June 13, 1942

At Waldorf-Astoria.

Story of Lt. Colonel Andres Soriano:

Soriano said that it did a great injustice to Aguinaldo to call him a fifth columnist. The General was perfectly loyal.

Bombing of air fields:

“The bombing of Baguio was at 7:30 a.m. on December 8th; these enemy planes then turned northwards and bombed the Cagayan valley–Aparri, Tuguegarao and Iligan.

“At about the same hour, Davao was bombed.

“Next they came over Clark Field–not a fighter up to oppose them. Many of the officers were at luncheon when the Japanese struck. They said: ‘We don’t know how it happened.’ At that time, 17 B-40s were destroyed on the ground at Clark Field. Explanation: the wires to detectors had been cut by enemy agents.”

Soriano, when I asked about the American planes which, according to Quezon had taken the air when news came of the bombing of Baguio at 7:30, said they were probably some planes which were en route for Mindanao at that time, and were recalled.

By the 10th & 11th of December, almost all our planes (80%) were destroyed–“it was worse than Pearl Harbor.”

“Three-quarters of an hour after they struck at Clark Field they were over Iba Field–all the officers were having luncheon.

“MacArthur took command of all the armies on July 20 (?). He did not have five months in which to pull them together. General Lewis Brereton arrived early in November, a very amiable man–he found a Brigadier General in command of the air force, an officer of the old laissez faire school. They put him in command of the fighter planes, when they should have shipped him off home.” Those fighter planes were ready to start for Formosa, and actually started, “I don’t know why they were recalled to the ground–some of them may have been included in the squadron which started for Davao that morning and had been recalled.

“After December 10th or 11th, the Japanese were entirely masters of the air, unopposed. I understand that the Americans had 38 four engine bombers, and about 170 other planes in the Philippines before the invasion.

“Supplies for besieged armies on Corregidor & Bataan: An officer told me: ‘All through the battle of Bataan we expected relief and reinforcements, though we knew the American Pacific Squadron had been temporarily put out of action at Pearl Harbor. On my first trip back from the front at Bataan to see General Sutherland on Corregidor the boys in the trenches had asked me to bring them food, tobacco and whiskey. This was on February 3rd; on February 18th I was again sent from the front on an errand to Corregidor, and this time all that the boys asked me to bring back was only “good news”–i.e., of relief coming. We all expected help until we heard President Roosevelt’s address on February 22nd. The truth about the sending of supplies is as follows: three convoys started from Australia. The first was diverted to Singapore; the second to the Dutch East Indies, and the third, consisting of three cargo boats started at last for the Philippines. Two of the vessels turned back and went to the West coast of Australia–to Brisbane. One boat, the Moro vessel Doñañate (?) got through to Cebu; it carried 1,000 tons of sugar and 1,000 tons of rice, both commodities we already had in the Visayas, so it was like carrying coals to Newcastle. Very little of this got through to Corregidor and Bataan, because of the blockade. Another vessel went aground near Leyte but the cargo was salvaged. We understood that after Pearl Harbor, the American Navy could not convoy supplies to us. Nor, of course, could they strike directly at the Japanese Navy as had always been the plan.’

“On Dec. 1st, Quezon sent for Admiral Hart, and questioned him. Hart seemed very confident. He thought that if the Japanese ever cut the communications between the mainland (U.S.) and the Philippines, it would, at the most, be 18 days before it was re-established.

“Of the airplanes sent from the United States via Australia in the months just preceding Pearl Harbor, the bombers, which could fly all the way, got through to the Philippines. A shipment of 200 fighters intended for the Philippines, had inexperienced young boys as pilots and crews, and they smashed up 180 of these 200 planes in Australia. ”

Soriano’s account of important visitors to the Philippines just before, based on which, Quezon had believed that there was a well prepared plan worked out for the defense of the Far East. Quezon was not really consulted, or informed in detail, but he had every reason to think that the defenses of the Philippines were.

“Quezon saw Duff Cooper and was not at all impressed by him. General Sir Brooke Popham was in Manila several times from the end of 1940 to April 1941. He conferred only with Sayre, Grunert and Hart.

The Dutch Chief of Staff who after visiting the United States from Batavia, became Commander-in-Chief for the Netherlands East Indies when his chief was killed in an air accident. He visited the Philippines.

“Litvinoff came to Manila about November 1st or a little later. Quezon was ill, and Litvinoff was only there for two days, but the President saw him and was very much impressed by him.”

