WW2 POW internment in Philippines

By Herman Beaber



    Sunday the seventh of December, being the first Sunday of the month was Union Sunday. Willie was at Cavite and I was at Pinagkaisahan. The other boys were in various places. It just so happens that some of us gave a little talks to the folks about the possibilities of war and cautioned and encouraged them as best we could, little dreaming how close it really was. In the evening we had our Gospel Mtgs. Willie Jamison, Leo Stancliff and Earnest Stanley in Pasay, and Cecil Barrett and I (H. Beaber) were in the San Andres Sub-Division of Manila on the east side of town. It was Sun. the seventh here, but still the sixth in U.S. and Honolulu. We had very good attendance and interest in our mission here and feel very sorry that it had to be broken up so abruptly by the war. (Two professes later on in home mtgs.)

    Monday morning we got the news by paper of the attack on Pearl Harbour and what a change came over the city. People began rushing around with no place to go and immediately transportation was at a premium. The Army took over 82 of the Meralso buses and many of the taxis and trucks in town were commandeered. Otherwise, Monday was quiet, had a complete blackout that night.


Tuesday Dec. 9 Nothing of importance occurred. We boys did a lot of walking around to see the different places like Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. That night we had several air-raid warning. Cecil and I would pile out of bed in a hurry, pull on our trousers, slip on our shoes and hurry out of the house to look up into the sky to see I we could see any places. After about three times I got tired and decided to stay in bend that night. We did see a bit of anti-aircraft fire for the first time but not much else. We had a small Gospel Mtg. tonight with four men attending-pretty hard to preach in the dark. Blackout!


Wednesday 10. We decided to go to Pinagkaisahan and Gualupe to see the friends and to try and encourage them as we knew that most of the men would be gone, being soldiers. So we got on the street-car which was jammed with people. Found everyone in fair spirits but leaving their homes each night to sleep in the woods back of the villages. These villages are close to Port McKinley and therefore dangerous in time of a raid on the Port. We returned to town about noon-time and went into a little café to eat a little before walking home. With the exception of the street-cars, the transportation is very poor. A real raid started while we were still in the café. About 66 large Japanese bombers came over but did not drop any bombs on the city. They headed for Nichol Field, close to Pasay and for Cavite Navy Yard. They remained high out of range of the anti-aircraft fire. And as soon as our fighters went up to engage them some Jap fighters came in from the sea and so occupied them that the bombers were able to drop their bombs almost at will. The bombers were of the four-motored type- probably came from Pormoss. For nearly an hour they circled around and could hear the dull thud-thud of the bombs doing their terrific damage. The earth trembled, women cried, and people rand excitedly about trying to see dog-fights in the air. But we were in a part of the city where we could not see much. The bombing of Nichols Field was close to were Willie and the other two were living and they saw some action. But when the enemy left, he left some planes shot down-behind. We learned later that the shops at Nichols Field were ruined and burned from the movement of trucks it looked as though they were moving all motors and parts to other fields. The shops at Cavite were wrecked too. Some stray bombs fell in Pasay on the south side of Libertad. A number of houses were wrecked and some people were killed and wounded. 


Thursday 11. The streets and roads leading out of the city were choked with people leaving. Some in trucks, taxis, carretelas (horse and buggies) calessas and some walking. The railways were jammed and the buses and streetcars in the city were filled to overflowing. I do not know where all the people are going, and I fear that they do not know either. Mrs Misos left two days ago leaving Mr. Misos to care for the place. Heard that Bufine Funk had evacuated his family and some of his sisters. But most of the friends in Pasay are remaining. At night we have one, two, or three warnings but no dropping of bombs yet on the city. Olongopo, Clark Field and other places have been raided, but I do not think the damage has been anything like the damage here to Nichols Field and Cavite. Late in the evening after we had been asleep a young man was going around to all the houses in this part warning people that the water was poisonous and not to use it. I told Cecil that I did not believe it and sure enough we found out in the morning that it was just a rumour started by a fifth-columnist to upset the people,


Fri, Dec. 12- I went to Pinagkaisahan and Cecil went to town to see if there was any mail. I got back alright but Cecil got caught in a raid and did not get back to the house til after-noon. Mr. Minos left today with his son so there is no one in his house. It is true that the Prince of Wales and the Repulse have been sunk by Japanese plane action. That is bad. The Japanese have made landing in Luzon but have been repulsed by the U.S. and the P.I. Army. Also a landing reported at Legaspi but if true it is small. Hong Kong has been attacked too, but is holding out and the Chinese are coming in behind the enemy. Willie came over to see us this P.M. and as he has seen Johnnie Brown he said all our friends in Canvite were well with the exception of Mr. Basconsilla. He has not appeared sine the raid and was in the building that was directly hit, it is thought he is dead. Several of our friends from Pinaghaisahan are fighting in the front lines. It rained some today and is raining here tonight. I guess no bombers will come in this kind if weather. Good news today was that a large battleship was hit three times by bombs of one of our airmen, and it was left in damaged condition. Also that Wake Island has not yet been taken but that the little garrison there sunk a cruiser and a destroyer. Our Admiral Hart here says that the submarines are out and he expects good things from them. They may not be back for days or weeks. We are cozy in our batch here on Bubi and Pineda. Can just see to type with the black-out light and as all windows and doors are closed, we use the fan to stir up a little circulation.


Sat. Dec. 13- The news this morning was to the effect that more than a hundred planes came over central Luxon yesterday and attacked several military objectives. Eleven were shot down. Mr. Pineda came to see us. He had just walked in from Imus, said his brother was missing and was most likely killed in the raid on Cavite. Cecil went to marker but not much there. No change in the fighting. Paper says that the USAFFE lines are holding. Went to Miso’s and tried to get news of the radio but seems that nothing is being broadcasted on the long wave lengths. Also visited Rizalina a few minutes and told her to come to our place for mtg. tomorrow morning. Some of the neighbors are building air-raid shelters. Our little building has cement walls up about three feet and we will crouch behind them if they raid the city proper… It is 11:30 a.m. and the sirens are sounding again. We got out to see what is happening but no planes. We have our dinner and soon after hear the motors of many planes. Fighters seem to be whirling and manuvering to the east of us. Then we can see the large bombers coming from the north. First a group of 16 and then a larger group of 25. As they fly over the city we wonder if they will drop the bombs. They do not and we heave a little sigh of relief, but dread what will happen to their objective for it seems there are not fighter planes to drive them off and the anti-aircraft fire is not reaching them. The first group dropped its load and the ground trembled and rocked under us. We could not tell whether it was Cavite or Nichols Field again. But we learned afterward that it was Nichols Field and the southern edge of Pasay. The second group dropped its load in the same area. The earth rocked and shook again as if it were having the chill and shivers. Fighting planes swooped and zoomed be we could not see the fights. Machine gun bullets spattered around us going through the nipa roofs but not penetrating the tin roofs. None seemed to come near us. The first group swerved toward Corregidor on its return home and the guns there brought down one of the bombers. The second group turned inland and did a little bombing in other places. The all clear signal did not come for some time, so that we did not have the opportunity to go to Pasay to visit our friends there nor to view the damage. We visited Cruz’s and Ocompo’s and arranged a mtg. for Sunday in our house.


Sun. Dec. 14- Had and air-raid warning during the night, one at daybreak and another just as I was getting ready to leave for Pasay. The all-clear came about 9:30 and I arrived at Lerits about 10:15. Willie was there and the Doloreses and the Lerits. The rest had all left for the Provences. The bombing of the day before had come quite close to them. Mrs. Lerit told us that they had crouched under the house and sang hymns so they could not hear the explosions of the bombs. During mtg. Mr. Dupaya came in from Cavite. In his testimony he told us how that during the bombing of Cavite on Wed. he and two companions (workmen) threw them selves down flat on the ground. After the raid he was able to arise but his companions did not move. Dead! We had a nice mtg. but we had a raid and some bombers flew right over the house while Willie and I were speaking. That is a real test to one’s ability to concentrate!


Mon. 15- No raids last night and we got a good rest. Small news dispatches coming from America admit that the damage to the fleet at Hawaii was quite heavy. It is 8:30 A.M. and the sirens are blowing again, Cecil has gone to market. I can hear the bombers coming so will go to the door to see if I can see them. Judging by the sound of the motors they came quite close to Manila but a few clouds screened them from my sight. They swerved to the sea toward Corregidor and the sound of their motors died away. The bombing on Sat. was a complete failure as far as military damage was concerned but the paper said that 75 civilians were killed and perhaps 150 injured! It has been drizzling rain and cool over the week-end. A bit out of season for so much rain. They say the poor visibility on Sat. was the cause of the poor marksmanship of the enemy. During the night we heard tanks rumbling down Herran St. and Mr. Misos told us that he saw eight large guns traveling at great speed on the highway as he came in to town yesterday on the train. At noon today 18 bombers came over. We watched them closely to see if they would pass directly over the house but we saw that they were going to miss us just a little. We heaved a sigh of relief. They dropped their bombs on Nichols Field again. That is it, I should say. They tried to hit the field but hit everything else instead. No military damage. Most of the people from that district have evacuated so there was little loss of life. The raid on Sunday was aimed at the water-front but all the bombs fell into the water. Not a thing hit. What marksmanship!! We walked to Pasay to see the others. All is well. Leo and Ernest are making an air-raid shelter. We went to Dewey Blvd. to see the waterfront. Many guards, soldiers, machine-guns, nests, etc. Very tired when we reached home. No raids that night.


