June 22, 1936

At office; visit from Becker from Aparri, who has always been a sort of confidential agent of the Government on affairs in the far north. Says he cannot persuade his two handsome mestizo sons to go to the Military Academy to become army officers. He came down to Manila to try to induce the President to visit the Northern Islands–as to which I talked later with Quezon and he agreed to go to see the Batanes, Camiguin etc “in between two typhoons,” tho he spoke rather ruefully of a typhoon getting him and me! Becker also asked to have one of Quezon’s confidential advisers sent up to Aparri for a while.

Becker says the Japanese are settling in isolated places on that coast, getting sea weed (for iodine)–they pay 5 centavos a kilo for the sea weed and sell it for 22. They also take camagon wood from the forests and load it in Japanese ships returning from the South. The island of Camiguin is heavily wooded with fine timber, and is people by those of Aguinaldo’s small force who escaped northwards when he was captured in Palanan by Funston. Becker says the Japanese fish these waters with ice-supplied boats which are periodically visited by a mother ship.

The country of the northern coast is a fine source of supply of rattan, and there are thousands of hectares lying idle in the interior. Ilocano emigrants are slowly trickling into Cagayan province. Many Negritos are in the cordillera east of Lake Cagayan, which, by the way, is not nearly so large as is shown on the maps. There was, he added, no danger of attack from the Negritos unless one goes armed. The Apayaos and Kalingas no longer disturb travelers from Ilocos immigrating via Abra across their country. The Aparri breakwater is not yet finished. Once a month a subsidized Tabacalera steamer calls at Batanes with supplies but gets practically no cargo there.

Later from 10:30 to 1:40 on the balcony at Malacañan Palace with Unson, Yulo and Marabut checking up on Quezon’s message on the budget–later we were joined by Quezon, Osmeña and Vargas–(Osmeña came on other business but took part in this discussion).

After having his office in Malacañan air-conditioned, Quezon turned the “conditioning” off and sits outside on the balcony to do his office work. (Those of whom I enquire here seem to be of two minds concerning the advantages of air-conditioning–a process new here, tho I first experienced it in Buenos Aires six or seven years ago!)

Visit from Ramon Diokno and Eulogio Benitez with the former’s draft of my landlord & tenant bill; he has amplified it by including amended portions of the Civil Code, rice tenancy law and sugar tenants law–a remarkable bit of legislative drafting. If this bill is adopted it will free the “serfs” on the land and provide in the Philippines an exit from the feudal system.

Talk with Unson concerning the plan to make the Governors of Provinces appointive instead of elective (qua France). It will have support in the Assembly since this measure would enhance the prestige of Assemblymen, who will then be the chief elective officials in the provinces. Even if he favours this centralization of power, Quezon will hardly come forward to advocate it, since it appears superficially to be a step back from democracy!

Unson reports that the disappearance of fish from their former haunts in the Philippine waters is due chiefly to dynamiting. He said further that agents from the Department of Labour foment “safe” strikes in order to have the credit for settling them. His last bit of official gossip was that the Philippine Army is to buy old type Enfield rifles, and .45 caliber revolvers–a size Unson thinks unsuitable for Filipinos.

When Quezon joined our group, his budget was gone through, and he was particularly concerned to change the last paragraph which as originally drafted, sternly admonished the Assembly not to touch the surplus of the government–(thirty-one million pesos nominally–nine millions real unencumbered surplus)–Quezon asked us what we thought of appropriating the government’s surplus. Unson spoke up at once, pointing out that the system had been different here than elsewhere. In England and France they budgeted only for expected actual expenditures. Quezon and he agreed that the real riches of a nation were to be found in the pockets of the people and not in the Government vaults. I told of the first United States surplus under President Andrew Jackson, which was divided up by the government among the states. Quezon then modified his budget message so as to leave a door open to use the nine million surplus later if needed; said he wanted to get his tax laws through first, then take five millions of the surplus as a revolving fund for the development of Mindanao. He went on to say that the trouble in using a surplus would not be with the Assembly, but with the United States Government which under the Tydings-McDuffie law has powers to intervene here in financial matters–that the High Commissioner was always at him to keep a surplus and to balance the budget–principles which, however, Murphy did not himself observe when Mayor of Detroit, and which are certainly not followed by his chief, President Roosevelt. “I could manage Weldon Jones” he said, “but it is hardly worth while for he will not be Deputy High Commissioner for long; from what I read in this morning’s paper, Murphy will be back in a few months; in reference to a proposed nomination for Governor of Michigan, he now states that his work in the Philippines is not yet finished.”

