June 11, 1936

Arrived early in Jolo. The party went off to tour the island, while Quezon took me swimming to a beach half an hour by motor from Jolo, an ideal strand and cool crystal water. This is the only proper swimming place we have yet found. We were followed by Major Gallardo and six soldiers, who were posted at sharpest attention facing back from the beach on to the jungle. There have been three killings this week in Jolo–one of a soldier by a juramentado. Quezon found the water rather too cold, but was exhilarated by the spur of it. We were taken there by a Spanish mestizo formerly in government service in Manila who now owns the electric light plant in Jolo. The President introduced him as the “Rockefeller of Jolo” and said to him: “you have made millions out of the Moros”–to which he replied: “no Sir! out of the cristianos, because the Moros go to bed immediately after dinner!” Quezon roared, and said: “Now this man is a friend of mine.”

We talked of General Wood, and Quezon said: “When I write my history of his administration here people will say I was prejudiced, but Wood wished to sell the whole Philippines. He was also so anxious to make friends with the Moros that he told the Constabulary not to shoot at them”–“the result was that a few years ago the Moros massacred nearly a whole company of Constabulary here in Jolo, and killed all the officers; the only survivors were those who were the fastest runners”–“I do not feel any rancour against General Wood, only pity.”

The Sultan of Sulu has just died, and the question of the perpetuation of the “Sultanate” is raised. His brother is the claimant tho his niece Dayang-Dayang wishes to be Sultan. Quezon says she is, by far, the ablest of the Moros, and is married to Datu Umbra. (I remember her telling me 20 years ago how she had fought against the American army in the trenches at the battle of Bud Daho.) The Mohammedan law, so far as I know, does not permit of a woman being Sultan, but anyhow the late Sultan surrendered a large part of his political sovereignty to General Bliss in 1903 (?) and finally to Carpenter in 1915. “Much greater surrender of rights to Carpenter” said Quezon. He told me Governor Fort of Jolo wished the government to select the Sultan, but Guingona stopped his making this blunder before it was too late. There is to be a conference at 10 a.m. today to settle this question; Quezon said he would recognize the Sultan only as the religious head. I asked him whether it would not be easier to do as the English and Dutch do? “No! not at the expense of good government. My first thought is always of that.” (An excellent and characteristic bit of philosophy).

He is now talking confidentially with Mrs. Rogers (a German mestiza who is the wife of a former Governor of Jolo, and is the source of much of his information here). I heard him say: “If you were a man, I would make you Governor of Jolo.” I asked Mrs Rogers if there were any dances at Jolo? “No! only killings.”

Quezon told me that Osmeña made a speech during the late political campaign denouncing him for his fight against Governor General Wood, and stating that he (Osmeña) had only taken part “as a matter of discipline.” Quezon remarked: “I was very glad to learn this–they were scared.” To my question, he said “I forced the Cabinet to resign.”

I told Quezon that the closest parallel to his constructive work was that of Mustapha Kemal in Turkey, who has given perhaps the best example today of government work in modernizing and organizing an Asiatic race. He replied: ”Yes! he is more like me than anybody else.” He has evidently been studying Kemal’s career. Quezon added: “the chief difference between us is the religious one–he is a Mohammedan and I a Christian.” I remarked that Kemal had separated Church and State. “Yes, but the religious difference between us, however superficial the religion of each of us, permits him a different behaviour. We both love to gamble, but I refrain from doing so–Kemal seeks his excitement, when government affairs are quiet, in the underworld, drinking with the lowest men and frequenting the coarsest women.” I remarked: “Well, Kemal is not a gentleman.” Quezon replied “Neither am I,–I come from the common people.” He went on to say that Kemal, like himself had an “unbalanced nervous character,” but while Kemal satisfied his tendencies in abovementioned ways, Quezon restrained himself. He agreed with my remark that he (Quezon) would not be so well if he did not have all these troubles and excitements of political life with which to contend.

The President then talked of the Philippine Army. I said that if they had not taken away from us the National Guard which he and I organized in 1917-18 (Air Corps and submarine also) we would be better off here now. “Yes,” he replied, “our work would now be partly accomplished.” We spoke of the parade on the Luneta in which I led the National Guard division in review before him. Quezon said “Wasn’t that splendid! I want you and myself to review at least one hundred thousand Filipino soldiers before the end of my administration; many of our rich people here don’t want to pay for protection! But this will cure the inferiority complex of the Filipinos.” He spoke of the fine soldiers now here on the wharf, and we agreed that these fellows were “killers.”

