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.


April 7, 1936

At sea nearing Jolo. At breakfast I had a talk with Quezon over the Government Survey Board. He said the government had become a mere bureaucracy; I told him the Survey Board was puzzled to know how to decrease the expenses of government in accord with his wishes–was it by lowering salaries? He said no–but by abolishing useless places and duplications.

The President then told me how, long ago, he had agreed with Governor General Wood to sign the contract for the sale of the government’s Portland Cement Co. in Cebu for 200,000 pesos; though he never intended to do so, but wanted Wood to keep quiet during his (Quezon’s) current political campaign then under way. The day after the election, Wood sent for him and presented him with the contract which he (Wood) had already signed, and then Quezon refused. Wood went purple in the face and rose as if to strike him. Quezon told him he had changed his mind, and that he took that privilege because Governor General Wood did it so often himself! The government cement co. now has a surplus of two million pesos, and is worth about four! Wood wanted to give the Manila Railroad away to J. G. White and Co.; also to sell all the government-controlled sugar centrals for a song. Quezon says Wood would have lost one hundred million pesos for the Philippines in his rage to “get the government out of business.” (I was the one who had originally put them in!)

Quezon is going later to Davao with three members of his cabinet: Rodriguez, Yulo and Quirino, to settle the ticklish international situation there; wish I could be there, but am going back to Manila.

Arrival at Jolo. Visits to provincial and municipal buildings. Quezon made a fine speech to the Constabulary at their quarters. He told them that the primary duty of soldiers was to ensure peace and order for their fellow men, and this should be sufficient reward for them. He said that the duty of the soldier in time of peace was to be courteous and just, but in time of war it was to kill; their rifles were not given to them as ornaments, but to kill when ordered to do so. Since several of the leading Moros were present, this firm attitude will be understood all over Jolo in forty-eight hours. The Constabulary can handle the situation of allowed to do so, and now they have been assured of the proper backing by the highest authority. The Moros are bullies, and understand only force.

Quezon told me he was going to break the power of the Datus (there are 6 or 7 of them in Jolo) and to stop the “babying” of them by the Government.

He received telegraphic news that the registration for the new Philippine Army had been 100% successful, and very happy he was over this–showing again how much better he understands his own people than do so many of the Filipinos.

A terrific rainstorm arose which prevented our trip across the island of Jolo by motor.

[Mrs. Rogers, the Moro wife of the former Governor of Jolo (and an old sweetheart of Quezon)] came to lunch. I asked her, before the President, how long it had been since the last disorder occurred here? She replied that order had been more disturbed during the past three years than for a long time past. She told the story of the killing last night of a boy of twelve who ran away from a provincial policeman–i.e., one of the “police” attached to the Deputy Governor, the Datu of Indanan. Quezon rose at once–sent for the municipal President, the Chief of Constabulary (Major Gallardo) and Governor James Fugate. I advised Quezon to abolish the “deputy governors” and their gangsters. I also advised him never to make a Moro the Governor of Jolo–he said he never intended to do so, but would appoint a Christian Filipino (Major Gallardo) as Governor in the place of Fugate, who was originally a “missionary” and “should have remained so.”

Quezon, when he had inspected the jail, reported that there was one young man in there who claimed to have killed his man in a fight. Quezon said he did not always object to that sort of killing, and would look into the case. He said there were also two Moro women in jail on the charge of adultery; he told Judge Labrador to try the two cases this morning, and if convicted, he would pardon the women, “since it is absurd to allow a man to have thirty wives and to put a woman in jail for adultery.”

Graft and tyranny are rampant among the Joloanos, and Quezon is glad he came down here to learn the situation.

Opium smuggling, which used to be rife here, is uncommon now, and this must mean that the British Government at Sandakan is at last helping to stop it. I couldn’t get them to do so in my day and this was the subject of an acrimonious exchange of views between myself and Lord Curzon when he was British Foreign Secretary. [Met Hadji Butu, former Prime Minister of the Sultan here, whom I made Senator, and later discharged as such for taking part in the opium traffic. I asked Mrs. Rogers what he lives on now–she replied: “graft–mostly religious.”]