Tues.16- Cecil goes to market and I to Pinagkaisahan to see the folks there. They are to be evacuated by the Red Cross as it is too dangerous so close to the Fort. The barriers look very deserted, houses vacant with the pigs and the chickens that were left behind wandering around looking for something to eat. In the afternoon Cecil and I start an air-raid shelter under the house with the help of Mr. Cruz. Willie came along with some papers to fill out. He was mistaken several times for being and enemy alien. Quite a drive on aliens and fifth-columnists.

Wed.17- Things quiet. Philippino soldier came in yesterday to make sure we were not spies. We went to bed early as it is impossible to do anything in the blackout. Some Volunteer Guards and a policeman came to our door very excited as they thought we had lit a bon fire that was smouldering near our house and that it was a signal to the enemy. They quieted down after a short talk. No raids.


Thurs. 18- I wonder if we will have a raid today. Two days now with none and we are all breathing easier. Life id getting back to normal except that there are not so many people in the streets. We changed out minds re the air-raid shelter and filled the hole back in again and got Mr. Cruz to help us cement in the stones. (Forgot to say that we had a nice Study Mtg. yesterday afternoon with Mr. and Mrs. Cruz, Mr. Misos and Rizalina.) Today about 2 P.M. as we were working at the side of the house, I heard a roaring of motors, but did not pay any attention as no siren had sounded and did not think that enemy planes could be around; all at once we heard a deep thrrrruuuummmmmping of bombs not far away. And once you hear them you will always be able to recognize them. They do not sound like guns. We looked into the sky and sure enough, there they were, 6 bombers had sneaked in and dropped their bomb on Nichols Field and no warning was given. Four more came but were met with a hail of anti-aircraft fire. I do not think they did much damage and one was shot down. Hong Kong is being besieged and we wonder about Tom and Jim. The fighting is quite serious near Penang. The Japanese are headed for Singapore. Ground activity here in the P.I. has been nil. We finished our masonry job. Willie and Leo came over to see us. All is as usual in Pasay. All of Guadalupe and Pinagkaisahan have been evacuated except those who were not families of soldiers. They must care for themselves. This is a nerve wracking life.


Friday 19 Dec.- No raids last night. People are getting used to this life a little and we see a few peddlers around in the mornings and a few more caratelas taking people to the market. Cecil and I went to town this morning. I had business at the P.O. and there we saw Tagumpay Eusebio. Asked about boats going to America. None. And no news. Cecil sent a cablegram to New Zealand saying we are safe. We got home without getting caught in a raid and were just finishing the dishes when the first siren sounded! Ten minutes later the planes came in from the west, dropped a few bombs on Cavite and went away. Started a fire that looks like oil burning. Dark billowing clouds rising into the sky. About a half-hour later 17 more planes came in from the same direction. We neither saw nor heard any bombs but heard later that they had dropped leaflets.


Sat. 20- Had a quiet night. The enemy does not seem to like to bomb at night. Japanese landed on Victoria Island. (Hong Kong) Nothing new from Singapore, but it looks more serious all the time. Air-raid warning came today at 12:30 and the planes appeared at 12:45. They circled and circled sometimes right over our house and we started several times to make a dash for the back room which is the safest. They were very high and due to the bright sun we could not see them. A few clouds kept them from getting their sights on their objective but about the second or third time over they dropped their “eggs”. Then they seemed to circle toward Camp Murphy. No news yet of damage and can see no fires. I need a haircut badly and wish the all-clear would sound so could go down towards San Andres. What a life! Why do men have to fight like this? Leo came to see us this morning on his bicycle. He thinks a convoy will come from America about the 10th of Jan. My guess is about the first. Hard to say. Well, there goes the signal so I will be off. I got my hair cut all right, took a shower and then cooked some hot-cakes for Cecil. To bed about eight.


Sunday 21-Dec. Off to Pinagkaisahan, but find that everyone of our friends have left, returned to Manila in time for the mtg. with Cecil and the others. A raid came during the mtg. but we continue. I guess if a bomb fell on us during mtg. it would be hard for us to be in a better place. The raid continued till after the mtg. so that the folks could not go home immediately. All clear came about 11:30. No report of damage and in fact we heard nothing except the wham wham of anti-aircraft fire. Situation in Hong Kong is getting worse. Japanese have landed in Davao and fighting is fierce.


Mon. 22- Air-raided at 7 A.M. but it was short. Go to town to send a radiogram to Jack. Leo comes over and eats dinner with us and we start to Antipolo to find some of the friends. Air-raid catches us at Paco so we do not go. All to (illegible) to see Mr. and Mrs. Hernandez who are staying with the boys temporarily. News comes that 80 transports are seen off the coast of Ligayen and that three are sunk. Looks like a real attack this time. Got a long letter from Juanita—she is at Dasmarians. Willie and Ernest had a nice time at Santa Rosa yesterday with the Letits and Polpreses. Some folks still quite encouraged and have faith that help will come, others say no hope now. I hope there is a convoy on the way.


Tues. Dec. 23- Leo and I go to town to register at the Consulate’s Office. Got caught in a raid and stayed in the Elk’s Club. Heavy fighting in the north. 


Wed. 24- Cecil and I go to Pasay to talk things over with the other boys, Decide to move back to F. Fernando as no use to pay rent in two places and we better be all together in case of emergency. Volunteer for any kind of work at Manila Sanitarium. We visited old Mr. Funk who is there. He is pretty sick and weak. Had three raids today. Saw one plane hit by anti-aircraft fire. The Port Area was hit at noon and quite a bit of damage was don—many killed and wounded. Forty more transports are supposed to be landing troops on the shore of Tayabas province. Got things ready to move on the morrow. This is Christmas Eve, but what kind of Christmas is this? Very quiet in the P.M. but we saw a dog-fight over Malate and Pasay. We were told that three Japanese planes were shot down, but we could not see. Encouraged to see a number of American fighter planes in the air. Time-bombs kept going off during the night and we could not sleep very well. Large fires burning in vicinity of Nichols Field.


Thurs. 25– Christmas Day. We do not feel like eating much breakfast. News is that the invaders are coming in on two or three sides, but our lines are holding at the present. The defenders are greatly outnumbered, we are told. Our old friend, the cochere, is to move us but first he must go to Tutubon. I took a small load by taxi and Cecil came along later with the caratela. Had dinner with the boys and Mr. and Mrs, Hernandez. Had one alarm but do not think any bombs were dropped, leaflets. Time bombs still going off at Nichols Field, and 3 huge fires out there. Very quiet in the evening and Cecil and I take a walk down to Dewey Blvd. to see the water front. Sunset was very beautiful and seems as though was a thousand miles away. We went to bed very tired as we had worked hard on an air-raid shelter. What a way to spend Christmas.


Fri. 26- Had a quiet night except for the dogs. Cecil thought they were bad over on Rubi St. but I think they are worse here. Air-raids started about 10 AM. Four or five waves of 9 each came over and all seemed to drop bombs on the Port Area. We saw some leaflets dropped this morning. Saw one that was dropped yesterday, it was encouraging the Philippinos to fight against the Americans. More wild rumors going around. Will list a few of the more fantastic ones. Some days ago they said that the water had been poisoned and people went frantic again for a few hours. Then they said that gas had been dropped by the invaders and went frantic again to get gas masks and anti-gas solution. First we heard that 10,000 Chinese troops had landed at Cavite and next we heard that it was 120,000 that had landed. Then we heard 300 fighter planes were to come from Corregidor and later that 1,500 were to come from Australia. And later still that 7,000 Australian troops were coming. Yesterday the rumor got started that Manila was to be evacuated completely but there was no truth to it. Some talk of the Authorities declaring Manila to be an open city but not decided yet. The all-clear signal just blew and the raids are over once again. Guess they did plenty of damage this time at least many bombs were dropped in the Port Area. Walked to San Andre to visit the folks there. All of Miscos home now.


Sat 27- Cecil and I go to town to do a little business and get home before the raids start. Again they bomb the piers. Yesterday most of the bombs fell in the water, but this time they hit some of the piers, a large church building in Intramures and P.I. mint where Mr. Cayabyab works. The church building (Catholic) burned and some other buildings also.


Sun. 28- Leo and I go to the Polo Club at 8:30 to attend a mtg. of all the American men here in Pasay. Discussed a number of things we might do in case of occupation by the enemy. We are supposed to meet at the Manila Sanatorium. We got back to Lerits in time for the Sun. mtg. Had a nice mtg. although few, Mrs. Lerit, Tagumpay, Enrigue, Mr. and Mrs. Hernandez, Cecil, Leo and myself. Most spoke about having confidence in the Lord, whatever might happen we will still have something that even death will not take from us. The Dolores girls are still in the province and Severa is worrying about them as well as her husband, Luis, and the children. We all had dinner at Lerit’s and a big raid came on. They bombed the piers again and started a fire but do not know just where it is. Got home about 3 P.M. Our men are pretty hard pressed according to the news. Willie and Ernest reported a good mtg. in San Andres.


Mon. 29- Manila pronounced an open city but still the Port Area and other places were bombed yesterday. Blackout was done away with last night. The north line is holding well, we hear, but heavy pressure in the south. We are assured that help is coming but of course not told when. NED forces doing good work with their bombing planes. Leo and I visit Misos and Cruzes in the P.M. I also see some of the friends living around our old location on Rubi St. Supper at Misos and walk home. Few street lights.


