with malaria. The young veteran had three bullet wounds. I wrote the doctor: “Please see what you can do for this soldier. He did not die of three bullet wounds but he may die of malaria.”

Played tennis with Sison. Defeated him.

July 23, 1942 — Thursday

In Belmont Plantation, Leesburg Virginia, with the President and family. Mrs. Quezon, Major Cruz & Chaplain Ortiz went to Washington and returned 7:30 p.m. At 3 p.m. I drove to Leesburg. Temperature cool.

July 22, 1942 — Wednesday

Temperature in Washington cooler. Busy at office morning & afternoon. I invited Colonel Melchor, Mr. Davis & Major Eraña for luncheon. At 3:30 p.m. Lieutenant Madrigal phoned for me to get ready to leave with the President at 6 p.m. for Leesburg. Arrived at Leesburg 7:20 p.m. Temperature delightful. Could not sleep worried about my family in Manila. Received birthday presents from President & Mrs. Quezon & their daughters.

July 19, 1942 — Sunday

Attended 8 a.m. Mass & received Holy Communion. Very hot. 10 a.m. accompanied the President to Church and then we drove ½ hour to Rock Creek Park. Mrs. Quezon & children arrived from Leesburg. The President & Mrs. Quezon gave a luncheon in honor of Carmen Soriano & myself. Too nice of them. Very hot. Passed the evening in the President’s apartment.

July 17, 1942

Due to the increasing cost of living, the following salary readjustment has been made:

1. From ₱50 down, increase to ₱50 for permanent employees, one year in the service, regardless of merit.

2. From ₱50 to ₱100 varying increases according to merit.

3. ₱100 to ₱150—stationary. But “dead wood” will be reduced.

4. Above ₱150, definitely no increase, except to very exceptional and meritorious cases.

5. Total percentage of increase of permanent employees, 7%. ₱20,000 is calculated monthly salary of permanent employees. About ₱50,000 is total monthly salary of Manila and provincial, permanent and temporary employees. Not more than 300 employees will get an increase.

6. Provincial men. Reduce salary by 20% but give a per diem of ₱1.00 a day.

7. Reasons for increase: (a) hard work, including Saturday afternoons and Sundays; (b) lowest paid corporation, comparatively, (c) conducive to efficiency.

There’s nothing like getting a raise!

July 17, 1942

Yesterday morning, Cav. Maning Gomez ’41, my irrepressible ExO, after coming from our Bulletin Board excitedly exclaimed, “Eureka, we will be liberated from Capas tomorrow.” I went to the BB and saw a long list of officers alerted for transfer to Camp Dau, Pampanga. All from our Malolos Group are included in the list.

And so at 0800 today, we assembled with our belongings at the Camp’s main gate where we boarded trucks for Capas Railway Station. This is a big group, all officers who all seem healthy the way they marched. We boarded the southbound 1100 H train and debarked at Mabalacat, Pampanga RR Stn., thence transported a short distance to nearby huge former FA Training Camp Dau where we saw several cattle grazing that whetted our appetite for steak dinner. We were systematically assigned to our respective barracks with spacious living quarters, running water and toilet facilities that made us feel like human beings again. The food is better than Capas and we, POWs from Malolos, are very thankful we only stayed eight days in Capas.

The entire day is devoted to setting us up in our new place –organization and familiarization. I learned that our group is about 1,400 not so sick POWs and the main purpose of our being here is to undergo “Rejuvination Training” starting tomorrow. I am suspicious what this rejuvination is all about and what will happen after. However, I am happy to see many classmates and officers I know personally with this group I had no time to locate during my short eight days in that big sprawling and frightening Capas POW Camp.

July 17, 1942 – Friday

Very hot in Washington. Received a birthday gift from Nonong Quezon (Records of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony Pathetique). Very sweet of him to do so. I like him. He is humble and unassuming.

July 16, 1942

Studying “darak” supply for horse-owners. After a survey among carromata owners, it was found out that two gantas of “darak” are being consumed by a horse daily or 1.9 kilos, say, 2 kilos a day. This food, however, is supplemented with a little copra-meal, grass and molasses.

Another Japanese will be assigned to take charge of Cabanatuan branch.

Couldn’t play tennis. Rained.

July 15, 1942

Shoreham.

