February 25, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon says that when he first came to Washington as Resident Commissioner he, like most Filipinos, believed that when they saw an American man and woman out driving together, whom they knew not to be married to one another, they were sexually intimate. This was the old Spanish idea. But when he got to Washington and made friends with American girls, he soon found out the truth as to our views on the sexes–he was delighted, and when he went back to the Philippines, he convinced them as to the real American situation in these matters.

This conversation arose from an amusing incident–he was at his desk writing a letter to a well-known Washington hostess–a widow, but still young. She had recently entertained him in her house at a diner a deux. This was the first and only time they had met, and she terrified him by stories of the spying of the various secret services which, apparently, has always gone on in Washington. She told how, during the last war, she had warned Bernard Baruch, then a most important official, that she knew there were six police dictaphones in “his” house. He thought the statement ridiculous, but went home, made a search and found six of them–two under his bed! He was so furious that he went at once to President Wilson and resigned his office. The President finally calmed him down. Well, this lady, in return for some orchids which Quezon had sent her after the dinner, wrote him a rather empresse letter–a little coy and pleasantly familiar. He was struggling with his English vocabulary in writing his reply and asked me to help him. I read his letter and told him that it wouldn’t do at all–his phrase: “I was to find that, as the Spanish say, you carry your heart in your hand”–I protested that it was dangerous for a statesman to write such a letter–if a third party found it, use might be made of it. He jumped as if he had been shot–he was only trying to be polite. He explained that the phrase above quoted meant in Spanish only “sincere” or “virtuous” but I again objected that in English “virtue” meant not the old Latin sense of the word, but only referred to sex! He was horrified, entirely rewrote the letter in uncompromising phrases and thanked me rather effusively for saving him. He made a great story for his family out of this!

Quezon, Andres Soriano, Secretary of Finance and myself in conversation. More talk on news from the Philippines, which comes from Colonel Peralta, chief of guerrillas in Panay, through MacArthur in Australia, from time to time, and also, in bits, from returned travelers like Consul Willoquet, etc.

George Vargas, altho head of the government commission under the Japanese is not trusted by them. He is always attended by Japanese “aide-de-camp” when he goes out; Japanese officers live in his house. His wife confessed to Willoquet who saw her alone, that they are not free agents.

Quezon thinks the Japanese have disposed of Manuel Roxas by a feigned airplane accident. Soriano thinks that they have taken him to Japan to hold as a hostage. When Quezon was in the tunnel at Corregidor, he thought he was dying, and wanted to go back to Malacañan. Roxas begged him not to do so. Later when the time came for Quezon to leave Corregidor to join to MacArthur in Australia (an event which was not then anticipated), Manuel Roxas begged him with tears in his eyes not to go from Corregidor. He exhorted him to “think of your fame.” Roxas followed Quezon to Dumaguete, and went with him to Mindanao, though he did not wish to leave Wainwright at Corregidor. Refused to leave Mindanao and joined General Sharp’s forces there. Sharp was ordered by Wainwright from Corregidor, when the latter fell, to surrender explaining that the Japanese would not give any terms to those on Corregidor unless all the military forces in the Islands also surrendered themselves. So, to save the men and women on Corregidor, Sharp and Roxas came in and gave themselves up to the nearest Japanese command. (NOTE–later–Roxas and Commander Worcester, U.S.N.R. fled to the mountains of Bukidnon). General Paulino Santos and Guingona, [who were not in the army, are in Mindanao. They have “gone over” to the Japanese.] Quezon says that Guingona was with him when Vargas’ co-operation with the Japanese was mentioned in Quezon’s presence, and, as Quezon says, when he heard no adverse comment upon Vargas’ action, being a “bright fellow” (Q.), Guingona followed suit. Quezon expressed a desire to know what Guingona had done with the four million pesos of Philippine currency he took to Mindanao to pay the army there–“if he kept it for himself…” I protested vigorously that nobody who knew Guingona could believe such a thing possible. Quezon agreed. “But,” I said “I have now heard you say twice that–if he kept it for himself.” Finally we agreed that he had probably burned the money, as his instructions required.