Then Kurusu, whom they all knew in Manila because he had been Consul General there in my time, came through on his mission to the United States about the middle of November.

In October 1941, the Secretary of the Colonies and the Secretary of Finance of the Netherlands East Indies made a trip across the Philippines.

Soriano had had reservations for the September Clipper from the United States to the Philippines but became so uneasy over international relations that he left America on July 29th instead.

After MacArthur had been given Supreme Command there was real co-operation established with the American Army, which had been rather sore theretofore with General MacArthur because he had accepted service with the Filipinos. Soriano thinks, however, that MacArthur was glad to take Filipino Command, otherwise he would lose rank as Lieutenant General at the end of his extended term (five years) as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, and would have had to step down and become a young Major General. (As a matter of fact, he became the Field Marshal of the Philippine Army.) General Grunert was coming to the end of his term as Department Commander of the Philippines; he had been offish with MacArthur because he worked with the Filipinos, and the Department Commander had been an “ally” of Sayre. Now Grunert is very friendly with Quezon.

The Americans in Manila, after Soriano arrived back there were still “asleep at the switch”; only a small percentage of them were awake to the seriousness of the situation. Right up to the 1st of December many people thought that nothing was going to happen. Quezon was one of the few who seemed aware of the danger, tho he was not informed as to the real strength of Japan. He kept cool-headed. He realized the situation after Secretary Knox’s ballon d’essai statement of November 11th and Secretary Hull’s comprehensive and sweeping statement of November 26th to the two Japanese Ambassadors in Washington.

In Manila during those last weeks some of the Americans feared that the Filipinos would not support them–these were the “Old Timers” who had always looked down on the Filipinos. In Soriano’s opinion there was absolutely no justification for this fear among the “Old Timers.” He did feel some uncertainty as to the real though concealed sentiments of some of the members of the Legislature. Possibly some of the Filipino lawyers who had as clients the more important Japanese financial interests in the Philippines were luke-warm, or followed the line of least resistance. He also suspected the real feelings of some of the professional Filipinos who had taken their degrees in Japan. The only pro-Japanese Filipinos of whose sentiments he was sure were two Filipino businessmen he named.

“In September, military supplies from the United States began to trickle in; there was a very noticeable increase of them by November, when bomber squadrons arrived. Nearly everybody thought that the crisis would not come before Spring and this would have given MacArthur a real chance of success. Even with the small air force we had there at the moment of invasion we could have gone far to stop the Japanese landings at Lingayen Bay and Guman Bay (e. coast Bicols), if we had learned the lesson of the battle of Crete. We might also, with our limited air force intact, have been able to keep the Asiatic fleet in our waters and thus impede the invasion. This would have served to stop the Japanese on their way to Singapore.

“We could have preserved the bulk of our air force if we had dug shelters for them in the hills around the air fields. There was a perfect opportunity for this at Stotsenburg, for example. This was what MacArthur did with the few rickety planes he had left, on the air fields he constructed on Mariveles Bay during the siege of Bataan. With the immense amount of mining machinery we already had in the Philippines we could easily have dug out shelters of our air defenses and airplanes.”

I asked Soriano whether the Spaniards in the Philippines had to be watched. He replied: “Perhaps I am partial, but in my opinion the great bulk of the Spaniards then in the Philippines were entirely loyal. They are, of course, extremely influential in the Islands.”

About the disastrous campaign on Malaya, Soriano said that the acid criticisms of the Australian General Gordon Bennet were probably correct. Soriano, who was educated in England, said that the Englishmen of the colonies are probably of a somewhat lower social stratum–it was their arrogance and that of their women which led to disaster. The especial harshness of the Japanese towards the English was due to championship of the Asiatic races. They humiliated the English because of their political and personal bossiness towards Asiatics. They are leading a race movement for their fellow Asiatics. (N.B. “Old Timers” and the policy of “Prestige in the Philippines.” F.B.H.)

“The Filipino Scouts were the back-bone of our armies–I consider them the equals of any crack regiment in any army in the world.

“The Philippine Army were mostly draftees–some divisions were fairly trained–most of them were just barely trained. The young Filipino officers, the first class to graduate from their Military Academy at Baguio, were excellent; many of them were killed.

“When I was commissioned, I reported to General Jones at Fort McKinley; he was the commander of the Southern Luzon forces. An officer of the Philippine forces was not considered the equal of an American officer. We managed to secure the same pay for the Filipinos.

“On Bataan, relations became excellent between American and Filipino officers; no distinction was made; promotions and citations were equal.