There has been only one typhoon in Jolo in 80 years–that of 1932, which took off most of the roofs in the town.

I asked him (Quezon) again about the 5 torpedo boat vessels he has ordered from Italy, and he said they were exceedingly fast and quite cheap, adding: “these are the boats with which Mussolini scared the British Navy out of the Mediterranean.”

Bridge in p.m.; at night a ball in the Park pavilion in Zamboanga. I went with Osmeña. Major General Holbrook was there, having brought three planes down from Manila. The steamer sailed early in the morning for Manila direct, cutting out the Culion (leper colony) part of the program because many of the Assemblymen are prone to seasickness.


May 30, 1936

Many telephones out of action due to yesterday’s small flood.

Talked, however, with Quezon on the telephone.

Press carries a statement that the President opposes the transfer of Provincial Treasurers to the Department of Finance, but will submit the question to his Cabinet on Monday.

Received the May 1st copy of the Japan Times from the Japanese Consulate here, containing a special issue on Japan-Philippines relations with a very frank article by Debuchi, former Japanese Ambassador to the United States analyzing commercial and political difficulties of the Commonwealth. Also an article by Marquis Tokugawa expressing friendship and desire for more intimate relations with the Philippines. Also a plea by a Japanese businessman for tariff revision in the Philippines. Likewise, two very sensible articles putting forward Japan’s side of the Davao case, and estimating the investment there by Japanese variously from 50 million to 100 million yen. Also an article and speech by Manuel A. Alzate, chairman of the committee on Foreign Affairs of the Philippine Assembly. He begins by acknowledging their cultural debt to Spain and to United States and their economic and political debt to latter, but “This state of things, nevertheless is not bound to continue. Several forces are now at work tending to bring the Philippines into closer communion with the other countries of the Far East.” He analyses trade as it now exists between Japan and the Philippines and shows how one-sided it is, and insists Japan must buy more Philippine products: “Your country by reason of her geographical proximity and her present industrial development is an ideal market for Philippine products.”

The local papers here, print increasing accounts of “good-will” visits of Filipinos to Japan; also visits there of other prominent Filipinos in consequence of the “T.V.T.” newspaper contests here for “popularity” etc. All this movement and activity has sprung from the general belief outside the government circles here that the Philippines are a part of the Orient and had better make the best of the situation.” The recent coldly hostile attitude of the United States Congress etc., is having its effect, and underlying government influence here is no doubt stressing the necessity for an earnest study of their relations with Japan. The Japanese are making an evident attempt to show courtesy and consideration for the visiting Filipinos. All of the above shows that the Filipinos are making a real attempt (rather under cover) to face their fears and meet the dragon with out-stretched hand.

Received a wire that Doria is back in Shanghai; I hope the increasing troubles and public disturbances in China due to Japanese activity in the North will remain comparatively innocuous while she is there!


May 2, 1936

Visit to the Museum of the Bureau of Science: good collection of birds and fishes. It is amazing how few species of wild mammals there are in the Philippines. The ethnological and insect collections are defective. Then to the Botanical Gardens–a sad “petering out” of this little zoo since my time. They have one small elephant, two bears (one mangy), a few wild boars and some wretched monkeys, and one deer. Most of the cages are vacant. Then to the Philippine Library to see E. B. Rodriguez. He wishes to restrain their library to its present scope of historical works and their museum to history and art. Very canny fellows: Teodoro Kalaw and Rodriguez! They know exactly what they want and just what they cannot get out of the legislature. Rodriguez believes the other bureaus of the Government should keep their own small museum collections as at present for their studies; also that the Bureau of Science should keep its own library.


February 22, 1936

Holiday. An hour with Sam Gaches in his office where he told me at my request the whole story of the Mineral Resources Mining properties. Excellent and vivid 40 minutes talk by him on rediscovery of the ancient Chinese mines of 500-1,000 years ago in Camarines Norte. Gave all the difficulties of mining in that region (Labo) and said it might be a “flop” “but”–with a gesture–“it drives you crazy it looks so good.” Said all mines in the Philippines except those in actual operation, like Benguet Consolidated, were “hooey,” meaning, a speculation only as yet–but added he believed the Paracale–San Mauricio–Labo district was destined to become the great gold fields of the Islands.