Soriano asked if he could bring the Spanish Cabinet Minister of War (Bergdorfer?), who is now in Washington, to call on Quezon tomorrow morning? Soriano said B. was an anti-Nazi, and had remarked that Quezon’s fame was now great in Spain. Quezon replied that he could squeeze in a half-hour for the call from B. “which should be long enough if I don’t start making speeches–which I always do!”

It appears that Justice Frank Murphy presented to Roosevelt the plan for the recent announcement that Roosevelt has already recognized the Philippines as possessing the attributes of an independent nation by putting Quezon on the Pacific War Council and asking him to sign the United Nations declaration. Murphy then told Roosevelt quite heatedly that he disapproved the decision to make Hitler the No. 1 enemy, and concentrate on him to the disadvantage of the Pacific area. Roosevelt took Murphy’s objections in good temper and told Murphy to “cool off.”

Somehow, the conversation turned back to Dr. Dominador Gomez. Quezon described him as a pure Malay type, but very big and a tremendous orator in the Spanish style, who swayed his audiences as he pleased. He had been a colonel in the Spanish Army. Was elected in 1907 as a delegate to the First Philippine Assembly. The election was declared void by the Assembly because there was no proof that Gomez was a Philippine citizen. Another election, and Gomez was returned by an even larger majority amid tumults and mob fighting. So they let him in!

When Quezon was Resident Commissioner in Washington he had occasion to make some uncomplimentary remark about Gomez. Quezon, traveling homewards, got to Shanghai on the steamer where he received a letter from Gomez challenging him to a duel. On arrival in Manila Quezon received a visit from the famous Colonel Blanco, also formerly a colonel in the Spanish Army in the Philippines and founder of the Macabebe Scouts, who appeared as Gomez’s second to challenge Quezon and asking who his second would be. Quezon replied: “I shall appoint no second. I do not wish to fight a duel with Dr. Gomez. But you may tell him this: ‘I give him leave to shoot me any time he sees me. Also tell him that any time he comes within one metre of me, I shall immediately shoot him.'” Shortly afterwards, Quezon attended a burial in Manila. With him were his cousin Miss Aurora Aragon–now Mrs. Quezon and Mary Buencamino. They knew about the challenge and were horrified to see Dominador Gomez standing near Quezon and all the more so since Gomez had his hand in his side pocket! Mrs. Buencamino slipped right behind Gomez and stood there to grab his arm, but Quezon pushed right in front of him to look down into the grave. Gomez drew out his hand from his pocket, but produced only a pocket handkerchief to mop his face!

Quezon then told of his marriage to Miss Aragon in Hong Kong in 1919. I (the present writer) was on the Ocean (Pacific) en route for New York when I received a radio from Quezon. “Married Hong Kong.” I went down to Dr. Oñate’s cabin to wake him, and demanded that he should tell me who Quezon had married. He was afraid to commit himself and it was a half-hour before I could get out of him the guess that it was Quezon’s cousin, Miss Aurora Aragon.

The marriage was secretly decided on when Quezon and Miss Aragon were in Hong Kong. Quezon sent his a.d.c. to the American Consul and requested that he should ask the Governor to waive the required 10 days residence, which was done. When the guests and the principals had met in rickshaws at the civil marriage bureau, Quezon turned to Luis Yancko and said: “Do you know why we are gathered here? I am going to be married right now!” Yancko’s mouth fell open with surprise and he stammered “but to whom?” Quezon replied: “To this young lady who stands beside me.” “But, but that’s impossible” said Yancko (meaning because they were within the degrees of relationship prohibited by the Church). “Impossible–how do you mean?” “Well” said Yancko “not impossible but improbable!”

Yancko gave them a beautiful wedding breakfast at the leading Hong Kong hotel.

At lunch today Mrs. Quezon and General Valdes were describing the discomforts of life in the tunnel at Corregidor. Mrs. Quezon got tired of waiting in line before support to get her shower, so she would wait until 2 a.m. and bathe then. Soon others discovered the way, and they began standing in line in the middle of the night. No curtain hung on the alcove which contained the shower. After the heavy bombings, the water main was broken, and for two weeks they had not only to bathe in salt water, but also to cook their rice and make their coffee in salt water, which entirely upset their stomachs.

