November 7-8, 1972

02426 02427

(1)

1:45 AM Nov 9th

Nov. 7, 1972

Nov 8, 1972

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Have been busy the whole day of the 7th on the amendments to the Constitution draft of the Concon.

And the first two chapters of the book (sequel to Today’s Revolution–)

Worked until 2 AM

Met no visitors on the 7th.

Nov. 8th I spent meeting the new Sec Gen of Seato Thai Minister of Economic Affairs and Ambassador to the US before his new assignment. Mr. Sunthorn Hongladarom.

And the President and Vice President of American Express James Robinson and Schumer as well as the new QSI head BGen. Temple.

Started the local support for the Reform Movement meeting the Governors and Congressmen, City Mayors & Municipal mayors of the Bicol United Bloc, Cebu, Bulacan and Benguet.

(2)

Nov. 7th & 8th

Malacañan Palace

Manila

Nixon has won by a landslide in the Tuesday elections winning in all states except Massachusetts and the District of Columbia where he lost 2-1. He even won in the state of his opponent, McGovern, South Dakota.

But the Democrats retain their majority in the Senate and the House.

Met Dr. Roy Presterman, the American governments most outstanding expert in land tenure has been here advising Sec. Estrella on the rules and regulations.

He recommends zero retention for or by the landowners –even the small ones.

And says he feels that we can get a hundred million dollars of aid from the US Congress for land reform.

Our SoSec secretarys son, Roland Villacorta, was arrested for possessing new copies of Ang Tao.

And Delegate Cesar Serapio of Bulacan was arresed in a gambling raid of the house of the House of Representatives cashier, Aldaba. I was asked to have him released. But to teach him a lesson he is being kept up to 5 AM.


Baguio, November 6, 1944

I decided to come up to Baguio, partly for reasons of health, and partly to lessen the burden of the Seminary community. Food shortage in Manila has reached alarming proportions, and as I am unemployed by force of circumstances, I am more of a burden than a help. (I have to confess, however, in foro interno, that the nervousness caused by the bombings has a lot to do with my decision.) I accepted the invitation of two families—that of Tomás Morató and that of Mr. Pratts, who, with their whole families, organized a caravan of 60 persons in three cars and six wagons loaded with utensils and supplies. The trip, even in these tempestuous times, was a pleasant one, full of exciting adventures.

We left with the group of Mr. Pratts on October 31, composed of three wagons and a car. Not knowing that the Philippine Constabulary outpost in Balintawak has been reinforced with Japanese police, we passed without stopping. The first three vehicles were able to go through in spite of the pointed guns of the sentry, but the last one had to stop when the Japanese sentry was about to fire at it. The outpost officer shouted and threatened the passengers, slapped the driver three times on the face and ordered the examination of the luggages and the search of the owners, who were ordered to line up to be slapped on their faces. Mr. Pratts, on learning what had happened, turned back and showed the papers authorizing the trip, thus saving the passengers, including Father Sádaba and the famous Spanish comedian, González Anguita, from the slaps.

After two hours of delay, the convoy proceeded without further incidents. Activities went on as usual in Bulacan, we noted. Pampanga was desolate, with abandoned fields and empty towns. There were very few people in the street aside from the military, and the houses were uninhabited, except those occupied by the Japanese. Families who were able to evacuate had gone to Manila, Baguio or to towns far from the main thoroughfares. First they were driven away by the Communists, then by the marooned troops, and now by the bombings. During this three-day journey we observed that Pampanga has remained the most desolate among the town of Luzon.

We arrived at the Bamban River on the boundary of Tarlac. We found that the bridge had been swept away by the strong current. As the night was fast approaching and we did not dare encamp at night in the ghost town by the road, we decided to spend the night in Minalin, a town eight kilometers from San Fernando where a friend and a countryman of mine, Fr. Daniel Castrillo, was the parish priest. We were thinking that we could take the Nueva Ecija Road on the following day, and since we made a complete turn, we would be hitting the Baguio road in Tarlac. We did not consider the hosts, namely the guerrillas.

Fleeing from Scylla (the Japanese), we ended up on Charybdis. Hardly had we set forth on the soil of the open neighborhood which was awed by such an usual caravan and had not seen a motor vehicle in many months, when a guerrilla contingent came to the convent to investigate what kind of guest we were.

Satisfied with our innocuous characters, they guaranteed our safe stay among them. Everyone, including the guerrillas, respected Fr. Daniel, who had given away almost all of his belongings and provisions to help those who are in need.

