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.


January 6, 1936

At the office in the morning Hoskins was discussing the landlord and tenant situation. He said that with rice (palay) selling at 3 pesos a ganta the peasant, who gets one-half share from his landlord can just manage to make both ends meet –but with palay at its present price of 1.50 pesos they cannot make a living; that often a man borrows at the rate of 80 centavos a ganta in the planting season and has to deliver the palay six months later to his creditor (Chino or Cacique) when it is worth 3 pesos. He explained the slow growth of the country banks and the country branches of the Philippine National Bank of which he is a director. Also discussed the currency situation and advocated the purchase of silver at the present price of 45 cents and the issue of silver certificates against the same.

In the afternoon at Malacañan from 4-7. Quezon was rather tired and appeared absorbed in refitting the Palace; he is making a new entrance on the street side and all quarters on that side, including the dining room are to be for the use of his wife and children; the old ball room is to be made into a banquet sala; the bedroom where Kiko (my son F.B.H. Jr.) was born in 1921 is now Quezon’s library and office; the downstairs floor-space by the river is to be made into a “club” with bridge tables, dance floor and bar; land on opposite side of the Pasig River is to be bought and made into a park; a new building is to be erected on the opposite bank of the river with guest rooms on the top floor, and the President’s office and that of the Council of State on the ground floor. Thus he hopes to make the (old) Palace “habitable for his family”! He received Ed. Harrison and Baroness Von Hagen who are to be married soon; she had just arrived in Manila preceded by a newspaper blast announcing her as a “criminologist.”

The President said he was quizzing Supreme Court Justices daily to find out whether they placed “human” rights on an equality with “property” rights; that he was going to have on that bench only justices who would interpret the Constitution in the spirit of the age in which it was written; that Recto thought as he (Quezon) did; that he might have to get ride of one or two of those old Justices.

Quezon also said he was about to “explode a bomb” tomorrow or the day after, because he was going to suspend the leases obtained over 1,300,000 acres of land in the Philippine oil fields by a syndicate composed (incidentally!) of four or five of his best friends (Buencamino, Luz, &c) that the son of Osmeña was one of them and had been selling some worthless stock in his company; that he would force them to go to the courts over their leases –that he would fight the monopoly. I told him that the heads of both the Asiatic Petroleum and Socony had told me in recent months that they did not believe there was any paying oil in the district.

He also told me he had changed his plans for the reorganization of the government –that he was going to make Manuel Roxas Secretary of Finance and turn the reorganization over to him. (This lets me out of this complicated task.)

The President asked me to make a thorough study of the Landlord & Tenant situation. To go about the provinces and examine. That he wanted me to do it because any Filipino whom he might delegate would belong to one class or the other (i.e., landlord or tenant) or be influenced by it. That I could have what assistance I needed, and could choose either to be associated openly with Secretary of Labor Torres (the nominal head) or go at it without being known to be employed on that research. When I asked him whether he would be willing to tax the large estates (Friar &c) out of existence, he said he positively intended to –I advised him that he must get a law first fixing rents and the tenure of holdings for the tenants.

He asked me to go up to Cabuyao tomorrow with him to see the farm there which he owns, and on which he intends to build a nipa house, and to farm.

Also said that if his health lasted, he would in three years have a “model government” here.

Quezon was interested in Whittall’s suggestion (via me) to have a visitors book in Malacañan similar to those in English “Government Houses.”

He talked of moving Bilibid prison immediately; stating that the law authorized him to sell it but that to buy the new site he would have to use the funds of the National Development Co. and then face the Legislature on this. Is going to make a park out of Bilibid grounds, for he felt it was a crime not to have more parks in a tropical city like Manila; and if the municipal board would not agree to this, he would “get rid” of them. He not only wants several more parks in Manila but said also he was going to transform Harrison Park.

Afterwards played bridge with Quezon, Guevara, Zamora and Karadag.

Quezon left for twenty minutes treatment by his doctor; he is always worried by a draft or by any cool air, and wears more clothes than anyone else in the tropics.


January 3, 1936

Nothing doing at office; Quezon sick in Malacañan –should return to Baguio. Garfinkel said Quezon had a “heavy night” at the Casino Español –but Quezon does not drink. Food causes his upsets. Saw Vamenta formerly Attorney of Department of Mindanao and Sulu; he told me Osmeña was anxious to do something for Governor Frank Carpenter who is now in a soldiers home in Massachusetts. Said when the Sultan of Sulu signed the treaty with us renouncing his rights of sovereignty (in my time) Carpenter had told him (Vamenta) that if they were Englishmen their future would be assured, but that “republics were ungrateful” &c.

P.M. Golf at Caloocan with Doria. Talked with Consul General Blunt who commented on Quezon’s quickness of thought and decision –said Quezon was so reasonable –he could even take another’s opinion.