Tues. 30- Again we are assured that Naval help is coming. But how or when we do not know. Corregidor was bombed for two hours yesterday. No raids on the city today. The Pasay Market pretty slim in food-stuffs so Mr. Hernandez and Cecil went to Paco, found plenty of food and many people. Three of us took a walk out south, saw many bomb holes and part of the remains of Nichols Field.


Wed. 31- Bombing raids on the city have ceased. Baguio is taken, and Americans there are interred. Ernest and I had a nice mtg. at San Andres. All stores of oil and other materials in the city being destroyed. Huge fires. Start a New Year tomorrow but we fear we do not know much about what is in store for us.




Thurs. Jan 1- As Ernest and I were walking to Miscos last evening for the mtg. there, the sky was dark and foreboding with heavy clouds rolling up from the oil fires which had been set on purpose. The flames were extremely high and the soot from the heavy oil left marks on out light clothing. I remarked to Ernest that it looked like the end of the world. (They must have had tons and tons of stores as the fires burned in different places for days and days.) Today we are expecting the Japanese troops to come into the city at any time as the city has been left open by the USAFFE forces and they have returned to the north. We get ready to enter some kind of camp. We have heard of concentration camps and it is not with much joy that we look forward to the experience.


Friday 2- Stay pretty close to home as we do not want to get caught on the street when the army comes in. The looting is terrible! When the American forces left they gave much of their stores to citizens to keep it from falling into the hands of the enemy. After they left the Philippinos started to loot the Chinese stores. The police are powerless (?) to stop them and it continued till the Japanese came in. All stores were gutted, literally cleaned of anything of value. All fixtures were broken and thrown into the streets. Harrison St. and Libertad here in Pasay were shambles. Broken glass, furniture and papers and cloth strewn around. It is a good thing we have a few canned goods in the house, as there are NO stores now and nothing being sold in the market. Rice is at a premium. In the evening we went down to the corner of Taft and Buendia to see the first Japanese soldiers enter the city. Impossible to describe our feelings of apprehension and fear.


Sat. 3- Mr. Misos and Mr. Cruz came over to see us as they know we must stay close to home. They tell us that looting still continues this morning. Fires are still raging.


Sun. 4- We stay home for mtg. as we do not like to get to far away from the house. Mr. and Mrs. Hernandez are still here with us. It is convenient for us too as they can go out and look for a little food to buy. Mr. Cruz come to see us again.


Mon. 5- We stay home. Hear definitely that the Americans and British are being taken into concentration camps. What is in store for us? We pack a few things in our cases, put a few canned goods in bags, etc., as we hear that this was the advice given by the Japanese officers when they took the staff of the Manila Sanatorium.


Tues. 6- I phone several places to try to find out what is expected of us. The city is still in confusion. No one is supposed to be on the streets after dark. We see several cars and trucks with Japanese taking Americans some place, but do not know whether they are going to a camp or going home after being questioned. We are quite restless and wish something would happen. About 6 P.M. Ernest spotted a Japanese care on our street and hailed the man and talked to the officer. He was out after Americans or British, so he came into the house and told us to get ready as soon as possible. He was in a hurry as it was getting dark and he wished to get us registered before to late. Told us we would only be there two or three days and not to take much except a little food. (We believed him.) We snatched a few canned goods, our blankets and went with him to the car. He was quite friendly and kind to us and kept talking to Ernest in Japanese, although he knew some English too. The other folks in the house were much upset when we left. Mr. and Mrs. Hernandez could not keep back tears; and Mr. Cayabyab and his neighbour happened to be there at the house and to too bid us a sad farewell.

    We were taken first to the Rizal Memorial Stadium where we were registered; name, age, business, address, etc. Then we were bundled back into the car and taken to Santo Tomas University grounds. What a crowd! What a noise! What confusion! Actually thousands of people! And all were wandering around not knowing what to do, nor where to go. We were kept in the main building. They told us to look for a place to sleep but all the rooms were full, and real full, I Mean! And the halls were not exactly empty either. We found five chairs that were not occupied and decided to spend the night in them. One of us would guard our little bundles and the others would scout around to see what could be seen or heard. It looked as if we were just thrown in and expected to take care of ourselves.

    I was guarding the things when the boys came back and reported that another building was to be opened up for the overflow. But where was Leo? We could not find him. The Japs lined us up outside and we did not know whether to take Leo’s things or not and could not leave them behind very well. We marched off into the dark but it happened we did not go very far and Leo turned up so all was okay. We were put in the Annex or Elementary Dept. Bldg. There were a number of rooms and we being at the head of the line got into an empty room and had first-choice of location. There were a number of small desks there, very small chairs and a low platform (wooden) about six inches off the floor. I pushed the desks together in such a way that the tops made a bed about 36 inches long. That took four desks. Another such arrangement along side of me was Cecil’s place. And the seat part of the desk being nearly flat when pushed up against the other set made another bed-like contrivance. Leo took that. It was not very comfortable as it was higher in the middle than on the sides. Willie and Ernest slept on the wooden platform by our side. Some beds! But they were better than the cement of which the floor was made. Each one had a blanket but the wood was hard. The mosquitoes were the worst of all as we had no nets. Morning finally came.


Wed. 7- About 20 men in our room and we were told to get organized. That is to appoint a minitor who would be responsible for the behaviour of the occupants and to make a list of names and other information. Ernest was appointed monitor as he knew Japanese and would make a good intercessor for our room, a Mr. McCune was appointed head monitor of the annex. Lots of questions as to why, when and what for, but no answers.


Thurs. 8- Ernest is made interpreter for the main office between the five committee men representing the main body of the camp and the main Japanese officer over the camp. The organization of the camp is left to us. With Ernest gone, I was appointed minitor of our room. Friends of the inmates are bringing things to the front gate and passing them in. The officials do not allow us direct contact, but the parcels must be send back and forth from the fence to our line (about 10 yards away) by messenger or carrier. Lots of beds, nets, food, mattresses, etc., coming in. Tons of stuff! We sent word to Pedro and Peping to come and bring our nets and banigs (mats).


Fri. 9- Pedro and Peping brought our nets and a few other things for which we are very thankful. Now we shall have a little peace from the mosquitoes. They are very bad. We are getting used to the hard beds. The Red Cross has set up a small kitchen and makes coffee for everyone in the morning. But one has to stand in line for an hour. We can make out breakfast and then eat two lunches during the day. Almost living on bread and beans (canned) of which we have a dozen cans.


Sat 10- Just getting nicely settled here in the room when the order came to move to go to the gymnasium. It was recently opened and that will be for us men. The women with children will have this annex. What a confusion! We rush over to the gym and look for the softest place on the floor! Except for the basketball court in the center, the floor is all concrete. Just as we got settled in one place the order came that the British and Americans must keep separated. So Ernest and Cecil moved to the other side of the room. There were about 700 men in the room, more than 500 being Americans. There were about 5,000 on the grounds. Everyone had to feed himself as the Japs made no provision at all. The Red Cross tried to help some who had no food and no friends on the outside. There was no eating in the building so we used to take our few cans, a can opener that I happened to think to put in my pocket and a cup and four saucers that we found in the annex, one spoon, and go out on the grass and eat sparingly. Pedro brought us more cups and spoons and a few things to eat so that we were faring quite well after 4 or 5 days.


Sun. 11- There was too much confusion to try to have a mtg. and we were told that private mtgs. were taboo anyway. I was put on labor battalion No. 1 today and spent two hours pulling and cutting grass and clearing drains. In the afternoon I attended a small Church of England service held in the court of the main building. A Japanese official was there too, taking notes.


Mon. 12- Nothing different today. More people coming in and a very few getting out due to old age, sickness, etc. Mothers with babies less than a year old were released also, we heard. And some children of school age were let out under the care of the Red Cross on the outside.


Tues. 13 Willie has a job helping prepare food in the Red Cross kitchen for the children. Cecil is on the clean-up gang at the annex. Leo is still on the main messenger job at the front gate, and Ernest is still interpreter at the main office and filling a good job. I am to be called when my unit has another job. But also slated to be a cook’s helper when the Red Cross sets up some field kitchens to feed everybody community style. We hear this is to be done soon, and we hope so, as all are tired of this lunching business and some people do not have much to eat. I am looking forward to my cooking job, as it will be something to do. One ought to get enough to eat anyway! And some think we may get pretty thin by the time we get out of here! (How true that turned out to be.) Some of the friends came to see us today—Mr. Miso, Mr. Cruz, Salud, Andresa, Mr. Sarmdento. Pedro and Peping have been here several times.


Wed. 14- There was a notice on the board this afternoon saying that all missionaries are to be packed up by 10 A.M. tomorrow, ready to be moved to a new concentration camp! Well, we do not like that. We are settled here and would like to stay. But orders are orders. Some say we are going to a place about 2 blocks away, in order to make more room here in the main camp. One missionary thought it was an attempt to get all religious influence out of the camp before the “Screws” are applied. I doubt that. Anyway we went to sleep wondering what the next day would bring forth.