They asked us for paper and a typewriter ribbon for use in transcribing the orders, notices and communications they received by radio. They told us that in one of the last air raids, an American pilot bailed out of his damaged plane, landed near this town and was harbored by the guerrillas. The first thing they salvaged was the radio transmitter and receiver.

After the first group of guerrillas, a second group from another town came. Then another, and still another, until almost all groups from the different parts of the whole province had paid a visit during the whole night. The first groups were courteous, the others were rather aggressive. We were surprised at how fast the news of our arrival had spread. Fr. Daniel explained to us that the guerrillas had a well-organized system of espionage, runners and network. They are now unified and better-disciplined after the purge of radical and undesirable elements who, in the past, had been committing atrocities. Such atrocities are no longer being committed now, or if ever, very infrequently. They collect the harvests, either from the farms or from the warehouse, leaving the owners with two or five sacks of rice for planting anew. In a place near Minalin, several thousands of young men equipped with rifles, have assembled for training. The Japanese are masters of the principal roads, but the towns and barrios far from the roads are controlled by the USAFFE. As of now, each group respects the others in armed peace. Officials of the national government, the mayors and the constabulary are acting like the three proverbial monkeys. They see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil.

The first group of guerrillas who came to visit us wore medals and crucifixes around their necks. Other waves that followed had their guns strapped on their shoulders. Some were aggressive and rude, who wanted to have the whole caravan in hostage, together with the vehicles and baggages to bring them to the mountains. Fortunately, the rest of the guerrillas objected, especially those from the town, and so we were spared an unpleasant and unfortunate fate.

Someone smelled that Mr. Pratts had some arms. And because he could not deny it, Mr. Pratts proposed to enter into a gentlemen’s agreement with them: that he would place the two pistols on the table and they would choose the one they liked. And so they did. One of the commanders—that was how the guerrilla chiefs were called—placed his hand over one pistol and another commander placed his hand on the other pistol. When Mr. Pratts objected, they replied, “Guerrilla tactics, sir.”

After spending a sleepless night due to the continuous visits, we decided to leave at dawn before the guerrillas could notice our departure. But the town guerrillas came and cautioned us against taking the Nueva Ecija road. Their comrades from Mexico and Arayat would be waiting for us and could hold us in bondage. We asked them to accompany us, but they said that they did not have authority to impose themselves on other guerrilla groups who they described to be savages.

They insisted that we return to Manila. The town Mayor, fearful like a Nicodemus, approached us and made the same suggestion. We decided it unwise to proceed considering the danger to which we would be exposing the women, and we returned to Manila restless, hungry and besieged by the military police and by the air raids.

The search at Balintawak was a meticulous as it was vexatious, but we were spared the caresses on the face.

Three days later, armed with passes from Minister Recto and the Chief of the Military Police of Quezon City, we embarked on our second trip, this time in a processional of ten cars and trucks. Our arrangement was that once we had passed the Japanese line, we would proceed, each on his own. The passes, however, proved to be powerful talismans in appeasing the fury of the watchdogs who guarded the approaches to the city.

We arrived, unobstructed, at the Bamban River, whose bridge has not yet been repaired. The current had subsided and we could cross it. But only after waiting for two hours in the middle of the river, to give way to the interminable processions of army trucks. I could not tell if the sun scorched as much in the Sahara.

On making the ascent to the river bank, we hit upon a rock with a bang. The engine broke down. We were stranded at the edge of the compound of the Bamban Sugar Central, in company with a Japanese sentry who, with a sullen and grimacing face, ordered us to keep our

 

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We were resigned to wait the whole night for any of our companions whom we had left behind, some of them limping, others with their engines jetting out and being operated on by mechanics.

A soldier who was occupying a nearby house approached us, more out of curiosity than charity. We showed him our pass which he read and brought to his officer. The latter hurriedly came and reproached us for not having shown it to him earlier. He said he would take us to the hotel and organize a feast, with a banquet and dancing. We had no way of refusing his invitation, in spite of the fact that we did not feel like being treated to a feast by Japanese within sight of the guerrillas, who were surely in town. In a last-ditch attempt, Mr. Pratts tinkered with an unexpected piece in the engine, and it suddenly started. We left doubly glad.

