May 27, 1943

Lunch with Mrs. Luther Bewley, the wife of my old director of education in the Philippines, who is now a prisoner of the Japanese at Santo Tomas. She and her sweet daughter were the last to escape from Corregidor by plane.

She admires MacArthur and particularly so Wainwright and says the latter became very bitter against the Administration for breach of promise as to the relief of Bataan and Corregidor. She added that the Commander of the Philippine Department several years before the war went home and pleaded to have Corregidor supplied with sufficient food and ammunition to withstand a six years’ siege–actually they had only three months’ supply! Says Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos was present in the deliberations of the Cabinet with Quezon before they went to Corregidor: they framed four questions and cabled them to Roosevelt and got categoric and favourable replies as to help to be sent immediately, and how much and when! Then nothing was done. Santos became bitter and refused to leave the Philippines with Quezon, was caught by the Japanese and shot.

Mrs. Bewley said she saw Manuel Roxas at Dansalan in Mindanao. The Japanese were then only 20 miles away; Roxas refused to come with them, largely on Wainwright’s advice. Filipinos are exceedingly bitter against Quezon for leaving. Mrs. Bewley added that before Pearl Harbor, all Army and Navy officers in the Philippines thought war with Japan could be won in three weeks. Roosevelt knew perfectly of the ill-feeling between the Army and Navy commanders at Pearl Harbor, and did nothing about it.

Finally, Mrs. Bewley expressed the opinion that Quezon could win back his people upon his return to the Philippines.

This is the last entry in my diary for almost thirteen weeks. President Quezon nearly demonstrated the old saying that “a funeral breeds funerals.” He fell seriously ill a few days after going to the cemetery to attend the funeral of the late Mrs. Taft.


May 16, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon busy writing a letter in his own hand to Osmeña in answer to a brief submitted to him by the latter. This is the opening gun in the contest between the two for the presidency of the Commonwealth after November 15, 1943. Quezon read me the salient points of Osmeña’s brief, all of which were citations as to the constitutionality of a government-in-exile. Quezon now points out that all of Osmeña’s authorities refer to formerly independent states now (or formerly) in enemy occupation; these examples are irrelevant, since the Philippine Commonwealth has never been an independent government and the issue now lies between the United States and Japan–so the whole subject is in the hands of President Roosevelt, and he alone can decide what part of the Commonwealth Government and of its constitution are in force today. This leaves little doubt that Quezon will remain as President of the Philippines even after his present term of two years, expiring December 31, 1943, has run out. This would bar Osmeña from enjoying the two years as President to which he was elected by the Philippine people, just before the invasion by the Japanese. Since Quezon is being privately advised by Justices Murphy and Frankfurter, there can be little doubt of the outcome. Opinion around headquarters is that Osmeña will not offer serious resistance.

The part of Osmeña’s offer to Quezon which aroused the latter’s indignation was the proposition that Quezon should continue to live in the magnificent suite in the Shoreham when Osmeña assumed the presidency, and that Quezon should become President of the Council of State, which as he points out was the same old suggestion made to me as Governor General in 1919, [sic] when Osmeña tried to persuade me to disassociate myself from the new Council of State under his own presidency–a proposal which I then rejected.

At all events, Quezon feels that Osmeña’s offer to him now is “insulting.” I have no idea of the contents of Quezon’s letter of reply and probably never shall know but I consider it now practically certain that Quezon will remain as President until at least the Philippines are reoccupied. I had previously told him I did not believe that Roosevelt would tolerate any other plan.

Whether this is politically wise for Quezon is another matter. As Trepp says he weakened his political future when he left Corregidor, and the present project that he shall hold the presidency of the Commonwealth for the two years for which Osmeña had been elected president by the Filipinos, while practically unavoidable, will weaken him still further with the people at home. Quien sabe?

Meanwhile the Japanese radio announcements of statements by leading Filipinos continue to unsettle Philippine headquarters in Washington–however, these are now considered either as downright Japanese lies, or else as statements made under duress. Collier ‘s, May 22, 1943, publishes a recent statement by George Vargas: “It becomes our pleasant duty to share the joy of liberated millions… victory for Japan is victory for the Philippines.” At the same time, the Japanese radio announced that Vargas’ son had been sent to Tokyo to the University–ostensibly for study, but we assume, as a hostage for his father’s “good behaviour.” Manuel Roxas is in his own home in Manila, under “protective custody.” Generals Lim and Capinpin have apparently issued statements that the Americans let them down in the Philippine war and they are in favour of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Both of these Generals are now at liberty.

