Dined informally at Malacañan. Governor General Murphy and his sister very cordial and kind. The Palace much the same as when I left it but is largely refurnished. It is indeed a very romantic old house. Murphy was particularly enthusiastic about the Executive Building which was finished in my time (1920). We talked of Aguinaldo’s feud against Quezon and he told me he rebuked Aguinaldo for giving him so many stories against Quezon; he said he did not believe it all—that anyway Quezon would make no concealment of anything in his past—mentioned the trip of Quezon to Russia in 1911(?). He added that Don Manuel always spoke worse of himself than did any of his critics. Murphy offered us his car, and we used No. 1 with Ambrosio (my old driver) for several days.
Tea party at Tiro al Blanco on October 16. All old friends and very delightful. Doria was enchanted with the Filipina ladies and with the dancing. Dinner at Quezon’s fine house in Pasay on October 17 —about thirty guests, all old cabinet, etc. Mrs. Quezon was very sweet and cordial. Saw young Aurora (Baby) Quezon; they call me her “honorary god-father” because at her christening in the Cathedral in 1920 the Archbishop refused to accept me as god-father because I was a Mason. Quezon was rather tired of dinners and was nervous at having to sit still so long, but was very cordial; told me had fought in turn all of the Philippine political leaders. I replied that he dearly loved a fight, like an Irishman, and that Congressman Tim Ansberry had not nicknamed him “Casey” for nothing. Pleased to find Osmeña also friendly; but Phil Buencamino warns me that “the old gang” headed by Osmeña would turn on Quezon again at the first opportunity.
On October 19 played bridge with Quezon, Palma and Guevara at the latter’s house —a good game. Quezon held no cards but was amiable about it. Several young men and ladies were sitting or standing around in the old Filipino fashion, ready to serve. Guevera has been thirteen years as Resident Commissioner in Washington and wants to go back there. Will Quezon reappoint him? He has been advocating to Congress an American Protectorate here as a permanency. I was told of Guevara’s dramatic defense of me before the Committee on Insular Affairs when Ben Wright the then Insular Auditor, attacked me. Guevara fell senseless at the end of his speech.
The Archbishop of Manila, Msgr. O’Doherty called on me October 17; friendly as ever; he has cooperated with the government during his 19 (?) years here, and says he is ready to leave if the Filipinos want their own Archbishop —possibly Bishop Reyes of Iloilo aged 42 and a nephew of Mrs. Sophie de Veyra; that the Islandsare now divided by the Church into a northern and southern section. Quezon told me later that Msgr. O’Doherty had been very satisfactory and that they would probably wish to keep him for a couple of years. I understand that most of the Bishops under him are now Filipinos.
Arrived in Manila on Empress of Russia. Fleet of a dozen launches with flags, music, etc., accompanied the steamer to quarantine with terrific screeching of whistles. My first return since I left on March 5, 1921. At quarantine, a reception committee came on board. Rafael Palma, Chairman of this group was just as he had been in 1913. Quezon headed the party –the first time in years, I am told, he has come aboard a steamer to greet a guest. All old friends were there, including the surviving members of my former cabinets: Barreto, Apacible, De Veyra, Paredes, etc., etc.! Only Ilustre, Mapa, and Jakosalem are dead. Copious photos by newspapers.
Arrived at Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong, ill. Newspaper man told us that Quezon was in the hotel incognito, having arrived from Manila without its being known beforehand he was leaving the Islands. Saw Quezon that evening in my room for 40 minutes and had a good talk about the elections. Said his majority was greater than the combined votes of his two opponents, that Aguinaldo had beaten him in Cavite and Aglipay had led in Ilocos Norte. Said that Aguinaldo was taking his defeat very badly and that there were murmurs of revolution and assassination. I recalled that I had told him sixteen years before that Aguinaldo was “a dangerous man.” Quezon said passionately “I will ——————–.” I said deportation, but he replied the Philippine Government has no such power except in case of foreigners. Quezon told me he wanted to have me on his staff in the Philippines as an economic or financial adviser. He looked worn and said he slipped away from Manila for a rest. I asked if he was worn out by office seekers, and he replied “No –by friends who wished to congratulate me.” His blood pressure had gone up from 140 t0 180, but was now down again. Suggested I should go on a trip to Peking with him but I soft pedaled. Then said he was returning to Manila that night and asked me to wait 6 days in Hong Kong and he would return –which he was, however, unable to do. He left the hotel (as described to me by a pressman who was waiting downstairs) with a body guard like a football wedge, Quezon flourishing a riding crop and refusing to be interviewed. Quezon told me later in Manila that a newspaperman had forced his way into his cabin on the steamer and Quezon had ordered him out. Result: rather disagreeable item in paper next morning. People in Manila and Hong Kong thought Quezon came over to see me, but our meeting was entirely due to chance. He expressed indignation over Malcolm’s book and refused to write a foreword for it; told me top hats were to be worn at his inauguration –turning the tables on those who made such a joke of our arrival together in top hats in 1913.
Went down on Harry Payne’s boat to meet Quezon on the Coolidge. Philippine Flag made for me by Mrs. Vicente Madrigal on the occasion of the repeal of the Flag Law (1916?) at mast head. Quezon in fine form on his way back from the United States where the new Commonwealth Constitution has been signed by President Roosevelt. Took him to H. Payne’s where he talked very frankly before us all of the future of the Commonwealth. Said if he was elected he would secure General MacArthur to prepare for the defense of the Philippines.
As for Japan, he though that country would never try to take the Philippines if they had a strong, well-trained army; that Japs might think it worthwhile only if the Philippines were defenseless. Phil Buencamino was with us; he had come up from Manila to see that the Shanghai police took proper steps for the protection of Quezon whose life had been threatened in the Philippines. (N.B. I supposed this was a result of recent Sakdalista disorders, but back in my mind was a suspicion of the followers of Aguinaldo.) Quezon asked me to come with him to Manila but told him we would wait until after he was elected. He said, “If I am elected, I shall want you to do some work on the Philippines.” He introduced me to Governor General Murphy who was also on the Coolidge. Great cordiality from Murphy who is a fine looking, simple-mannered and upright man. Saw also Quintin Paredes (Speaker) and Miguel Cuaderno, now in the Philippine National Bank, formerly my stenographer.