A kilometer before Camp One at the entrance to the Baguio Road, we had to pass five check point. Soldiers with bayonets awaited us at each outpost. They accosted us, looked at the magic pass, and allowed us to go through. However, we were told at Camp One that the road was closed, and so we passed the sleepless night there. Three of us priests in the car of Mr. Pratts got into one of the trucks which had just arrived, leaving the car of the Pratts family. There, the full moon above us failed to evoke poetic fantasies; rather it brought back thoughts of the bombings and landings.

Unable to distract our hearing or deviate our imagination from the chirping of crickets, the croaking of frogs, the monotonous murmur of the streams, the whisper of the breeze, we went through a sleepless night.

Decidedly, I did not count either as poet or as a guerrilla fighter. Hardly had the Japanese sentry shouted “Take it away”, and we were on our way on Kennon Road. At each corner and on every bridge, we were stopped by sentries who poked their guns at us, asking for cigarettes when they found that we brought nothing worth confiscating. They seemed more like highway robbers than guardians of security. Our short odyssey ended at mid-morning on the Dominican Hill in Baguio, where we intended to stay around until the final reconquest of Luzon, if the actual lords are going to permit us.


Baguio, May 3, 1942

Father Provincial offered me a seat in the car bound for Baguio to transport supplies. This trip which we used to make in four hours now took us nine, aside from the four days of preparation and securing of permits. What delayed us most were the stops and inspections at the police outposts. They examined—without reading, for evidently they did not understand—our passes and permits to purchase alcohol, use the car and bring supplies.

At the Villasis bridge, the Japanese sentry asked for a “sigarettu”. I offered him one but he snatched the whole pack without even a word of thanks for it.

We counted no more than three cars along the way. Where have the thousands of cars gone—those confiscated by the Japanese? We met a number of trucks loaded with goods and soldiers. Some trucks were driven by American prisoners.

Bulacan is intact, so it seems, and its streets are animated. Pampanga, meanwhile, is severely damaged, with the town of San Fernando and the north of Angeles burned. A great many sugar cane plantations were also burned. Tarlac and Pangasinan are deserted, with very few houses inhabited. Nobody—neither person nor animals—can be found in the streets. These towns which were once teeming with children, carabaos, dogs, chickens, and other animals, are now desolate, and the fields, razed, without a harvest. One would think an evil hand had transformed these green fields once so fertile and so populated into the Sahara Desert.

The bridges which the USAFFE had blown up in its desperate retreat, were replaced with improvised ones. I cannot tell how many of such bridges were built over dry river beds. We still have to see how many of them will be able to withstand the first typhoon.

People are hiding in remote barrios or in the mountains. Some of them return to their homes during the day, but go back to their hiding places at night for fear of the abuses of the army and the nocturnal pillages of armed bandits who burn and kill indiscriminately. Groups of communists, bandits or Sakdalistas who had accumulated arms left behind by the troops retreating to Bataan are increasing in number and ferocity.


March 21, 1942

The Japanese Supervisor asked me to write down the names of the five closest friends of Pagulayan in the office. I refused. He insisted. I told him I did not know. He gave me a veiled threat. I said that if I have to submit names, I would put my name on top of the list. I also told him that if Pagulayan is being detained because of spreading propaganda leaflets, an injustice is being committed. Many people have read, including myself, those leaflets. “We Filipinos,” I stated, “do not necessarily believe everything we read.” The Supervisor was not able to answer.

Spoke to Sanvictores, Alejandro Roces Sr. and Jose Paez regarding the harvest situation in Bulacan.

More complaints against Mr. Inada. He works hard, but he is petulant, inconsiderate to the people. Because of his manners, the people kick against the NARIC.

One man may spoil an organization’s record.


March 9, 1939

Last week the 1st Boeing clipper arrived in Manila, on the same day that the first unit of Mosquito fleet, a 55-foot Thornycroft motor torpedo boat, reached here. One 65 foot boat is due to arrive in a couple of months.

General MacArthur has apparently been quite disturbed lately concerning the President’s attitude toward the defense program. The General says that the President does not really believe in the plan, and is ready to sabotage it at the 1st opportunity. The two of them must have had a conversation within the past 2 or 3 weeks that did not sit so well with the General. One thing that upsets the General is the President’s continuous efforts to re-enforce and improve the constabulary, even at the expense of the army. The General was not successful in getting the government to return to us sums spent on import duties, although it was suggested that we could obtain reimbursement in our next budget. Moreover, under agreement with Malacañan there is none included in the 1939 budget (6 mos. period to July 1) and in 1945 budget a proviso to effect that if there is a shortage of funds in the general treasury, constabulary expenses may be charged to the army. If this should happen we could not function! In any event it is obvious that General MacA. is fearful of what Pres. Q. may or may not do and, in our office conferences, constantly expresses dissatisfaction with the Pres. and criticizes many of his actions, whether or not these actions have any connection with the army.

