I was made to report to the Governor of the Province as Agent for Food Production Campaign. When Gov. Dimetrio Juirino learned that I was a Stenographer, he gave me a desk in his office as his Private Secretary and did not allow me to go out campaigning for food production, because food in that Province was still plenty and cheap!
The Japanese War Notes were still accepted for paying anything in Bayombong when we arrived there. A sack of rice only cost ₱50.00 and palay was ₱5.00 per bundle.
With the money that I had, I bought two sacks of rice and many bundles of palay, which we stored under our house. I also bought a can of brown sugar and a can of salt that we shared with the Bayabos family with whom we were living.
Pat sold a set of khaki uniform to a civilian Japanese employee for ₱500.00, and with it we bought additional rice, palay, and soap.
Pat’s uncle, Sgt. Major Hilario Bayabos, P.C. retired, and I dug garden plots which we planted with vegetables such as eggplants, tomatoes, and beans. We had a growing contest. He let me choose which part of the garden I liked and I chose the higher ground. When it started raining, the top soil from my plots was swept down to his garden, thus making his plants more lush than mine. He won the contest!
We converted our dining table into a Pingpong table and played every day with Pat, her uncle, her two cousins, and made bets with each other.
Plenty of fresh vegetables and meat and chicken could still be bought in the market. It was like PARADISE compared to Manila in terms of food.