There is evidently still a great deal of ill-feeling among those who surround Quezon (but not in his own mind) because of the failure of the United States to make any effort to relieve Corregidor, after all the abundant promises made to that end in the early stages of the invasion. Mrs. Bewley, who brought her daughter out just before the fall of Corregidor in an American Navy plane to Freemantle, Australia, is still bitter about the lack of effort made by the United States in the theatre of the Philippines. Her husband is a prisoner in Manila–or at Los Baños. Her plane was the only one of the three that got through. One was shot down over Corregidor and all on board lost; one fell in Lake Lanao and all were drowned. This was the end of what had frankly been considered a “suicide mission.”

Quezon took me out for a long drive. I tried to get his mind fixed on pleasant thoughts–got him to tell me of the making of Tagaytay ridge into a resort now by the new road only 40 minutes from Manila–the resort is at 2,500 feet altitude–plenty of water (and wind!).

At Malacañan he has cleaned out the slaughter house and dog pound across the Pasig River and all other “smelly things” on the swampy land opposite the Palace and has turned it all into a park–where I used to shoot snipe! He fears the Japanese will destroy Malacañan if they have to evacuate the Islands. So far they have done no damage there and have not even occupied the Palace.

Secretary Knox told him the Japanese could have taken Dutch Harbor if they had tried; now their occupation of Kiska and Attu really made no difference–we could get them out whenever we cared to try.

Quezon thinks Roosevelt tried to get us into the war immediately after the fall of France but that the American “isolationists” prevented this at that time; it was Pearl Harbor that was the immediate cause of our fighting.


May 28, 1941

Today, I got engaged to my American girl friend, Lucy  Johnson of LA.  She and sister Helen are students at American School in Taft Ave. and their Dad, Mr. Richard Johnson is the civilian Head of the USA QM Depot, Port Area, Manila.  Among Lucy’s classmates was Ming Martinez (later became Mrs. FVRamos).  Through the Johnson family, I was gradually introduced to the Manila American Community where I met the daughters of Manila Supe School, Pearl and Ann McCall.  I knew Ann while at PMA and was my drag a couple of times.  I also met Justice and Mrs. Malcolm and the Dir. of Education, Luther Bewley and daughter, Virginia.

Then, there are the Stagner sisters, one of them Rose, became a popular local actress named Rosa del Rosario.  What I consider a most beneficial of my American socialization is my friendship with Lt .Sidney L. Huff, USN, a bachelor serving on the staff of Gen. MacArthur as naval advisor.  Sid and I, both Lts. (I was 3rd Lt. while he was Lt. SG) and bachelors have the same sense of humor. We clicked.


May 13, 1936

Intense heat these days–97°-100° indoors. In the afternoon Trinidad (who is the manager of the Pampanga Sugar Co.), of whom I asked why no sugar shares were for sale, said this was the time to sell out, not buy, but shareholders expected to get all their capital back in three or four years, and a profit also. However, present prices offered for the shares were too low to tempt holders into the market.

In shopping in Manila, especially on the Escolta, American “salesmanship” is used to the Nth power, with the result that some of us are offended (as I was in Heacock’s today) and leave without a purchase.

Five prisoners escape from Montinlupa–one is recaptured; the “trusty” system seems to have its limits.

At 3:30 p.m. went down to the Coolidge to say good-bye to High Commissioner Murphy and Quezon. The former looked preoccupied and tired. I said to Quezon: “you will see Doria in Peking.” He answered: “Oh! I’m only going to Hong Kong–to be back Tuesday (18th)–wish you were coming with me.” I told him I was staying here under Dr. Sison’s care. The next day, Vargas received a telegram stating that Quezon was not returning until the 28th so probably he will get as far as Shanghai. On the steamer, I chaffed Osmeña about being my “boss” now, and he said “I’m not to be acting President”–Quezon apparently acts on precedents of recent American presidents.

Talk with A. D. Williams. He said Quezon was angry with Bewley, whom he had previously always supported, because the teachers in the Bureau of Education had opposed giving up Teacher’s Camp in Baguio for the National Army as Quezon and MacArthur desire. This worried Bewley greatly, so he apparently saw Quezon and disowned all opposition.


