September 29, 1936

At Malacañan, Kiko was introduced to the President in his office–which was formerly the bedroom where Kiko was born–Quezon was very cordial to him and had delightful manners with the boy; showed him about the Palace, and I myself was intrigued by all the recent improvements. The fill is completed on the riverside–to be made into lawn only, with no buildings; the water front opposite is to be a private golf course for Malacañan with a little ferry across the river.

At luncheon, Quezon talked of his recent stiff remarks to the Assembly on their proposal to abolish the salary of Ruiz, Director of Posts,–which, he believes, was really an invasion of the constitutional privileges of the Executive.

The President reported that he had just been talking on the radio-phone with Hausserman, in the United States, who predicted Roosevelt’s re-election, though the Digest polls were favourable to Landon. I asked him about the change of sentiment in America as to the Philippines. He replied that he was like a man in charge of a vessel during a typhoon:–he had nothing to do but to stick to the helm and be prepared for every emergency, and he didn’t want to be caught “snoring.” He agreed that the ten year term for the Commonwealth before independence was just as likely to be shortened as to be lengthened.

He told me he had arranged for Hartendorp’s paper a subsidy of 300 pesos a month, and was ready to go to 500 pesos; remarked that Hartendorp had behaved so much like a man when he was “fired” at Malacañan.

He then went back to the Wood administration, and said that General Frank McCoy was the only able man around Wood. He had been put there by the Forbes crowd to outwit him, (Quezon) but he had won most of the deals. McCoy wanted later to be commanding General of the Philippines, and he (Quezon) had blocked it. I laughed and remarked that he must have selected all the recent commanding generals here himself; –none of them were too bright. Quezon actually looked slightly confused for a moment, then broke out in a story of the selection of T. Roosevelt as Governor General. Hurley (the Secretary of War) told Quezon that Hoover wanted to placate the Progressive element in the Republican party, so wished to make “T.R. Jr.” Governor General here. Hurley asked Quezon to meet “T.R. Jr.”–which he did, then went to see Hurley who enquired what Quezon thought. “You told me, Mr. Secretary that the people of Puerto Rico all liked ‘T.R. Jr.'”–“yes”–“Well then they must be very far behind the people of the Philippines in modern thought.” Hurley laughed and Quezon told him to give him one month in the Philippines before “T.R.” came, and he would make it all right for him. But he warned Hurley that the members of the Cabinet would size up a Governor General in fifteen minutes. When he arrived at Manila, “T.R. Jr.” was only a Mabuhay man. How mistaken “T.R. Jr.” was in writing that letter of advice to his son, (remarked Quezon)–in which he cautioned him against accepting a commission in the army as that career was only suited to the less intelligent mind! Quezon said Governor General Davis had really made no impression out here; he had previously been Secretary of War and really didn’t want to come here–had wished instead to be Ambassador to France or to England.

Quezon told me he would revise the terms of the close season for snipe shooting whenever I wished,–adding: “I never pay much attention to what those Ph.D. men in the Bureau of Science say.”

I remarked that Kiko, having been born here, could, upon reaching the age of 21, choose whether he wished to be an American or a Philippine citizen–in which respect he had a wider choice than myself. Quezon at once said he would put a resolution thru the Assembly conferring citizenship on me; he had looked up the power in the constitution and found it there.

We had many laughs together and a really happy luncheon. He was pleased with Foster’s recent interview, especially his remark; “Up to this point President Quezon didn’t seem to think there was anything he couldn’t do.”


April 30, 1936

Called at Dr. Sison’s. I must go completely on the waterwagon. Went to the Bureau of Science–then to Malacañan where I talked for half an hour with Dawson (from Shanghai) of the United States Department of Agriculture. He has been here for some weeks studying the agricultural situation: says the Filipinos are the most “agriculturally minded” people he has ever known, and that many alert minds are busy on the problem of diversification of crops. Dawson reports the tobacco crops in the Cagayan valley are almost a failure from drought.

Saw Hartendorp and had a telephone from Dosser in Baguio. Tried to help out troubles for both.

Paulino Santos has been appointed Chief of Staff of the Army and a Major General–best man possible, and he will still be allowed to carry on as Director of Prisons–this will take him from Malacañan. Reyes also is made a Major General and Provost Marshal, Dr. Valdes a Major General, Vicente Lim also a General–all good selections.

Talked with Lapointe who has just come up from Antimonan where he is building a nipa shack in his coconut grove.

Went to the Aquarium which seems rather neglected. Called on Jim Ross to get his opinion concerning Americans becoming Philippine citizens. He agreed with Dewitt that this act does not impair American citizenship.