During the Spanish regime, the cabeza de barangay was the collector of the cedula personal tax; he was handed a list of all inhabitants over 18 and had to produce revenue called for by the list, whether he had been able to collect it or not; as a result he was usually ruined. See references in Rizal’s novels, which are, however poorly translated into English.

Rizal, said Quezon, had never been one of his heroes–he was persevering, but never a man of decision–he refused, when an exile in Dapitan, to join Bonifacio in the revolution; this fact was counted on by the defense at his trial–but his execution was foreordained. The uncertainty in the mind of the reader of Rizal’s famous books Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo as to whether it is Elias or Ibarra who is really the hero of his novels indicated either Rizal’s own habitual indecision, or a wish to cover up his belief against a subsequent inquisition by the Spanish authorities.

Mabini (the “divine paralytic”) is more nearly Quezon’s hero. His ms. was unknown until his death; is now in Philippine National Library–and has never been printed. It denounces Aguinaldo severely, on account of his narrowness and selfishness. Mabini was captured and held as a prisoner by the Americans, and never could be forced to recant. After the insurrection, he took the oath of allegiance to the United States. While on Corregidor, Quezon wanted to go back to Manila and, like Mabini before him, have nothing to do with the captors (Japanese) even if necessary to go to prison.

At the Malolos Congress, Buencamino and Paterno urged Aguinaldo to quit the hopeless fight and negotiate with Schurman, President of McKinley’s Philippine Mission.

Quezon next turned to an account of the debates among his government associates on Corregidor upon the question of Surrender of the Philippine Army to the Japanese: They, none of them, believed in any permanence in the independence then offered by the Japanese. Osmeña and Roxas, as well as Quezon thought that if this offer was accepted by them, the Japanese Army could be persuaded to withdraw within a reasonable time, and that they might allow the American Army to be evacuated to the United States. Quezon and his advisers believed that the war would eventually be decided by an attack on Tokyo, and nowhere else in the Far East. Meanwhile, they felt it better to put up with Japanese interference in their affairs–thus sparing the Philippines all that it otherwise might go through. As for permanent independence granted them by the Japanese, it would mean very little for the Japanese Consul General would be the real Chief Executive of the Philippines. He would come to Malacañan with all “due courtesy” but the first time a serious one of his “requests” was refused, it would mean war.

Quezon called my attention to what I had told the Americans in Manila in my time namely that Quezon was the “best friend they had in the Philippines.” As a choice between the Americans and Japanese he would take the former every time; he could put up with even such absurdities as those of Governor General Wood, because he was an American–he could talk and drink with him. When he was Resident Commissioner in Washington he had lots of American friends who treated him exactly like one of themselves. With the Japanese, he could never be at ease–never could really understand them. The Japanese policy in Asiatic countries is utterly selfish; they had been so long isolated that they still thought only of themselves.

Ever since the fracas of the League of Nations, Quezon has believed that if America withdrew from the Philippines the Japanese would absorb the Islands. The Filipinos, he thinks, could not have “made terms” with them. “We would have been in the present position of the Siamese; they have the form but not the substance of self-government –that generally satisfies the Orientals but not the Filipinos.”

The following account by Quezon of the beginning of the political fight between himself and Osmeña was dictated by him to Canceran in my presence on June 7th, for use in his book The Good Fight but was omitted from the book when printed, so it is reproduced here.

“I was elected to the Assembly as Nacionalista in 1907. I was the floor leader and Osmeña the Speaker. In 1909 I was appointed Resident Commissioner and occupied the position until 1916. I secured from Congress the passage of the Jones Law and was elected Senator and then made the President of the Senate.

“The great fight between Osmeña and me started when General Wood was there. The remote cause of my fight with Osmeña was the jealousy of the Senate of its prerogatives and the Senators never admitted that. They thought that the recognition of the Speaker of the House as the number one man was a denial of the seniority of the Senate over the House. It was a mistake of Osmeña. I swear before God that I never intended to replace him as the leader of the party. I had so much love for this fellow. As a matter of fact I thought he was better prepared than me. I had no doubt that at that time he was better prepared. And this idea was so sincere with me that even when the fight on the Hare-Hawes-Cutting bill came I decided that I was not going to fight it. I was only going to explain my opinion for I thought it was my duty to tell the people. I even told Governor General Murphy that Osmeña and Roxas were the men best prepared to run the government, and that even after my election as President. But with the acts of these two men they convinced me that I could do that better than they. I will tell you how I discovered this.