Thurs. 15- Bt 10 o’clock there were close to 150 of us in front of the main building ready to go. We waited. We waited. We waited. It was hot. It got hotter. Finally we were told to go across the driveway and wait under the trees. We were very grateful for that. Then Ernest came out and told me something privately. He had been in the main office and heard that we were to be released to go to our own homes. A sort of voluntary confinement. We were finally called into the building and a Japanese officer gave us a nice little talk in his own language. Another official translated it. It was to the effect that our release was being arranged by the religious department of the Japanese forces. We were to go home and continue our work as nearly as possible like we were before; but to bear in mind that no undue moving about the city would be allowed, and our services must be strictly religious and not political. We filled out little papers, appeared before the officer for questioning, one by one, and then given temporary passes which permitted us to go home. Some had transportation, but I went to the main gate to engage a carromata. While there, Leo came and called me as Ernest had finally got one of the soldiers with a truck to take us hope. We arrived about 6:00 with our little luggage, thanked the soldiers and they returned. It would be hard to describe the welcome we received. Yes, there were tears of joy shed by our friends. We had a great time sitting around our own table that evening, eating warm food and trying to tell some of the experiences which befell us in the nine days we spent in the concentration camp. When we looked back on it from a few days later it seemed as nothing. Most of out suffering came from mental anxiety and worry.


Fri. 16 – Fri. 23 We straightened up things at home, visited around among the friends and even went to Miso’s place for Salud’s birthday. Some of the folk came to see us.


Sat. 24- Cecil, Willie and I go to the Pasay Municipal to get our third hypodermic injection for typhoid, dysentery and cholera. We had to take two injections while we were in the camp. Due to the crowded conditions in the camp, lack of sanitation disposal in the city, there is a fear of epidemics of disease. In the P.M. Cecil and I went to the head-quarters of the religious department of the Japanese forces in order to hand in a report I had written out of our activities, work, budget, and staff. It was required. The men were very kind and friendly to us. Had a long talk about the nature of our work, and on our way back to the main street (we were in Intamuros) we saw the effect of the bombings that took place earlier in the war. The corner of Intamuros next to the Post Office in a shambles. We caught a street car and rode a little ways out on Avenida Rizal, then walked over to the Concentration Camp. Saw Ernest at the front gate and gave him some clean clothes. Returned home tired.


Sun. 25- Cecil and I go to Misos for mtg. Home about 6:30.


Mon. 26- As we stay home much of the time and we have no letters to write we are studying the Bible together in the mornings. Taking the book of Mark chapter by chapter and sometimes spend an hour and a half that way. Very nice and refreshing to sit quietly and let Willie talk to us. Helps us to forget our surroundings for the time, and we younger ones are learning much.

Well, well, well. What do you suppose happened tonight? About 9 P.M. I was sitting here at the table playing my piano accordion to pass the time and to amuse the others (if you could call it amusement). All at once a terrific explosion rent the air. It literally made the house shake and the air quivered. The folks upstairs made a dash for the outside and the air-raid shelter, as all thought immediately it was a bomb, and it was a bomb and a large one! What confusion it started in this place. Some had heard the plane before the bomb exploded, but thought nothing of it. I had not heard the plane, as I was playing the instrument. But in a few seconds we could hear the daring aviator gunning his motor for the getaway. Machine guns started stuttering and the deep Boouummppnnoouummpp of the anit-aircraft batteries told us that one of the American planes had sneaked in and dropped a huge bomb somewhere near us. What a wealth of rumor it made. Some of the natives had the whole American airforce arriving in a few minutes. But someone told us it was MacArthur’s birthday and this was just a greeting card from him! We finally got to bed but I happened to be awake about 11:30 and heard the drone of a plane coming in from the bay. It was either 2 fighters or else a two-motored bomber. I could hear the overtones from the two motors. The noise got louder. Folks ran out and saw flares dropped. Again the guns started barking, large and small and then the bombs dropped, several this time, and then the getaway. But they did not leave. They circled and more bombs were dropped. They seemed to be in several different directions from us but we have not found out yet, definitely just where the damage was done. Heard the next day that more were dropped about 4:00 in the morning in the northern part of the city. We were all sleepy the next day. I wonder why!


Tues. 27- Great excitement over what happened last night. Talk about rumors! Some think that the Americans are very close, but we feel that last night’s activities were just a gesture.


Fri. 30- All the enemy nationals outside the camp must report at Army Headquarters, so Cecil and I go down in the morning and Leo and Willie in the afternoon. They just wanted to know how much money we have in the bank! Three Japanese banks have opened and three local banks have been ordered to get ready to open also. Do not know whether they will allow the American and British banks to open or not. May be hard on some if not.


Thurs. Feb. 5- Went to town to shop for flour. Found some for 5 pesos a sack, but it was full of weevils so did not buy. Returned to San Marcelino and bought a sack for 6 pesos that I had seen a few days previous.


Sat. 7- Bought a sample of cracked wheat yesterday to see how it would go for our morning cereal. It was good so I dispatched Leo on his bike today to buy a quantity. He got fifty pounds for five pesos.


Mon. 9 – Fri. 13- I have been sick with a fever, but not very serious. Some of the friends came to visit us because of my illness. They are very good to do that in this country. Japanese still gaining on all fronts.


Sun. 15- On Sat. night Pedro had a bad attack of asthma and we despaired for his life. Had to get a doctor. His heart is weak too. Today I stayed home with him and he is worrying over the fact that he and his wife are an expense to us. But it really makes little difference, as our money is soon going to run out anyway and we are going to have to do something.


Tues. 17- Cecil and I went to Intramuros to ask some questions of the Religious Dept. If we cannot support ourselves we must return to the camp. We can work a little if we find a job. Forgot to mention that Singapore fell and some folks are quite gloomy. I am afraid it will get much worse than that. Three Englishmen escaped from the camp, were caught and executed.


Thurs. Feb. 19- I went job hunting down town. Saw the vice-mayor at the city hall and others, but no luck. Went to the Quiapl Merkt and bought 5 lbs. Margarine and 5 lbs. of baking powder for my flour – to make hotcakes. Canned goods are scarce.


Fri. 20- Studying Acts together these days. Very interesting. We talked about the Cavite folks this morning and soon after lunch time in came Pepe Castro and Elihu Odonez. We were very glad to see them. They were riding their bicycles and went on over to San Andres. They came back about 4 P.M. I gave them a hotcake feed and home they went.


Wed. 25- Ernest came home to spend part of the day with us. He had been instrumental in getting Mr. Gordon released from camp, so those folks had us to their house for tea and a wonderful chicken supper in the evening.


Fri. 27- The Funk girls and Gertrude came over yesterday for a meal of hot-cakes with us. I am getting a kind of reputation, but do not know that I relish it. Today I experimented with an oven to make a cake. It turned out fair so I gave the boys half and took the rest to San Andres as I was going there on business.


Sat. 28- The 5 of us attended a religious mtg. in Manila to hear some instruction given us by some of the leaders of the religious section of the Japanese Army. Our liberties have been curtailed again, and visiting is prohibited during the week. We have to make out reports on our denomination, churches, pastors, missionaries, and all mtgs. and activities. Much red-tape, but I guess it is all necessary. We were told that if the reports were not in regularly our privilege of having services would be cancelled. Much talk of all the protestant churches uniting. Must give our opinion.


Mon. March 2- Left early in the morning to meet a man at the Meralso Offices by 8 o’clock. As we are still using Daylight Saving Time (request of the Japs.) that means that I left the house at 6:30. Waited nearly an hour for my man. People in this country are seldom on time. I transferred the meter that was in the house where Cecil and I had lived on Rubi St. from my name to his. In that way my 5 peso deposit was returned to me. I might add that it was the 5 pesos that I was after, not the transfer. Five pesos is a fortune under these circumstances! The Japanese sentry across the street from where I waited for my man watched me rather suspiciously, as I guess he could tell I was an American. I went on down town after finishing at eh Meralco and in getting on a street car, I went by the sentry on purpose and bowed to him very respectfully as everyone is obliged to do when passing a sentry or guard. He returned my bow. I went to Plaza Lawton and then walked across Intramuros on Anda St. I was able to see all the rubbish left after the fire and bombing at the beginning of the war. In some places the rubble was 6 feet deep in the ruined buildings, with nothing but the stone walls standing. Women and children were scratching around in the ashes and stones picking out the little pieces of burnt wood like charcoal, to cook their rice. Fuel is at a premium now. Sitting on a narrow sidewalk with his feet sticking out so that I nearly fell over them was an old, old man holding out his hat for pennies. Someone had given him a mouthful of something to eat, he was working it around in his toothless jaws, and at the same time giving out a loud moan every time he expelled his breath. I do not know whether he really was in pain or had got into that habit of attracting attention. He was dressed in what looked like pajamas but had not seen soap and water for many a day. I continued to my destination, delivered my reports, asaked a few questions, got extra blanks and walked back to the Plaza Lawton and on to the City Hall. There I made some inquiries regarding finances of foreigners, from the mayor’s office, then walked a half dozen or so blocks back towards home so that my fare would be 3 centavos instead of 5. dinner was ready soon after I got home, and needless to say I was hot, hungry and tired. The street cars have to handle all the traffic now as there are no buses. We have to walk about a mile to the end of the line at Vito Cruz.

    I made two little cakes again this afternoon. This morning when I saw the women picking up little pieces of burnt wood, I thought of the widow in the O.T. who was picking up little sticks to cook her last handful of meal. And when I was baking the little cakes this P.M. I thought of her again.

    Mrs. Lerit stepped in on her way home from Paco. She had had a long walk too. Had bought some articles to take up to the province to sell. I gave her one of the little cakes to take home. This evening Leo is tinkering with an old clock he found under the house: Cecil is out getting a bit of fresh air; Willie is reading Shakespeare and Mr. and Mrs Hernandez are getting ready for bed, then usually retire early as they do not read as much as we do.