Colonel Velasquez, a West Pointer, who was in the front lines at Bataan and Corregidor, was recently at the military school at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he says he made himself rather unpopular when the meals were discussed by saying: “Sometimes we may have to go hungry for a long time.” Velasquez told me he thought a campaign like that in Tunisia was necessary to harden the American troops, who were now overfed and thinking and talking all the time about their three big meals a day. He said he thought our American troops were pampered.

Quezon has started work again on his book. Has rewritten the foreword. Warner Bros have offered to make a film of it. Much talk with Bernstein about terms and arrangements. Quezon does not think that Morgan Shuster has been careful enough in editing the English of his ms. He evidently wishes to be thought letter-perfect in English. He says he now wants to finish the book–can’t do it in Washington–too many interruptions. Requests me to go off with him for 20-30 days and work with him on the book.


March 26, 1942 – Thursday

Attended and served Mass. Returned to Del Monte. 12:30 p.m. went with Vice-President Osmeña to Mr Crawford’s evacuation house for lunch. Returned to Del Monte. Packed my valise for the airplane trip.

The planes arrived at 8:45 p.m. We could hear the roar of the engines from our house at Del Monte. At 10 p.m. we were told to get into automobiles already assigned to each person and member of the President’s party. Those that were to ride in Plane N-1 rode in cars N-1 and N-2. We were the President and his family, Dr. Trepp, Colonel Nieto, Chaplain Ortiz and myself. We arrived at the airfield at 10:40 p.m.; we were assigned to various places thus; Colonel Nieto & Chaplain Ortiz in the gunners cockpit in front. Dr. Trepp in the rear and the President, his family and myself in the radio operators compartment in the center of the plane. There was absolutely no comfort amenities, but we were willing to sacrifice every thing for safety. We took off exactly at 11 p.m. The moon was bright. I heard the roar of the four engines, then I felt a few bumps and a few seconds later I realized we were in the air. The first part of the journey was pleasant although I felt cold. I was sitting on a box in the bomb compartment and there was a cold draft coming from a small opening in the floor of the compartment. A few minutes later the pilot Lieutenant Falkner came and asked me not to smoke as I was situated next to the two big tanks of gasoline. I assured him that there was no danger and I was not a smoker. I could notice we were climbing as it became colder and colder. My feet were almost frozen. Suddenly I felt a hand in the dark grabbing my left leg. I got up; it was the President. “Give me oxygen”, he said “I cannot breathe well”. I applied the oxygen apparatus to his nose. After a few minutes he said: “this does not function; I can not smell the oxygen.” I informed him that oxygen had no odor and consequently could not be smelled. The he said: “Tell the pilot not to climb too high as I cannot stand it.” I took his pulse; it was a little fast due to his fear but otherwise was alright. I spoke to the pilot who assured me that he would not go higher than 9,000 feet and as soon as the enemy bases had been passed he would come down to 6,000 ft.

I watched the moon playing hide and seek behind the clouds. I took my rosary and prayed fervently. I thought of my family, of my little Nucay (Charito) of those dear to me. What would become of them if the trip should end in a disaster? As the moon disappeared behind the horizon, I looked at my watch; it was 2 a.m. Then I looked at the stars, but these also disappeared as we entered clouds. The clouds become darker and thicker. Then I could hear the rain pounding on the plane. The President asked for oxygen again. Then as we entered a heavy rain squall the plane was lifted and dropped a few times by the strong winds. I did not like it. The President was quite worried. He asked me if there was any danger. I assured him that there was none. Suddenly I noticed that the pilot banked the plane and the flying became smoother, later he told us that he had gone around the squall. At 6 a.m. the pilot came to inform us that we had passed already the Japanese bases and were practically safe. I saw the sky become clearer and then the sun came out. Then I saw land and a little later Port Darwin. We landed at Batchelor’s Field at 7:45 a.m.


June 6, 1936

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.


May 5, 1936

Two very nice letters from Doria written at Hong Kong.

From 8:30-10:30 with Arthur Fischer at the excellent office of the Bureau of Forestry. He is now the senior Bureau Chief. I appointed him in 1917. Twenty years is too long, and Fischer is thin, neurotic and passionately excitable. He grows livid when he tells of how Governor General Murphy let him down on appropriations his quinine forest in Bukidnon. He got the seeds in Java from Consul General Hoover, and tried first in Baguio but moved the plants to Bukidnon where they have made a startling success, and have nearly double in quinine content of the original. There is scope here for development.