Quezon is a most erratic bridge player–always doubling and bidding slams. He plays his hands wonderfully, and if he makes an original bid, it is sure to be very sound. I am losing heavily here, as I did on the Negros trip.

The President has apparently been completely cured of his stomach ulcer by a series of injections–he now eats copiously, and even drinks beer and cocktails. I must go to see his doctor as soon as I can get back to Manila.

The contrast here between the neat homes of the Christian Filipinos and the reeking quarters of Chinese and Moros is striking.

Mrs. Rogers told me that none of the teak forests of Jolo, the only ones in the Philippines–are being cut and sold. Main exports are copra and hemp. They grow some upland rice, but the Moro diet consists chiefly of tapioca and fish. They are marvellous sailors.

Quezon gave me to read “The Secret War for Oil” after I had gone through it I told him he ought to go down on his knees and thank God that oil had not been discovered in paying quantities in the Philippines. He said he had been first told that twenty years ago by Representative William Atkinson Jones of Virginia. If oil is found here, it should be in the hands of one company only–either American or English, and not divided up between various rival oil companies.

In the afternoon, trip around the island of Jolo on the new roads, and saw the sites of various battles fought by Generals Wood and Pershing. We visited all the Constabulary posts. I had been to Camp Romandier in 1915 when we had that thrilling deer hunt with spears, and on horseback. The agricultural development of the island is now simply wonderful–they are, perhaps, the best farmers in the Philippines; also they have fine stock; horses, cattle and carabaos. I told Quezon that this had changed my whole opinion of the Jolo Moros. It is an eye-opener; and he said it had had the same effect on him. That he was going to bring some money here, and help break the power of those who are exploiting the poor farmers of this paradise on earth–whether they are Vinta Moros, Chinos or the Datus. If necessary, he would have the National Development Company undertake the marketing of the crops, so as to cut out the extortioners. He repeated what Governor Fugate had told him: there are three kinds of Moros–the aristocrats, the farmers and the Vinta Moros, who own no land and live at sea.

The President is now receiving on the Arayat a delegation of the Datus who are not officially favoured by Governor Fugate. “Probably they are full of complaints.”

Quezon says he will provide appropriations for more water for Jolo. He is very enthusiastic over what he has seen. I told him he must be prepared for explosions if he broke the power of the exploiters–resistance on some feigned issue–he said he was prepared to handle that.

Altogether, I think this afternoon will have an important bearing on a fair settlement of the “Moro problem,” at least so far as Jolo is concerned.

The teak forests are very badly managed–but crops of hemp, maize, tapioca, coconuts and upland rice are excellently farmed; so are papayas, mangoes, kapok and other useful trees.

The President received a telegram stating that the Japanese had landed on Turtle Island, taken all the eggs and the female turtles and killed all the males–an incident full of disagreeable possibilities.

We received a statement in the town of Jolo from a local resident (Mrs. De Leon) that the magnificent farms we saw were the work of Scout and Constabulary soldiers who had settled there–the more backward farms were the work of the stay-at-home Moros.

Arrived in Siasi at 11 p.m.; a small crowd of local officials had gathered on the pier. Quezon is the first chief executive, I believe, to visit this island except General Wood. We stumbled about in the moonlight, visiting the old Spanish fort and the barracks built by the American soldiers in 1901. The main street was faintly lighted by electric light owned by a Chinese–there are one hundred Chinese here in a total population on the island of only some four thousand–one road has been built, four kilometers long, half way across the island. The racial stock here is Samal (the sea gypsies–there are three types of them, those who live entirely on their vintas with no house on land, those who live entirely on land and those who use both). Industries are pearls and copra. Evidently the Chinese get all the profits.

Quezon asked the locals whether they had any questions or complaints–one leader stepped up and advocated the retention of Governor Fugate (Siasi is a part of the province of Jolo). Quezon asked him: “are you the agent of the Governor?” and he replied “Yes, Sir,” and probably didn’t find out until the next morning the irony of it.