The President then invited me to lunch with him after all the others left, and told me how he had left Manila dead beat on Friday but as soon as he got to Atimonan and had a swim he wanted my company and thought of wiring for me to join him on an excursion to Alabat Island where the sea bathing is so wonderful. He had talked to the school teacher at Alabat and found that in the schools practically no Filipino patriotism is taught. Said he had gone in swimming again at Sunset Beach, Cavite, “but if I had not been enough of a man to go through with it, I would have refused on account of the jelly-fish.”

I handed him the Landlord & Tenant bill. He said Secretary Torres had come to him a day or two after his message to the Assembly last Tuesday, and had told him that his passages referring to the land system had killed all danger of disturbances; especially now that he has reversed his former position and has come out against purchase by the government of the great estates. I asked him if the church was not disappointed. He said “Yes, for they expected to sell their lands to the government at a terribly high price.”

He had been reading a Spanish work of the early conquest of the Philippines and expressed regret that the high reputation of the Filipinos for commercial honesty in their early dealings with the foreigners was no longer maintained today. He also said he was sorry that the Spanish expeditions of long ago against the Moluccas and Borneo had failed–for by now they would be the center of a great empire. I remarked that this would come to pass anyway in the future. Quezon agreed.

I enquired whether he wished the Survey Board to proceed with their attempt to consolidate scientific laboratories or to wait, since, against the wish of his own expert adviser, Dr. Manuel Roxas, he had wired to ask for some export from the Mellon Institute, to come out here to help us to reorganize. He said: “Yes, go ahead.” The President is determined, if possible, to prevent “overlapping” and we dealt with the extreme difficulty of getting at the real facts from the bureaus concerned here!

I asked him to request Washington to prolong the service of Consul General Hoover at Hong Kong for one year (to the time of Hoover’s retirement). He at once drew up a cable to the High Commissioner to that effect, which was very complimentary to Hoover.

Told him that Doria and I wanted to go to Bali for a couple of weeks:–he replied that he did not understand the interest in Bali, adding: “We have plenty of Balis here.”

Quezon then said he was celebrating a great event today telling me that a month ago, spots had been discovered again on his lungs. He had been dreadfully worried, and told nobody, not even his wife, but today another examination had been made and he is now absolutely clean of tuberculosis. Meanwhile, he had taken exercise and had avoided the sun. This dread of tuberculosis hangs over all the truly brilliant prospects of his remarkable career.

Asked him for the pardon of Evangelista in San Ramon and he said he would attend to it.

He had asked Unson about amending the sales tax law so as to collect it at a higher percentage but with a single incidence, and thus to stop tax evasions. Unson said it was impossible to stop Chinese evasions, and that collection at the source would penalize manufacturers instead of falling on the merchants.

In the afternoon, tea dance at Bilibid for the birthday of General Santos. Quezon was there, but did not seem to enjoy himself much.


June 17, 1936

The message was excellent, and contained the following reference to agrarian reform:

In the meantime, I recommend the adoption of measures similar to those which were adopted in Ireland to solve agrarian problems there existing from time immemorial. I also recommend the immediate passage of a law authorizing the expropriation of those portions of the large haciendas which are urban in character and occupied by the houses of the tenants.

Saw the President on the balcony at Malacañan, and congratulated him on his message, though his somewhat impromptu speeches and papers are usually his best, because they give more of the ardor and passion of his personality. He called me over and kept Secretary Yulo and Justice Recto &c waiting in order to give me the following letter he had written (in long hand) in reply to mine of thanks for the trip on the Negros:

Malacañan Palace, June 17, 36.

