LETTER FROM YAY
September 29, 1944
This is a very personal note — am ignoring that underwater limousine you ride around in as chief chauffeur — and wi11 speak to you out of the corner of the mouth and all understood as in the old days.
This through the courtesy of Major Anderson, there are some A-l Americans going back and some Z-1’s. The Z-1’s ought to have an eye on them. Slackers, backbiters, some of them honestly too sick and unhappy to think straight anyway. We don’t want them taking any sour jabs at the major, just in case they have to gripe about something and run out of subjects. It’s the Major who’s actually turned out the friend of all of us, but (camp gossip always seeps out) there are one or two disgruntled souls who wanted special privileges (there have been Americans here who acted bigger than the statue of Liberty, you know, and broke every¬ rule in the list, just to show they could get away with it) or thought they could run the army instead of be run by it — and the Major, as we hear, does things right irrespective of color, creed or anything else. I may as well stress that you can’t get away with doing things right much more than doing them wrong — somebody wl11 always make a crack, with one kind of motive or another. As Marking says, to avoid criticisms, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.
Chick, the people are still sitting right next to the “Military objectives”. Philosophy: Our side hits what it aims at. Now, such faith is complimentary indeed to the boys out there, but… still, they sit in there, contented, and every blast up goes the silent prayer, “One more, PLEASE ONE MORE!” They count them off on their fingers, contentedly, pick themselves out of the dust. Some have actually stated they wouldn’t “miss the show” on a bet. Once in a while, somebody really gets hurt, and they scatter squawking, but THEN THEY GO RIGHT BACK and settle down and brag and backbite ¬each other as to which ran the fastest when all of them, in the last analysis, did run. Sometimes, con¬sidering the foibles of our people, I feel a 1ittle twinge of pity for the conquerors who are still trying to conquer. From their point of view, they’ve had one hell of a time and they wish to God they’d never liber¬ated the Filipinos who don’t deserve it any better than biting the hand that robs them. You know, Chick, the Japs came in hating the Americans and loving the Filipinos; they go out, hating the Filipinos so much they’ve almost forgotten the rest of the war. Japs have even stated that local defenses are protection against the Filipinos to whom the Japs have better sense than to surrender. We’re ingrates, fools, thieves (the boys robbed ’em blind, we’ll admit that — we had no trouble getting our equipment. We just ordered it up and lo! it came), liars – for humor, we would match lie for lie – etc.
Lydia Villanueva Arguilla, whose husband is and has been for sometime in Ft. Santiago, is carrying on his unit for him and it was she who sleuthed out your mother-in-law. In this same mail goes a letter to her son Tom. Very short, for Lyd busts in and out always pressed for time. If the reinforcements would take their time, so could we, but…
The Major gave a big order for P7,OOO to be given to your mother-in-law from you. Lyd’s in charge of delivery. Babs Osias is her right hand man, a remarkable kid only 18, tops in “eel work”, very pretty, very intelligent, very gutty. Actually, 1f I were to tell you about all the wonderful guerrillas about the country, I could give you just the population census. Chick, no matter how little or how insignificant a way, there really are damn few Filipinos, organized or not, who have failed to strike a blow for Victory. A small percentage of informers (by comparison to the total population) do a lot of damage, but as a whole – the Filipino is just about the cream of the Oriental crop and my mother made no mistake being one.
I am tucking in a report that came in just for your personal amusement. Note the Frivolous V business. No matter how petty the means, the people do their best to bedevil the Japs. Markings called a stop to it since the lie- low order, but we can’t be sure they won’t be frivolous. Hard controlling them; no job at all to inspire them – just stop saying “don’t” and there they go again.
My love to Katsy and I think I love Sue too. Nostalgia grips me, thinking of old times. Only Japs to pick on all this time. Love, especially to Sue. I mean it Chick. I’ll lavish attention on her if she will only come back and give me something else to heckle. Ask her if she wants me to pick on McArthur for a change.