“After my election as President of the Philippines, I did not want to give Osmeña a portfolio in my Cabinet. I wanted him to be my senior adviser and have all papers of the different departments go to his office before they were acted upon. But he is so interested in the appearance of things that he insisted that I appoint him Secretary of Public Instruction and he thought that his men would believe that I had disregarded him if I did not give him that portfolio and that would make him lose prestige with the ‘Pros. ‘ He insisted and I appointed him. I told him ‘I am going to appoint you but you must understand that in these circumstances you will not be my adviser any longer. You will have a seat in the Cabinet; will have a voice and no more. And you will understand that I cannot offend the other members of the Cabinet by having their views submitted to another secretary of department.’ So I dealt with the secretaries of department without taking his views first.

“However, I still thought of meeting his views on general policies and gave instructions to my aides and Secretary that the Vice President could see me any time without previous engagement, and I set aside a time for him every day. But instead of talking to me about public policies he brought petitions of men who stood by him, as well as gossip. I tolerated this for three weeks, but later on I revoked my instructions to my Secretary and aides about seeing the Vice President because I got sick about the things he brought to me. So he ceased to be what I wanted him to be–my adviser. The immediate effect was for me to go through all the departments of the government. That is why when you were there I was practically handling everything.

“Now, there is one department of the government in which I was convinced of my utter ignorance–the department of finance. I had an understanding with Osmeña and Roxas that I would make Roxas Secretary of Finance. I did not appoint him right away because I wanted his services in the House. He was a minority leader and I wanted him to work in conjunction with the majority leader so there would not be any trouble in the House. When the House was about to adjourn, I sent for him and told him about his appointment to the secretaryship, but he said that he wanted to go to Capiz and consult with his followers. He came back and said: ‘Mr President, I am ready.’

“I had talked with Quirino, the Secretary of Finance then, and had prepared him for the change a long time ago. I sent for Quirino and told him that I would appoint Roxas Secretary of Finance and him as Secretary of the Interior. I called Roxas over the phone and asked him: ‘Are you ready?’ He said ‘yes.’ Then I told him that I was going to write him a letter offering him the position. I wrote the letter, sent it to him; but I was so tired that day, I told my aides that I would not see anybody and went to bed. I fell asleep and did not wake up until five in the afternoon. During that time the reply of Roxas was delivered in which he said: ‘I have received your letter and I felt that I should remain in the House unless you think that my services are absolutely essential in the Executive Department.’ That made me so mad. I thought it was an act of treachery; that he wanted me to write another letter begging and tell him: ‘you are so essential that I cannot run the government without you.’ I was so angry that I called my children and took them for a ride with my launch in the Pasig River.

“At seven the following morning I sent for Antonio de las Alas. He came and I said: ‘Alas you are the Secretary of Finance.’ I almost killed him with the news and after telling him about his appointment I left the Palace and told the people in the Palace that I did not want to see anybody. I answered Roxas’ letter and simply told him: ‘I understand your position and I therefore shall not appoint you Secretary of Finance.’ That is all I told him, and he has been trying [sic] to see me, but I never saw him. After giving out to the press the appointment of Alas I sent word to Roxas that I would see him. He came and said: ‘Mr President, I have received your letter and I have come to tell you that I withdraw my letter.’ ‘Well, it is just a little too late’ I said. ‘And I want to tell you something so that there may be this clear understanding between us. Manoling, I have told you time and again that I could not run this government without you as Secretary of Finance and I never changed my mind about it, but when I wrote you the letter it was the President of the Philippines offering you that position. The President will not admit that he cannot run the government without you or anyone. I am going to run this government without the “Pros” and you can all go to hell.’

“The Vice President wanted to see me. I thought he was going to intervene and I was determined to tell him that I wanted his resignation as Secretary of Public Instruction. So I told my aides that I would see him right away. But to my disappointment, he did not say a word about the case. Later on I discovered why. That fellow Sabido went to see the Vice President and told him not to mention anything about the case of Roxas to me saying: ‘The President, I am afraid, will have us all out. ‘

“That is the reason why I say that these people forced me and gave me the chance to discover whether I could run this government or not. You know that in a banquet in the Palace I said that I have always thought that the Vice President was much better qualified than I was to run the government. But it was he himself who convinced me that I can run it better than anybody.