Tues. 3- Pedro and Maria pack up a few things and start for home amid tears and sobs. They did not want to leave, but felt that maybe Pedro would be better in Cavite and they knew that they would have to do something when we could feed them no longer.


Mon. 9- Take our weekly report to the Religious Department and go on to Aquinaldos on Juna Luna to see about selling some of our things to realize a little cash. Could not see my man. Maria comes back loaded with wood, mangoes, and chickens to sell in the Market.


Wed. 11- We hear the N.E.I. had capitulated and that the Japs have started for India. Wonder if they will attack Australia. Maria returned to Cavite with a load of vegetables to sell there. Ruth and Liwunag (Dolores) come to bring our clothes which have been laundered. Mr. Cruz came last night bringing bread, fruit and eggs. Our friends have been kind to us.


Sun. 15- Cecil and I to Cinco de Junio for mtgs. Heavy gunfire coming from Corregidor. A fighter plane flying low over Manila, let a few bursts go from its manchine gun and wounded a few people in Paco. Last week I wend to the Red Cross. One of the women there in charge was a fellow student of mine in University of California. We had quite a chat. They could not do much for us, but this friend of mine made arrangements whereby we got some groceries, rice, sugar, cracked wheat and a few canned goods.


April – Thurs. 9 “Bataan fell today.” This little peninsula, the one separating north Manila Bay from the South China Sea has been the scene of terrible fighting the last ten days or more. It has held out ever since the USAFEE forces left the central part of Lison Is. It was greatly outnumbered, at least eight to one, we have been told and therefore surrendered only when they could no longer give the men enough to rest between attacks. Great numbers of wounded came back from the front on this side and the defenders must have suffered much too. Corregidor is still holding out, and there are other guerrilla forces on this Island. Many of our friends are sad because of the fall of Bataan, as they thought there might be hope as long as it held. But we feel that it was expected by those who knew and that it may not materially effect the outcome of the war in the distant future. People are going back to work slowly – prices are becoming stabilized at least on native things. Imported goods may only be had at exorbitant prices.


Sun. April 12- We had a little excitement today. Cecil and I were at Cinco de Junio for mtg. The first testimony was being given when four explosions were heard and felt. I say “felt” because with each blast the house shook and the wall at my back seemed to bulge indefinitely. Immediately there was confusion. One in the mtg. stood up and cried, ”Flying Fortress!” Children in the neighbor’s house began to cry and in a few seconds there were shouts, murmurs, excited talking and laughing as people poured into the streets or the more fearful ran for air-raid shelters and dug-outs. With difficulty we continued our mtg. Learned afterward that American planes had come over all night.


Sat. 16- Last Wed. Leo took sick with the dysentery. We did not think it was serious at the time but it got wores so that we called a doctor on Friday. He was delirious from weakness all night but a little better in the morning. However, a Red Cross nurse happened to come to visit us this morning and upon seeing Leo sick, insisited on taking him to the hospital. So we called a taxi and off they went. The rest of us all went to the camp to re-register. Seems the Japanese are making a check-up on all the ones released from camp. On my return I looked for Leo at the emergency hospital, but learned that he had been taken to San Lazaro. It was too late to go there.


Mon. 20- Yesterday Cecil and I were at Misos for mtg. Right after lunch I went to find Leo. He was better but still weak. Must stay 6 days in order to pass the test for cholera. I returned in time for P.M. mtg. We heard today that five large cities of Japan have been bombed. I went to see Leo again this afternoon. He will most likely be home on Thurs. or Fri. It is hot and I feel tired from its oppressiveness, my running around and lack of sleep caring for Leo.


Sun. May 3- I just finished making out our reports. Have six blanks to fill out. I am getting a bit fed up with so much red tape. Leo got along all right in the hospital and came home on Thurs. the 6th day of his stay. He was very weak and still feels the effect of his experiences. The folks upstairs lost their radio as it was not paid for; and we have not had much news lately. Willie had a birthday last week so we had a few friends to come and I gave them American fudge and hotcakes. Mr. Sariemto made a cake and brought it. We laughed at the lack of things that go to make up a birthday party. One of the girls brought Willie a shirt she had made for him. Very beautiful work and the gift was more than welcome. Willie is having quite a siege of boils at present, but he says they are subsiding some. He must have about thirty on his body now.

    We had good mtgs. again today. Fourteen at Lerits and seventeen at Misos. For their Bible Study in the after noon they are taking Hebrews. Pretty hard for them, but they are learning slowly.

    At present our daily routine is somewhat like the following – Leo gets breakfast and we eat about 7:00. It consists of cracked wheat mush and coffee. Sometimes we have a bit of bread. (given to us) Then I have an hour to get my vegetables for dinner rounded up. If there are things like beans and/or a soup bone to deal with, I start the charcoal fire – wood is to erratic and kerosene is 22 pesos for a five gallon can. We start out home study about 8:30 and usually finish about 10:30. We are in Genesis now. Then Cecil cooks the rice and I finish the fulay and ulam and we eat at about 11:30. Willie takes a siesta after dinner and sometimes we younger ones too, unless we have something special in mind. Our afternoons are free, but we are forbidden to go out much. We sneak out to Cinco de Junio, and once or twice a week I get over to San Andres. Supper is pretty much every man for himself wherever or whenever. Usually consider that two meals a day are fairly sufficient.


Sun. May 10- Seems that I do quite a bit of writing in this on Sunday evening. The reason is that I get out my typewriter to make out the church reports and so I continue with my diary. Last week the Japanese made an all-out attack in Corregidor. With no aerial defense the big guns were put out of action by one and the Japs were able to land. Again the folks here are disappointed.


Sun. May 17- Rice is going up in price and the rice line where the price is controlled by the Japs is getting longer and longer. Some stand in line for hours and then get no rice as it runs out before their turn comes. Some Japanese vessels in the Bay now. Some freighters tied up at Pier No. 7.


Mon. 25- Well, here it is my birthday. For dinner I gave the boys rice, beans with some beef and tomatoes, and a mango each. No change in our condition. We had a heavy rain yesterday and a light rain today. This marks the beginning of the rainy season.


Sun. 32- Had good mtgs. today. Cecil and I being at Misos and Ernest came to be with us in the afternoon mtg. Cecil and I paid our residence tax last Thurs. in order to get a rice ration card – as Leo had already done. We got the tax paid all right but when we went down next morning to get our ration card – what a mess! Pushing, fighting, screaming among the women. As we stood watching the melee a policeman came along and asked me what he could do to help us. He was the one whom Hubert and I had trouble with a year ago. He got us a paper with a number on it and the next morning I was able to get my ration card. One has to go about 4 or 5 in the morning to get either the ration card or the rice.


Tues. June 9- Heard of a big battle going on in the Pacific, but nothing official. Many rumors. See by the paper that we must register our denomination – 5 pesos, if you please! I am thinking about fishing in the bay. Rufino Funk catches a good many. There is a death penalty now for anyone caught listening to radio news from San Francisco, Australia, or England.


Tues. 16- Last Sunday Cecil and I visited some of the men who were interested in the mission that we were having when the war broke out. As a result we had two of them in the afternoon mtg. They promised to come again. We walked down to the bay and talked to some of the fishermen on the breakwater. It was a long walk but I got some good information regarding fishing. Tonight I finished making out the forms for our registration with the P.I. Gov’t. I never saw so much red -tape in all my life. Mr. Miso has a swelling on his neck that the doctor says is cancer. We fear for his life.



Fri. July 3- The Red Cross has had to give up feeding the folks in the Concentration Camp. The Japanese took it over the first of July. We wonder what kind of food they are getting now. We have to go there nest Thursday to report and maybe get new passes. Also hear a rumor that we may be into a camp just for missionaries. News from Europe does not sound so good now. Tagumpay got married last week. Mr. Miso’s neck is a little better. The food situation is about the same. We are getting by, but getting thin as well.


Thurs. 9- We all went to the camp today to get our new permanent releases. They gave us a little talk and then lined us up for our passes. The conditions were explicit this time and perhaps you would like to know what they are.

The holder must obey all the laws promulgated by the Japanese authorities and to say or do anything detrimental to the interests of Japan. 

Unless special permission is granted by the Authorities at the Camp, the holder may not leave his place of residence except (a.) essential shopping – food, clothing, drugs,etc. (b.) Medical treatment (c.) church services, Sundays only (d.) exercise, limited to immediate neighborhood of residence.

The holder must report immediately to the Camp and change of address.

The holder must produce this certificate upon demand by the proper authorities.


 Tues. July 14- I have found a simple and cheap way of making extra good coconut candy, called here “bukayo”. We worked at it several hours today and made a peso or so. On Wed. I made another batch and took to Ernest in the camp where it brings more money.


Fri. 17- I made 150 pieces of bukayo and a man came and bought it all. We made about one peso and 65 centaves profit. That means the bits of carabao meat in the stew will not be quite so few and far between!


Aug. 1 – The heavy rains have started and we look out upon gloomy skies, and try to keep from thinking gloomier thoughts. The bukayo business is thriving and the friends call me “Magbubukayo” which means “the maker of bukayo” in Tagalog. Mr Miso is worse. He is in great pain.


