Arrived at Iligan, route having been changed by Quezon in accord with news from the Manila Weather Bureau. The visit to Culion is now to be at the end of trip.
Before making wharf at Iligan, Quezon addressed the Assemblymen, asking for funds for the development of Mindanao. He used maps, and said that an electric railway was to be built from Misamis, via Bukidnon to Davao, the water power for this project coming from the falls in Lanao. Only four or five of the Assemblymen had ever been in Mindanao before. The gathering seemed to be willing to vote the money, but wanted to know how they were to get the colonists? Quezon replied “Open roads, and they will come of themselves.”
Sabido is opposed to agricultural colonies, when established with government money.
I told Quezon, Osmeña and Roxas that economic plans for the Philippines were blanketed until either they decided, or circumstances decided for them, on their future economic relations with the United States. (I find many here agree with this feature of the difficulty of the sugar situation.)
Quezon talked of Elizalde and the Polo Club incident; he insisted that the refusal to elect Nieto a member had been due to its race discrimination against Filipinos; he added that Saleeby is an Assyrian Jew; that the Assyrians had for centuries allowed the Turks to trample them; that people of that type could not insult the Filipinos.
Osmeña is subdued and triste. He has, I am told, money and family troubles, as well as political.
There is no drinking whatever aboard the ship; the steward complains that he had stocked up, and nobody uses it! Sharp contrast indeed to the last voyage on Negros when Don Andres Soriano was host to the American mining magnates.
Drive from Iligan to Dansalan (Lake Lanao)–surely one of the most beautiful bits of scenery in the Philippines. Through Maranao Botanical Gardens, where there is a waterfall; past the fine fields at Momungan, where in 1914 we established an agricultural colony for “down and out” Americans, of whom there were originally about fifty but now there are only eleven left; all the other colonists today being Filipinos. Then Lake Lanao with mountains in the background which is as fine a scene as any in Switzerland. The buildings, however, have run down since American army days here. The Constabulary who now compose the garrison are splendid picked troops: big, athletic men.
The President’s speech of the day was made at Camp Keithley, where most of the Lanao Moro Datus were present. This made a brilliant scene with their vivid costumes. Quezon, instead of flattering them, as his predecessors had done, talked straight from the shoulder of what his government proposed to do to develop their country; and stated that now they would be required to expect no further consideration as Moros; that they must remember that they were all Filipinos, and that this is their own government. He stated very positively that he wanted no more disorders, adding that: “Life is precious everywhere, but in such beautiful surroundings as Lake Lanao, life is doubly valuable,” and then finally cautioned them that: “thus it would be wise of them to be good”!!
This was new talk for the Moros, and one of them remarked to a friend: “he is hard on us.” All this will do inestimable good. Quezon spoke very carefully, selecting each word. It was badly translated by a native into the bastard Arabic which the Lanao Moros are supposed to use.
Luncheon was served as the post club. It suddenly became dark and began to rain. The meal had been laid for one hundred and twenty, but many more were there, and the food disappeared in ten minutes–as in a visitation of locusts!
After lunch, Wolff and [I went to the house of Lt. Ormai, of the Artillery. He is a small man and a killer.] He said he had two stokes mortars, two mountain guns (3.2) and a sub-machine gun; that the last time he took a cotta (about two months ago) he found their bolt holes, and described how he shelled the Moros there. He said the Lanao Moros are cowards (Cooley says ditto). They oppose everything proposed by the government, but are divided into numbers of petty sultanates. These “Sultans” are selected, if of the blood of the former sultan, for their personal bravery. They get a share of the religious receipts. The older Moros present today had, no doubt, been leaders of the Pirate Empire existing from ancient times which fell after the American occupation; until that, they used to raid the northern islands of the Philippines for slaves and plunder. Their reign is at an end.
Visit to Reina Cristina falls; a magnificent site, and the best hydro-electric proposition in the Philippines. This will certainly suffice to run an electric railway. Quezon has ordered the Bureau of Public Works to give no more franchises for water power in the Philippines; all are to be reserved for the government.
