The attack had been underway since December 8, 1941. With the United States Army Forces Far East withdrawn to the Bataan peninsula and Manila declared an open city, its residents waited for the inevitable.
Restaurateur Gladys Savary went to the market early on the morning of January 2, 1942, assuming that whatever was to come, people would still need to eat. The streets were mostly deserted; city officials had encouraged people to stay indoors. Still, customers trickled into the Restaurant de Paris throughout the day. Some friends urged Gladys to have a drink with them across the street at the Bay View Hotel, and she joined them briefly in the early evening.
Gladys may have caught a glimpse of Peggy Utinsky there. Peggy had spent the day nursing patients at Remedios Hospital, unaware the Japanese had arrived in Manila. At six o’clock, she was told to go home, and as she walked along a city street, a passerby pointed out signs of the occupation: Japanese motorcycles, Japanese soldiers, Rising Sun flags. “Here they are, they have us,” Peggy thought. She ducked into the Bay View Hotel and for the next hour chatted with other Americans, gathering all the information they had. Then Peggy returned to her apartment on A. Mabini Street and began planning how she would undermine the enemy occupation.