On our return to the steamer, Quezon talked for an hour with Peters, Wolff and myself. I lamented that the courts had overthrown our attempt to force by law the keeping of books by the Chinese businessmen in either English, Spanish or a native dialect of the Philippines. Quezon said the adverse decision in the Philippine Supreme Court, had been written by Justice Johnson, and that in the United States Supreme Court by Chief Justice Taft–but it was purely a political decision. Said that the new constitution of the Commonwealth had provided for that; that the rice marketing of the Philippines was entirely in Chinese hands, and they could, if they wished, starve the islands–“an intolerable situation,” he added.

Talking of the necessity of the Constabulary being supported by the head of the state, Quezon described the recent Sakdalista uprising in Laguna Province. The local chief of Constabulary received some rumours of a gathering and sent a patrol of one officer and ten men in the jitney to make a survey. Approaching Cabuyao (near Biñan) they found the town in the possession of a large party of Sakdalistas who had seized the Presidencia, on nearing which they were fired on and the officer and five men were wounded. The officer leapt from the jitney and cried out “come on and fight them, men”–they began firing and killed fifty of the Sakdalistas, after which the rest fled; but instead of commendation, the Constabulary were given repeated investigations! (Quezon was in Washington at the time.)

The President then passed to the subject of communism, and said that the Filipinos were easily drawn to these theories. Governor General Murphy he felt made a mistake when he released the communists from Bilibid prison–even though he was himself opposed to keeping men in prison for their political opinions. He made it as a condition to their release that they be exiled from Manila to various points such as Ifugao and Batangas. When Quezon assumed the presidency of the Commonwealth, he found that the people of the localities to which those men had been deported had built them houses and were supporting them! In Spanish days, all the Filipino patriots had been similarly deported! Quezon pardoned these exiles from home immediately in order to destroy their influence in politics. He then had an interview with [Evangelista, one of them who is an educated man and is a convinced believer in communism, and had been one of Quezon’s former leaders.] The President told Evangelista that it was folly to think the Philippines could be converted to communism. Evangelista replied that the communist leaders were building for the future; they were working for their grandchildren and were willing to die for their belief. Quezon retorted: “it’s no more use talking to you–you look out you don’t get into the clutches of the law again. There is one difference between you and me–you are willing to die for it and I am willing to kill you for it.”

Then we talked about health. Quezon said he thought my trouble was nervous indigestion and that I could be cured by having some work to do which really interested me: that as soon as I was through with the Government Survey Board he wanted me to work with him on a history of the Philippines during the fifteen years since my administration. The accepted belief in the United States, he said, was that I had wrecked the Philippines and Wood had restored it; while the exact contrary was the truth. We would get the figures, and he would give me the incidents from his own recollections. Told me how he was flat on his back in Baguio a few years ago when Osmeña opened his attack on him in connection with his opposition to the Hare-Hawes-Cutting law, saying Quezon should be driven from the Philippines. Quezon was at once carried from his bed to the train, and at Tondo station was carried from the train to a platform which had been erected there for him. Thousands of his followers were present. He spoke for an hour, and walked down from the platform and was ill in bed no more.


April 5, 1936

Arrived at 1 p.m. at Iligan, but such a heavy sea was running we could not land at the pier. All were greatly disappointed not to go up to Dansalan, being anxious to be on the scene of last week’s fighting. Quezon talked a little of the Moros. He has given the Constabulary an absolutely free hand in dealing with them–they are to be petted no longer. He will not listen to their interminable and childish speeches, and does not receive their delegations which come to Manila; says he is going to stop the pension paid the Sultan of Sulu (tho fixed by treaty) because he will not recognize his claim to sovereignty. Says he will make the husband (now Assemblyman) of the Princess Dayang-Dayang Governor of Jolo, since he knows that she will govern the island well. The general disposition is to cease pampering the Moros. Quezon will stop the annual subsidy paid to bring important Moros to Manila.

We lay off Kolumbugan (lumber) settlement for some hours, but there is no road from there to Iligan, so we went back at 10 p.m. to see if we could land–no luck–so off to Zamboanga and Jolo.


