March 19, 1936

Arrived at Zamboanga one hour before the Mayon which brought Quezon, his daughter “Baby” and a considerable suite. Walk up to market place where Assemblyman Alano introduced Quezon who spoke in Spanish. His address was on the duties of citizenship and the relations of the provinces with the Commonwealth Government; said also that whereas in the past elective officials who were guilty of misdeeds were more leniently treated than appointed officials would be–now the new government would treat them all severely since it was their own administration. Just afterwards, he proceeded to a hearing on charges of petty graft against Provincial Governor Ramos (mulcting ten pesos from policeman etc.). He gave no decision, tho’ during the hearing, Quezon suspended a stenographer and the Secretary of the Provincial Board for having falsified the record in favour of Ramos. Afterwards, Quezon told me he thought Ramos was guilty but did not know whom to appoint in his place. He gave a hearing to a Moro Datu who was opposed to military conscription. Quezon told the Datu, to the latter’s surprise, “I don’t give a damn whether you enroll or not. You will have time to study the question, and later on, if you don’t enroll something will happen.” This is in accordance with his idea that Moros are great bluffers, and will never agree with what you seem to want unless they can put you under an obligation.

Drive to San Ramon–a wonderful penal colony. Talk with Joe Cooley, who started it. He was unwise enough to go into business with an associate whom he describes as thoroughly unreliable–and with Joe Harriman the New York banker who is now in prison.

Visits to quarters of the Huntsberry, and the Tiltons–both are Lieutenants in the army.

Tea dance at the Zamboanga Club–met many old acquaintances; the most torrid heat I have ever felt. There was a big thunderstorm at night which delayed the departure of Arayat. Instead of leaving at 8 p.m. we did not get off until 2 a.m., so would be unable to keep our appointment at the mouth of the Cotobato River on the morning of March 20th–docked instead at Parang and we drove 28 kilometers over the hills on the new road across this part of Cotobato and arrived at the latter place at 12 noon. Meanwhile, the water parade which had been waiting for us at the mouth of the river had returned, much disgruntled.

From numerous conversations, I gather that the famous “Moro problem” has been “solved”– though it is still possible to have local disturbances in Jolo and Lanao. Roads are being pushed everywhere. Cotobato Moros are dirty, unkempt and doped looking–poor specimens physically. Cristianos, especially Ilocanos, are settling everywhere in this wonderful valley. Cotobato is the most hideously ugly, galvanized iron town I have ever seen. Cattle, coconuts and palay. The Provincial Engineer said that by next year we would be able to motor from Cotobato to Lanao. Rains–reception at Provincial Treasurer Palillo’s, who was outspokenly furious at the failure of Quezon to come to his merienda. I tried to pacify him. Provincial Governor Gutierrez (Major in the Constabulary) had been tried on charges of using prison labour for his own purposes, but when it turned out that the labour made the magnificent flying field which he has leased to the government for one peso a year for five years, Governor Gutierrez was acquitted and reinstated.

Secretary Quirino says he will transfer the offices of the Department of the Interior for three months of every year to Zamboanga to show the Southern Islands that they are really part of the Philippines.

I congratulated Assemblyman Tomas Confesor on his independence speech answering Pedro Guevara.

Bridge with Quezon, Doria and Felicia Howell. The President said he wanted to stay on in the Southern Islands, but he had two military reviews near Manila. I consoled him by saying that all the hard work he had put in by cultivating the American Army officers was bearing most excellent results.

Quirino said that as Secretary of the Interior, he really occupies the former position of the Governor General, having authority over all the Provincial Governors. He also reported that when Quezon came down from Baguio recently he asked him: “Why did you suspend my Major” (Gutierrez, Major of the Constabulary is the appointed Governor of Cotobato), he (Quirino) replied: “Why shouldn’t I suspend my Governor?” Secretary Quirino started life as a school teacher at the age of fifteen–and his mother then took all his salary. Some years later, he said, Isabelo de los Reyes beat him as a candidate for Senator, and at the next election retired, saying he wanted to give Quirino a chance!

Quirino said to me that my silver purchase suggestion was “gaining ground.” He also remarked that I had helped in the purchase of the Manila Railroad bonds, because I knew the “psychological background” of the English bondholders.