Dear Governor:

Your note of the fifteenth is very much appreciated.

In asking you to join me in my trips I am only seeking my own pleasure and profit. Your company brings back to memory those happy days of our former association and offers me the opportunity–which I can seldom have in Manila–to get your views and encouragement on the plans I have which may be a little too advanced for some of my associates. It is a source of great satisfaction that you feel as much pleased with the trip as I am.

Yours

Manuel.

I expressed myself as very happy to have this letter. Then I took up with him his very frank and bold renouncing of the purchase of the remaining Friar Estates, and congratulated him on recanting his former views. (This is one thing I have been trying since last Autumn to spare his government.) I told him that his “Board of Arbitration” in my bill on Landlord and Tenant, as taken from the Irish Land Acts, was the Land Commission, and I had given them the power to purchase (with his approval and action by the Assembly) all or part of any of these estates; that it was better for him to have the power to use in an emergency, even if he didn’t exercise it. He agreed. I also told him that after his message a lot of the agitation and trouble would die down–he agreed. Hoped he could now induce the more turbulent tenants to move to Mindanao.

Talked with Colin Hoskins on phone about the landlord and tenant bill–he said “the failure to purchase the Friar Estates would disappoint some important churchmen.”

I took the bill down to Diokno’s office for remoulding.

N.B. on the Negros Quezon had remarked that before the arrival of the Americans in the Philippines, venereal diseases were almost unknown here. I told him with what reluctance in May 1917 I had closed the “Red Light” district of Manila, when the Commanding General of Fort McKinley brought me President Wilson’s Executive Order thereon, referring to eliminating such districts within a certain number of miles of an army post. This General was equally reluctant to act, saying: “I founded it myself in 1901 when I was Provost Marshal here”–Quezon said this closing had spread prostitution and venereal disease greatly here.

Talk with Secretary of Finance Alas on the standardization of salaries; he emphasized the view that this must be undertaken, and it was better to get it over with now, however disagreeable this may be. He admitted however that the higher salaries of the City of Manila and of Provincial Governors must also be readjusted.


June 14, 1936

Arrival at five a.m. at Manila. Quezon left the steamer before I could say good bye. Major Speth came in to see me and told me of the break between Quezon and Jake Rosenthal who is one of those who are being prosecuted for the sale of oil shares contrary to the “Blue Sky Law” (Henderson Martin in 1915 proposed this legislation on the Kansas model). Quezon told Jake to go to see Secretary Yulo to show his innocence of intent etc. Jake waited an hour on a bench outside Yulo’s door, and then an underling came out and told him “the prosecution must proceed as it had been ordered by Malacañan.” This broke Rosenthal. Later, Quezon went to call on him at his home, but Rosenthal refused to come down; Quezon invited him to Cabuyao for the week-end, and Rosenthal declined; Quezon then asked him to accompany him to Baguio and again met with a refusal! This was probably what made Quezon despondent and caused his earlier mentioned remark at the Rotary Club that his post “is the most difficult job on earth today” and “my friends sometimes have expected me to save them from certain trouble into which they themselves have voluntarily gone,” and “if I were a quitter, I would quit now. At least for a man of my temperament it is the worst job, because I like my friends and I love to be happy. Disagreeable things cut me through etc.”

Arrival home. Space, quiet, comfort, good food and peace. Three lovely letters from Doria who is due home in exactly a week.

Day spent in catching up on newspapers, letters and financial affairs.


May 24, 1936

Conflict between Don Vicente Singson, head of the Rice and Corn Corporation, and Collector of Customs Aldanese who insists on duty being paid on imports of rice from Saigon. Singson refuses to pay. Aldanese says that the Corporation makes a profit and must pay duty. (No doubt this is on the side of Chinese dealers who control the rice market here.) Later, Quezon, after consulting Secretary of Justice Yulo, ruled that the Corporation need not pay customs duty. (The Herald on May 27 gave a front page leader on this as “a menace to constitutional Government” because Quezon decided this point himself instead of letting it go to the courts.) It is evident that all signs of dictatorship will be resisted here.