March 31, 1936

Quezon telephoned asking us to the Commencement of the University of the Philippines at 8:15 a.m. I put on gown and hood for the first time since receiving from this University an LL.D. eighteen years ago. The ceremonies were very well run and seemed impressive. Quezon rose and congratulated the cum laude students as they advanced to receive their degrees. I was glad to see the large graduating class of the College of Agriculture. The law school students received most of the applause from the audience, which shows again how little perception people en masse have for real values. For the first time, the graduates in medicine outnumbered the law–65-64! When honorary degrees were given to Dr. Singian and to High Commissioner Murphy, Quezon was asked by Bocobo to make an impromptu speech, which he did, rather haltingly and with an effort–in praise of those two; he also made a handsome reference to myself. The error in the American school of oratory is that it is too fulsome. Evidently Billy Sunday was a typical rouser of pure American vintage. There is now a very strong campaign of flattery by the Filipino orators and press to keep Murphy here. They really like him and can get on with him as High Commissioner. A most difficult post to fill.

Talk with Don Rafael Palma, who said the plans of the new Education Council were to stress primary education so as to make it universal; but, he added, this was chiefly a question of funds. He asked me if I had noticed that at Santo Tomas University Commencement, Quezon was the only one of the recipients of degrees who did not kneel before the Father Rector–thus denying the subordination of State to Church –this explains his having Mrs. Quezon to pin on his cape for him instead of the Archbishop.

Conversation with Father Tamayo who marvelled at Quezon’s remarkable memory of his student days–“he was all alone in Manila when he came from Baler, and I tried to help him.” Later I told this to Quezon and he said: “Father Tamayo saved my life–I was starving and had nowhere to go–he took me in and gave me room and board free.”

Talk with General Reyes over the resistance by the Moros in Lanao against registration for military service. He regretted that the law had not contained a provision permitting the President to suspend it in certain provinces, commenting that: “we don’t want these Moros and Ifugaos anyway.” He added that the drawing by lot for conscription was a revival of Spanish days. He himself in the old era had not been drawn for the Spanish Army because his family was influential.

An article in a morning paper showed the alleged attitude of Lanao Moros against conscription:

“MORO PRINCESS BACK FOR VISIT–Princess reveals determination of her people to reject soldiering.

“Corregidor, March 27, 1936. Moro Princess Juliana Malawani, niece of Datu Cali of Lanao, a visitor to the island, revealed in an interview with the Tribune correspondent here that if the government forces the Lanao Moros to register for military training, they will fight to the last, according to a letter to her of another uncle, Datu Ganooki.”

I told Reyes I thought it was a mistake, anyway to arm these Moros–they might desert en masse with their arms.

Talks later with Unson, Garfinkel and Santos on this subject. General impression is that the Moros oppose everything:–cedula, abolition of the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes and conscription. No use dallying with them. My impression is that the Filipinos are aching to get at them. They have been especial pets of the Government and are spoiled. Wood was largely responsible for this. The situation resembles that of the Apaches under Geronimo.

The speech of Roxas at the Commencement of the University of the Philippines was far above my expectation–he displayed perfect use of English and great mental powers. His voice is unfortunately too high, although through an amplifier perhaps, this is not so apparent. He uses no gestures except emphatic nods. If only he had a little of the English reticence and hesitation, I should say he is (mentally) the most convincing orator I have heard. Quezon expressed himself as thinking that Roxas should not have asked a question in his address–i.e., “what can the future of the Philippines he?” without answering the question himself; but as a matter of fact Roxas did answer this by discarding for the Philippines all permanent protection from other powers, and urging the Filipinos to prepare to defend themselves.

In the afternoon with the Government Survey Board. Unson, Trinidad and Paez–am rather embarrassed by Quezon having attached me to their board. Unson was discursive, with almost unintelligible use of English; Paez was completely silent; Trinidad was skeptical and coldly incisive. A good deal of laughter at La Comedie Humaine as exemplified by Department Secretaries and Bureau Chiefs. The board was evidently rather discouraged as to the outlook. A questionnaire had been sent out to all Bureau Chiefs and the only Bureau which has answered was that of the Weather! Trinidad has found out that 8,000,000 pesos is owing to the government from landowners on the Cadastral Survey, and 5,000,000 pesos in irrigation works. The latter had probably better be written off. Similar experience was had, I believe, in Siam, South Africa and the United States. At the end of the session, Unson said most kindly to me: “This makes us rather home-sick–because it reminds us of your days.”