“Vicente Lim, and Generals Capinpin and Francisco, in the front line were really fine soldiers. General Segundo, tho he had been at the best military schools in the U.S., was always uncertain–he should not have fallen back at the first day’s battle at Morong. Quezon had previously disciplined him by sending him for a year to Mindanao, and then called him up to command the Military Academy at Baguio. He lost all his batteries and equipment at Morong. Lim, Capinpin and Francisco are all three prisoners of the Japanese now. Homma’s Chief of Staff really did commit hara-kiri.

“Colonel Juan Moran, a brother of the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, who was Chief of Staff of the 11th Division, did an excellent job.

“The 26th Cavalry, the 45th and 57th Infantry and 24th Field Artillery were Scouts.

“A Philippine division contains only 7,500 men.

“We could have licked the Japs at the beginning, if we had been properly equipped. After the battle of Malaya, no. If we had had an adequate air force, we would have thrown out the Japanese, they cannot stand up against air attack–not even the Manchurian veterans. What enabled us to stand so long on Bataan against such odds, was our artillery. The Japanese simply will not stand artillery fire.

“The Japanese soldier with his bushido and fanaticism is individually better than the German; the Jap is more of a savage, while the German is, in comparison, more civilized.

“The technique and minute preparation of the German and Japanese armies are about equal.”

The Americans in Manila behaved with dignity, and the civilian population conducted themselves well, noticeably so when, after the first two or three days, the enemy had complete control of the air.

In the battles in the Philippines the draftees had to be steadied by the Scouts when infiltration occurred–almost all troops are shaken when fired on from the flanks and from the rear, and think themselves cut off from their base. (Soriano suggests we do not praise the draftees too highly since that they might provoke answers from Americans.)

“A French-American pigeon keeper or trainer (Soriano called him pigeonnier) at Fort McKinley, whom they called ‘Frenchy,’ (named Saulnier), made so good on Bataan, calling out the range for the soldiers that he was finally put in command of a battalion–much to the surprise of the commanding officer, who, however, acquiesced when told what this boy had done.

“The Filipinos had shown great ability in jungle fighting when they were drawn from the frontier type, but not so much so the ilustrados or “white collar” men. Once on the Tuol River in W. Bataan about 3 kilometers from Bagao, a Filipino 2d Lieut, (later Captain), in command of a company, found that they were surrounded by a larger force of Japanese. He had only two platoons, and recognized his inferiority in numbers and equipment. He lay in ambush for 24 hours without food. Knowing the Japanese tactics of reopening their attack just after sunset, he took the initiative and succeeded in making contact on both flanks. They killed a great part of the Japanese platoons around them; 25 or 30 Japanese corpses were found, and he lost only 6. (n.b.) This happened on the 8-9th of February.

“Negritos–(they often saw them); Negritos have learned to speak Tagalog. Used them sometimes as guides, but found them so unrealiable that we quit. They served the Japanese just as willingly. Many of them were killed. We came across a former constabulary soldier from the lowlands named Mariano Daiit, who was living among the Negritos–he had a patch of camotes and some papaya trees. He was a very loyal guide for my commanding officer, General Jones. Once when General Jones and I and two young officers, with only 67 men were surrounded, Mariano, as always, found a way out for us. When we withdrew to Matic, we were no longer able to find Mariano and fear he fell into the hands of the Japanese and suffered the fate they often meted out to civilian assistants.

“When the Japanese High Command got behind in their program, their army became much more brutal. They changed their propaganda by leaflets, and began to call on the Filipino troops to kill the ‘real enemy,’ their American officers. They also changed their treatment of their Filipino prisoners–at first they used to strip off their uniforms, kicked them in the ass and told them to ‘get out.’ Many of them came back to us. As a rule they treated their military captives well, tho they perpetrated savagery upon civilians caught with the troops. When their program fell behind, they changed noticeably; they still took the uniforms, but used the soldiers as cargadores; sometimes they bayoneted their military captives, acting with complete savagery.

“We took very few prisoners, for two principal but very different reasons. First, many of them killed themselves rather than become prisoners. Second, our men often found that a Japanese offer of surrender was only a ruse, or bait, to lead us up to machine gun nests. After several of those experiences, we could not control our boys.”

At one time, the Japanese effected a landing at three places on the S.W. coast of Bataan peninsula, but they were driven off or destroyed.