April 9, 1936

In Zamboanga. The Mayon arrived with Yulo, Quirino and Rodriguez, Santos, Fellers and many others, and Peters, Wolff and I shifted to the Mayon for Manila.

Interview with Johnson who has been here since ’99 and was an agent for Governor Frank Carpenter whom we discussed–he said Carpenter was a public servant thru and thru and perfectly coldblooded; knew everything that was going on from his agents and especially from Filipina women. Said the only way for a white man to succeed down here was by keeping active every day. Most of the fifty Americans who had settled in Zamboanga Province had gone in for loafing and booze, and lived on their Filipina wives. He was broke when in 1932 copra went down and he was left with nothing but debts–subsequently, he paid them all off and last year was assessed for the largest income tax in the Province, on an income of 50,400 pesos. It came from dealing in cutch and copra, and from stevedoring and automobile agencies. He remarked that the Chinese down here come as coolies, get a little tienda at some cross-roads and in ten years own all the property around–they plant nothing and create nothing–send to China for their “sons” (made by parcel post)! The Japanese on the other hand created plantations and improved and developed the country, and lived like highly civilized beings with all the modern conveniences. He greatly preferred the latter.


April 7, 1936

At sea nearing Jolo. At breakfast I had a talk with Quezon over the Government Survey Board. He said the government had become a mere bureaucracy; I told him the Survey Board was puzzled to know how to decrease the expenses of government in accord with his wishes–was it by lowering salaries? He said no–but by abolishing useless places and duplications.

The President then told me how, long ago, he had agreed with Governor General Wood to sign the contract for the sale of the government’s Portland Cement Co. in Cebu for 200,000 pesos; though he never intended to do so, but wanted Wood to keep quiet during his (Quezon’s) current political campaign then under way. The day after the election, Wood sent for him and presented him with the contract which he (Wood) had already signed, and then Quezon refused. Wood went purple in the face and rose as if to strike him. Quezon told him he had changed his mind, and that he took that privilege because Governor General Wood did it so often himself! The government cement co. now has a surplus of two million pesos, and is worth about four! Wood wanted to give the Manila Railroad away to J. G. White and Co.; also to sell all the government-controlled sugar centrals for a song. Quezon says Wood would have lost one hundred million pesos for the Philippines in his rage to “get the government out of business.” (I was the one who had originally put them in!)

Quezon is going later to Davao with three members of his cabinet: Rodriguez, Yulo and Quirino, to settle the ticklish international situation there; wish I could be there, but am going back to Manila.

Arrival at Jolo. Visits to provincial and municipal buildings. Quezon made a fine speech to the Constabulary at their quarters. He told them that the primary duty of soldiers was to ensure peace and order for their fellow men, and this should be sufficient reward for them. He said that the duty of the soldier in time of peace was to be courteous and just, but in time of war it was to kill; their rifles were not given to them as ornaments, but to kill when ordered to do so. Since several of the leading Moros were present, this firm attitude will be understood all over Jolo in forty-eight hours. The Constabulary can handle the situation of allowed to do so, and now they have been assured of the proper backing by the highest authority. The Moros are bullies, and understand only force.

Quezon told me he was going to break the power of the Datus (there are 6 or 7 of them in Jolo) and to stop the “babying” of them by the Government.

He received telegraphic news that the registration for the new Philippine Army had been 100% successful, and very happy he was over this–showing again how much better he understands his own people than do so many of the Filipinos.

A terrific rainstorm arose which prevented our trip across the island of Jolo by motor.