Camp Overton, near Iligan has been entirely abandoned. I first came there with General Pershing in December 1913.
Left Iligan for Zamboanga. At dinner with Quezon, Santos, Roxas and Sabido. Roxas and I pressed hard for reforestation and a campaign against forest destruction for clearings (caigñins). Quezon heartily agreed with our arguments. Someone remarked that Cebu had been so ruined by destruction of its forests, that in a century from now it would have hardly any population. I mentioned what the Government of Japan was doing for reforestation; how Germany, France, Switzerland managed it by communes. Quezon said he was confident he could make the people understand why they should not burn the forests for homesteads (caigñins).
The President added that this was the first visit to Lanao he had ever enjoyed, because he didn’t have to listen to Datu Amanabilang; that the last time this old Moro had spoken in his presence he had argued that they did not want to be governed by Filipinos but wanted the Americans there; but today a Datu had protested against the American Superintendent of Schools, and wanted a Filipino. He, (Quezon), thereupon “went for him”; and told him his threat of closing the schools by withholding children would not be listened to by the government; that if the schools here were closed, the money would go elsewhere, where people were clamoring for schools. Quezon further admonished this man that the Datus were no better before the law than the poor man–that even he as Chief Executive was not above the laws. That the Moros, though in a minority, had equal rights with the Christian Filipinos; that if the Moros developed a great leader, as he hoped they would, this man would be available for election as President. Quezon also denounced their petition for Moro Governors of provinces and Presidentes of villages, and said the best citizens would be selected where he was a Moro or a Cristiano.
Later, the President told me he now thinks the Lanao Moros will gradually “come into camp,” when they see that the government is in earnest; that they are good farmers, and he was going to build a fine road right around Lake Lanao, to help to civilize them, “instead of killing”; and if they won’t be “good” they will eventually meet the same fate that the American Indians did.
The President was rather sharp with his a.d.c., Major Natividad, for trying to get him to read a paper at dinner, when he wanted to talk.
In the absence of the Governor, Quezon called up the Colonel commanding the Constabulary here, and ordered him to remove the squatters from around the reservation at Reina Cristina falls. He also told Roxas that he would wire the President of the United States asking that the remaining Army reservations near Camp Keithley be turned over to the Commonwealth Government, so that henceforth settlers on these lands would not be evicted.
I had a talk with Assemblyman Luna of Mindoro about his bill to protect tamaraos, a unique small buffalo, found on his island and nowhere else today. He told me that the game reserve I had created by Executive Order on Mt. Calavite, Mindoro, was of no use because no game wardens had been appointed. He said the peculiarly malignant malaria found on this island had been eliminated at least from around San Jose. He added that he himself, has never been in the interior of the island, and it is almost uninhabited. Naturally, he wants this great province, just opposite Batangas, developed. I told him I thought the malaria in the past had practically ruined the island, since there had been a large population there in ancient times, to judge from old Chinese records.
A geologist named Belts, a great traveler and good observer, said a special brand of English was being developed here in the Philippines. The teachers had a bad accent and the pupils worse. (This is why I now find it more difficult to understand my servants,–and indeed all Filipinos, especially over the telephone.)
Talk with General Paulino Santos, the head of the Philippine Army, who is my cabin mate. More than twenty years ago I appointed him to be the first Filipino Governor of Lanao, and now he comes back as Chief of Staff, naturally, very proud he is of his rise in life. He is very conscientious and is fiery tempered about his work; he has no patience with political or personal promotion seekers. He is quick on the trigger about resigning if he meets a serious obstacle in administration–as he did with General Wood. He finds General MacArthur to be the cleverest American he has met, and very broad-minded. Santos intends to have all supplies for the new army made if possible in the Philippines. He will tolerate no interference with his official authority, and recently “sat on” General Valdes and Major Ord, MacArthur’s assistant. He does not get on well with Osmeña, but has a fine relationship with Quezon, who he says, was very cold with him at first. Santos is utterly and completely devoted to the service of his country,–and is not afraid of anyone nor of any nation. He remarked: “I honestly believe that next after the Japanese, the Filipinos are the greatest of the Asiatic peoples.”