Aug. 6- Doing a little mission work on the sly. A Mr. Jimenez who was interested in out Rubi St. mission is coming to Misos for mtg. And a young woman who I met in the market is coming to Cinco de Junio. Aug 9th Mr. Jimenez has professed and his wife is coming to mtgs. also. They seem very nice people.

    The later part of August Cecil, Leo and I had a round with the fever, but did not damage, except to Leo. He was left very weak and afterwards subject to violent pains in his abdomen which he thought might be appendicitis. But was just gas. He has indigestion now most of the time. The middle of Sept. Cecil and I started a garden in a vacant lot not far from our dwelling. A regular wilderness but it looks like good soil and will be something to do.


Mon. Oct. 19- Oh! Sad Day! I parted with my hand-made fishing rod today. Sold it to a Japanese business man for the sum of 12 pesos. The fish-pole is of no use at the present, although Leo did try fishing in the bay without success, but the 12 pesos look like 12,000. We started mtgs. again out at Pinagkaishan as Mr. Jomok came home sometime in Sept. As far as he knows all the other men out that way died, either in battle or of sickness in the prison camp. We have had much red-tape these days. We have been asked to register our “sect”, our selves as missionaries and Oh, so many questions.


Fri. Nov. 6- Today we moved from 313 F.Fernando to 271 Budndia. Just around the corner but to a nicer place, upstairs, and near our garden, which is thriving. Willie is working it now and it is doing him good. Leo is still bothered with indigestion.


Fri. Dec. 25- I got special permission from the Japanese to have Special mtgs. so we had one mtg. today at Letets. About 50 present. Some from Cavite and some Pinagkaisahan. Very touching.



January, 1943. We started wearing our red arm bands on the 23rd, showing that we are aliens (enemy aliens). Working hard in our garden these days and making a little money selling talinom in the market.


Feb. 8- Willie, Cecil and I work in the garden almost every day. Willie specializes on corn which he likes very much and he has raised us some good ears for the table. Cecil has varouis things and I take care of the upl, which is a native squash that grows on a horizontal trellis and the talinoms. I sell about 30 centavos worth of it is the market everyday. And we have onions, tomatoes, egg-plant, green peppers, pechay and other vegetables for our use, as well as a few extra to give to our friends and sometimes to sell.


Mar. 10- Mr. and Mrs. Jimenez and Salud come to see us. It is a bit risky for them to do so as they may be executed for being pro-American. The last few days some enemy aliens have been picked up and taken to Fort Santiago. We stay pretty close to home. Leo is a bit better, but has to be careful what he eats. He is raising a few chickens. We have dig a well and water our garden mornings and evenings. We are to get a pig from Misos.

June 8- Nearly 3 months since I have written but nothing much to say. The military police have been to the homes where they have the mtgs. several times. After much questioning they went away, apparently satisfied. They came here once. On April 11, a family by the name of Salgado came to live with us. Mrs. Salgado is a sister of the folks who live downstairs. They are nice people and we share expenses on light and gas but eat and cook separately. Mrs. Roncal came in once bringing us eggs, mangoes and rice. On Willie’s birthday some folks came and gave him a surprise. (May 25 – Chicken ‘n Everything!) I enquired at the Red Cross about sending a two word message to the States, but the cost was prohibitive for me – $17.60. I did not have enough to send it. (I got the money later on and sent it.) We study the book of Isaiah these days. On my birthday much the same thing happened as on Willie’s birthday. Friends, both in the fellowship and out have been most kind to us.

    The hot season is very weakening to Americans and like last year, Willie got another case of boils. Several got quite serious becoming like ulcers, so we got him to see his doctor. He was given medicine but it made him ill and in order to have a good examination Cecil and I took him to the Philippe General Hospital. There is a ward there especially for Americans, and is financed b the Internee camp so it will be free. He is there at present. It is hard to see him as same rules apply there as at St. Tomas. No visiting. Last month all enemy aliens were called back to the camp except missionaries. Another camp has been started at Los Banos, but they are having difficulty with water so do not know whether it will be permanent or not. Leo is still having trouble with indigestion, but some better than last year. Ernest, Cecil and I are fine.


Fri. July 9- It is raining hard and has been for some time. The rainy season is on in full swing. We still sell vegetables. Last month I started teaching in the home of Mr. Brady. As a result I have made other contacts and have students some here to the house too. It has eased the financial situation some. Cecil teaches too.

    This last week or two there have been many shootings, murders and hold-ups. Most of it is blamed on the guerrillas but I think most of it is just gangsterism. A number of high Philipinos have been shot, some for spite, some for money, and some because they were pro-Japanese. Also, robberies are taking place right in broad daylight and as I had a little experience with one I will relate it!

    I was in the home of Mr. Brady that I mentioned before, this morning reading to the children. The lady of the house came into the room accompanied by a man who was holding a revolver. I looked surprised, I guess, as the woman said, “It is a hold-up.” I said, “Oh!” The man brandished the gun around a little and I got nervous for fear the things might go off. They hearded us all into the front bedroom (we were on the upper floor) and there I saw the house-boy being guarded by two other thieves, one having a revolver. They seemed to be amateurs and did not know just what they wanted. First they would look through boxes, bags, or the camphor chests and then return to search our persons. Of course the children were frightened. The leader, a short man, called me to the corner where he went through my pockets. He found my watch, but it had a nickel silver case he thought it was a cheap one and returned it to my pocket. He took a few pesos from my pocket book but returned the small change. Then I was told to sit on the bed and my hands were tied behind my back. They tried to get the lady of the house to tell them where the money was, but she told them there was none. They took her to another part of the house and I was afraid they might abuse her in some way. I was gagged then but later in the taller man, the other gunman, took the gag out of my mouth because he wanted to ask me some questions. He thought I might be German and if so, he was going to shoot me on the spot. Most of the threats were a bluff, and if it had not been for the woman and children I might have risked a chance of hitting one of them while the other was out of the room. They returned the gag to my mouth, bound my hands and feet, did the same to the others and gathered all they could into bundles. Most of their loot consisted of clothing, (which is a real item these days) jewelry, and medicines. They skipped out of the house and joined their confederates in the lane. It did not take long for us to get ourselves unloosened from the bonds and the house-boy was dispatched to phone to the husband. I guess the folks lost a quiet a bit of jewelry but the man of the house seemed glad that we were all alive, and tried to pass it off as a light thing. Pretty hard lines, though, especially now. Life is becoming more uncertain all the time.


Sun. Aug. 22- We are still alive; that is something. Food is getting scarce and as the last storm killed most of our garden stuff we are working it back into shape now. Prices in the market are scandalous. Sugar is P 300.00 per sack. It used to be five! I bought some blue denim the other day, cost me 20 pesos in all for a pair of jeans. Shoes are 50 pesos and if made in the U.S. about a hundred pesos.


Sun. Oct. 3- Cecil and I are busy teaching and Leo has taken over the job of cooking. I still do the marketing and the prices are still going up. Meat is 4 pesos a kilo (2.2 lbs.) and calabaw and horse meat are not much cheaper. I had the funeral of an old Swiss man the other day. Grandfather of one of my pupils. A few days later the wife was called by authorities to spend a few days in jail (suspect) and I wondered if I might be called too. But I was not. Had to go to the City Hall last week to give evidence in the case of the robbery over at Brady’s house. Think they will dismiss the case.


“At Los Banos”


Sun. July 23, 1944. I am sure it has been over a year since I wrote last, partly due to the fact that I was very busy and also our life was somewhat monotonous — pretty much the same from week to week. Now I have time to spare and life is different. Over two weeks ago, Fri. the 7th to be exact Willie, Leo, and I were eating our supper about 5:30 and four Japanese came to visit us. We had had several visits before so did not anticipate anything now. However, they lined us up, read a document in Japanese and then one of then translated it into English. It was to the effect that we were to be interned and must be packed – ready to go at 9:00 the following morning. We learned afterward that all the missionaries were notified about the same time. We have not found out why the sudden change. Our baggage is limited to two suitcases, one bed or cot and a roll of bedding. We managed to bring in some sugar, soap and a few cans of meat.

    Cecil was not at home when the officers came, so got a real surprise later. He and I have been doing some private tutoring to help meet expenses so the first thing I did was visit the homes where my pupils lived to tell them and to visit the Saints as well as I could. About 9 P.M. I met Willie at Funks and we continued to Cinco de Junio together. Then we returned home to pack! What a job! What a mess! What to take and what not to take. I got to bed about one-thirty.

    We had breakfast about 6:30 the next morning. The first friend came about 7:00. I went to the market to get mats for Willie, and Leo, also toothbrushes and other necessitates. I paid 90 pesos for 2 tooth brushes! I returned to the house about 8:00 and found 20 or more friends there. I finished packing and then we visited a little. Most were in tears. An Army truck came about 9:20. After checking our baggage a little and looking at our papers, also looking into the different rooms in the house we were told by the officer to get aboard and off we went. Where to? We did not know. I hope I never have to witness such a sad parting again. 

    We were taken to the Santo Tomas camp where others were being assembled too. We were kept separate from the internees who had been there before, but we did manage to have a visit with Ernest. Our baggage was examined and then we were put in the large gymnasium. We were fed – fairly well, too, and all of us, men and women, spent the night on the floor. There were about 450 of us, priests, nuns, single men and women missionaries, and a few families with children. We were awakened about 2 in the morning given a bite to eat and taken to Tutuban railway station in trucks. Our baggage has disappeared. We were crowded into railway coaches and after hours of waiting we finally came here to Los Banos, arriving about 8 A.M., remaining in the cars. After another long wait we were allowed to leave the cars and lined up on the platform. Everyone was dead tired as some had had no rest for two nights. Leo was sick with indigestion and had vomiting spells. We were finally brought here to the camp in trucks and counted and recounted. Then we were assigned to our barrack, given a lunch, rested a bit got our baggage and after supper had a long sleep.

