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Editor's Notes

My father wanted his diary to be made into a book for family and friends. A number of his early edits, done too late in life and consisting mostly of the quick excision of days or a good part of a day's contents, are scattered about. By then the sheer scale of the enterprise had made the task difficult, and the feel of the original work was lost.

The mission having fallen to me, I kept returning to the original typed transcripts of his notebooks, where magic could be found in the stories of people, tragedy, high irony, humor and relief, plus the occasional rant. Views of my father are reproduced on as "as is" basis, written under the extraordinary historical circumstances of the time. I make no claim as to their accuracy or completeness.

In short, I started from scratch, retaining threads I found historically fascinating in the expectation that You — dear reader — might find them fascinating too. It was an exhausting and rewarding journey of a many years, involving much research, chasing transcription errors, purchasing books, maps and photos, and learning about my birth city.

Fortunately, bringing a work of well over a million words down by 78% involved mostly cutting press reports and war news that you can find in online archives of Manila newspapers, except important contextual background and what dominated discussions at the time. It's still too big for a book but fine for a website, where maps and images could help retain reader interest, and where an index for search engines could aid researchers. The work is still long. How could it be short and yet remain faithful to the original?

To paraphrase Henry L. Stimson, history is often not what actually happened but what is recorded as having happened. This is but one such recording.

I'm sure my father would like to have dedicated this to his brother, Joseph Brimo — a survivor of the Bataan Death March and the Oryoku Maru sinking.

Henry A. Brimo Jr.