December 20, 1935

7 p.m. in Malacañan with the President who was in good health and spirits. I complemented him on his message on economic planning –he enquired whether it has been well received in the foreign community. I gave him Colin Hoskins’ plan on organization for the economic council &c. Then I asked him what was the matter with the Manila RR. bond purchase? He said it has been held up to enquire of the United States Government as to whether they considered that the Philippine Government was resposible for the principal of these bonds; they had replied thru the High Commissioner in the affirmative –so Quezon said the bill would go through because this meant that the United States would act on the maturity of the bonds and seize the Customs House. He said that if the American Government had decided this Government was not responsible for the principal, he was going to say to the English that he had been in favour of purchase but the Legislature demands better terms. I told him that this Government was not responsible for principal of these bonds –that just as we had bought the railroad we could sell it. Then he said Confesor (Assemblyman) had told him of F. Theo Roger’s (of Free Press) story that I had come out here to get what I could for the English! He said that he had authorized Confesor to state the true facts in the Legislature –that this impugned his honor as well as my own– that he would put Rogers in prison if he printed such a gross libel. He asked me to bring him the memorandum on these bonds which I had prepared for him on December 6, which I did. We then talked a lot about England and the English –I told him to consult me if he had any questions up with the English, since I understood them better than most Americans who were misled by their bland manner and assumed innocence. That what they understood and respected was force and power. Quezon admires the English character. He asked me if I thought the Empire was essential to the continued existence of England as a great power and I said yes!

We then discussed colonization and land problems in the Philippines. He advocates spending money on roads to open up new sections of Mindanao, so that settlers will move in of their own accord. He does not advise spending money on settling people in a wild country; said he would provide transportation for volunteer settlers.

The President also said that instead of continuing the former cusrom of purchase of the Friar Lands in the provinces around Manila, he wanted to get fair treatment for the tenants; that previous purchases of these lands had not helped because outside speculators had intervened, and had secured the lands; he asked me to acquire a copy of Gladstone’s “F.F.F.” law for Ireland of about sixty years ago, when he settled the Irish agrarian problem. (Fixed Tenure, Fixed Rent and Freedom of Transfer). Told him I would go to ask Blunt, the English Consul General. He also asked me to get Blunt’s reaction to the interview he had given the London Times representative who came with Blunt a few days ago –not for publication– he told the Times man he would have to deny the interview if published.

We also talked over plans for the reorganization of the government. We agreed that this time time it must be a real reorganization and radical. He said he had only been in charge for a month and was already sure the present government was most inefficiently organized. He announced that he wanted me to sit with his three commissioners. He asked me which of two alternatives he should choose — (1) to have investigation & report by his three commissioners or (2) to just call in Department Secretaries and tell them they could only have so much appropriation, and must reorganize their Departments. I told him (1) was more scientific, and advised him to proceed with (1) and afterwards apply (2). I asked him how radical the reorganization was to be? –did he, for example, approve of the plan of reducing the number of provinces to 28? He said “no” –that the saving of a couple of millions would not compensate for the dimunition of energy and progress which would result. I then asked him whether he would approve of abolishing the elective city council of Manila and substituting a Board of appointed managers with the Alcalde as its chairman –latter to be elected? He said “yes.”

As I was leaving, he asked me if I would keep notes and write up an account of these months afterwards. I replied that I was already doing so. I also told that if at any time my presence became embarrassing to him on account of the attacks on me by the old imperialists, just to send me on a mission abroad and I would not come back. He replied that he and I would continue to work here together until we had accomplished something substantial.

I then went to home of A.P. Blunt, British Consul General –he did not get there until 8 o’clock, having been at work in his office, getting off in the mail all his reports on governmental development here. Promised to write the Foreign Office for “F.F.F.” on Irish lands. When asked what his reactions were to the President’s interview with the London Times, Blunt said Quezon was very broad minded, and amazingly frank. I denied that I knew what Quezon had said in the interview –Blunt said he had been embarrassed by the President’s raising the question of Roy Howard’s statement that if the United States abandoned the Philippines, the Filipinos would get under England’s wing. He said Quezon had stated he could run a better government here than anybody else had done –I agreed. As I left, Blunt asked me in a casual voice what had happened about the purchase of the Manila RR. bonds –I said there had been “a hitch.” He eagerly enquired “what hitch?” I said it had been caused by Vicente Villamin’s speech –“ah!” he said “they fear the wily English bankers, whereas our fellows would rather get this agreement now than perhaps lose everything later.” I replied that there was much to be said on each side, but I really thought the deal would go through –(it passed the Legislature just about that time).