Talk with Alano, the Assemblyman from Zamboanga. He is the manager of the United States Rubber Company’s plantation on Basilan Island. Lawyer. Used to be stenographer for Quezon in the American Congress in 1911. He was born in province of Bulacan. He recently accepted a nomination for the Assembly simply as a matter of “civic duty,” as he is a successful lawyer and plantation manager. Said Yulo had persuaded to such effect, that he replied he was willing to serve just as a stenographer as he did twenty-five years ago in Washington. He said the Assembly would be “all right” when it met in Manila in June. They were not going to make a fight for silly privileges.

Twelve thousand crocodiles were killed last year in the Cotobato River–the hides were sent to Manila for sale.

One merchant in Cotobato claims to have exported 1½ million pesos worth of palay (rice) last year.

Bridge with Quezon, Doria and Felicia Howell–Quezon is way ahead. He plays and bids excellently.

Left Parang at 6 o’c bound for Zamboanga or Basilan. Quien sabe?

Guingona was aboard and in lively discourse with a group of Assemblymen about the very advantageous flying fields they had mapped out and were preparing in Mindanao.

Major Hutter of the United States Army Medical Corps says General MacArthur states that my administration was the best the Americans had in the Philippines. This is something of a pleasant surprise!


December 21, 1935

Contribution to the Tribune by Pedro Abad Santos commenting on Roy Howard’s article. A very shrewd analysis of the present situation. So far as Quezon is concerned, I do not really know his views of the future –I discard that part of Santos’ article which deals with the working classes, for while now suffering from economic depression, they are certainly on a much higher standard of living than any others in tropical Asia.

Conversation at his office with J. Ross. He supplied the key to the puzzle –everything clicks now and falls into place:

(a) Quezon’s reticence with me

(b) The Roy Howard interview

(c) The good impression wished to be created by the purchase of Manila RR. bonds from the English Company

(d) The unwillingness of Blunt to accept Quezon’s house in Pasay at a very reduced rental

(e) The embarrassment of Blunt over the interview the London Times man (Stevents) had with Quezon etc., etc.

(f) The anxious enquiries Quezon made of me as to the utter dependence of England upon holding her Empire together etc., etc.

This is haute politique indeed. J. Ross told me that Quezon is in favour of independence if that is safe (so is J. Ross!) that at the moment he is badly scared over Japan; that England appears to be an “anchor to windward” (words mine); that three years ago Quezon told him that the United States was going to “kick us out” and Quezon was then in favour of going to London to talk with the Foreign Office; J. Ross told him that the Foreign Office would not talk with him. That Colonel Frank Hodsoll told J. Ross that he (Hodsoll) had been asked by Quezon to talk to the British Ambassador in Washington and had done so.

J. Ross and I agreed on the reasons for the attacks on me here –that I was believed to be in favor of quick independence and that they believed my own Government here had damaged business (Wood-Forbes Report); J. Ross thought it would die down soon. Elizalde’s opposition to me was due to his jealous wish to have a controlling influence over Quezon.

The most surprising symptom I have found here this time is the utter lack of self-confidence among the Filipinos!

J. Ross asked me if I did not think Quezon could lead his people into a Protectorate –I said he could lead some of them, but that denial of independence was a cartload of dynamite.

Doria left at noon en route for the Mt. Data Christmas party of Heine Schradieck of the Standard Oil. Amazingly enough, I remember how I had interned Schradieck together with the other Germans in the Philippines when we entered the World War in 1917.

Saw Secretary of Agriculture Rodriguez, former Governor of the Province of Rizal, concerning the dispute between Binangonan and Cadorno municipalities.

Saw the President at Malacañan at 6 p.m.; he was about to start for the National Assembly which was ready to adjourn. He was in the barber chair now established in the Palace and he received my account of my interview with Blunt with alert interest. His mind was taken up, however, with a pending dispute between the Jesuit Friars and their tenants on some unspecified hacienda. He said he wanted me to help him on it, but what he really desired was a sympathetic audience before which to express his own views. Secretary Yulo was waiting in the next room and joined in the conversation. Quezon said he had sent today for Araneta, the lawyer for the Jesuit Corporation, to prepare the ground before he should see the Administrator of the Corporation tomorrow; that agrarian troubles on this hacienda might result in bloodshed; that he (Quezon) was in favour of justice rather than the law; that these families of tenants had cleared the land and had lived on it for generations –that they practically owned it and had more moral right there than the Friar owners who had not paid originally for the land and had not spent any money on its development. (I interjected the view that as the Friar orders had then been the government they had practically given these lands to themselves, as was customary in Frailandia –that the situation was like a chapter out of Noli Me Tangere –“yes,” Quezon said, “except that now there is no Spanish Governor General to order out the troops.”) Quezon said he told Araneta he would not evict the tenants who had not paid rents and that he would not send the Constabulary to defend the Administrator; that, pending the purchase by the Government of these Friar lands (or alternative measures) he considered the tenants had more moral rights than the Friars –that if these people were dispossessed more “communism” would result; that he did not care to make any public statement of his views, because in this case there might be outbreaks instigated by demagogues.