March 23, 1936

We arrived at Marinduque at 9 a.m. on Arayat worn out by the voyage. We went off first and after fiddling about to get a chauffer, drove up to Boac to get photographic films for Doria. Chatted in the shop for half an hour until Quezon arrived–fire-crackers–constabulary–police–local officials of Marinduque. Secretary Quirino went on across the island to investigate some case. In the President’s stead he spoke at a town on the other side of Marinduque. Quezon went to the town plaza of Boac and addressed a large crowd. He seemed very happy to be among his own people in Tagalog for about forty minutes. He had not been there for twenty years. He used many homely witticisms, which took well with the crowd. Made polite reference to my having signed in 1920 the law which made a separate province of Marinduque, until then a part of Tayabas (Quezon’s own province)–very evident was his relief at getting away from the Moros whom he distrusts and dislikes.

Various inspections–visit to a home, where I asked questions about the local gold deposits (apparently “a dud”) and about their copra, coffee etc. Then to luncheon where I sat beside Quezon. The next move was to drive across the island, but the President said his stomach ulcer was giving him another hemorrhage, so I advised him to go back to the Arayat, which he agreed to do. We talked again about the Moros; he said he had instructed Colonel Stevens to act first and report later; that those Moros who wished to become civilized members of the Commonwealth would be welcomed, and the others would gradually disappear (like the American Indians). He added that there were 160,000 Moros in Cotobato who could be made useful citizens–they could be taught agriculture. He must have noticed that when we entered the town of Cotobato, some Moros standing by the sign: “We want a Civilian Governor” (local politics) had spat as we passed by in the motor!

The President was enthusiastic over Lt. Johnson, one of his submachine gun bodyguard on the Cotobato trip and said that he was going to promote him. Same as to the big American policeman from Malacañan who accompanied us on the journey and hung on the step of the motor car. (N.B. what a big grip those employees have who get into personal contact with N° 1.) He said Johnson was the only one of General Wood’s appointees as young Constabulary officers who had made good. Quezon had noticed him in the anti-bandit campaign last October.

So we left Boac and crossed the channel to the beach opposite Lucena, where Doria, Felicia, “Baby” Quezon, Miss Labrador, Nieto and I disembarked in a launch; from that to a banca, thence to a chair. A big crowd of provincial officials waited on the beach to meet Quezon who, however, did not land. We went off in our own motor at 5:30 and arrived at home at 8 p.m. having done 159 kilometers in two and a half hours through romantic scenery, over fine roads.

On this trip it was painfully evident that the Arayat was too small, the sea was very rough, (as usual) the boat was crowded; the servants from Malacañan were insolent and lazy; the whole thing lacked direction and management, and was about as badly done as is conceivable. This extraordinary inefficiency could easily be corrected by Quezon giving an a.d.c. authority over the servants–but he himself, prefers to be free from regulations of any kind.


March 21, 1936

Back in Zamboanga. About 11 o’c off for Basilan, which was “non-Christian territory” in my time. Rough crossing to Isabela. I had visited there 20 years ago when the only plantation was that of Menzi (Behn, Meyer & Co.)–the pioneer rubber plantation in the Philippines. Then we went only 300 yards from the harbour to see the old Spanish fort and the Spanish naval hospital built on stilts over the sea. Today we motored on a first-class road 9 kilometers to the United States Rubber Co. plantation managed by Dr. Strong. Magnificent coconut groves and miles of splendid rubber trees. The market for their rubber is entirely in the Philippines–in Japanese owned factories for making rubber-soled shoes etc. The plantations are now cramped by the lumber concession of Künzle and Streiff. Arthur Fischer, Director of Forestry, will not allow more plantation land to be taken from the forest. Clearings that have been made were done by raising a platform twenty feet from the ground and then sawing off the tree; gigantic trunks were left standing and then burned, which is a frightful waste of good lumber!