March 25, 1936

Busy morning at office. Miguel Unson has seen Quezon and has received instructions that I shall work with the Government Survey Board. He came in and outlined their work. The office is at the Heacock Building, and he spends most of his time there. Is worried by the belief that insufficient revenue is obtained from the customs, and is trying to work out a scheme for improvement; he says that every time the customs bureau is investigated the revenue receipts leap up!

We talked over the issue of railway vs. roads in Mindanao: he says the plan is to take down there that useless railroad outfit in Cebu, and perhaps in Iloilo as well, and to build roads as feeders. I also saw Osmeña for a moment before the Cabinet meeting and he talked on the same subject: says the time has come to decide either for railroad or roads, and not to make the same mistake as in Luzon, where they run parallel.

Hartendorp came in, and reported that he had recently called on General MacArthur, who has an office in Santa Lucia barracks. The General told Hartendorp that he was the first editor who had called on him, and expressed surprise; he also voiced regret that Quezon’s address on National Defense at the University had not been better received, and that the press does not support the plan. He said that his plans are extremely well forward, and that the Philippine army is going to get munitions and equipment at one-quarter cost from the United States Army. In ten years, the Philippines, he believes, will have a force making it necessary for another country, if attacking, to lose a great number of men, and to spend perhaps a billion dollars, which will make them hesitate to attack. This would be very different from the picnic the Japanese had in walking into Manchuria. Hartendorp asked whether the Philippines were not rich enough to make this “worth while,” and whether these islands are not a prize because “strategically located”? The General replied that the strategic situation would bring in other allies–especially the United States. Seemed positive of that. He also remarked that Quezon was one of the five great statesmen of the world.

Hartendorp reported that Quezon had cut his Friday press audiences four times running–“doesn’t seem to care a damn about the press,” and, of course, is being criticized by the newspaper men.” Hartendorp observed that in the opinion of people with whom he talked, there were too many United States military reviews and parades going on (n.b. Quezon is reviewing troops at Fort McKinley this p.m.).

8 p.m.--Negros left Manila with a large party as guests of Don Andres Soriano headed for Masbate, to inspect his mines there: Masbate Consolidated and IXL. Quezon, Roxas, Sabido, Confesor, Babbitt, Belden, Correa, Dewitt, Spanish Consul, Fairchild, Fernandez (Ramon), Fox, Hodsoll, Ingersoll, Kerk, Le Jeune, Peters, Selph, Whittall, Wolf and many others. Fine ship of 1900 tons and everything aboard de luxe. Bridge with Quezon, Babbitt, Ingersoll, Peters, Wolff etc. at all hours. Conversations with many aboard on mines, sugar, etc. The general impression as to the latter is no basis for the buoyancy and optimism as to the present prices of sugar shares and their future prospects. No one can answer the question: why this optimism? Not only are Filipinos buying up sugar mills, but haciendas also in the sugar districts are changing hands at prices much higher than before. Ramon Fernandez says they have just found that they can produce sugar at four and a half pesos a picul, whereas five and a half has been the cheapest heretofore. But the real reason for the situation is probably that the Filipinos know the sugar game (some have already made fortunes out of it), and they would rather stick to something they do so well than venture into new fields. Many of the gold mines are in an experimental stage still, and the general public is waiting to see what happens.

Duggleby states that up to date, no proof exists that the Paracale district is as rich as the gold vinds in Baguio. However it was formerly the chief seat of Spanish mining. Says that under American rule no new mines have been discovered in the Philippines–yet every creek in the islands has traces of gold. He doubts whether sufficient gold will ever be produced to satisfy the world, since production is not increasing, in spite of very high present price of gold as a commodity.

The general opinion is that very little foreign capital has as yet come into Philippine gold shares.

Talked with Fairchild, Fernandez and Alunan on sugar: the latter sold his own sugar shares in Negros. Babbitt is bewildered by the high prices of sugar shares, including those of his own company.

I asked Quezon if he couldn’t do something to ease off the dismissal of Hartendorp. He replied “we are going to make him a Professor of English.” Quezon was tired out when he came aboard, and the next morning he was as fresh as a daisy, and very gay. I heard him dictating in his cabin–next to mine, at 6:30 a.m.


March 24, 1936

At the office. Miguel Unson, to whom I reported that Quezon told me he had instructed him (Unson) that I was to sit with the Government Survey Board replied: “It must be so because he said so, but I never heard it.” Said he would try again to see Quezon tomorrow.