[Mrs. Rogers, the Moro wife of the former Governor of Jolo (and an old sweetheart of Quezon)] came to lunch. I asked her, before the President, how long it had been since the last disorder occurred here? She replied that order had been more disturbed during the past three years than for a long time past. She told the story of the killing last night of a boy of twelve who ran away from a provincial policeman–i.e., one of the “police” attached to the Deputy Governor, the Datu of Indanan. Quezon rose at once–sent for the municipal President, the Chief of Constabulary (Major Gallardo) and Governor James Fugate. I advised Quezon to abolish the “deputy governors” and their gangsters. I also advised him never to make a Moro the Governor of Jolo–he said he never intended to do so, but would appoint a Christian Filipino (Major Gallardo) as Governor in the place of Fugate, who was originally a “missionary” and “should have remained so.”

Quezon, when he had inspected the jail, reported that there was one young man in there who claimed to have killed his man in a fight. Quezon said he did not always object to that sort of killing, and would look into the case. He said there were also two Moro women in jail on the charge of adultery; he told Judge Labrador to try the two cases this morning, and if convicted, he would pardon the women, “since it is absurd to allow a man to have thirty wives and to put a woman in jail for adultery.”

Graft and tyranny are rampant among the Joloanos, and Quezon is glad he came down here to learn the situation.

Opium smuggling, which used to be rife here, is uncommon now, and this must mean that the British Government at Sandakan is at last helping to stop it. I couldn’t get them to do so in my day and this was the subject of an acrimonious exchange of views between myself and Lord Curzon when he was British Foreign Secretary. [Met Hadji Butu, former Prime Minister of the Sultan here, whom I made Senator, and later discharged as such for taking part in the opium traffic. I asked Mrs. Rogers what he lives on now–she replied: “graft–mostly religious.”]

Quezon is a most erratic bridge player–always doubling and bidding slams. He plays his hands wonderfully, and if he makes an original bid, it is sure to be very sound. I am losing heavily here, as I did on the Negros trip.

The President has apparently been completely cured of his stomach ulcer by a series of injections–he now eats copiously, and even drinks beer and cocktails. I must go to see his doctor as soon as I can get back to Manila.

The contrast here between the neat homes of the Christian Filipinos and the reeking quarters of Chinese and Moros is striking.

Mrs. Rogers told me that none of the teak forests of Jolo, the only ones in the Philippines–are being cut and sold. Main exports are copra and hemp. They grow some upland rice, but the Moro diet consists chiefly of tapioca and fish. They are marvellous sailors.

Quezon gave me to read “The Secret War for Oil” after I had gone through it I told him he ought to go down on his knees and thank God that oil had not been discovered in paying quantities in the Philippines. He said he had been first told that twenty years ago by Representative William Atkinson Jones of Virginia. If oil is found here, it should be in the hands of one company only–either American or English, and not divided up between various rival oil companies.

In the afternoon, trip around the island of Jolo on the new roads, and saw the sites of various battles fought by Generals Wood and Pershing. We visited all the Constabulary posts. I had been to Camp Romandier in 1915 when we had that thrilling deer hunt with spears, and on horseback. The agricultural development of the island is now simply wonderful–they are, perhaps, the best farmers in the Philippines; also they have fine stock; horses, cattle and carabaos. I told Quezon that this had changed my whole opinion of the Jolo Moros. It is an eye-opener; and he said it had had the same effect on him. That he was going to bring some money here, and help break the power of those who are exploiting the poor farmers of this paradise on earth–whether they are Vinta Moros, Chinos or the Datus. If necessary, he would have the National Development Company undertake the marketing of the crops, so as to cut out the extortioners. He repeated what Governor Fugate had told him: there are three kinds of Moros–the aristocrats, the farmers and the Vinta Moros, who own no land and live at sea.

The President is now receiving on the Arayat a delegation of the Datus who are not officially favoured by Governor Fugate. “Probably they are full of complaints.”

Quezon says he will provide appropriations for more water for Jolo. He is very enthusiastic over what he has seen. I told him he must be prepared for explosions if he broke the power of the exploiters–resistance on some feigned issue–he said he was prepared to handle that.

Altogether, I think this afternoon will have an important bearing on a fair settlement of the “Moro problem,” at least so far as Jolo is concerned.