“Way back in 1916, upon the passage of the Jones Law, Osmeña telegraphed me asking what position he could occupy–what I thought should be done–where do you think I should go? I told him that I wanted him to continue being the leader of the party and that therefore he should go to the Senate and be its president. He telegraphed me again that in consultation with the leaders of the party he had decided that he should continue as Speaker and that they would elect me senator. I told them that I wanted to practice my law profession.

“So from the beginning I feared that there would be this conflict and he himself saw it.

“You know the report that the Wood-Forbes Mission made. That report made me mad like hell. I arrived in the Philippines sick with fever and before my arrival Wood had been appointed Governor General. I learned that the legislature had approved, upon the appointment and assumption of office on the part of General Wood, the same joint resolution which was approved when you were appointed Governor General. I sent for Senator Sison and told him: ‘How is it possible that you people have approved his resolution?’ He said: ‘Well, it was presented by Palma. You left Palma as your representative and we assumed that they have consulted with you.’

“That was the most humiliating thing for the legislature to do. So from that time on I realized that Osmeña was not the man to lead the country under those circumstances. I did not immediately start the trouble, but I began to show him that I was not pleased. I criticized him for that and from that time on I started letting him know that there was trouble coming. So we did not have trouble until I was ready for it, and the fight for leadership started. The elections came and I defeated him.”

July 15, 1942

More war prisoners released, thank God. The prison camps are death holes.

Attended a meeting of restaurant owners at the Office of the Mayor.

I made the following suggestions subject to the approval of the Naric and subsequently of the Military Administration:

(a) Each restaurant owner shall state the name and address of their restaurant, the amount of rice required and the approximate number of people usually served.

(h) The Naric will study the location of these restaurants and then decide on the method of distribution.

(c) The City of Greater Manila will be tentatively divided into the north and south districts, making the Pasig River as the dividing line. The Naric will appoint one member of the association for each of the two districts, who is to take delivery of the rice, either at the Naric or at designated stations, in accordance with the decision of our Distribution Department.

(d) There shall be levied a fee per sack from each restaurant as a means of financing the situation, say, 10 centavos per bag, but that is up to the association.

(e) The above-mentioned must be presented as soon as possible to the Naric, which will in turn present them to the Military Administration for approval.

Cloudy day. Occasional thunderstorms. Thought they were cannons.

July 15, 1942 — Wednesday

Very sad & depressed thinking of home. I wonder what is happening there. My depressed mood transmitted to my writing.

July 14, 1942

Shoreham Hotel. I found Quezon in high spirits; he had an overhaul yesterday at the Walter Reed Hospital, where they found his heart, arteries, kidneys, etc., quite sound, and ascribe his blood pressure only to nervousness.

He is now all enthusiasm for writing his book, and is at work six or eight hours a day in his room, dictating to Canceran, and writing his revisions of the manuscript. He has Morgan Shuster in New York on the telephone every day to talk over the batches of ms. he sends him. Shuster is encouraging him up to the limit.

I questioned him about the willingness of the Filipinos to agree to the retention of naval bases in their islands after independence and for which he had included a provision in the Tydings-McDuffie Act; the retention or establishment of which is to be subject to negotiation between the United States and the future Philippine Republic. He rejected the idea that the Navy should then continue to occupy the old base at Cavite, or, indeed, any place on Manila Bay, whereby the seat of government would be under naval guns –but would consent to their occupying such bases as Olongapo, Pollilo, etc., and he has already set up weather observatories at such stations. The idea of the Filipinos was that the American Navy would not interfere with the internal affairs of the Republic, but that its presence in the Philippines would deter other powers from aggressions.

With the Army, however, the situation was quite different –ever since the last military governor of the Philippines, General Arthur MacArthur, had shown such reluctance to turning over the government to Mr. William H. Taft, the first civilian governor; the Army and their different posts throughout the Philippine Islands had shown a very active interest in the working of the new government of the islands. Thus, they seemed to sense they represented the idea of the use of force against the Filipinos.