During the morning, Quezon had signed the National Defense Act in the presence of Osmeña and MacArthur –movie taken of same.

Jim Ross told me he understood “Mike” Elizalde was out as head of the National Development Co.


November 15, 1935

Inauguration of Manuel L. Quezon as President of the Philippine Commonwealth. His inaugural address was his best speech. The Secretary of War also made an admirable address. The ceremonies were perfectly carried out. The crowd was immense, but there was not much shouting. the old walls of Spanish Manila made a picturesque historical background for the memorable transfer of executive authority from the United States to the Philippine government. Military parade was blocked by mobs. Osmeña looked very serious, and very much the gentleman. Altogether, it was a moment of wonderful sentiment for me.

Governor General Murphy now becomes the first American High Commissioner –he left the ceremonies when his own part was finished, and went to his rooms in the Manila Hotel to receive the official call of the Admiral and of the Commanding General there. He told me a few weeks ago it looked as if there might be no inauguration: Aguinaldo was proposing to raise 60,000 men to march on Manila in demonstration of his opposition. He remarked that bloodshed would have been inevitable. I congratulated him on having put his hand to the plough, and then having finished the furrow. The Governor General seemed very tired.

One of the interesting features of the inauguration was the presence there of Quezon’s little son, in uniform with a.d.c. aiguilletes on his right shoulder –an honor paid only to a President or to a Field Marshal. General MacArthur sat next to Doria during the ceremonies.

Dinner for the Secretary of War at President Quezon’s house in Pasay; very well done indeed. Quezon was tired but happy –General MacIntyre, General Cox and Admiral Murfin– Doria sat next to General MacArthur at the table– there was an air of satisfaction among the guests. After dinner, we went to the Inaugural Ball which was opened by President and Mrs. Quezon. The auditorium was not overcrowded –people, especially among the Congressional party were pretty well tired out. Colin Hoskins told me that since this was the most weighty Congressional party ever gathered officially out of Washington, its visit has not only given great weight to the new government among Filipinos but had deeply impressed the “Old Guard” Americans here. The auditorium was beautifully lit and the whole affair in very good taste. Colin hopes that the new High Commissioner will assert American prestige here, and not be merely an “Ambassador.” General MacArthur told Doria that the position of High Commissioner at present was very “nebulous”; that he himself might take it if offered him –combining the duties of that and military adviser. The Secretary of War told Doria how he and the Governor General had visited Aguinaldo in Cavite giving only one hour’s notice of their coming, so that a crowd (of demonstrators) could be avoided –“nevertheless when they arrived at Kawit, there were two thousand people there”!


November 11, 1935

Saw Jim Ross –full of vigour and life and apparently he has recuperated from his dreadful accident of last January in New York. He told me that the Army-Forbes forces were fighting against me as hard as ever –that Bowditch, Ermin and Weinzheimer were at it. That Ermin had said General MacArthur would quit if I stayed on here. I told him he had better repeat that to Quezon. Jim was full of fight –said I must stay on– that Quezon would never allow the American Army to run his administration –that I had friends here who would stand up for me &c. &c.

Saw former Senator Hawes who is ill with a bad heart –he is managing the Congressional party’s trip, and said that in his studies of Philippine history one of the things that made him angry was my opponents making me out as a Tammany roughneck  destroying things out here, instead of my being what he called a “Virginia gentleman.” Said his own bill was changed by the Tydings-McDuffie Act in only two particulars (i) the word “absolute”; (ii) withdrawing the United States Army at the end of ten years. Senator Hawes looks physically very feeble. He says that these people (Filipinos) cannot live with the present economic restrictions, which the United States must modify.