While I was at Malacañan, Quezon talked at length about his letting out the American Justices of the Philippine Supreme Court –under the Constitution he had the power not to accept their resignations until July 1st next, and he was considering assenting to Chief Justice Avanceña’s request to retain them that long, when the Bulletin published an editorial attacking him for thinking of letting the Justices out. Thereupon he sent to Avanceña to enquire whether the six month’s retention of those Justices was essential to the Court –Chief Justice Avanceña replied he could not really say so– thus the resignations are to be accepted as of January 1st. He wrote a letter for the press explaining that he is thus conforming to the spirit of the Constitution. He says Malcolm is behind the drive –he dislikes him as unreliable. Quezon then spoke of the unparalleled generosity of the retirement gratuities given by the Filipinos to those Justices –Malcolm was to receive 60,000 pesos!

Wrote an address for the banquet tonight of the Political Science Club of the University of the Philippines. Got home to find Doria greatly upset over a scurrilous attack on me in a letter pretended to be from a Filipino to the Bulletin. I hope this campaign does not discourage both Doria & Quezon! I have never answered (nor read, if possible to avoid) any newspaper attacks!

Reception this p.m. at James Ross’. Dinner of Political Science Club of U.P. at the Cosmos Club –sat between Bocobo, President of the University and ex-Judge de Joya –speech.


March 7, 1901

The honorable dictator received a letter from Señor Apolinario Mabini, dated the 22d of November, 1900, transmitting messages from the American generals, MacArthur and Bell, to the effect that our independence can not be conceded, and that the honorable dictator may retire to Manila under conditions of his having to live at the palace in Malacañang with MacArthur.

As to himself, Señor Mabini inquires of the honorable dictator whether he will have to advocate independence or autonomy, seeing that McKinley is already reelected.


Saturday, March 18th, 1899

Manila, Luzon Island –Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo.

Weather cool and pleasant; sky cloudy.

Cooked breakfast & supper. My meals are quite scant with too much sameness of diet to tempt the palate. Still my health is excellent, praise God. The Lord is my only true comfort. I feel the sting of injustice at the hands of the Booth family continually, & oftentimes am ashamed of the leaders who so long have dominated the Salvation Army. That family (the members) as far as they dare show their hands, are against Americans. Since the Booth-Tuckers took charge of the United States they have been slyly working European (chiefly English) officers into the United States & placed the divisions in their charge. The American officers have been backseated or set adrift –that is, given positions of little or no importance. They are carefully lifted out of places where they have controlled field forces. During all my service of 16 years I have endeavored in my own case & taught others to eliminate the word nationality. We were one Salvation Army; Christ was the great bond of union. The theory I held was that English, French, Germans or Americans, as such, should not be recognized, but we should be one indevisible, great, happy, useful family, going forth in the power of the Holy Ghost, to preach Christ, glorify God & save the world. Our English leaders encouraged us in that line of thought, but alas they have played the fox. They have talked one way & acted the reverse. The Salvation Army is run as an English concern, & the Englishmen who are at the head of affairs are clannish to the last degree. They fill every position of trust with British officers as far as they dare. That’s why I am ashamed. I have stood by them, defended them, given them credit for disinterested motives, until at last I am forced against my own wishes to recognize the policy of the Booth’s in the U.S. as anti-American. Such foxiness in religious leaders is despicable. May God guide the Salvation Army.

Seeing a cloud of smoke arising out Paseo Azcarraga this forenoon Rev. Chas. Owens & myself, walked over to the fire. A district of nipa palm shacks –native huts– was in ashes when we arrived & a building (the last of the conflagration) in flames just outside the walls of Bilibid prison. A large number of Filipinos watched the fire. Incendiaries are charged with this work, supposedly Filipinos. They generally manage to burn themselves out of house and home. I met & had a talk with the City Editor of “Freedom” at the fire. He gave me todays paper printed in green ink, in honor of yesterday patron saint –St Patrick.

This has been a day of expectation. Is mail day –par excellence– i.e. mail from the United States. Three letters & a pile of papers were handed out to me at the general delivery window when I inquired late in the afternoon. Why do we rejoice to get mail? Bad news comes as well as good. Private Andrew Waterman (dear, good boy) of Co. H. 1st South Dakota Vol. Inf. writes from Palace Malacanan, Manila, endorsing his Soldiers Pass for me to sign. God bless him. His company have returned from the front for a few days. “I can truly say” (writes Waterman,
I am saved & kept by the grace of God all thro’ these trying times. I wish I could see some of your articles in the War Cry.” My articles have not appeared in the San Francisco War Cry since edition No. 581 January 14, 1899. altho’ much copy has been sent. I have been thinking of late that my copy was consigned to the waste paper basket. Another letter (Lt-Col. Wm Evans) under date of feb. 9th in the postscript says “Send us as fas as possible descriptive accounts of how matters have been going, together with any photographs you think would be useful.” In the beginning of the letter the Lt-Col. writes: “I want to take this opportunity of expressing to you our concern for the perilous position that you at this time, are placed in. I want to say to you that your comrades over here will not fail to ask our Father to be over & about you with His protecting wings.” Mrs. Lt-Col. Evans (his wife) writes under date of Feb 4th (letter came in same mail) “The longer you are over there, the more convinced I become that you are just the right man to send, & that you will be able to do for God & the Army that which should make a lasting impression.”