Usual crowd of office seekers and Others needing help, in my office.

Visit from Hartendorp, Dutch-born American citizen; editor of the Philippine Magazine, who has just received from Vargas his dismissal as Adviser on Press matters. Says Quezon had sent for him before inauguration and had asked him to be Press Adviser at a salary of five hundred pesos monthly. He was flattered and pleased. He has a Filipina wife and children and was proud to be called in by the President. He asked Quezon from whom ho should take orders, and the President replied: “only from me”; thereupon Quezon called in his a.d.c. and gave instructions for the immediate admission of Hartendorp whenever the latter wished. However, Hartendorp soon found that he could not obtain “audience.” He thinks Vargas has “gypped” him, because he had criticized him severely in his magazine.

Hartendorp had rented a house in Uli-Uli, had taken his children out of boarding school, and was about to celebrate his reunion with them in a home when he received his dismissal. When first appointed, he had asked Quezon how long the work was to continue, and Quezon replied “two or three years–or as long as my administration lasts.” Hartendorp lasted three months!!

Talk with A. D. Williams, who suggested buying for the National Development Co. a yacht like Yolanda of 1000 tons for Quezon’s use. Thoroughly good idea!

Williams has just been made a director of the Cebu-Portland Cement Co. which had inherited the Cebu coal field, once the property of our defunct National Coal Co. He says they have just found 350,000 tons of excellent coal there which will lower the cost of cement. (Even our Coal Company was not without some merit!)

Elizalde presided over his last meeting of the National Development Co. this morning. Usual glowing accounts of his management given in Herald which he owns. It seems he thinks the Elizaldes have lost “face” since his resignation as President of the National Development Co. was accepted, so during this week while the President was away the Elizaldes forced an issue in the Polo Club by proposing and seconding Manuel Nieto for membership. (The Polo Club and the Army and Navy Club are the last stand of the “Old Tinier” Americans.) [Nieto was rejected on the ground that he was only Quezon’s “gun-man” (which is very unjust!).] All four Elizaldes thereupon resigned from the club and took their polo team to the practice field in Camp Claudio. They are now seeking to lead the army polo players away from the Polo Club–but in vain.

The late General Tinio’s son (nephew of Don Isauro Gabaldon) came in to see me with the request that he be appointed technical assistant to me. It seems that Assemblyman Angara of Tayabas had asked his uncle (Quezon) to make this appointment without consulting me, and Vargas had told him in reply that if “Governor Harrison had need of a technical assistant, it might become possible later on”!!!!


March 17, 1936

Long talk at the office with Hartendorp, who is wearing down under his inability to see Quezon, or to do anything except routine matters. Fears he is being blocked by Vargas, whom he has several times criticized in his periodical, the Philippine Magazine. Says an attempt is being made to make us Advisers look useless to the Government. Told him to keep quiet and maintain a stiff upper lip.

Visit from Consul General Blunt who is going on leave–introducing Consul Foulds. Said Quezon had told him he wanted to attend the coronation in May, 1937.

After lunch Vargas called me on phone and said Quezon was off to Zamboanga, and if Doria and I and Mrs. Howell wished to go, the Arayat would leave at 3 p.m. Fierce rush and we all made it, to find Quezon had gone ahead in the Mayon to stop over at Iloilo, and we were to join him at Zamboanga on Tuesday a.m. On the Arayat, we found only Governor Guingona and Perez, the municipal treasurer of some town in Tarlac, off on an inspection trip for Quezon. Perez and I had a talk about the landlord and tenant situation, and he agreed with me in all particulars. He said the Chinos had a complete grip on the marketing of rice. I asked him if the report of the Rice Commission which has just been adopted was not a fight against the Chinos and he assented. He said that labor in the Philippines was now faced with a reduction of wages–these had already fallen from eighty centavos in my time to sixty centavos. Naturally, a good deal of social unrest results. Even so, our sugar could not compete with that of Java, where wages were only about twenty centavos.

Asked him to play bridge, but he said the regulations forbid Treasurers playing any game of cards, and that this executive order had been signed by me!

Guingona is in favour of constructing roads rather than railroads in Mindanao.

Amazing what a lot of apparently waste land there is in the Philippine Islands–in contrast with Japan, for example. The lower coasts of Cavite and Batangas and the coast of Negros, appear uninhabited, though here and there one sees the fires and smoke of caiñgins.