Comments I have heard upon the Lanao Moros by my companions are: vacant expression, open boob mouth, stained with betel nut–(Malay type). These Moros do not bathe, and one is glad to avoid shaking hands with them. Their poor physical appearance is variously ascribed to inbreeding, hook-worm, and opium.
A passenger on the Negros who is a much-traveled geologist said that in the Dutch East Indies the third generation of Mohammedan Malay were quite tractable, and he thought these Moros would develop in the same way.
Talk for one hour with Vice-President Osmeña:–recollections of old times when he was the undisputed leader of his people, and we had worked so closely together. I asked him about Palma’s report on education; he said he hoped it could be put into effect but was not sure. I next asked him about the high price of sugar shares in the Philippines. He thought the market level far too high, but said the sugar people had so much money they put it into more shares and high-priced haciendas. Next I recalled how with backing he had founded the National Development Company, eighteen years ago and it had accomplished nothing. Asked if all economic plans were not paralyzed by the sugar question, and he agreed.
Then I enquired about the reforestation of Cebu and he expressed himself as enthusiastic over the idea but at once diverted the conversation into a eulogy of planting fruit trees, and increasing the export of fruits. Said it was almost impossible to induce the Chinese to eat more sugar but in fruit: “can do.” He eloquently pictured millions of Chinese eating Philippine bananas which he thinks far superior to those from Formosa. I called attention to the recent exclusion of mangoes from importation into the United States on the old dodge of thus preventing the introduction of the “fruit fly”! (Recalled my speech in Congress on this subject, and the cynical smile of Speaker Cannon.)
I asked Osmeña about the future of their free trade market in the United States. He agrees with me this cannot be held. (So does Tommy Wolff, who comments: “none so blind as those who will not see.”)
Next I asked Osmeña about Nationalism in the Philippines. He said it was growing greatly, but that “it is wise to preserve some local sentiment or culture.”
Osmeña commented on the political strength of agricultural organizations in the United States, and said Secretary of State Hull told him: “These people are very powerful.” I asked him why United States spokesmen are now “delivering so many kicks against the Philippines.” He replied: “because of (a) the economic situation in America and (b) they have lost interest in the Philippines; the old generation, many of whom had altruistic feelings towards Filipinos, are gone.”
He agreed that the period before complete independence would be shortened by the United States if the Filipinos asked for it.
Osmeña then expressed feelings against the taking of teachers camp in Baguio for the army; said the teachers made the best soldiers anyway since they were so conscientious, and had such a sense of responsibility towards their country.
I reminded him of how we carried through the plan for civil government in Mindanao and Sulu in 1914, to which the War Department agreed because Pershing joined in the recommendation; Pershing’s motive being support for his own record–he wanted to rank as the last Military Governor of the Moroland and to show that his administration had pacified those regions in order that the army could be withdrawn etc. Osmeña then told a story of Pershing on a visit with him to Cotobato just before I came to the Philippines in 1913, when the proposal to establish a colony of Cristianos there was under investigation. Osmeña added that Bryant (?) was taking photographs of Pershing, explaining that he wanted a record of the one who would be “respondible” for the project, and Pershing at once said he would have the plates broken. Quezon said they have by now spent a million pesos on this plan, but agrees that it was worth it, since, right where there is the largest Moro population, the purpose has been accomplished in Cotobato of “settling the Moro question.”
Osmeña also talked of the Japanese: thought them very clever, and thoroughly disciplined. He expressed surprise that though the Japanese did not talk good English [while] their government statements in the English language were always so perfectly expressed. (I think former Consul General Kurusu is this “foreign office spokesman.”)
Short speech by Quezon to the Assemblymen as we approached Zamboanga. He believes that the town is ended (commercially) because of its geographical position. He asked the respective committeemen to visit the schools and leprosarium; but the great object of interest is of course, San Ramon prison colony (founded by Don Ramon Blanco in 1870 for political prisoners, and developed by us into an agricultural and industrial penal colony). He stated that the time had now come for the Assembly to decide (a) whether to sell this hacienda to private parties, or (b) to sell part of it and keep part (piggery) or (c) to keep it as training school for the Davao penal settlement. There are 1300 hectares at San Ramon, and 27,000 at Davao.