By the end of the war, the town of Mariveles had been completely destroyed. A vast “all-weather” airport had been established at Mariveles; this was finished just before the surrender of Bataan. It had caves into which the planes could be pushed.

Soriano further suggested that, for the purposes of Quezon’s book the question of stressing atrocities by the Japanese be carefully considered. Will the American public demand the gruesome? He mentioned the weight of other considerations in this matter. He, personally, saw corpses of Filipino men and women mutilated by the Japanese and thrown by them into the Abo-Abo River in Bataan. He told also how one Vicente Logarta (?), a newspaper man from Cebu, left Manila on February 25th and went to the province of Bulacan, where he found that out of 176 cases of rape of girls aged from eleven to sixteen years, 110 had died. There was, as yet, very little information as to what took place in the provinces; it is not believed, however, that such savagery had been shown there as took place in Hong Kong. (Query: had the abundant supply of liquor in Hong Kong something to do with that?)


May 31, 1942

Quezon came into my room at the Shoreham for a two hours’ talk. Yesterday he had offered me an official position to go around with him and help him with his English in preparing his speeches. I told him I thought his command of English was excellent, and that I had not come to him to get a job. “But that was the reason why I asked you to come,” he replied. So here I am back again as adviser to the President, as I had been in 1935 and 1936. I hope I may be of some use to him in his very trying situation as head of a government-in-exile.

I then asked him whether he had foreseen the coming of war between the United States and Japan. He replied that during those last few weeks before the Japanese struck he had been sure of it. I enquired what he had thought of the note handed by Secretary of State Hull on November 26, 1941 to the two Japanese Ambassadors. He replied: “What did you think of it?” “I thought it,” I said, “the equivalent of a declaration of war upon Japan.” “So did I,” he put in; “with such a people as the Japanese,–no government could possibly accept such a proposal as to get out of China and give up Manchuria; the government which did that could not survive. So immediately I asked Admiral Hart urgently to call on me, and told him: ‘Admiral, this is the same as a declaration of war by the United States upon Japan. What will happen if our communications with the Mainland (i.e., the U.S.) are cut?’ The Admiral replied: ‘Oh, it will only be a matter of three weeks.'” Quezon continued by saying that a few days before Pearl Harbor in his speech on “Heroes’ day” (on December 2nd, 1941) at the University of the Philippines in Manila, he told the students how heavy his heart was, because many of those magnificent young men who had just passed in parade before him were soon to lay down their lives for their country.

Quezon then went on to describe to me the meeting of the American-Japan Society in Tokyo which was attended by Ambassador Grew, on the occasion of the appointment of Nomura as Ambassador to the United States. At this meeting, Foreign Minister Matsuoka had told them of his efforts to get Nomura, a retired admiral, to go to United States as Ambassador, because Nomura was known to be a personal friend of President Roosevelt. At first Nomura had been unwilling to accept the post, but Matsuoka went to his house and persuaded him to take on the serious and difficult talk of reaching a working agreement with the United States Government. Matsuoka then emphasis his opinion that it was the duty of the United States and of Japan to avoid war–if not, it would be a terrible conflict, and would destroy civilization. Matsuoka then sent a letter to Quezon enclosing a copy of this speech and wrote at the bottom of the letter as follows: “To His Excellency President Quezon: Dear Mr President, I hope you will agree with my views.” The envelope was addressed in Matsuoka’s own handwriting, and was handed to Quezon by the Japanese Consul General at Manila–so every precaution had been taken to conceal the identity of the person to whom the letter was to be delivered–even the stenographer was not to know. Quezon said that at the time, he thought this was a very “suspicious circumstance,” and that Matsuoka was in deadly earnest. “But,” Quezon added, “I did not then know anything about the real strength of Japan, and I simply wondered how they dared even to consider a war against the United States, since he assumed that America would immediately send their whole fleet against Japan and completely destroy the Japanese navy.”

He did not believe that the second Japanese envoy Kurusu was sent to the United States to join with Nomura in order to “gain time.” Indeed, he thought that it was the United States that needed “time”–not Japan, and he added: “The seriousness of the situation was apaprent when the attack was made on Pearl Harbor, because the Japanese never go to war unless they are thoroughly prepared.”

On the question as to why the Japanese aviation had bombed President Quezon’s birth place, Baler, Quezon did not believe at any time that this was done in reprisal because he had called upon his people to support the American side; “If it was aimed at me,” he asked, “why did they respect my houses at Baguio, at Mariquina and Malacañan Palace itself? Those buildings have not been damaged nor looted.” (N.B. It transpired later that the bombing at Baler had been aimed at the small wireless station there.)