Strong and Menken have 400 laborers–from a Yaktan tribe of Moros, who are now mostly Christians. They are of pure Malay type wearing picturesque costumes. Strong says he has never carried a weapon in his thirty years there. Both men love their present way of life and would hate to have spent their years indoors in an office. A Yaktan dance was given for us–derived from the Siamese-Bali etc.; the movement is all hands and wrists–hardly any body rhythm–syncopated time is beaten by the feet. They chanted: “Maida–ling a ling da’ling.” No instrumental music. The dancers sang.

Doria asked if there were no “beach-combers” on this enchanted isle–none; “well then, where is Robinson Crusoe?” Sure enough, there is such a person on Basilan; a Doctor, retired from the United States Navy who is rich, and goes once a year to the United States to buy four or five boxes of books and then returns to live in the jungle, sans clothes, sans shoes and eating camotes. As is to be expected, alcohol is said to be his recreation in idle moments.

Mangrove swamps–probably alive with crocodiles; astounding groves of coconuts. Alano’s plantation is on the smaller island opposite.

A launch chartered by Dr. Strong came down to meet the Arayat, but the sea was too rough to board the vessel so our steamer went straight up the river. The launch followed flying a big flag with an Arabic inscription–Strong hoped Quezon would not notice this flag: “I told the Moros to decorate the launch and the lousy fellows put up that flag!” Evidently this was the end of an era for them, and they didn’t know it!

Miss Karagdag, with her father and mother, were on this trip.

Back to Zamboanga where more festivities are planned which I hope to duck.

Visit from Admiral Yarnell and return visit of Quezon dressed in riding clothes and flourishing a crop to the American cruiser Augusta–salutes etc. Buffet supper on Augusta given by the wardroom. Admiral very affable; he is a brilliant man. I had a long talk with him about Rossshire and Inverness where the Admiral was stationed during part of the War. Also had a talk with the Chief Signal Officer about fishing. Later there was a dance at the Overseas Club which I managed to escape.

Colonel Stevens of the Zamboanga Constabulary is a fine type of frontiersman, was a Lieutenant in my time, and says that after we removed the Military Government from Mindanao and Sulu, there were for a time, just as many excitements as before, but there was no publicity about it such as the army had always given. Now, all is absolutely tame and settled.

There are few young men among the civilian whites in Zamboanga; mostly these are “Old Timers,” now in business.

I note the predominance of Southerners in our army and navy–this should produce a fine fighting type.

We did not get away from Zamboanga until 4 a.m.


March 19, 1936

Arrived at Zamboanga one hour before the Mayon which brought Quezon, his daughter “Baby” and a considerable suite. Walk up to market place where Assemblyman Alano introduced Quezon who spoke in Spanish. His address was on the duties of citizenship and the relations of the provinces with the Commonwealth Government; said also that whereas in the past elective officials who were guilty of misdeeds were more leniently treated than appointed officials would be–now the new government would treat them all severely since it was their own administration. Just afterwards, he proceeded to a hearing on charges of petty graft against Provincial Governor Ramos (mulcting ten pesos from policeman etc.). He gave no decision, tho’ during the hearing, Quezon suspended a stenographer and the Secretary of the Provincial Board for having falsified the record in favour of Ramos. Afterwards, Quezon told me he thought Ramos was guilty but did not know whom to appoint in his place. He gave a hearing to a Moro Datu who was opposed to military conscription. Quezon told the Datu, to the latter’s surprise, “I don’t give a damn whether you enroll or not. You will have time to study the question, and later on, if you don’t enroll something will happen.” This is in accordance with his idea that Moros are great bluffers, and will never agree with what you seem to want unless they can put you under an obligation.

Drive to San Ramon–a wonderful penal colony. Talk with Joe Cooley, who started it. He was unwise enough to go into business with an associate whom he describes as thoroughly unreliable–and with Joe Harriman the New York banker who is now in prison.