The teak forests are very badly managed–but crops of hemp, maize, tapioca, coconuts and upland rice are excellently farmed; so are papayas, mangoes, kapok and other useful trees.

The President received a telegram stating that the Japanese had landed on Turtle Island, taken all the eggs and the female turtles and killed all the males–an incident full of disagreeable possibilities.

We received a statement in the town of Jolo from a local resident (Mrs. De Leon) that the magnificent farms we saw were the work of Scout and Constabulary soldiers who had settled there–the more backward farms were the work of the stay-at-home Moros.

Arrived in Siasi at 11 p.m.; a small crowd of local officials had gathered on the pier. Quezon is the first chief executive, I believe, to visit this island except General Wood. We stumbled about in the moonlight, visiting the old Spanish fort and the barracks built by the American soldiers in 1901. The main street was faintly lighted by electric light owned by a Chinese–there are one hundred Chinese here in a total population on the island of only some four thousand–one road has been built, four kilometers long, half way across the island. The racial stock here is Samal (the sea gypsies–there are three types of them, those who live entirely on their vintas with no house on land, those who live entirely on land and those who use both). Industries are pearls and copra. Evidently the Chinese get all the profits.

Quezon asked the locals whether they had any questions or complaints–one leader stepped up and advocated the retention of Governor Fugate (Siasi is a part of the province of Jolo). Quezon asked him: “are you the agent of the Governor?” and he replied “Yes, Sir,” and probably didn’t find out until the next morning the irony of it.

On our return to the steamer, Quezon talked for an hour with Peters, Wolff and myself. I lamented that the courts had overthrown our attempt to force by law the keeping of books by the Chinese businessmen in either English, Spanish or a native dialect of the Philippines. Quezon said the adverse decision in the Philippine Supreme Court, had been written by Justice Johnson, and that in the United States Supreme Court by Chief Justice Taft–but it was purely a political decision. Said that the new constitution of the Commonwealth had provided for that; that the rice marketing of the Philippines was entirely in Chinese hands, and they could, if they wished, starve the islands–“an intolerable situation,” he added.

Talking of the necessity of the Constabulary being supported by the head of the state, Quezon described the recent Sakdalista uprising in Laguna Province. The local chief of Constabulary received some rumours of a gathering and sent a patrol of one officer and ten men in the jitney to make a survey. Approaching Cabuyao (near Biñan) they found the town in the possession of a large party of Sakdalistas who had seized the Presidencia, on nearing which they were fired on and the officer and five men were wounded. The officer leapt from the jitney and cried out “come on and fight them, men”–they began firing and killed fifty of the Sakdalistas, after which the rest fled; but instead of commendation, the Constabulary were given repeated investigations! (Quezon was in Washington at the time.)

The President then passed to the subject of communism, and said that the Filipinos were easily drawn to these theories. Governor General Murphy he felt made a mistake when he released the communists from Bilibid prison–even though he was himself opposed to keeping men in prison for their political opinions. He made it as a condition to their release that they be exiled from Manila to various points such as Ifugao and Batangas. When Quezon assumed the presidency of the Commonwealth, he found that the people of the localities to which those men had been deported had built them houses and were supporting them! In Spanish days, all the Filipino patriots had been similarly deported! Quezon pardoned these exiles from home immediately in order to destroy their influence in politics. He then had an interview with [Evangelista, one of them who is an educated man and is a convinced believer in communism, and had been one of Quezon’s former leaders.] The President told Evangelista that it was folly to think the Philippines could be converted to communism. Evangelista replied that the communist leaders were building for the future; they were working for their grandchildren and were willing to die for their belief. Quezon retorted: “it’s no more use talking to you–you look out you don’t get into the clutches of the law again. There is one difference between you and me–you are willing to die for it and I am willing to kill you for it.”