Quezon then reported a conversation he had had a few days ago with the Chinese Ambassador who had told him Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had recently gone to India not, as reported, to try to persuade the Indians to join the English in resistance against Japan, but to try to persuade the British Government to give independence to India!

I then asked the President to elucidate the phrase he had used: “doubts as to my duty to the people of the Philippines” which beset him when he arrived at Corregidor and of which he at once had informed President Roosevelt by cable. Of course, I could understand his perplexity as to whether it would be best to insist upon further resistance when he was already convinced that the United States neither could nor would send reinforcements nor supplies to them while concentrating on the German War, but I asked him to explain further his state of mind then on that momentous question. Thereupon, he replied that he might have considered advising his countrymen to join an association of Asiatic nations which were to be partners in the real meaning of the word but that he had no confidence in the Japanese offer to them of self-government. He added: “Those fellows would not really leave us alone to govern ourselves—-it would take them three hundred years longer to learn how to do so.”

Asked about the internal situation in the Philippines just before the war, Quezon began his reply by stating that he himself was a sincere democrat and really believed in the rule of the people, but that in dealing with the application of this theory, especially in times of strain, there were too many people going around advocating democracy for everybody without any real sense of responsibility towards the people themselves or knowledge of the struggle and fight necessary to protect democracy. He believed it was especially necessary to know the background of a people, and to understand what their history meant. This, of course, recalled my effort in 1936 to prepare for him at his suggestion, and when first acting as his adviser, a bill to reform the system of landholding in the Philippines, so as to protect the millions of small farmers (taos) in their tenant holdings and really to begin the dividing up of the many great haciendas. The bill was modelled upon Gladstone’s “three F’s” land bill of the 1880’s for Ireland, as had been suggested to me by Quezon himself. But, as related in the first part of this “diary,” the members of his Cabinet all balked at it and the President had handed it back to me with the remark that it was “loaded with dynamite.” I replied that I had, at the time, been greatly distressed by the failure of this effort at reform, but that I know a little of the background in Philippine history: how, always until the Spanish liberals had begun in their own country for reforms, with repercussions upon the Filipinos, the state of society in the Philippines as in other Malay communities elsewhere had been entirely aristocratic. “Why,” I said, “Your own Cabinet then, and most of the members of the legislature–those gentlemen were almost all aristocrats.” “Except me” he interrupted, “I wasn’t one.”

Then I got him to tell part, at least, of the story of the constant friction existing between High Commissioner Sayre and himself during the year before this war. He started by saying that Sayre is, personally, a very nice fellow, but unlike his late father-in-law, Woodrow Wilson, he does not understand government. He is one of those lovers of liberty who goes around trying to apply liberty as a solution to problems which arise without much consideration of the results to follow; that he started all his arguments with him (Quezon) with the statement: “I am a Christian gentleman,” which is no doubt perfectly true, but in itself does not solve by its application all political problems. The serious disagreement between Quezon and Sayre which had some bearings on inadequate civilian preparedness in the Philippines just before this war broke out, arose through what the United States would call the “Office of Civilian Defense,” and had nothing to do, as I had previously presumed, with any attempt by President Quezon to spend part of the $50,000,000 then held in the United States for the Philippines. Nor did Quezon try to get the United States to pay for his Office of Civilian Defense.

The trouble between the President of the Philippines and the High Commissioner started in 1940 when the legislature passed an act delegating to Quezon powers to regulate the civilian defense corps and otherwise prepare for a supply of food and for making air-raid shelters for the protection of the civilian population of the Philippines. The Philippine constitution placed his power in the legislature only “in a national emergency,” with restrictions on the power to be exercised by the President. They had studied the history of difficulties which had arisen in the United States over the “delegated powers” which are forbidden by the American constitution.

In 1941, during the growing tension throughout the Far East, Quezon issued the necessary executive orders based upon this grant to him of limited delegated powers. At once, a group of young Filipinos called the “Civil Liberties Union” passed a resolution of protest. High Commissioner Sayre was aroused, and is believed to have notified President Roosevelt who cabled Quezon warning him that adverse sentiment was aroused in the United States since the American “Civil Liberties Union” had joined in the fray. Quezon at once cabled back to Roosevelt that he would not exercise any of the powers so delegated to him without a direct application to him from High Commissioner Sayre.