This opinion Quezon had expressed in November 1935 to Secretary of War Dern and to Senate floor leader Joe Robinson in Washington some months earlier, citing in a discussion of this question what he called the “betrayal” of a Governor General by the Army. He had reference, of course, to the ludicrous and abortive “uprising” of the Filipinos in the Botanical Garden in Manila at Christmas time of 1913 when I was the Governor. This affair had consisted of the gathering of some dozens of Filipinos, mostly of the cook or muchacho type, who tried to start a noisy demonstration, but were at once discouraged by a few of the city police. We later found that this abortive affair had been “staged” by agents provocateurs of the Philippine Scouts, a part of the American Army; and an American colonel of the Manila garrison had meanwhile paraded his regiment. The secret service agents of the army were at that time too much involved in local politics –possibly in order to justify their own continued employment.

Quezon on phone with Morgan Shuster over the first proofs of title page and foreword of his book. Insists on having the italics changed in Roosevelt’s pledge, taken from under “I pledge” and inserted instead: “the full resources and man power of U.S. are back of this pledge.”  “That” he added to me “was what influenced our people to resist.”

I told him of the campaign being conducted in the United States by Pearl Buck for what she calls “economic equality, etc.” for Negroes in our country. Her argument is based on the Japanese propaganda in Asia which, she maintains, weakens America with the Chinese. I asked him if such an argument had any effect on the Chinese and he just laughed. He never had heard of Pearl Buck. He said that American Negroes were well liked in the Philippines citing the example of Major Loving, leader of the Constabulary band.

Quezon gets every day here in Washington from the State Department a precis of Japanese propaganda over the radio in the Philippines. He says: “The Japs are doing too d – d well”; that they had released Gen. Vicente Lim; had rebuilt the damaged railways, and had restored inter-island passage to the central and southern islands. I asked him about the sugar plantations; he thought the Japanese would keep them going, take all the sugar and not pay for it, adding “it makes no difference to me.”

Spoke of his troubles caused by the corruption by the Chinese in the Philippines. When a delegation from Chiang Kai-shek visited him he told them he sympathized with their desire of independence and hoped they would throw the Japanese out, but he did wish they would help him to curb Chinese corruption in the Philippines. The last Consul General they had in Manila was one of the “new young men” and he helped Quezon to clean up the immigration mess; and to put in jail the violators of that act. Quezon reorganized the Bureau of Immigration. He added that if he lives to attend the Peace Conference, he will work to see that China and Russia do not remain armed while Japan is disarmed. Hopes to line up Canada, Australia and the Latin American countries to that end.

Quezon thinks that when he asked Roosevelt for independence for the Philippines in 1938 or on 4th of July, 1939, Roosevelt was quite in conformity but was curbed by those “Experts” in the Department of State.

Quezon then remarked that he brought Rafael Palma’s new “history” for the government and then refused to have it printed, adding that Don Rafael seemed to favor Wood’s administration quite as much as mine. I told him that Palma had said to me in 1936 that I was much more “radical” than some of the Filipino leaders then were –meaning, of course, that my views on independence were more aggressive.

On Corregidor, Quezon said, he became so dissatisfied with Carlos Romulo’s broadcasts on Corregidor that he asked MacArthur (on whose “staff” Romulo served) to put him under the censorship of a committee composed of Osmeña, Roxas and Santos. Romulo came to him and said that would humiliate him, but “I had decided to fire him if he did not submit. I told him I never put out anything myself without submitting it to them.” I then read to Quezon Romulo’s interview in today’s New York papers stating that the Japanese had burned all the books in the library of the University of the Philippines dealing with “Democracy, the United States and England” etc… Quezon stated that he had heard this rumoured but did not know whether this was true or not. The part of Romulo’s interview dealing with the Bello incident was true. Bello had a school of his own at Vigan, and when the Japanese first got there they ordered him to haul down the American flag, but said he could leave the Philippine flag over his school flying. He replied that the law obliged him to have both flags, that they could haul down the flags themselves, but he refused to do so. They shot him down.

I then tried to read to Quezon from Collier’s recent article on atrocities by Japanese when entering Manila. He didn’t want to listen to it, said he never even read Marsman’s article on atrocities in Hong Kong; said he did not believe all this stuff, and would not take part in the abuse of the Japanese.