Had a talk yesterday with Palting, who has made a survey of the executive offices at Malacañan since inauguration, and he reports four times the volume of business compared with the days of the Governors General–but, he added, this was mostly due to the different boards engaged in reorganizing the Government.

Saw also Colonel Antonio Torres, Municipal Councillor, candidate for appointment as first Filipino Chief of Police of the City of Manila. He seemed downcast and said to me “My career is ended”–I replied “No! it is just beginning”–that afternoon’s papers carried the announcement of his nomination to head the Police Department.

Saw also Dr. Calderon, Director of the Philippine General Hospital–he is old and failing–walks with a stick. He is the senior surviving appointee to office made by me as Governor General.

Long talk with Colin Hoskins on currency problems in the Philippines. He had two hours with Weldon Jones this morning on the silver purchase. We also went into constitutional questions; the United States under Roosevelt; and the administration. Colin asked why Jim Ross and I could not support Roosevelt.

Doria’s dinner here tonight. Colette Guest, Kuka Guest, Mr. & Mrs “Shiny” White, Andres Soriano, Jim Rockwell, Paco Oleaga, Evelyn Burkhart who is to marry Paco in a few days, Tony McLeod, Young Hoover, Florence Edwards and Commander MacDowell. Dinner not well cooked. Orchestra dismissed by Doria as no good, so we went on to the Polo Club dance and had a gay evening. Mr. & Mrs. Gaches had a large dinner party there on the lawn–with the Rectos and Buencaminos. Doria said the Army crowd mournfully regretted that the last stronghold of the Palefaces was now invaded. Mrs. Gaches told Doria how difficult her social-political work on the committees was, because the Filipinos with whom she served were so casual–not to say rude!


Tuesday, May 17, 1898

Philippine Strategy

An incomparable strategic situation now exists. Manila is key to the Far East, being the geometric center from which all places radiate where colonies are of utmost importance to the powers with interests in the Pacific. With Manila as the center, having a radius equal to five days at sea, one can establish a circumference consisting of all the important commercial routes and all the trade between the north of Asia and the south of Europe, the Far East, Australia, and the United States. The distance from Manila to Hongkong is the short common side of two triangles whose hypotenuse, in the case of the northern triangle, runs from Hongkong to Japan, and for the south triangle from Hongkong to Singapore. The two lines which link Singapore and Japan to Manila are equal.

The Philippines is a sort of tropical Japan in much the same way that Japan is the England of the East. The Philippines represents the southern part of England, the fragmented area of the Azores. The strategic importance of the Philippines in the Pacific is superior to that of the Azores in the European context.

Besides this, the Philippines has a bigger surface area, a larger population, and countless natural resources. These islands and Cuba are Spain’s most beautiful colonies. It should not be inferred, however, that the Philippines comprises a territory which is confining. The entire archipelago with its 10 or 12 large islands, excluding the 500 small ones has a surface area of not less than 300 square kilometers, England is smaller than this. Although we do not have the exact figure for the population, these fertile lands feed some 10 million and can easily sustain three or four times that number.


Thursday, 28 April, 1898

Saigon. On board the Bruix.

In Washington, war has been declared by Congress. France and England have expressed their neutrality. The commandant’s final orders state that we are to leave Monday for Manila.

What are we supposed to do? How long will this mission take? Are we merely going ashore? In the mess hall, varied opinions are heard all around.

Meanwhile, the daily naval drills continue as I keep watch to make sure nothing escapes me. I just pray that we see some action soon.

There is a rush to consult the orders: in Manila, between May and June, the maximum temperature is 41, the minimum is 27. And what raging fevers! “We will be prohibited from going ashore even during the day, will have to survive on canned food, and miss inspection tours!” notes someone who has no desire to leave Saigon. There are those who are looking forward to something new, and others for whom the notion of war seems vastly exciting. Personally, I detest departures, but all voyages delight me. I find that each experience, each situation corresponds to a special spirit that gratifies the soul.