Fischer is a true type of the devoted public servant–high minded–energetic-and inspires his men. Wishes to retire and has been offered excellent posts in Siam and China. Has not a cent saved up. He started the cutch industry in Zamboanga.


February 18, 1936

When I saw the Cabinet today waiting patiently for the President to finish a talk in the Palace, I did not much envy them–especially when remembering that Quezon’s intention is not to share anything confidential with them (on account of Osmeña?) but to have an “inside cabinet” of his own–like the War Cabinet in England.

Roxas has been appointed head of the “Rice Commission” which relatively unimportant post he accepts with every show of pleasure after his recent encounter with Quezon’s will and a thorough drubbing.

Enaje has been appointed Adviser to the President on matters concerning judicial reorganization–an excellent choice, but small potatoes after his disappointments over the Speakership and Presidency of the Court of Appeals.

Doria tells me that the tradesmen try on her a regular racket of overcharging–to wit those who supplied conveniences for our tea dance–electrician, chair man and orchestry. She says it really frightens her, and she must get everything down in writing before hand. If, as Major Anderson told me, commercial morality had been enormously lowered in the United States since the war evidently similar influences are at work here.

Saw Osmeña for a few moments, handsome and smiling as of yore.

Professor Africa of the University of the Philippines, the head of the Department of Students of Foreign Relations, called on me to enquire whether the “supervision and control” of the United States over the foreign affairs of the Philippines prevented the establishment of separate Philippine Consulates. Told him I would get Quezon’s opinion, but my own opinion was that it could be done if Philippine Consuls were to deal only with Philippine ships, matters of citizenship and of commerce. I then told him of the question which the American judge at Shanghai recently asked me: “what am I to do if Filipinos now claim extraterritorial rights here?”

A. D. Williams came in to enquire whether there was any basis for Quezon’s newspaper statement that it was being considered whether to build main roads in Mindanao, or railroads, which would cost ten times as much and probably be a heavy loss. We agreed that roads were the modern solution, and that a railroad was only justified if leading to a mine or other heavy industry. He had told Quezon of the failure of the Bureau of Science to get a 6,000 peso machine to manufacture quinine for the Bukidnon plantation. Quezon took up the phone and ordered this done at once. Williams is greatly relieved that Quezon has now abandoned his plan of constructing another building opposite Malacañan–he has compromised on a chalet for tea parties constructed of Philippine woods, after the fashion of the forestry Exhibit at the Carnival.

Visit from Lacson, Iloilo lawyer, whom I asked what the Negros sugar planters were doing to prepare for the “sanctions” of the Tydings-McDuffie law? He replied, as they all do, “nothing, except to wait for a modification of that law–no effort is being made to lower costs of production and transportation–except talk of a harbour and wharf in Negros.” He said he had never been in favour of immediate, absolute independence; that the Visayans are all “Progresistas,” and the Tagalogs are for immediate independence. I asked him just what he meant–he replied “I am an Idealist–I want independence, but it is like wanting a beautiful woman–you want her all right, but if you have any sense, you count the cost.”

Dr Piguiging of Tanay called. He is going to work with the Bureau of Plant Industry and Bureau of Commerce on the Friar Lands question. Evidently Quezon is getting all the information he can on this subject.

Pedro Tan of Arayat and Major Santos, Assistant Chief of the Constabulary in Central Luzon called; both keen sportsmen. I asked them why the law against trapping and selling snipe was not enforced and Santos said because it added fuel to the flames of socialism–the peasants said the rich could shoot snipe and the poor couldn’t catch them. We agreed to try to get the snipe shooting season extended for next Autumn and Winter.

Santos told me of the rarity of the monkey-eating eagle of the Philippines. The British Museum had finally secured two specimens from a missionary priest in northern Luzon. Santos has one specimen, Jaronilla one and the University of Santo Tomas one. Santos also said he could prove that the “painted snipe” bred all the year around in the Philippines like the wild chicken. He believes that Balabac and Palawan had been part of Borneo at one time, as is shown by the existence of the peacock and mouse deer in those islands. Said he disapproved of “deer-sticking” in Jolo, because usually only the females and young were speared.