One thing that the General talked about a lot was the President’s action in getting P500,000 from the Assembly for “law enforcement”. The excuse was the very serious labor unrest, accompanied by some disorder & lawlessness, that has lately been experienced in Bulacan, Pangasinan, etc. What the need for this money is, I don’t know since the constabulary now has 350 officers and 4500 men and if rhese were properly employed, no additional help should be necessary. However, Gen. Francisco, head of Constabulary is not too bright, and has probably dispersed his force so widely as to have no adequate reserves left. My own opinion that the P500,000 incident is merely the President’s way of notifying the whole country that the whole govt. is back of him in keeping order etc. But the incident apparently stirred up the ire of the General who believes that the labor trouble was used only as an excuse by the Pres. in order to get in his hands a large sum of money that could be spent without supervision.??

More and more it becomes obvious that constructive action on this job has almost ceased. In the office itself the work is so uncoordinated that operation is difficult. I do not know, and I cannot find out, how much money is available for important training and selected projects and much of our confusion arises from absence of intimate, daily, contacts with Malacañan. Further, since there is no head of this office –except the General–who is here only an hour a day– everyone does as he pleases, and no real coordinated progress is possible. I’m ready, more than ready, from a professional viewpoint, to go home. Interest has gone. I work on academic subjects, because I have no longer power or opportunity to start execution of needed projects. I hate confining work that shows no results –so, as soon as I can decently go –I’ll simply Hooray!!


June 10, 1936

All day at sea. Quezon talked of the newspaper press, and said they had always (except of the Herald–“which was founded by me (Quezon) with the money of my friends”) attacked him and supported Osmeña. He added: “Murphy had daily press conferences and one a week for foreign correspondents, while I agreed to one general press conference a week, and only kept three of those”!

Quezon said of Davao that he intended to persuade ten rich families from Negros, Bulacan and Pangasinan to take up a thousand hectares each, and establish modern hemp haciendas there to show the Filipinos that they can cultivate better than the Japanese. The advantages of the latter in hemp had been in organization and modern science–qualities quite lacking in the hemp culture of the Bicol regions of the Philippines. The last “individual” method surviving there “insured the least profit at the most cost,” as contrasted with organized, “planned” industry.

Bridge the whole afternoon. At supper with Quezon, Roxas, and Sabido, the last named called attention to Assemblyman Rafols of Cebu who had Nile green embroidered pyjamas (at the next table)–like a woman’s beach pyjamas. Lots of laughter and chaff and Rafols was called “Cleopatra.”

Sabido then told of Assembly roll having been called to: “Datu Umbra” (husband of Princess Dayang-Dayang), and Rafols had objected to the use of the title saying: “why shouldn’t my name be called as ‘lawyer Rafols.'” Umbra happened to be absent, but at the next session he appeared and said he understood he had been “attacked” (some mischief maker probably an “anti,” said Quezon), and was prepared to “meet” the gentleman from Cebu anywhere outside the Chamber in a closed room or in the open. Rafols at once apologized and asked to have his previous remarks expunged from the record. (He had “heard of these Moros” said Quezon.)

Quezon tells me he is going to establish a general pension system for all government employees.

The President is provoked by the ruling of the State Department of the United States as to Americans being unable to divest themselves of their citizenship on becoming Philippine citizens; said that the law firm of Ross Lawrence and Selph had acted like damned fools in presenting the question as they did; that the State Department had taken this chance of serving the United States Treasury (income tax); that these opinions of Ross, Lawrence &c and of Clyde Dewitt had shown their imperialist frame of mind. Roxas said this left the situation as really ridiculous. Sabido asked Quezon what would be the position of Americans who had meanwhile become Philippine citizens, when the ten year period expired–Quezon replied very positively: “They will be Filipino citizens.”

The President said he would station 1000 soldiers at Parang. He has evidently been depressed over the situation for he remarked to me confidentially: “I am beginning to believe I shall make a success of this government but you have no idea how deep petty jealousies are.” (It is unusual, to say the least, to find so buoyant a character at all discouraged.)