A few months later, Major General Grunert then in command of the Philippine Department of the American Army, asked Quezon to attend a meeting with him. High Commissioner Sayre and the American Admiral. The general wanted to know what plans there were for the protection of the civilian population in the event of war and complained that so far as he could see, nothing had been done; what was Quezon going to do about it? The President replied: “Ask High Commissioner Sayre”–who sat absolutely silent. Finally, at this conference, it was agreed that a committee should be appointed as an Office of Civilian Defense, consisting of General Douglas MacArthur, then a retired Lieutenant General of the American Army, but engaged as Quezon’s Adviser on Military Affairs and occupied in organizing the Philippine Army, and Quezon’s secretary George Vargas, and A. D. Williams, adviser to the President on public works. This committee was to cooperate with the American General and Admiral. At the meeting, General MacArthur asked Major General Grunert if he would state to him first of all, as Department Commander, whether the American Army was going to protect the Philippines and what plans he had for getting the equipment necessary for such protection? The Department Commander replied that he was only a soldier, and knew nothing of politics; that he intended to fight for the protection of the Philippines but could not state what equipment would come to him for that purpose. General MacArthur then expressed himself as dissatisfied with the latter part of the Department Commander’s reply, and refused to serve on this committee until he had a satisfactory answer. So MacArthur retired from this committee and A. D. Williams and Vargas went ahead with their plans for air-raid shelters, etc.

Shortly after this, A. D. Williams returned to the United States after forty years of service in the Philippines on public works and construction, and by this time General MacArthur had been put in command of all American and Philippine forces in the islands.

At the public meeting on “Heroes’ day,” December 2, 1941, to which reference has already been made in these pages. President Quezon said in his public address that he had not been able to discharge his full duty and prepare adequately for the civilian population a sufficient food supply nor adequate air-raid shelters because he had been prevented from doing so by the President of the United States, and this statement was reported in garbled and misleading form in some newspapers in the United States. Further, Quezon stated that the protest against due preparation in the Philippines had been started by the local Civil Liberties Union, and that if they were thus responsible for any evil results, they merited condign punishment.

At dinner that evening, Quezon told me had rented the house of General Hurley, “Belmont,” near Leesburg, Loudon County, Virginia from next Sunday for the summer, so he will be only two days at Hot Springs–another of those sudden and unexpected changes of his plans to which his entourage are thoroughly well accustomed. This means, however, that I am not to have him to myself to get on with the manuscript.

Bridge in my room at the Shoreham, nine p.m. to two a.m. Very lively bidding and the playing was animated. The other players were Quezon, Dr. Trepp, his devoted physician from Manila and the attractive and modest young a.d.c., Lieutenant-Colonel Velasquez from the Province of Bulacan, a West Pointer, who has been through the battle of Bataan. When the Governor General of Australia met Quezon a few months ago, Quezon told the Governor General that Velasquez was one of the Filipinos who had been doing the fighting. The Governor General talked with him for five minutes and turned and thanked Quezon for the delaying battle in the Philippines which had helped to save Australia. Quezon, however, agrees with me in doubting whether the Japanese plans included the conquest of Australia.


December 8, 1941

After breakfast, I read the Daily Bulletin, the only newspaper published on Mondays. The Bulletin carried no news of special interest. At seven in the morning, Señor Alberto Guevara called me up. He had just heard over the radio that Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor had been attacked by Japanese planes. That was the first news of the war.

One of the Fathers came up with an “extra” of the Daily Bulletin. But the “extra” added very little to the scanty information we had. It was reported that Japan had declared war on the United States moments before Ambassador Kurusu delivered to Secretary Hull the answer to the demands of Roosevelt. Hull replied that those were the greatest bunch of lies the world had ever heard.

We are beginning to realize that we are engulfed in the whirlpool of war. There is excitement, there are telephone calls, sirens, plans, scamperings, panic-buying of food, clothes and other provisions. Speculations and projections run big. Everybody is playing prophet. Would they attack? No, they would not dare. If they do, it would be by air from Formosa, Hainan, in aircraft carriers. Landing places would be Lingayen and Batangas, but they are fortified. By sea, it is impossible to pass through Corregidor. Evacuate the capital: to Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, Bicolandia, Visayas. Manila will be mercilessly destroyed. Wait for developments.

Thus it was on the day of the Immaculate Conception.

By midmorning, the Director of Private Schools announced that all classes are suspended until further notice.

But when will this further notice come?

