This collection was produced as a result of the friendship between Leonora Febre, a native Filipino, and Sergeant Merrin Buck, whom Mrs. Febre met during World War II. The papers are important chiefly as a source of information concerning Filipino hardships during World War II.
The Japanese bombed the Philippines on December 8, 1941, intending to drive out the Americans. Within a month Manila had fallen to the Japanese, and shortly thereafter Bataan and Corregidor fell. The Filipino government, led by President Quezan, was forced to move to Washington, D.C. The Filipinos, treated harshly by the Japanese, did whatever was necessary to survive. A Filipino "republic" was established under Japanese sponsorship in October, 1943, and fell when the Americans landed in Leyte in October, 1944. Forces commanded by General Douglas MacArthur recaptured the islands during 1945.
In her narrative Leonora Febre gives a short description of her early life and education on the island of Corregidor in the Philippine Islands. She discusses her family's flight from Corregidor, in avoidance of Japanese attack, at the outbreak of World War II. She provides detailed accounts of such hardships as cramped or inadequate living quarters, lack of food and water, robbery by the Japanese, diseases and fear of physical abuse by the Japanese during her family's travels from Corregidor to Mariveles, Orion, Bataan, Bulacan, and Zambales. Leonora also expresses her family's joy at the time of the Japanese surrender.
A short letter from Leonora Febre to Sergeant Merrin Buck, whom Ms. Febre tutored in Tagalog, is also included in the collection. In it she gives her regards to Buck's family, expresses the hope that he will enjoy staying in her home, and thanks him for magazines.
Also in the collection are Leonora Febre's notes describing the fundamentals of the Tagalog language: vocabulary, phrases, sentence structure, parts of speech, and some verb conjugation.