Rec’d 5 visitors today. Prayed with several men & urged salvation on the attention of wavered one personally.

Gave a Filipino woman beggar 01 cent, Mex. & a sailor (probably English –talked like one) 10 cts. Mex.

Read papers, for quite a number came.

Sent some War Crys & S.A. magazines to the front, with Private Hines, also writing paper.

Purchased from a Filipino street vendor some sea shells for my collection.

Everything is quiet tonight.


August 13, 1898

We left Camp Dewey at 10 a.m. to march on Manila. We formed up in battalion formation in a field of the Pasay Road where we remained for about half an hour while the fleet bombarded the Spanish trenches. We got in front of the other troops and formed a line of skirrnishers and marched towards the trenches. Captain Connolly gave us some whisky there, which was a godsend. We crossed the trenches and advanced towards a blockhouse where we soon had our flag flying.

We kept the beach all through the engagement until we entered Manila at 3 p.m. We had a few close calls but did not have any real trouble, although the regulars on our right had a pretty tough time. We went as far as Bridge of Spain where we halted to eat lunch and rest for a while. We then left for the Governor-General’s Palace at Malacañang and took up quarters. I went on guard duty and, strange to say, I was the first sergeant of the Guard the day we went into camp at Presidio, when we landed at Cavite and when we entered Manila.


Lunes 2 de Mayo 1898

Una batería de 4 cañones recién montada en la escollera del puerto en construcción, ha sido desmontada durante la noche y traída á Manila, pues por su posición estaba muy expuesta á que la volasen los enemigos con una lluvia de granadas, (…) No ha habido bombardeo (de Manila), (…) A medio día después de telegramas cruzados entre el Gobernador militar de Cavite y el Capitán Gral. de Manila ha sido abandonada la plaza de Cavite por nuestras tropas. Muchos indios han recogido armas del Arsenal y las han presentado a la autoridades españolas de Cavite que han establecido su gobierno en S. Francisco de Malabón, Los americanos han tomado posesión de la plaza y Arsenal de Cavite.

Han sido propuestos y aprobados como medios de atracción: 1o el crear milicias de voluntarios indígenas cuyos individuos puedan ascender hasta el empleo de Coronel sin que estos cargos sean incompatibles con otros cargos civiles que puedan ejercer en sus respectivos pueblos. 2o Crear una Asamblea consultiva de Filipinas, sin poderes administrativos, en la que puedan ser admitidos entre otros, algunos individuos de patriotismo sospechoso que convenga atraer si darles armas de que puedan abusar. 3o La creación para los indígenas de títulos nobiliarios a que se hagan acreedores por actos de patriotismo y el abrirles el paso a los empleos públicos de confianza, incluido el de Gobernadores de provincia, cuando hubiese quien por su talento y probidad lo mereciese.

A battery of cannons recently mounted on the cliff of the port being constructed was dismounted last night and brought to Manila, because by its location it was so open and exposed for the enemy to blast it away with a rain of grenades. No bombardment. Half a day after an exchange of telegrams between the military governor of Cavite and the captain general of Manila the plaza of Cavite was abandoned by our troops. Many indios collected the arms at the Arsenal and brught them to the Spanish authorities in Cavite who established themselves in San Francisco de Malabon. The Americans have taken possession of the plaza and arsenal of Cavite. — Presided
over by His Excellency, the captain general, the Board of Authorities met at Malacañang in the afternoon. Also in attendance were the superiors of the religious orders. His Excellency described the way things stood, explaining the Americans planned to stir up the country and it seems they have brought with them plenty of arms, in View of which it is absolutely necessary to win over the people for Spain.

Suggested and approved as means of attraction: (1) recruit native volunteer militia whose members may be promoted to the rank of colonel inclusive, without prejudice to other civilian positions they may be able to exercise in their respective towns: {2} establish a Philippine Consultative Assembly, without administrative powers, to which may be admitted certain individuals of doubtful patriotism whom it might be good to attract, without providing them with arms which they can misuse: (3) create for the native-born titles of nobility which they can earn by patriotic deeds and open to them the opportunity for employment in public offices of trust, including that of the provincial governors, when there is someone who deserves it through his capability and moral integrity. Liberally inspired modern reforms suggested by one of the board members were rejected as counterproductive and unworthy. When asked their opinion and the rest of the superiors of the religious orders declined to say something, our Reverend Father Superior spoke, saying he believed it convenient the religious orders and the native clergy help to raise the morale of the country. His words were received with signs of approval by everyone, especially by His Excellency, the captain general.