March 11, 1936

At office. Hartendorp uneasy because his appointment is as “technical assistant,” and not as “adviser”; fears he will be reduced to mere routine work, and is upset because he can’t see Quezon. Told him I had been unable to see Quezon myself for three weeks. Appointments are out for the Boards of Directors of the Philippine National Bank and of the National Development Co. They are completely Filipinized: even Colin Hoskins is ousted! Bank directors henceforth are to consist only of Government officials, thus freeing the bank from business interests of a private nature. Sorry about Colin who is one of the best directors the bank has had.

Saw Rafael Palma coming to take the oath of office as President of the National Board of Education. He seems pleased, and I am really glad Quezon took care of him–rare magnanimity on the President’s part!

At Manila Club for bridge, but Peters, entering the card room slipped and fell cutting his head badly and fracturing his wrist–took him to doctor’s. Only a few days ago called on General and Mrs. Holbrook and found her with a broken wrist from a fall on a slippery floor. This is a common accident here.

Admitted by affiliation as a member of Bagumbayan Lodge N° 4; I heard that our former efforts to make Americans fraternize with Filipinos had now been replaced by the necessity of persuading the poor Filipinos (Plaridel Temple) to fraternize with the “aristocratic” lodges which contain Americans–a schism is threatened–trouble seems to have been created by Masterson, an ex-soldier who is ambitious and speaks a few words of Tagalog.

Soriano told Doria that he finds it more profitable to sell his copra (Laguna) in the open market than to send it to the nearby (San Pablo) dessicated coconut factory.


February 14, 1936

Quezon appoints the National Economic Council and Government Survey Board; both have been held up for more than two months while Roxas was coyly weighing the advantages to himself in accepting or declining this work. Quezon told me only two days ago that he had abandoned the idea of the government survey board for lack of time to complete its work before the Assembly meets in June; that he wanted me to do the work superficially of course, but to give him something to show the Assembly. Yesterday when talking with Unson and Trinidad I suggested to them that they ask for a budgetary bureau to be set up within the framework provided by law for the Survey Board, and to be allowed to run on for a couple of years until they could finish the standardization, and all other technical reforms. Meanwhile, we could offer plans of consolidation and co-ordination of the different bureaus. Immediately after, they saw Quezon and I surmise the plan suggested by me went through, as they, with Paez are appointed as the new members of the Survey Board.

Talked with Hartendorp, publicity adviser; he has three plans:

(1)  To condense news of local papers for Quezon, under separate columns of approval and criticism

(2)  To post a one sheet Government “Gazette” with caricatures etc., selected from local papers, in every municipality and school in the Islands

(3)  To send one sheet of selected articles in local papers out to a list of American papers.

Talked with Lapointe about his recent trip to San Fernando, Union, to see the carnival there. He travelled 3d class in the railroad and is amusing but bitter in his criticism of the dirt and delays. Also says most of the passengers carry a revolver in the hip pocket. He mimics General Wood very well–also Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. whom he calls the “Play Boy” of the “Far East.”

Golf in p.m. at McKinley with Doria.

Talk with Palting, mail clerk in Malacañan; he lived eight years in New York, joined Tammany Hall and voted without being a citizen. Came back here at Quezon’s suggestion. Has valuable suggestions as to reorganization in the Post Office here.

General Holbrook arrives vice General Kilbourne.


February 12, 1936

At office, Hartendorp, who has been appointed Adviser to the President on press matters, came in to see me–he has the next room. He suggested that Roxas had tried to drive a sharp bargain with Quezon and had been repulsed.

He told also the story of Quezon’s visit of a few days ago to the Lian Friar estate. The President asked an old man there why the tenants had burned the residence of the manager for the Friars. The old man replied that this had not been done by the tenants, but by the estate managers in order to get up a case against the tenants. Quezon replied “I am not an American Governor General–don’t tell me such nonsense. As a matter of fact, I am a Filipino, and not from Manila–I was born and brought up in a small place just like this.”

Hartendorp also told me of last Friday’s Press Conference: how somebody asked whether Judge Paredes’ petition for a rehearing of his sentence of dismissal would be entertained by the President, and Quezon had replied that since he had read a whole column editorial in the Bulletin commending his act of dismissal, this being the first time in his life he (Quezon) had not been attacked by the Bulletin, he would not forfeit this new found favor by rehearing the sentence. Then Hartendorp later advised Quezon that Robert Aura Smith had been very much flattered, and the other newspapers were jealous. Would it not be well for Quezon to compliment the other editors? (Quezon told me later he had replied: “You ass! I was sarcastically running the knife into Robt. Aura Smith–not flattering him!!!)