    Our camp is a delightful spot. We have not contact with those who came here before us and we do no know why. We are busy with all kinds of work. We have our own kitchen going and I have worked in it several times. At present I am on wood cutting with Leo. Willie has been cutting grass and brush and Cecil is on the sanitation squad. I have been doing a lot of barbering and may share the job of camp barber with a Mr. Cook.

    Last Sunday, our first full Sunday in camp, we went to the Union Service. The Catholics and the S.D.A.’s have their own of course. But today we four went out to the dining table under the trees and had out own meeting. The peculiar circumstances in no way adversely affected our fellowship with God nor with each other.


Sunday, July 30.- Things go about pretty much the same. Food is not bad, and the few inconveniences are not hard to put up with. Last week a typhoon or rain storm hit this part and we have plenty of mud. One of the Catholic priests caused a little excitement. He has mental trouble at times and one night he wandered out of camp and was taken into custody by the guards. Now the Japanese want us to have a patrol of our own. Two men to be on duty for a two hour watch. As they want single men only, I may be one of the patrol men. We were settled in Barracks No. 17 right across from the kitchen and just about the center of the camp, that is, as far as activity of conveniences are concerned. The upper, or back part of the camp is not used much yet, except that the Catholics and Protestants have their chapels there. So far our fare has been good. For breakfast we have course ground corn meal with coconut milk. We boys have sugar to add, which helps. On Sun. and Wed. we have coffee. For lunch we have rice and either squash or mango beans. The latter go well with rice. For supper we have rice and vegetables. Sometimes we get a banana or a native lime. Mrs. Elizaga gave is some home-cured meat when we left, so we have had a little bacon and we just finished a ham which I boiled in our aluminum kettle. We went to the Union Service again this morning. This time it was conducted by the Episcopalian minister. We had our own mtg. at 1:30. Leo was not there with us as he is bothered with intestinal trouble again.


Sunday Aug. 6- Last Sunday, when I wrote, we were having a rain storm which lasted several days but the middle of the week it cleared up and we had exceptionally nice weather for the rainy season. It has showered twice today.

    The main item of importance this past week was the dysentery scare, and it is not over yet. We have no hospital in our part of the camp yet and we have carried the stricken ones over to the other camp in numbers. One day we took 25. None have died yet but the disease is very weakening, an we feel that we must conserve our strength for what lies ahead of us. The other boys are occupied as usual, but I have been transferred from the woodpile to helping Prof. Eaton. He is the camp mechanic and at present we are fixing the stoves and flues in the kitchen. News is scarce but rumors rife!


Sund. Aug. 13- During the week I do not feel like writing — to busy. But on Sunday, with not so much to occupy my mind and hands, my thoughts turn to friends and home so I write as if I were talking to you all. It is raining again and the camp is a mess. There is a shortage of water in the pipes and hundreds of pails of water must be carried daily, for use in the kitchen and bathrooms.

    Willie, Leo and I with five other men are to make up a patrol for night duty — just here in the camp. We have been given sawali to enclose our sleeping quarters also a special light. We have not started to patrol yet. It will be mostly to look for fires and to be on duty of anyone is wanted in a hurry! We keep well. The dysentery scare is mostly over but several cases are still in the hospital.


Sun. Sept. 3- Three weeks I wrote last. I am glad time is going so quickly. We had much rain last month which was good for our gardens. Willie has corn, beans, and over-ripe tomatoes in the kitchen. I have two kinds of beans and Cecil has a small garden, too. I still work for Mr. Eaton and we have made everything from frying pans to grind stones. Tomorrow I am to work on the communion rail for the Episcopal chapel!!

    Two weeks ago the Japanese could give us no wood for our kitchen, so we had to have our food cooked in the lower camp. It was slim fare, and it started a flurry of garden making. Once or twice this past week we had slims, too. (Fried rice only) The water situation is a headache too. Sometimes it comes on nicely for a few days and inexplicably it will go off and we have to carry water for everything.

    The night patrol has not yet started but I have a new job in the way of teaching. I have four boys whom I am teaching first year high school composition and literature. We have had to give a report of our finances several times. Now, we hear that all our money will be taken tomorrow and placed in the Taiwan Bank. (Japanese) We may draw fifty pesos per month to spend in the camp canteen. When we learned of this we places several orders through the canteen and paid for them. Yesterday we were more fortunate to receive ten kilos of red beans. They cost us P. 325.00 More than 7 dollars a pound! We heard Bishop Binstead in the service this morning. Willie is to speak in an evening service some time this month. It is raining a little which will be good for the gardens. Cards were passed around yesterday for us to use in sending out messages. We have received a few notes from the States since coming here. I had one from Ardis, one from Iona, and one from D. Hilton. Mighty nice to have them.


Sun. Sept. 10- Just got back from the Church Service. Mr. Sanders, a Presbyterian, spoke to us about unity. He was lamenting the lack of love and harmony among the religious bodies. He hopes that ultimately all will be “one”. I am sure it will ne, but perhaps in a way different from what he has in mind. We turned in our money last week. We have canteen days three times a week. Yesterday they sold eggs, bananas, and native limes. Eggs are four pesos each. Out allowance for food from the kitchen was cut down again last week and this week more so. Today for lunch we are to have fried tomatoes and vegetable soup. One ladle each.


Sun. Sept 17- It is 10 A.M. and raining. Has been raining hard and often for the past 2 or 3 days. Gardens are damaged some, but not too much yet. We have been having black-outs but they were lifted last night. Rumors are to the effedt that Mindanao is being bombed, shelled and attacked. We boys keep quite well, although losing in weight slightly. Food ration was not too bad this past week. Twice we cooked beans to augment the fare. Some say we shall be out of here by Oct. or Nov. Most think about Christmas or New Years. We often think of our friends in Manila, as we hear that conditions are hard there and that many are evacuating. I wonder if they are having their mtgs. this morning. We will go up to the chapel now to hear Dave Martin. We will have our mtg. at one-thirty.


Thurs. Sept. 28- I have been busy and have neglected to write. Much has happened, too. Last Thurs. a week ago, we were surprised to hear the unmistakable sound of bombs exploding in the distance. It started about 9 A.M. and continued for several hours. It was in the direction of Manila and as we looked we could see bursts of anti-aircraft fire, and later on the smoke from fires that were started. There were many planes, but were so far away they looked like a swarm of bees. We were excited!! The guards came to put us back in our barracks but not until we had seen most of the fun! On Fri. the action was repeated and on Sat. there was a disturbance some place, but we could not see. Heard later on that the air-fields had been hot and many boats sunk in the harbour.

    This week has been quiet so far but we are under alert signal and partial blackout. The food situation is worsening. This morning we had corn meal, about three-fourths of an ordinary helping. At noon we had two scoops of soft rice. Nothing else and at night one scoop of rice and a little watery stew. Willie had charge of the prayer mtg. this afternoon. He spoke from John 1, about John the Baptist. It sounded like music to our ears. Cecil and I are to have a service next month. Rains are not quite so frequent now and gardens are looking better. We had one mess of green beans, but mean to keep most of them to dry as dry beans have more protein, we are told, and that is what we lack. I have made a lean-to with a nipa roof, one open fireplace and one enclosed. Again I find my thoughts wandering to Manila, to America. I dreamed about Bernice last night. We were preaching together.


Tues. Oct. 10- Last Sat. the seventh as I was raking and burning some leaves by our quarters the news was passed along that the two camps were to be thrown together, and also that mail was being distributed – some for me. I had two messages from Bernice, nearly a year old, tow messages from Lora Jean and later on a message from Arvilla Turner. They were short, but worth their weight in gold to our hearts and spirits. The reason for putting the two camps together is that the military was the gymnasium where many men were quartered for a hospital and these are now being transferred to our camp along with others. In our barracks we have a variety of new-comers, 18 Dutch priests, 2 families of Italians, and 6 single men. I was appointed on the housing committee with several others and we had quite a difficult time shuffling the different one around so the different families, sects, sexes, and nationalities would fit. Our garden is doing nicely. We have had many messes of string beans and twice we have had green corn. Our tomatoes are doing nicely too. I helped Willie put up a trellis for corn. Cecil and I went up on the hill back of the camp last week to carry wood for fuel for our camp kitchen. Many men went. We had a nice view over the lake. Things are getting tough, food is getting short and tension is increasing. We have only two meals a day now.


