Diary of Francis Burton Harrison

January 1, 1936

Eleven a.m. went to the Mansion House for High Commissioner’s New Year’s reception on the lawn as per custom. We had been invited to dinner there the night before but could not accept (3d time). Mr. & Mrs. Charles Hoover (Consul General at Hong Kong) had already left but we met Chief Keith of the Baguio police with an assorted family of mestizas —I asked after the pony he used to ride when he weighed 300 lbs. and he said it was “resting easily.” Also met Colonel Kimberly and his second wife (a Viennese). He is back again at Corregidor –they had been making a really perilous motor trip thru the Mountain Province to Lubuagan and down to the Cagayan valley in a big Cadillac. Mrs. Kimberley said she had lost seven pounds in weight thru fright.

The High Commissioner looked very sun-burned and rather wildeyes. He told me the plans for a residence for the High Commissioner to be built in Manila next to the Army & Navy Club were already drawn by architect Arellano and been sent off to the Secretary of War; that the dredging was going on. He believed the building would be completed in nine months.

Motored down from Baguio –lovely drive until we ran into heavy rain near Manila. Doria and I had “New Year’s talk” and agreed that I was not really welcomed out here, and my services in the Government were not actually needed –that Quezon was exceedingly kind and loyal to me, but that my presence was likely enough a source of embarrassment to him. That we (D & I) would stop living in a dream world, that we would slow up social efforts and really try to enjoy ourselves and make the most we could out of our year here.

Arrived at 5:30 in the rain at McDonough’s house in Parañaque which I have rented for one year at 500 pesos a month; a staggering rent. Servants in confusion –nothing ready– Doria almost in tears –McDonough told us his “night watchman” had just been caught making off with some of his silver and linen! I must try to get a Sikh (Indian) in his place. No food –no soap– no conveniences, so Doria & I dined alone in the Polo Club much depressed.

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