May 12, 1936

Survey Board meeting, called to co-ordinate the work of the University of the Philippines with various bureaus. Present: Bocobo, Bewley, Kasilag, acting Director of the Bureau of Public Works, and Camus, Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry. Very interesting meeting in which they all seemed ready for cooperation. Bocobo suggested a means by which this may be done. Also, he and Bewley, Director of the Bureau of Education, talked of overproduction of vocational graduates, especially in agriculture, who could find no jobs afterwards. Public opinion is outraged if any attempt is made to close or limit schools. New type “A” curriculum is to be 60% academic and 40% vocational. They are going to try to give primary education to every child, and gradually to reduce the secondary. In Java and other Dutch East Indies there are only four trade schools and four agricultural schools for a population of over 50,000,000. The Muñoz Agricultural School in Nueva Ecija costs the Government nearly five times as much as do other schools.

Bocobo said the plan to have the legislature fix the salaries of Professors in the University of the Philippines would take away academic freedom. (I agree.) Unson made mild fun of this statement. Bocobo is strongly for increased funds for research–he suggested getting the several industries of the Philippines to contribute. We talked of the National Economic Council, and I called attention to its paralysis because no general economic policy has been adopted by the government; all its energies are now bent towards getting a relaxation of the sanctions of the Tydings-McDuffie act. Unson told me confidentially that the membership of the National Economic Council was not well received by the public. He said Elizalde and Trinidad were well thought of–but Madrigal’s business methods were prehistoric.

Bridge in p.m. with Satterfield, Peters and Saleeby.


January 9, 1936

Quezon in Malacañan in very good humor and is exercising his strong creative spirit in reorganizing and improving the Palace. Brief chat on landlord and tenant. Mrs. Quezon was there leading a squad of laborers carrying furniture. Jose Laurel there, who was formerly in the Executive Bureau, and later Secretary of the Interior; Quezon told me in his presence that Laurel was to be one of the new Justices. Spoke very highly of his qualifications; and added that Laurel was the greatest jurist among the Filipinos.

Wrote a memorandum on the reorganization of the Government and handed it to the a.d.c. in the afternoon.

Tea at Conrado Benitez’s house near the deposito in San Juan del Monte. Large party given for the United States Trade Commissioners. Arranged there with Miguel Cuaderno to visit his home town of Dinalupian in Bataan as  tourist but really to see the church landholding there of nearly 4,000 hectares, and composing an entire municipality. The agent of the Archbishop is a Spaniard; he raises rents every six months and dispossesses non-payers.

Talk with Bewley, director of Education; he says Osmeña is the best Secretary of Public Instruction they ever had.

Saw Osmeña and told him that the reason I saw so little of him nowadays is because it is the closed season on dancing!

Long talk with Dr. Dorfman, United States Trade Commission (expert). He sails for home on Saturday. We had a confidential discussion on the Philippine situation. He said the Commonwealth Government’s chief danger was their new army; that military men usually got their way in increased appropriations. That an unpaid army was a menace. Concerning trade relations with the United States, he agreed with me that it might be unwise for Filipinos to raise the question of amending the Tydings-McDuffie Act just now; that they might get more if they waited. He said political independence was possible without economic independence, and the latter could not be obtained unless the present laws were amended. That the Filipinos were unwilling to “cut the umbilical cord”; that they would probably ask Congress to postpone independence . He added that the present “prosperity” was confined to a small class (the upper crust), and that he had looked into dinner pails and entered houses, and the bulk of the population here had not shared in the “prosperity”; that when, for example, gold went from twenty to thirty-five dollars, the miners wages were actually reduced from one peso to 90 centavos; that when (five years hence) the export taxes were imposed, they would wipe out the sugar industry which cannot compete with Cuba, and also would destroy the cigar export trade to the United States. He said, further, that they must begin to limit imports here. Suggested a very heavy excise tax on cigarettes of “blended tobacco” –i.e., Americans; emphasized that they must begin to limit imports from the United States and increase those from other countries (Japan). He further said that the Filipinos were trying to think out schemes for additional advantages to United States business –and were even considered applying the United States Coastwise Trade Laws, which he thought a bad thing for the Philippines. I replied that we in the Philippines had, in my time, always strenuously opposed that. He stated that the United States sold 47 million dollars worth of goods annually to the Philippines, but gave up 18 million dollars for a premium on Philippine sugar, so the trade was probably not really worth anything to United States. I said that economic laws could not be violated without paying for it –he replied that they were paying now and would pay much more heavily later. About textiles he entirely agreed with me that we could not stop Japan; the the only factory here had no machinery newer than 1900; that only a Japanese textile mill could succeed here. I told him that on trade relations I had not been consulted at all –that my views on independence were too well known– that perhaps I was too old-fashioned in economics. He said that Cordell Hull’s new reciprocity treaties were really reciprocal, while the Filipinos wanted only one-sided advantages for themselves.