I attended the Provincial Council to discuss emergency and urgent matter. The Father Provincial had just arrived by car all the way from Aparri, as the boat he was supposed to take was late. It was providential though. The boat was later bombed and sunk by Japanese planes.

The other Fathers who felt more secure in the provinces or with friendly families have been allowed to receive money from and live with them. It was feared that the government would order the evacuation of some districts, Intramuros among them. The suburbs are considered safer.

As Chairman of the National Basketball Committee, I presided over the meeting scheduled for today. The members of the Committee unanimously decided to suspend the national championship games which were to start the day after tomorrow. The teams from Cebu and Iloilo arrived yesterday; they were sent back home. There could be bombings during the games and we wanted to avoid a possible catastrophe.

 

Came night time. There was complete black-out. We slept in our rooms on the fourth floor. Two Fathers volunteered to keep watch for the night and to give warning in case of an air raid. It was necessary though, as the siren was situated at the Post Office, about 200 meters away.

We were awakened before midnight by its shrill, doleful sound as if it were announcing gloom which the nocturnal planes would sow. The vestibule and the receiving room were converted into shelters. One hour in the shelters and back to bed.

At three o’clock there was another signal. We scampered down in total darkness, feeling the wall with our hands, taking care that we and the boarders would not slip.

The planes could not be seen. We only saw a small red star like a wandering ruby among the others which were gilded and immobile in the sky.

Then an airborne fleet, like buzzing bumble bees made known its presence. The searchlights ripped the thick mantle of darkness that enveloped us. A frantic volley of shots deafened us. The CEA fired their pistols, the cadets and recruits fired their guns. Artillery and antiaircraft guns thundered, dominating this infernal macabre orchestra with their barking.

The planes continued their majestic flight at a comfortable altitude that permitted them to enjoy the sight of the dogs which below were barking at them with fury.

There were sounds of bomb explosions. We calculated where they fell. Each one of us suddenly became an expert in localizing these deep rumblings. We were hearing them for the first time in our lives, but we indicated the places being bombed with the accuracy of veteran warriors.

And so ended the first day of war, with a greater noise and din than New Year’s eve. Beautiful was the perspective the god Mars showed us!


December 7, 1941

There was the traditional First Communion Mass at Letran. The Father Provincial should have celebrated it, but the boat “Cetus” which was to bring him from Batanes this morning was delayed, so Father Peregrín de la Fuente, Prior of Santo Domingo substituted for him.

The affair turned out well, although the atmosphere was somewhat gloomy, and the talk among the relatives of the first communicants, as they gathered over the communion breakfast, carried undertones of pessimism.

These past weeks, a whirl of speculation passes through the public mind. There are those who cling to unbelief over the possibility of an impending dispute in the Far East; and others—the majority—who hold on to the certainty that the imminent tempest is inevitable.

Meanwhile, public opinion dances to the beat of radio messages carrying vague reports on the talks ensuing between US President Roosevelt and Japanese Ambassador Saburo Kurusu. Indications: war “cyclone”.

We are trying to keep an attitude of optimism, but our self-injected dose of self-confidence is too little to calm down the nerves. Now it is the heart rather than the head rationalizing, hoping instead of believing in immunity from the contamination of war. But our frail hopes stand like a deck of cards ready to flip before the gusty winds of our pessimistic convictions.

The studentry clamors for action. Protests run high against pro-American loyalty, and the youth challenge the Americans to hasten their Filipinization and demonstrate their Filipino interests. Many aliens have lately expressed their desire of becoming Filipino citizens; however, they have not taken the final step because of widespread sarcastic comments of their being fake citizens and wolves in sheep’s clothing.

This provoked the Marxists in the Spanish community. Availing themselves of their rights under democracy, they showed their true color, chanting in resounding off-tunes, their hymns and praises for the Soviet land. How times have changed! Only a few months ago, they would have sounded like heresies worthy of the stake.

The United States have been storing up on war supplies for about a year now. She is arming all her warships, erecting fortresses, constructing air strips and calling all her reserves to active duty. But how is it possible to mobilize an army capable of confronting such a war-thirsty power as Japan?

The Philippines shares Washington’s apprehension on the yellow threat. The government is intensifying the military training of college and university students. The Armed Forces have been integrated into the American Army under General Douglas MacArthur. Agencies for civil defense are being organized and there are black-out drills for the eventuality of air raids, and practices on how to extinguish incendiary bombs and how to escape from demolition explosives.

However, there are no air defenses to support these preparations. A little over a week ago, President Quezon himself said that the civilian population is completely defenseless in case of war, and he expressed his fears of the possible loss of lives and property that an air attack could occasion.

