|The White House||Date||October 25, 1966|
|President Lyndon B. Johnson||Day||Wednesday|
|The President began his day at:||Manila Hotel, Manila, Philippine Islands|
|Time||Telephone (f or t)||Activity (include visited by)|
|Breakfasted on scrambled eggs, two pieces of bacon, toast, melon balls and hot tea|
|Jake Jacobsen, Marvin Watson|
|Harry McPherson, Walt Rostow|
|10:47a||Depart Manila Hotel|
|7:58p||Returned to suite and changed into a native shirt –for visit to Palace– and Barrio Fiesta|
|8:31p||Departed Manila Hotel via motorcade|
|Riding w/ the President — Mrs. Johnson, MF, YB, and Paul Glynn|
|His Excellency Benjamin R. Romualdez, Amb. of the Philippines|
|11:47p||Arrive Manila Hotel|
Yesterday and today I wrote 12 letters, — to US, England, Australia, Spain, Portugal, India, Hongkong, Taiwan, Burma and Shanghai. Had first swim in the hotel pool, and enjoyed it.
Dinner at the Huie’s. He is in the Luzon Stevedoring Co.; she is daughter of Rev. Mr. Gleystern (Peking). They have an 11 month baby boy, who came to my arms and smiled at me. Other guests were Chick and Mrs. Parsons and Col. And Mrs. Duke (?) of JUSMAG (“Yoosmaag”). Adm. Giles Stedman and another lady were in for a drink. A very delightful evening, and an excellent dinner.
Had all three meals in the hotel for about the first time. The food here get very monotonous.
Wrote several letters.
Holiday for E.C.A. but I worked, finishing odds and ends and getting my report polished up. With Foster Knight lunched at Capt. Rayon’s [Razon] house, with Sr. deLeon, former Commissioner of Customs, and Sr. Francisco (of the Dalupan Committee). De Leon said that getting rid of political influence in the Customs is even more important than raising pay. He was very bitter against the politicians. Capt. Razon said that the Philippine people have lost all confidence in, and respect for, the government. He intimated strongly that the best thing that would happen to the Philippines would be re-occupation by the USA.
Had an hour’s chat on the general situation and the E.C.A. program with Charles Glaser and David Sternberg. The latter is a cripple and confined to a wheel chair. He knows the country and the people pretty intimately. One thing that worries Glaser and Sternberg is the apathy of the people toward reform. They can’t understand why the common people are not more excited about the failure of the Congress to pass the Minimum Wage Law. Sternberg says they are “politically illiterate.” To buffet dinner given by Admiral Giles Stedman at Elks Club. Invited for 7:30 and arrived at 7:30. Dinner served at 9:30 —- by which time I was fit to be tied. I still dislike this type of entertaining intensely.
Fortunately, I had a table with Mr. and Mrs. Huie. Mr. Huie was in Navy during war (Commander) and had his ship blown out from under him in Manila Bay. Lost 40% of his complement. After occupation he was ordered to go to Santo Tomas, get a Chinese and his family and put them on a destroyer. He took 16 men, all armed to the teeth, and and finally found the family. He has forgotten the name but says the man was T.V. Soong’s secretary. Mrs. Huie was Miss Gloysteen, of Peking. She is very charming and easy on the eye. We have many friends in common. She spent a summer at Sacconnet, R.I. when she was at Smith took care of two children. Later, taught at Tingchow. I told her that I went to Junior Prom at Smith the year she was born (1914). Rotary Club had. a “Barrio Fiesta” on the lawn of the hotel tonight, and it was most colorful. Many of the American women wore the Philippine woman’s costume, and some of the American men wore Filipino “pina” shirts.
Finished memorandum on Customs Enforcement Divisions.
Wrote a lot of short letters. Walked to National City Bank to cash a cheek Paid hotel bill. Spent an hour alone on the roof garden watching the sun set over the Bataan hills. These Manila sunsets are inexpressibly beautiful. Foster Knight and I dined together and watched the dancing for an hour. The floor was crowded, and we couldn’t help wondering at all the gaiety — and all the expense– in a city which is in grave danger either from internal disturbances or — later — from external aggression. Knight said that, when he arrived last month from the grimness of Korea, he was struck by the luxury of Manila as exemplified in this hotel, and by the apparent lack of awareness among the people here of the conflagration in Korea.
To lunch at Lion’s Club as guest of Pio Pedrosa, Secretary of Finance. 9-10 had conference with Pedrosa, Jacinto, Jastram and Knight. Handed my memorandum re relationship between Commissioner of Customs and Collector of the Port of Manila to the Secretary. We had general discussion of the two alternatives I proposed, and the Secretary asked me to work out details of the two proposed, which he can submit to the Legislature. In the course of our talk, it was made shockingly clear how much the Customs is involved in politics. The present Deputy Commissioner and ex officio Collector at Manila (Fabros) has far more power than his nominal superior (Jacinto), and has placed relatives in several of the key posts in the Customs. He has very powerful political connections, and is, I fear, a thorough-going rascal.
The discussion at the Lion’s Club was about the desirability of creating a free-port, or foreign trade zone at Manila, and I have seldom heard more uninformed and half-baked ideas. It was a nice affair, however. The service clubs (Rotary, Lions, etc.) seem to be very popular in the Philippines. There must have been 150-200 men at today’s lunch. Called on Col. Soriano, president of Philippine Air Lines, San Miguel Brewery, etc. – one of the world’s rich men, I’m told. He was once a Spaniard, then a
Filipino, and is now an American citizen. We had half an hour’s talk about the Customs. Like everybody else, he says get politics out of the Customs and pay the staff a living wage. With Foster Knight, inspected the two principal piers with Delgado, the Arrestre contractor. The storage sheds are very capacious and well-built, and the stacking and handling of cargo are very well done. Lift-trucks and other mechanized equipment was in full use. Delgado took over the Arrestre contract last month, and his predecessor company did everything possible to sabotage the property and equipment. A very disgraceful performance. I had following to dinner here: Dr. and Mrs. Ray Moyer; Jim Ivy; Doris Bebb; Mrs. Pedigo. We had amusing time watching the dancing (it was Valentine’s Night). Many of the young Filipino couples were dancing the ?, which consists chiefly of facing each other 2 feet
apart and wiggling their behinds. Most of them kept very sober faces, and seemed to be taking their pleasures sadly.
Worked several hours on memorandum. To baseball game at Rizal Stadium –Formosa vs some local community (Santo Tomas). Quite a good game.
Have been entirely alone today even eaten three meals all by myself. My Alice once stayed in this hotel, the year before I knew her. I wonder if she might have slept in this very room?
Plugged away in the office all morning, although Saturday is a holiday. Got quite a lot of writing done. Foster Knight had dinner with me here. This hotel is the center of
Philippine entertaining, and Saturday night it is very crowded. Generally speaking, the Philippine women are nowhere near as attractive as the Chinese women of the same class. There is, I guess, much more mixture of races here than in China.
Fay Bailey called for me and took me to his house. Althea greeted me cordially, and I met the German twins. Jeffrey and Janet who have been at the Brent School in Baguio but are now headed for US Drove out to new Polo Club, which “has everything”, and on a big scale. Bowling alleys, polo field, two swimming pools, badminton courts, and the usual bar and dining rooms, etc. Lunch at the Baileys. Wrote a lot of letters in the afternoon. Dined alone at the hotel my first dinner in the dining room.