Quezon came back and asked me to go for a ride with him–the usual ceremonies took place which he has established for leaving Malacañan–motorcycle cops etc. Quezon went to see the High Commissioner, who was very cordial to me. Do not know the purport of their half hour talk. I chatted with Franks, Ely, Teahan, the a.d.c.’s and others of the High Commissioner’s office until Quezon and I started back to Malacañan for lunch-alone together, and about as pleasant a time as I have ever had with him; we had at least twenty hearty laughs.

He explained the whole Roxas business: he had arranged with Don Manuel to accept the post of Secretary of Finance and on February 8 wrote him a former offer of this plus power to vote Quezon’s powers of control in the Manila Railroad and the National Development Co. To his intense surprise, on his return from taking his children out for a drive at 5 p.m. (which drive he didn’t want to take) he received an answer from Roxas, which he read to me, in which Roxas thanked him but stated that in as much as he had been elected, in accordance with his own wish, a member of the Assembly from Capiz, he could not leave his constituency unless called on to do so by “unavoidable duty of the Government.” This was a shock and surprise to Quezon who at once sent him a letter saying that he (Quezon) had believed that Roxas could be more useful as Secretary of Finance than as a member of the National Assembly; that Roxas was entitled to his own opinion on the matter, and since he (Roxas) had decided against it, Quezon would accept his decision not to be a member of the Cabinet, but with regret. Thereupon Roxas hurried around and tried to chip in–said he would withdraw his letter and would serve as Secretary of Finance, but Quezon replied it was “too late” as he had already appointed de las Alas. Then Osmeña came to see Quezon and Quezon says that if he (Osmeña) had then offered to resign as Secretary of Public Instruction, he (Quezon) would have interrupted the opening of his first sentence with “I accept”; but Osmeña had no idea of resigning. Quezon says Osmeña is an “old snake, but a non-poisonous snake.” He said “I licked those fellows only a year and a half ago, but they won’t stay licked.” I told him he had enough loyal men around him to run any government, and it was unwise to count upon loyalty from his opponents. He said that the night after he got rid of Roxas he was so happy he could not sleep–he wanted to call up an old friend (me) to come and talk to him; that after staying awake until 3 a.m. he got up and worked at his desk until 6.

Next I asked him about his acceptance of “Mike” Elizalde’s resignation of the presidency of the National Development Co. He replied that “Mike” had been the largest contributor to Quezon’s campaign fund in the election for the Presidency; that “like the Republicans in the United States, he had expected in return to run my administration, and so I dropped him.”

Next Quezon described his recent interview with Hausserman, Marsman and Andres Soriano, the three leaders in gold mining here. He told them he was in favour of developing the natural resources of the Islands; that he was also in favour of a fair return to investors. That all three of them had contributed to his campaign fund but if they believed that gave them a right to do as they pleased under his administration they were in for a rude awakening. That if they found existing laws unfair or unworkable, they should come to him and they would find a “sympathetic” listener when they were proposing amendments, but that if they or their clever lawyers tried to evade the law, they would go to jail. He said from the aftereffects of this conversation, they seemed to be very well pleased with the outlook.

Next, I took up with him the question of his attitude to the newspapers–a point on which he and I seem to be entirely congenial. He said he had agreed to the Friday interviews, and enjoyed them. That when he had been questioned and had answered, and another question was put he had “refused to be cross-examined” which produced a sympathetic laugh. I urged him to bend a little to avoid the nibbling of squirrels which might impair the confidence he was gradually inspiring in his own people. But he continues to scorn the press. I said I was just like him and had never crooked the knee to the newspapers.

Then we reverted to Hartendorp, and Quezon said he had received news from him a day or two ago that Scandal was going to publish an article about him and Miss. “That sweet girl” Quezon added. He told Hartendorp to let it be published, and I recalled the Duke of Wellington’s answer: “Publish and be damned.” Quezon replied that he never objected to this sort of scandal “because they always get the wrong woman or the wrong place.”

Then Quezon told me that the law permitting him to reorganize the Government had been drafted by Roxas who was to have undertaken the job. That he regretted he had allowed this to happen, because Singson told him it had taken six months of the hardest work of his life to reorganize only the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources–and even then his doorstep was always crowded with weeping wives and children. So, Quezon asks me to draft a “superficial reorganization,” so as to have something to show to the Assembly when it convenes in June; he will give me the appropriation and personnel. “We” he added, “will really reorganize the government two or three years hence.”

His mind is set on our vacation trip in April to Moroland when he “will be through establishing his Government firmly and can relax.”

Golf at McKinley later with Doria and call on Felicia Howell.