I subsequently asked three members of Quezon’s staff about atrocities in Manila; they seemed somewhat surprised by the question, calling attention to the fact that Manila had been declared an open city and was not defended. One of them said he had heard that the niece of Major Stevenot, a young American woman, had been abused by the Japanese because she would not tell them where Stevenot was. (He was on Corregidor). Stevenot was the head of the long distance telephone company, and of the radio company. Another indignity was offered to a Filipina girl who had no pass for crossing a bridge –or else did not understand the sentry’s questions. There were many atrocities of rape in the provinces.

Quezon said he had sent Colonel Andres Soriano to see Norman Davis to ask about treatment of prisoners by Japanese. Davis is head of the American Red Cross. Quezon is trying to have supplies forwarded to the Philippines. Davis stated that he was already in touch with ex-prisoners returning from Shanghai and they reported they had been well treated.

The British recognized the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore, and can thus communicate with their nationals there through channels. The United States has not recognized Japanese occupation of the Philippines.

American School System in the Philippines. Quezon described his quarrel with Vice Governor and Secretary of Public Instruction Gilmore (under Wood). It was in a car going down to lunch with Gilmore at the Army and Navy Club. Quezon told him the American system was destroying the old civic virtues of the Filipinos –respect for the family, the church and authority– the discussion became so heated that Quezon refused to lunch with Gilmore.

The following story was told me recently by Frank L. Crone, former Director of Education in the Philippines and in Peru:

Quezon and Osmeña were sent for during Wood’s time to come to Malacañan Palace and were occasionally kept waiting for three quarters of an hour before being received by the Governor General. Wood’s a.d.c. told Crone that on one such occasion Quezon appeared clad in a camisa de chino, chinelas (slippers) and a salacot (big country hat). When surprise was expressed at his costume, he replied: “well, if I am to be treated like a tao when I come to Malacañan, I’m going to dress like one.”

Crone said also that the ancient local, democratic self-government still prevailed in every barrio in the Philippines. The cabeza de barangay was not a government position, but was the head of the local group named barangay after the original muster of the vinta, or long boat in which their ancestors had first landed in the Philippines.

Also, he added, family affairs, such as domestic matters like Marriage, are usually settled by a big family council.

July 14, 1942

Despite previous announcements that all sick POWs in Capas would be released, as in fact many were released already, there are still many sick POWs in Camp that the daily death is still about 100.  This may be a big reduction to the 500 daily deaths when my roommate Sagun died last May 16 but the living conditions – facilities, food, sanitation, flies – are still sub-human compared to Malolos POW Camp.  I was just talking with a comrade from Bayombong yesterday who was pale but not bedridden.  He died last night.  The same with another comrade from Tayabas in our building who died the other day.  Today, I discovered that those released sick POWs came from provinces whose peace and order condition are rated by the Jap Adm. as having returned to normal.  And so those sick POWs remaining in Capas are from provinces still considered not peaceful or not returned to normal.

Capt. Eugenio G. Lara ’38 my former PMA uppie visited his classmate with us, Lt E Baltazar ’38 this afternoon.  He shared with us stories of the horrors, brutalities and experiences he had during the death march.  He was Ateneo ROTC Comdt. when WW II broke out and proud to tell us the gallant actions of his Ateneo ROTC boys that became a part of his Bataan Anti-Tank Co.  He introduced a young Atenean with him, Sgt. Alfred X. Burgos.  I will not forget the fascinating story of Lara about his CO, Maj. E. Cepeda USMA ’32, our former PMA Comdt. Sometime last May when 500 POWs were dying per day, he suggested to Cepeda that they escape.  According to Lara, Cepeda bawled him out that he felt so small and ashamed.  However, two days later, Lara discovered Cepeda gone — he escaped.  An hour after Capt. Lara and Sgt. Burgos left, my Mistah Job Mayo came to visit me and we had a long chat.  I gave him  four tablets of sulfa.

July 13, 1942

Asked Unding Alunan to find out if Arthur Fischer is in the concentration camp for Americans in Camp Tinio. I want to help him.

Talked to Naric agents. Told them to impress upon the minds of distributors and these in turn to tell the leaders, that the Naric will conduct a house-to-house investigation in conjunction with the police. Neighborhood association leaders are urged to ask association members to correct misstatements in their reports, regarding the size of their families.