In the meantime, Japan is stepping up her armament program in utmost secrecy. Furthermore, she has tightened her policies against the few remaining aliens in her territory—especially against the Anglo-Americans—virtually driving them out of her shores. In Formosa, she forced the Spanish Dominican missionaries, the only aliens in that neighboring island, to leave all mission areas. She imposes a rigorous restriction on correspondence with other countries. All these are positive indications that Japan is preparing a campaign far superior in scope to her war in China four years ago.

The Americans continue trying to create the impression that the samurai sword has become blunt after Japan’s interminable feudal wars in the recent past. They believe that Japan is incapable of sustaining a war on a grand scale. But we know that American propaganda is painting the international scene in two very different shapes: the rosy hues to express American might, and the dark tints to dim the perspective of her enemies.

The fact is that it is impossible to determine the power of Japan. She is working out her enigmatic plans with a sphinx-like political and military diplomacy which operates silently but feverishly, not with the tongue, but with the eyes and ears.

Both sides keep flinging mutual threats and denunciations. The United States was saying that she could no longer tolerate Japanese incursions in the Far East. Japan complained against the homicidal mania which had taken hold of the Anglo-Americans and wanted to wipe out their Caucasian arrogance. The Americans responded that the East Indies and the occupation of Siam and part of China were not illusions but real facts. Japan threatened that she would destroy not only the ABCD bloc but everything else she might find necessary to destroy in order to set herself free from the noose of American tyranny.

The Mikado immediately sent a messenger pigeon of peace: Kurusu, one of Japan’s most able diplomats, flew from Manila to Washington to negotiate a peaceful solution. The question perhaps is: can he find a third alternative solution to the dilemma of expansion and retrocession with which his country is faced?

Roosevelt announced the categorical, severe and humiliating conditions under which he was willing to re-establish normal and friendly relations with Japan. Will Japan accept such conditions? Will Japan offer counter-proposals? Will an intermediate and satisfactory solution be found due to the demands of both sides?

Perhaps the most perplexing issue is whether Kurusu was sent to negotiate with a sincere desire to resolve the conflict in the Pacific, or whether his mission was a mere dilatory tactic to give Japan the necessary time to complete her plan and necessary preparations for an attack, so that, like a crouched lion, she could deal the mortal blow.

The people is speculating about all these questions: will there be a war between America and Japan? Paradoxical but true. The question has been asked and formulated on so often that many are taking it lightly.

The other day, President Quezon told some 2,000 cadets and government officials assembled at the State University campus: “Any moment now, the bombs may fall in your midst. Where are the shelters? Where are the military defenses?” The “learned” crowd roared with laughter. It was a very surprising and jocose reaction.

The President was not only surprised, he was terribly irked and added with more resolve: “Yes, gentlemen, we might, at any moment, now, hear the whizzing of bullets and the bursting of bombs.”

The assembly continued laughing. It seemed that everybody is crying “Wolf! Wolf!” but nobody cares. The wolf will come when we least expect it. Are we going to be caught unaware?

 

 


November 24, 1941

The US 16th Naval District HQ at Cavite Navy Yard welcome today the arrival of four large submarines to augment the Asiatic Fleet under Adm. T. Hart USN.  Eight days ago (Nov. 16) the 28th Bombardment Squadron of B-17’s under Maj. William P. Fisher USAAC arrived to reinforce the Far East Air Command of Gen. Brereton.  The runaway of the Malabang Airfield in Mindanao was lengthened to accommodate these B-17’s. In the re-surfacing of the runaway, volcanic cinders was used.

Manila news stated that serious talk is going on in Washington DC between the US State Department under Sec. Cordell Hull and Japanese Ambassadors Nomura and Kurusu. The Japanese is proposing status quo (they will halt their military campaigns but retain what they already have) if the US will lift the embargo against Japan.

Author’s note: 

Aforementioned are what I knew then. What I knew later based on records of the Japanese Navy, is that by Nov. 24, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy under Admiral Yamamoto have not only completed a comprehensive plan but also rehearsed the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Hawaii Task Force under Admiral Nagumo  was secretly  anchored at Hitokappu Bay in Etorafu Island waiting for the go signal. Admiral Nagumo had completed the briefings aboard his flagship “Akagi” where he announced Pearl Harbor as their objective. By this time also, the US had broken the Japanese Diplomatic Code and could decipher their messages.


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.