When the sun was about to set, we were herded inside a steaming hot metal warehouse full of rice bundles newly harvested. All doors and windows were closed and locked.
There were big rats running all over the place. They even ran over us and bit some of our companions who tried to catch them for a meal.
Using my cane with a rounded head, I shelled some grains of rice in my helmet which I chewed raw to spend the night. I barely had any sleep, hearing the cursing, screaming, and agonizing of dying men. The rice hay was hot and sticky to lie down on.
My whole body was wet with sweat, thus dehydrating me more due to lack of drinking water sufficient to satisfy our thirst.
I had to squeeze out the sweat to dry my shirt when they opened the warehouse.
As in the barbwire enclosure, many who died that night were left.
Another day of forced march on empty stomachs started early as our harsh Jap guards shouted everybody out of the warehouse. Luckily, nobody had a match to burn the hay inside; otherwise we could have all been burned to death.
Praise the Lord, I could still walk, with Joselito at my side. He was 19 and I was 24, at the prime of our youth!
I had conserved my three socks of sugar, oatmeal, and powdered milk. As we got hungry, we dipped our fingers to seek some food from each sock.