I reminded the agents that ample warnings have been given and so those caught doctoring their family cards will be punished. I made it clear to them that these orders do not come from the Naric, but from the Military Administration.

Placards will be distributed in each station to inform the people as to distribution hours in each station. Notwithstanding announcement of such hours, distributors must remain their stations at least until 3 p.m. if one or more leaders fail to get their sacks of rice during distribution hours. Naric trucks arrive at these stations at about 12:45 p.m.

In all cases, distributors must wait for the Japanese supervisor to turn in the coupons for the day before closing up. The idea behind all these instructions is to favor the leaders and not to inconvenience them. Mr. Inada suggested the formation of an Association of Rice Distributors to make arrangements collectively for their needs, such as push carts, tarpaulins and cargadores and then they can deliver rice to the leaders of the Neighborhood Associations covered by their respective associations.

Sulit believes this plan is impractical. Push carts which are in business are the most economical means of transporting rice from station to residence of leaders, he stated, and present arrangement is satisfactory to leaders and distributors. Furthermore, Neighborhood Associations are not circumscribed around distribution stations, he pointed out. Sulit said that one such association was organized two days ago in Calle Andalucia.

Very tired. I need a vacation but it is useless to broach the question. The answer will be “not now.”

July 12, 1942

A house-to-house inspection is being planned to check up if the reported number of family members tallies with actual facts. People who have increased the members of their household maliciously, will be punished accordingly.

Played tennis with Vargas. Defeated him. He seems to be very tired and worried.

July 11, 1942

Today is a happy-sad day for me. After going around Camp O’Donnell the past three days, I finally found PMA classmates Bart Cabangbang, Tom Tirona I used to chat with in Corregidor and Dodong Caballero, Joe and Rey Mendoza of the Bataan group that made me happy. However, I learned from them that my dear friend and former roommate (and soulmate), Washington Sagun had died last May 16. This made me so sad as we bonded like brothers when we were roommates and I want the whole world to know the great legacies he left at PMA. A talented artist, during the early days of our plebe year, he was tasked into designing the original PMA cadet uniforms, insignias, diplomas, class rings, and other graphics like that of the “Corps” and “Sword”. He was one of the two starmen of our class for four straight years and graduated No. 2 but I still believe he should have been No 1. He left his belongings (class ring, cash, effects) to our classmate, H. B. Tuazon after he died.

As CO of a unit of the 31st Engineers, he dynamited Calumpit bridge after the last USAFFE unit from the south had crossed it last Jan 1. He saw gallant action in Bataan front lines with the 31st Div. Our nation lost an outstanding officer with great potential when he died. I consider it a great privilege to have been his roommate at PMA for two years.

According to Cavs Tirona and Cabangbang, it was also reported two other classmates, Alberto Aranzaso and Damian Pavon have died even earlier than Sagun. Before the surrender of Corregidor, Aranzaso and Pavon tried to convince them to escape from Corregidor to Cavite by small boat. They took separate boats that later capsized and sunk. Cav Aranzaso was a heroic P-26 pilot that challenged the Jap Zeros with Capt. Jesus Villamor last Dec. 10 and together, were the first recipients of Silver Stars personally awarded by Gen. MacArthur. Cav. Pavon was a 3-year starman qualified to be with the CE but chose to be with PAAC. He is another officer with great potential lost at a very young age 26. Aranzaso was 25 and Sagun 27 when they passed away. A sad day for me, indeed.

July 10, 1942 – Friday

My birthday. Went to Mass at 7:30 a.m. and received Holy Communion. Asked God for an early return to Manila. This separation is terrible. My thoughts concentrated on home & Nucay. 10 a.m. took train for New York. Stayed with Chiquit, who gave dinner for me and invited Dr. & Mrs. Dujat. Quiet family reunion until 11 p.m.

July 10, 1942

Thinking of Pagu. At a dinner at the Hotel with Major Nishimura, I asked about Pagu. The interpreter said in broken Spanish: “Ese para muerto ya” and he made a gesture with his hands as though slitting his throat. I got pale. I said: “But he is a very good man. He is very needed in the Naric. And what he did was nothing. Everybody had these leaflets. I also.” The interpreter laughed.