Saw Resident Commissioner Delgado and his wife; they came from America (leaving their children there) at his own expense, in order to accompany the Congressional delegation. A fearful row now on between him and ex-Senator Hawes –he says Hawes directs the Resident Commissioners in Washington, as he is an adviser to the Philippine Government at a “nominal” salary of $5,000 in addition to his $25,000 a year from the Philippine Sugar Growers Association. Delgado says that Hawes bosses the whole Congressional Mission, that he makes it seem part of the sugar lobby; that he (Delgado) is all that prevents the press men from spreading this idea; that the Philippine “Free Press” has just published an article attacking him (Delgado). He threatens that, if he is not sent back as Resident Commissioner, he will expose all this and show up Hawes. Hawes tried to prevent his coming out here. (I used all my best efforts to keep him quiet so as not to cast any discredit on the visitors nor on the government.) I told him finally, that I thought the appointment of the new Resident Commissioner was already settled.

Annual meeting of the Philippine National Guard Association; luncheon at Plaza Hotel, at which I was speaker.

Tea at Jaranilla’s. Mrs. Harry Hawes and Colonel Van Schaick were there. Met Rev. Dr. Lyons, who first suggested to me at Malacañan in 1920 the building of the Balete-pass road into Nueva Vizcaya  and he was later the first man to make the trip over the pass by motor. Mrs. Jaranilla told Doria that the argument against woman’s suffrage in the Philippines, was the great influence that such a measure would give to the Church. (N.B. Roxas says the same.)

Went at 7 p.m. to the Manila Club to observe the “two minutes Armistice silence.” Of those who had been present when I attended there with the American Admiral on Nov. 11, 1918, I saw only Stevenson and Gordon. Jim Ross and Colin Hoskins spent the evening with me while Doria went to the Armistice Day dinner dance at the Manila Club. Our conversation was chiefly about arrangements for a reception to be given to the visitors by the American (Democrats) of the Philippines. Also we had much talk about MacArthur and Quezon.

In Senator Hawes’ room I met McDaniels, agent for the American Cordage Trust.


November 4, 1935

Visit from Rafael Palma —I asked him if Osmeña was friendly to me now—he said “yes— that Osmeña had forgotten the slight resentments of 1918-20. Said Quezon doubted the loyalty of Speaker Paredes during the recent electoral campaign; that the latter was not really a coalitionist—and that Paredes would not be reelected Speaker—probably it would would be Manuel Roxas.

I called on Quezon but found he was closeted with members of the Assembly —probably trying to settle the Speakership fight— so I did not wait. Palma says Paredes will be offered either the Resident Commissionership in Washington, or else a position here as counsel to the Government Corporations.

Called at Sternberg (Military) Hospital to enquire about General Hull & Colonel Mason.

Reception and ball at Malacañan given by the Governor General for the Secretary of War and Mrs. Dern. The large room was practically cut in two by the orchestra; tables on balcony; and dancing on the riverside half of the big room,—but all lights out in dance room making it very gloomy. There was no gaiety perceptible and banks of thirsty men were looking in vain for a drink. The grounds, on the other hand, were too brilliantly illuminated so that all one could see outdoors were lights—no trees or shrubbery were visible.

Secretary of War Dern was affable. General MacArthur whispered in my ear “This place must be full of ghosts for you”.


July 6, 1935

Shanghai.

Went down on Harry Payne’s boat to meet Quezon on the Coolidge. Philippine Flag made for me by Mrs. Vicente Madrigal on the occasion of the repeal of the Flag Law (1916?) at mast head. Quezon in fine form on his way back from the United States where the new Commonwealth Constitution has been signed by President Roosevelt. Took him to H. Payne’s where he talked very frankly before us all of the future of the Commonwealth. Said if he was elected he would secure General MacArthur to prepare for the defense of the Philippines.

As for Japan, he though that country would never try to take the Philippines if they had a strong, well-trained army; that Japs might think it worthwhile only if the Philippines were defenseless. Phil Buencamino was with us; he had come up from Manila to see that the Shanghai police took proper steps for the protection of Quezon whose life had been threatened in the Philippines. (N.B. I supposed this was a result of recent Sakdalista disorders, but back in my mind was a suspicion of the followers of Aguinaldo.) Quezon asked me to come with him to Manila but told him we would wait until after he was elected. He said, “If I am elected, I shall want you to do some work on the Philippines.” He introduced me to Governor General Murphy who was also on the Coolidge. Great cordiality from Murphy who is a fine looking, simple-mannered and upright man. Saw also Quintin Paredes (Speaker) and Miguel Cuaderno, now in the Philippine National Bank, formerly my stenographer.