Visits to quarters of the Huntsberry, and the Tiltons–both are Lieutenants in the army.

Tea dance at the Zamboanga Club–met many old acquaintances; the most torrid heat I have ever felt. There was a big thunderstorm at night which delayed the departure of Arayat. Instead of leaving at 8 p.m. we did not get off until 2 a.m., so would be unable to keep our appointment at the mouth of the Cotobato River on the morning of March 20th–docked instead at Parang and we drove 28 kilometers over the hills on the new road across this part of Cotobato and arrived at the latter place at 12 noon. Meanwhile, the water parade which had been waiting for us at the mouth of the river had returned, much disgruntled.

From numerous conversations, I gather that the famous “Moro problem” has been “solved”– though it is still possible to have local disturbances in Jolo and Lanao. Roads are being pushed everywhere. Cotobato Moros are dirty, unkempt and doped looking–poor specimens physically. Cristianos, especially Ilocanos, are settling everywhere in this wonderful valley. Cotobato is the most hideously ugly, galvanized iron town I have ever seen. Cattle, coconuts and palay. The Provincial Engineer said that by next year we would be able to motor from Cotobato to Lanao. Rains–reception at Provincial Treasurer Palillo’s, who was outspokenly furious at the failure of Quezon to come to his merienda. I tried to pacify him. Provincial Governor Gutierrez (Major in the Constabulary) had been tried on charges of using prison labour for his own purposes, but when it turned out that the labour made the magnificent flying field which he has leased to the government for one peso a year for five years, Governor Gutierrez was acquitted and reinstated.

Secretary Quirino says he will transfer the offices of the Department of the Interior for three months of every year to Zamboanga to show the Southern Islands that they are really part of the Philippines.

I congratulated Assemblyman Tomas Confesor on his independence speech answering Pedro Guevara.

Bridge with Quezon, Doria and Felicia Howell. The President said he wanted to stay on in the Southern Islands, but he had two military reviews near Manila. I consoled him by saying that all the hard work he had put in by cultivating the American Army officers was bearing most excellent results.

Quirino said that as Secretary of the Interior, he really occupies the former position of the Governor General, having authority over all the Provincial Governors. He also reported that when Quezon came down from Baguio recently he asked him: “Why did you suspend my Major” (Gutierrez, Major of the Constabulary is the appointed Governor of Cotobato), he (Quirino) replied: “Why shouldn’t I suspend my Governor?” Secretary Quirino started life as a school teacher at the age of fifteen–and his mother then took all his salary. Some years later, he said, Isabelo de los Reyes beat him as a candidate for Senator, and at the next election retired, saying he wanted to give Quirino a chance!

Quirino said to me that my silver purchase suggestion was “gaining ground.” He also remarked that I had helped in the purchase of the Manila Railroad bonds, because I knew the “psychological background” of the English bondholders.

Talk with Alano, the Assemblyman from Zamboanga. He is the manager of the United States Rubber Company’s plantation on Basilan Island. Lawyer. Used to be stenographer for Quezon in the American Congress in 1911. He was born in province of Bulacan. He recently accepted a nomination for the Assembly simply as a matter of “civic duty,” as he is a successful lawyer and plantation manager. Said Yulo had persuaded to such effect, that he replied he was willing to serve just as a stenographer as he did twenty-five years ago in Washington. He said the Assembly would be “all right” when it met in Manila in June. They were not going to make a fight for silly privileges.

Twelve thousand crocodiles were killed last year in the Cotobato River–the hides were sent to Manila for sale.

One merchant in Cotobato claims to have exported 1½ million pesos worth of palay (rice) last year.

Bridge with Quezon, Doria and Felicia Howell–Quezon is way ahead. He plays and bids excellently.

Left Parang at 6 o’c bound for Zamboanga or Basilan. Quien sabe?

Guingona was aboard and in lively discourse with a group of Assemblymen about the very advantageous flying fields they had mapped out and were preparing in Mindanao.

Major Hutter of the United States Army Medical Corps says General MacArthur states that my administration was the best the Americans had in the Philippines. This is something of a pleasant surprise!