Tommy Wolff told us how, during one of his earlier political campaigns Quezon had been savagely attacked as a mestizo–especially in the provinces of Tarlac or Zambales. Quezon at once went to a meeting there and stated in his speech that his mother was a Filipina, he was born in the Philippines, and that he is a Filipino–he “didn’t know what mestizo meant.”
In Zamboanga, Osmeña made the address at the Plaza Pershing. It was said to have been extremely eloquent. He spoke con amore of the development of the former “Moro Province” and made polite allusions to my work there. The President and I played truant and went out to San Ramon with Speth and swam on the beach there. All the rest of the party joined us there at tea-time. Quezon persuaded me to eat for the first time balut, i.e., eggs containing chickens about to hatch! It is really quite a delicacy. The President at once noticed the prettiest girl there and danced with her; there was a lot of amusing chaff over his writing in her autograph book. Quezon then told us a lipstick story of a Hollywood girl he once met on the steamer crossing the Pacific:–he was giving her a cocktail and remarked: “I wonder why girls use that hateful lipstick?” She instantly replied: “Don’t be afraid, I’m not coming near you.” (But she did.)
Talk of the bad English accent of the young Filipinos of today; Quezon said he was going to try to have English instruction eliminated from the primary grades, and get Americans to teach in higher grades. I asked: why not get teachers who really speak English–namely, the English themselves?
Then had a talk with Quezon about Secretary of War Newton Baker. Listening to my account of my own slightly strained relations with him, he said “I thought the atmosphere of the army in the War Department was affecting him.”
Quezon told me of High Commissioner’s insistent dwelling on the necessity of balancing the budget. Quezon had heard that Murphy stated the Philippine Army was unbalancing the budget, “and that was one of the reasons I accompanied him on the boat as far as Hong Kong but we never had a chance to discuss it.” When Quezon returned to Manila, he sent for Weldon Jones to talk this over, and said to him: “before we begin to talk, let’s agree on the term ‘balanced Budget.'” This was then defined as: “the ordinary expenses of the Government falling within the ordinary revenues.” Agreed. Then he told Jones that the recent income of the Philippine Government was not “ordinary,” because “we have had a row of Governors General here who didn’t collect the taxes.” He added that he would collect five million pesos a year more than his predecessors had done from the present taxes, and “in the first quarter of this year I have already collected two millions more than were received last year; moreover, I am going to impose new taxes: an inheritance tax (where there are no children) to confiscate all estates over a half million pesos, and heavy income taxes on all those having over 100,000 pesos income which is “enough money for any human being.” Weldon Jones expressed himself as delighted with this form of taxation, and, added Quezon “Murphy himself would be delighted but had not the nerve to risk public disapproval here; he will be glad to be absent while this is done”!
I commented to the President on his advantage with the legislature in being a Filipino himself, and, unlike his predecessors, he was thus able to deal directly with them, and not thru an intermediary. He replied: “I know the (sotto voce) Goddamn psychology well enough.”
Quezon asked Colonel Stevens commander of the local Constabulary (Army) at Zamboanga whether he would like to be transferred to Manila. Stevens, who was driving the motor said slowly: “Well, Mr. President, I would really rather stay in Zamboanga.” Quezon replied: “Well, next year you will have to come to Manila anyway for six months,–you can’t get to be a General without doing that. I will attach you to Malacañan and then you can get a per diem.” Stevens said “Very good, Sir.” He has about the nicest house in Zamboanga. We went there to play bridge later. Quezon explained to Stevens that he wanted the Non-Christians to “get accustomed” to Filipino officers and had moved Dosser from the Mountain Province, and Fort from Lanao accordingly.