N.B. At my conference on the Aparceros bill with Magalona yesterday, I was embarrassed by his bringing with him as “interpreter” a reporter of the Bulletin, the very paper which had savagely attacked Perfecto’s bill recently, and had denounced its proposal to put a progressive income tax on large landed estates–the policy I had suggested to Quezon in January.


Martes 9 de Agosto 1898

No hemos sido bombardeados como nos temíamos. Ha dicho (R. P. Superior) que era seguro que veríamos arriar la bandera Española é izar la yanqui (…). La bahía se ha despejado durante la mañana, dirigiéndose unos barcos á Mariveles, otros á Bulacán y otros á Cavite. Dos barcos yanquis, el ”Mc.Culloc” y el ”Concord” se han puesto de guardia frente á la bocana del río. Hoy y ayer se han celebrado bajo la presidencia del Capitán Gral. juntas de autoridades y de Generales. Se han abandonado las trincheras de S. Juan del Monte retirándose las avanzadas a Sta. Mesa. Las calles de la ciudad están desiertas; solo se ven en ellas soldados, chinos y batas.

Now we were cannonaded as we feared. Today and yesterday, the Board of Authorities has met under the presidency of the general.

The trenches at San Juan del Monte have been abandoned, the troops retiring to the advanced position at Santa Mesa. The Manila streets are deserted, only soldiers, Chinese, and children appear.


Sábado 4 de Junio 1898

Sábese que ha salido de la Península una escuadra española el 28 de Mayo la cual todos creen que viene acá si bien á muchos les parece mal que haya salido de España tan tarde. Reúnese de nuevo la asamblea consultiva para la aprobación del reglamento. Corren noticias alarmantes pero confusas de la Laguna y Bulacán, Dicese que la línea férrea de Manila á Dagúpan está interrumpida en una extensión de 14 kilómetros. El Comandante de Sta. Ana Pío del Pilar se ha dejado copar fraudulentamente por el enemigo cerca de Parañaque con 5 compañías. Algunos de los suyos al ver la estratagema se han venido huyendo a nuestro campo.

Alarming but confusing news about Laguna and Bulacan. They say the railroad from Manila to Dagupan has been destroyed for a distance of fourteen kilometers. The commnander of Santa Ana, Pio del Pilar, with five companies, has allowed himself to be fraudulently captured near Parañaque. Some of his men, observing the strategy, have come fleeing to our camp.


Martes 31 de Mayo 1898

Salen de Manila para el Zapote tropas de Artillería y cazadores. Salen del río los vapores Españoles “Salvadora” y “Elcano” con bandera alemana, y el “P. de Sotolongo” con bandera Francesa alquilados por las respectivas colonias de aquí para acogerse allí junto a sus barcos de guerra. Sopla un fuerte baguio con mucho agua que ha impedido las operaciones militares en Cavite. —Dicese que en Bulacán ha habido también levantamientos promovidos por Aguinaldo en combinación con lo de Cavite. Reina mucha inquietud. Han roto la línea del tren de Manila a Dagúpan y los telégrafos de Cavite y Bulacán.

Durante todo este tiempo hay mucho disgusto en la gente contra la mayor parte de la Colonia Inglesa de aquí, y sobre todo contra el Cónsul Inglés. Acúsales la voz pública de adictos á los yanquis y el mismo Cónsul parece que no se recata de profetizar á todas horas un pronto desenlace de los actuales sucesos en favor de los yanquis. Como Cónsul interino que es de los Estados Unidos va todos los días a visitar á Dewey y jamás, preguntado por los Españoles, sabe una palabra de lo que ocurre en la escuadra enemiga.

 

Artillery troops and scout rangers (cazadores) leave Manila for Zapote. The Spanish boats Salvadora and Elcano flying the German flag, and P. de Sotolengo the French, sail out of the river. They have been leased by their respective colonists here to board their own battleships [awaiting in the bay]. A strong typhoon is blowing, impeding the military operations in Cavite. They say there has also been in Bulacan an uprising, instigated by Aguinaldo synchronized with that in Cavite. There is great disquiet. They have broken the railroad line between Manila and Dagupan, the telegraph lines between Cavite and Bulacan.

All the while, there is much antipathy by the people against the English colony here, especially against the English consul.They accuse them publicly of partiality to the Yankees, and the consul himself seems not to have any inhibitions against prophesying at all hours a quick end to all these incidents in favor of the Yankees, and to show he is their friend. As an interim consul of the United States he daily visits Dewey but, questioned by the Spaniards, not a word ever comes out about what is happening in the enemy squadron.