Then we talked about health. Quezon said he thought my trouble was nervous indigestion and that I could be cured by having some work to do which really interested me: that as soon as I was through with the Government Survey Board he wanted me to work with him on a history of the Philippines during the fifteen years since my administration. The accepted belief in the United States, he said, was that I had wrecked the Philippines and Wood had restored it; while the exact contrary was the truth. We would get the figures, and he would give me the incidents from his own recollections. Told me how he was flat on his back in Baguio a few years ago when Osmeña opened his attack on him in connection with his opposition to the Hare-Hawes-Cutting law, saying Quezon should be driven from the Philippines. Quezon was at once carried from his bed to the train, and at Tondo station was carried from the train to a platform which had been erected there for him. Thousands of his followers were present. He spoke for an hour, and walked down from the platform and was ill in bed no more.


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 10, 1935

Long talk with A.D. Williams at Malacañan about the reorganization of the government. He gave me a chart showing a reduction in the number of the provinces, based on topography and roads –which would save nearly half of the expenditures on provincial governments. We discussed many bureaus and buildings for the same. He said that the retirement of surplus officials as proposed by the law of two years ago was not carried out. I asked him if he would serve on a committee to work out a plan, if I could get Palma also? He consented.

Saw Quezon for one hour in Pasay –says he has had frightful pains in his stomach, and thinks that milk does not agree with him; therefore, he ate a dinner of oysters, fish, chicken, four vegetables, and a sweet! An awful diet for stomach ulcers! Then he became very natural and lively. Said his 1st pardon had been for adultery, and that he would not allow a man to remain in prison for an offense he had so often committed himself. I told him he must cast responsibility for administration on his cabinet –said he proposed to do so, and that is why he has just announced the rule of only two cabinet meetings a week, because they had fallen into the habit of not giving an increase of salary to an employee without cabinet consent. I told him there was much corruption in the government. He agreed and said that was why he had jumped so hard on the Director of Commerce, in connection with the importation of rice –as a warning to all minor employees. We arranged a program for a committee to reorganize the government. Then I asked him about nationalization of industries. He said they must do it; but should begin by an economic review, and then inform the public. If capital was not forthcoming to start the necessary industries, the government would undertake them, and later offer them at public auction to private business.

Quezon then said he had told Roy Howard that, except Taft, I had been the only Governor General who had done anything permanent for the islands. That his break with Osmeña had started with his objection to the latter’s “pussyfooting” and support of Wood. That Wood tried to sell the Philippine National Bank and the Manila Railroad; that if he had done so, it would have lost 100,000,000 pesos for the Philippines; that his fight with Wood killed Wood, and nearly killed him (Quezon). (Doria had had a conversation this same day with Roy Howard’s son, Jack, who on this trip south spoke of the extreme loyalty of Quezon to me –[adding that Ora Smith would weep copious tears and at the next instant knife a man in the back).]

President Quezon spoke well of Foley of the Philippine National Bank and of Yulo. Said he (Q) was informed of a lot which goes on, because he has three agents in Tom’s Dixie Kitchen; that he knows all the racketeers in his Government, and will outwit them. He added that he was going to direct only the policies of the government, but I wonder?


December 3, 1935

7 a.m. with Colin Hoskins to look at McDonough’s house in Parañaque –the best for us of all those we have seen. Later went to Rosario to see Wing’s house –it has a sense of peace and country life but Doria objects to the furniture and to the fact that there is only one bath-room.

Went to Malacañan, took the oath of office as the President’s Adviser before Secretary George Vargas –he then showed me my new office and said Mrs. Burfield would be assigned to me as stenographer. Called on the Vice-President, and on Secretary Yulo who are my neighbors. Discussed with Lara my legal residence and the transportation question, i.e., use of motor-cars. Actually, I never had a stenographer, and always used my own car.

4 p.m. speech at University convocation –not very satisfied with my effort, but urged them to be themselves– congratulated them on Folk Dances and other evidences of their appreciation of their native culture. I cited the newest nationalism in Germany and in Japan and the insistence in those two countries on their ancient traditions. Also boomed the work of Otley Beyer. Told Rizal’s story of King Bernardo. Urged they discard all inferiority complex as Filipinos.

Dinner at Stevensons in Pasay.