Interesting talk with Quezon over my landlord and tenant propositions. He told me of the bill introduced to lay progressive taxes on large landed estates, as I had recommended in January. He said that Assemblymen had been in touch with him on this; that the savage attack in the Bulletin against this bill convinced him of its merit, if before that he had had any doubt that the idea was sound. I then talked about the Irish Land Laws with him, and asked him if Roxas would oppose, after lamenting in his University of the Philippines commencement speech that “the land in the Philippines was passing from the peasantry to large land-owners.” Quezon said “Yes, he will object, on account of his wife (a De Leon from Bulacan) but we shall beat him.” Told him I wanted to consult with members of the Labour Committee now on board about the bill, and he said “Yes–you’d better.”
After dinner I stayed on board writing up these notes, while all the rest went to the dance at the Zamboanga Club and returned at 11 p.m. in high spirits, but with no signs of alcohol.
Bridge with Quezon, Roxas and Sabido, from 11:30 to 4 a.m. Then sat talking with Quezon and Sabido until 5. For the first time, with Quezon, I raised the Japanese question. He said his first preference would be for the Philippines to stick to the United States, if possible; if not, to England. If those alternatives are not available, he would come to an arrangement with the Japanese, and “I can do it–I know how.” Sabido said that the Japanese individuals who he knows are all afraid of Quezon–that the President was the only man who could handle that question. Quezon said that a few years ago, in Shanghai, he brought Chinese and Japanese leaders together, and the success of those negotiations was temporarily such that the Japanese people at home were for a time annoyed with their army for treating the Chinese so harshly. Like every one else, Quezon has grown tired of trying to help the Chinese “nation,” but now says it would be the best thing for China to recreate her country with the aid of the Japanese. “The Japanese despise the Chinese” he said “but admire the Filipinos for setting up their own nation.” He then told some of the recent history of North Asia with a sympathetic understanding of Japanese problems; described how, at first, all they wanted in Manchuria was to protect the interests of their railroad there. The Chinese had agreed to Japan’s building this railroad, thinking it would be a dead loss but when, instead, it became profitable, “They threw stones at the Japanese.” He recounted the extreme aggressions of the Chinese which had harassed the Japanese so sorely–how the Chinese propaganda had brought the European powers to her side as had also the missionary propaganda in the United States. He added that the successful war of Japan against Russia had been brought by them as a purely defensive campaign, if ever there was one.”
Quezon believes in the good-will of Japan towards the new Filipino nation. He remarked: “I have acquaintance with a large number of Japanese, but have hardly ever been able to make friends of them”–an exception is Marquis Tokugawa–the grandson of the Shogun. Another friend is the present Japanese Consul General in Manila, who replaced an arrogant and trying man, and is more like Kurusu. The President said he is getting constantly closer to the Japanese Consul at Manila; that the latter is now learning to trust him, and actually gave him more information about the strained Davao situation than “any of my own fellows”–“I telephoned him recently and told him that the question which caused real irritation against Japan among the Filipinos was not Davao, a question the people at large really do not understand, but that of their invasion of our fisheries, a matter the Filipinos do understand, since it affects their own food supply.” The Consul replied that he saw the point clearly, and would ask his government to draw off the invading fishermen. President Quezon admitted that the reported “incident” on his recent visit to Davao was true: namely, that the Japanese Consul had suggested that there might be “grave consequences” in the outcome, and Quezon had replied: “You can’t bluff me.” We then talked of our old friend Ambassador Hanihara of long ago in our congressional days in Washington–Quezon said the incident which caused his recall as Ambassador, was very unjust: “Hanni,” (as we used to call him), showed the “offending” letter to Secretary of State Hughes before he sent it and Hughes said “fine”:–then, the fierce public reaction in the United States frightened Hughes, and Ambassador Hanihara was recalled by the Japanese Government and Hughes permitted this injustice in silence.
I asked Quezon what he proposed doing to stop the Moros from smuggling in Chinese coolies and opium? (A matter apparently entirely neglected nowadays) and inquired why he didn’t get a fast gunboat. He replied that in a couple of months he would have five of Mussolini’s fast “torpedo type” boats capable of going fifty miles an hour.
To bed at 5 a.m. after a more interesting day and night.