Tues. Oct. 17- And it is still rainy. But the garden grows right along and we have string beans and green corn. This garden truck becomes more valuable to us as our food rations are being cut every week. I have a new job now. With a crew of 5 men I am in charge of carrying food from the main kitchen to our barracks, then to ladle it to each person in as even a distribution as possible. Rather a hard task when everyone is desperately hungry and food is lacking. Today we three younger boys had out turn at wood-carrying again. There is a lack of transportation and from 30 to 40 men must go up on the on the mountain each day to carry wood down. It was very wet and muddy today. We have “alerts” and air-raids frequently now. Sunday we saw a large flight of our own planes go over. It was a beautiful sight. It wish the end would come soon. Our conversation often turns to food these days. Actually I never saw so many ribs before in all my life. Willie is very thin and although Leo is not so thin le has much trouble with his stomach. There is absolutely no choice of food now, take the little there is or leave it. Often, after meals, unless we are in a hurry to got to work, we sit and talk about food, good food. Willie will mention he would like some buttered toast! And we have had no bread for about two and a half years! Then that sets us off, and we go through all the various breads, to pies, to cakes, back to the butter and then thru all the milk products – cream, cheese, etc. I would like some beef, mashed potatoes and gravy. We think of spaghetti with cheese and tomato sauce. We run the gamut of salads from raw vegetables to fruit; we think of pancakes and waffles, we yearn for a drink of milk, one bite of an apple! Fried chicken! We ask each other if such things actually exist any longer! Pie a la mode is mentioned, and some one is so far gone that he asks, “What is that?” Our mouths water when we think of peas, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, beets, roast beef, lamb chops… and remember we have not seen any of these things for months, yes, for years. Candy, chocolate, honey would be the food of the gods to us now. One would like a dish of strawberries with cream, another a peach cobbler, how about a Sunkist orange or a Washington Delicious apple. And the humble prune? I would mortgage my life for a mouthful!!

    A few days ago I was reading a story about a boy who lived on a cattle ranch in the U.S. Incidentally it told of his breakfast. He put a large hot-cake on his plate, slid two fired eggs from the platter on to the plate, on the cake, and then put another cake on top. I could not continue the story – it was impossible.


Mon. Oct. 23- One day last week, Wed. I think, we heard a plane coming low over the camp. We looked and saw that smoke was coming from the engines. As it passed over the camp the engine started to splutter, and in a few seconds the pilot winged over and bailed out. The plane landed with a crash not far away. We gave a great sigh of relief as we saw that the pilot was safe. Some said it was Jap plane, others we just as certain it was an American and thought that the pilot escaped and was taken to the mountains by the guerrillas. On Thurs. we saw a large flight of American bombers and their escort of fighters. It was a grand sight. We had “alerts” every day last week. The more planes, the less food. Yesterday was Cecil’s birthday. I forgot to say Leo’s stomach trouble and diarea got steadily worse and he had to go to the hospital where his case was pronounced “amoebic dysentery”. I could not see him yesterday nor today — isolated — but not in serious condition. To return to Cecil’s birthday – we had two duck eggs from the canteen and a scrap of bacon, so I sliced the bacon, fried it with pepper berries (grown in our garden) and garlic. Added some chopped greens and then put in the eggs. I do not know the name of it but the boys though it a swell adjunct to our breakfast of rice gruel. When we left Manila I was given a bottle of condensed caraboa’s milk, sweetened. So we had milk in out coffee at noon. In the afternoon I made a pudding of rice, mouldy chocolate, brown sugar and some of the milk, and Cecil opened a can of salmon. What a meal! It was a feast! We still have a little tea and every Sun. eve. we have a few of our friends in for tea and a chat. Last night the usual ones. Henry Pickens, Dave Martin, and also Christie came in, and an extra one, Henry Bucher. We finished off the milk with our tea and all agreed it was a treat.


Tues. Oct. 31- Last week uneventful. Japanese soldiers leaving these parts, so air-raids siren does not blow do often. For a time there were hundreds of planes in the air but now very few. Rumor had it that there is a landing some place. Leo is home from the hospital. Better but weak.


Sun. NOV. 5- This past week has been very nice and sunny. Willie and I have done a quite a bit of garden work. I planted some corn and talinom and Willie put in more tomatoes and sword beans. The garden is certainly a great help to us. We have seen much plane activity today – in all directions. We heard bombing but saw no dog-fights. We hope this is a prelude to a landing on Luzon.

    The camp is running along about the same, with general weakness seen in all. I notice that I lose my balance very easily and that my hips and thighs are weak. Most are much worse off than we. It is pitiful to see so mant wan, pale faces, emaciated frames, and to notice the lagging steps. A very slow starvation is going on, so we hope it will not be too long. There was one death in the hospital yesterday. We get vitamin pills once a day. I think they came in the Red Cross Kits from U.S. sometime ago, and the doctors are trying to hold in check the beri-beri and pellagra which are growing rampant in the camp. The following extract from the doctor’s report to the Commandant will explain.


    From the beginning of the camp in May 1943 to Sept. 1944 only twelve cases of clinical beri-beri were diagnosed in the clinic. Seventy seven new cases of beri-beri were diagnosed during October with 113 new cases listed as avitaminois, and 162 as asthenia, both of which conditions are diseases of malnutrition and could be classified as incipient beri-beri. In all, a total of 380 new cases attributable to malnutrition came to the clinic for October. This brings the total to date to 1126… or more than half of the camp has clinical signs of malnutrition… The daily average calorie value of food from the camp kitchen is 881. In Sept. it was 1345 calories or a decrease of 65 percent. This shows the inhuman treatment of the internees by the Japanese. Naturally there is theft of food in camp. It is considered a major crime. We see people (respectable) looking into garbage cans for banana skins, etc. (If you want a delicacy, fry some banana skins in rancid coconut oil) People gong to points in camp several blocks away will sit down to rest. Some have eaten bugs and beetles — so they say. Fights occur in the food lines. We are glad of our canned goods and garden. I weigh about 152 pounds at present. That is 50 pounds less than when I left the U.S. but of course some of that was lost before the war.

    Yesterday we had baggage inspection. The officers are looking for radios, cameras and lethal weapons. They found some old dead batteries out of a hearing aid belonging to a deaf man in camp, the pounced upon them as if they were a real find.


Thurs. Nov. 9- The fore-part of the week was very nice and we saw plenty of air activity. One large group of our planes flew right over the camp. The food situation is getting worse. Supper the last two nights has been the lightest yet. Tues. evening I had some fried garden slugg!! (Believe it or not) This afternoon we have a little of the heart of a papaya plant boiled with our beans.


Wed. NOV. 15- Willie is cooking sward beans and tomatoes for our supper. My food detail job is getting to be a headache. Some complaints were made and today we have a house mtg. All was ironed out. According to the scales I have lost 3 more pounds. Really, it is getting to be quite a desperate situation and we think it will get worse before it can get better.





Page 25


I have been suspicious for a week of having beni-beni. Today I can see unmistakable signs, and will go to see the doctors for advice. Most in the camp have it and some at pitiful cases. In the PM I saw the doctor and was given some tablets of Vitamin B. Enough for 25 days. I wonder if that will be sufficient.


Sun Dec. 31- Nothing much happened this past week until today. Did had been a little shorter the past ten days. (We have it issued to us in 10 periods.) But they tell us or may be better the next time. We have learned to have little confidence in their words. Today we had ring-side seats for a new spectacle. Some P-38s were strafing the highway, railway and station just below the damp. Never before have they come so close, but this time we could see plainly the markings on the wings. I was serving out the mush at the time, for once people left the chow-line and I had no customers for several minutes. My beni-beni is no worse. I am going now to check my weight again. We are very languid due to shortage of protein and vitamins in our diet. Some young people are on the verge of T. B. We have a nice mtg. this A. M. and thought of all of friends who were probably having Special Mtgs. Tomorrow, New Year’s Day, we expect to have an extra quantity of mush and in the P. M. thin pork and beans with some camote hash.


Wed Jan 3- On new Years day we saw some more P-38’s. Then on Tues, yesterday, we saw our first 4 motored bombers. There were 22 of them and what a beautiful sight! I cannot describe our feelings and it would be hard for you who have never been prisoners, to understand. The Japanese tell us that a crisis is at hand. Excitement and hope running high in camp.


Sun. Jan 7- It has happened! WE ARE FREE! For the past few days heavy bombers have been going over and fighters and dive bombers have been strafing the roads. It is now 5 AM. The Japanese garrison has left and the guards told our Central Commander that the camp would be turned over to them in an hour or so. Excitement reigning! The Star Spangled Banner is to be sung soon and the flag – our Flag- is to be raised at 6;30 


At seven PM – What a day! I was to busy to continue writing this morning. The sudden departure of the Japanses was unexpected although we know our forces were nearing the shores of Luzon. Last eve. we attended an open-air concert of recorded music and went to bed at 9:30 – “black-Out”. I was awakened about 4:30 AM by shooting in the distance and by some of our neighbors going to the front of the barracks. Leo woke, and said it must be nothing as the Japanese soldiers had been noisy all night. ( a custom of theirs) But as we listened we heard Americans talking and were soon told that the whole garrison was leaving and that we were to take care of ourselves. We had a hot meal of mush at 6:00 and went to the flag raising at 6:30. There were many wet eyes as Old Glory was raised on an improvised flag-pole. We sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Save The King” and again the handkerchiefs came out. Let me say that you who have never been deprived of seeing Old Glory and all “She” stands for – for three long years – cannot understand what that sight would means! The Southern Cross was just disappearing from a southern tropical sky as the sun made the east red with its first rays. 2000 people were grouped in front of Barracks No. 15, the Administration Bldg, Many were weak and sick from lack of food and unbalanced diet Some in worn-out and patched clothing, some barefooted, some in wooden bakya. But all eyes were anxiously fixed on the slender bamboo. After the bugle sounded for the ceremony.


Herman Beaber-USA

Willie Jamison- USA

Leo Stancliff-USA

Cecil Barrett -British