December 21, 1944

Significant developments. Puppet P.I. government moving to Baguio. Laurel and all Ministers including Manuel Roxas scheduled to leave for Baguio last night. Jap Embassy also hurriedly packing to transfer to Baguio. Jap Dept. of Information burning papers, will continue propaganda in Baguio. Speaker B. Aquino remained in Manila, promised to go up after wedding of his son Billy. Minister Antonio de las Alas expressed fear Japs will eventually bring P.I. cabinet to Tokyo. Gen. Paulino Santos, head of P. Constabulary, will reside in Malacañan. Japs planning to give Sakdals thru Makapili more extensive powers in Manila government.

Further indications Japs vacating Manila: big shipyard and iron works in Findlay & Miller docks being dismantled; ammunition dump in Pinaglabanan being transferred. All telephone installations of buttai 2944 in City being removed. Jap leather factory in Aviles has stopped work. Wives of Jap civilians left by train last night. Preparations to move sick Jap soldiers from Quezon Institute now underway. Non-stop movement of troops, trucks, tanks, artillery in Manila roads. Soldiers are in full pack. Trucks loaded with supplies and baggages. Roads leading to the outskirts of Manila filled with Japs leaving the city hurriedly.

Manilans agog by these new developments. Morale of people has risen to skies. Jap morale evidently on the downgrade. An old Jap who had been here 10 years said: “What do you think of all these things?” Manilans think Americans will be in Manila by the 15th of January. Landings will be effected “maybe before Christmas or New Year”. People suspect landings in Batangas. Everybody is in gay spirits. “No better Christmas could be had!” some say. Talk of open city revived.

Barrio Teresa, Sta. Mesa, zonified yesterday morning. All houses in said barrio searched. About 400 males corralled near Sta. Mesa market. Everybody made to sit under sun. One man being battered with a blunt instrument kept shouting, pleading: “Somebody please kill me, please, please, please.”

Victor Pagulayan, assistant manager of Naric, dying. After leaving Fort Santiago he was brought to the hospital. Several liters of water have been taken from his lungs.

Indications rise that RICCOA, newest rice agency, may be able to distribute around 600 sacks for Manila before Christmas, if Japs permit. It is reliably known that Japs have recently decided to take “all rice that can be procured from Central Luzon because of military needs.” Rice to be harvested will not be deposited in Jap bodegas in City. Harvest will be stored in warehouses along Central Luzon. This again indicates Jap intention to leave Manila. This will naturally worsen food situation in City, increase hunger-deaths. Doctors of San Lazaro hospital estimated that deaths due to chronic hunger in city around 500 daily. Many walking in streets can be seen suffering from vitamin deficiencies. Beri-beri rampant especially among lower classes.

With all these significant developments, I am of the opinion that Gen. Yamashita recognizes the untenability of defending Manila. The more troops he keeps here, the more will be sacrificed. Manila is indefensible due to its many exits and entrances. Consequently, Yamashita has taken away from city all material and people like the puppets whom he would not like to see in the hands of Americans. He has sent the bulk of his troops to the north. He has sent a minimum force to guard the coasts of Tayabas and Camarines and Batangas, most possible landing points. Yamashita realizes that his troops in the coastline will only be decimated by U.S. aerial and naval bombardment. Coastline of P.I. is flat and open. No natural protection to defenders from skies. Yamashita expects to make his stand in the north with his back to Japan. There he has natural protection, mountains, cliffs and food.

People are waiting for the zero hour. When, when will it come? Opinions range generally “from Christmas” to the first 15 days of January. Up to now the furthest I’ve heard is “around the month of March.”

Meanwhile collaborators have changed tune, speak differently. Even Aquino is changing his opinions. Opportunists, perhaps.

Guerillas are increasing in numbers. Some believe capitol of Batangas, taken by guerillas, with aerial support.


February 25, 1943

Shoreham Hotel.

Quezon says that when he first came to Washington as Resident Commissioner he, like most Filipinos, believed that when they saw an American man and woman out driving together, whom they knew not to be married to one another, they were sexually intimate. This was the old Spanish idea. But when he got to Washington and made friends with American girls, he soon found out the truth as to our views on the sexes–he was delighted, and when he went back to the Philippines, he convinced them as to the real American situation in these matters.

This conversation arose from an amusing incident–he was at his desk writing a letter to a well-known Washington hostess–a widow, but still young. She had recently entertained him in her house at a diner a deux. This was the first and only time they had met, and she terrified him by stories of the spying of the various secret services which, apparently, has always gone on in Washington. She told how, during the last war, she had warned Bernard Baruch, then a most important official, that she knew there were six police dictaphones in “his” house. He thought the statement ridiculous, but went home, made a search and found six of them–two under his bed! He was so furious that he went at once to President Wilson and resigned his office. The President finally calmed him down. Well, this lady, in return for some orchids which Quezon had sent her after the dinner, wrote him a rather empresse letter–a little coy and pleasantly familiar. He was struggling with his English vocabulary in writing his reply and asked me to help him. I read his letter and told him that it wouldn’t do at all–his phrase: “I was to find that, as the Spanish say, you carry your heart in your hand”–I protested that it was dangerous for a statesman to write such a letter–if a third party found it, use might be made of it. He jumped as if he had been shot–he was only trying to be polite. He explained that the phrase above quoted meant in Spanish only “sincere” or “virtuous” but I again objected that in English “virtue” meant not the old Latin sense of the word, but only referred to sex! He was horrified, entirely rewrote the letter in uncompromising phrases and thanked me rather effusively for saving him. He made a great story for his family out of this!

Quezon, Andres Soriano, Secretary of Finance and myself in conversation. More talk on news from the Philippines, which comes from Colonel Peralta, chief of guerrillas in Panay, through MacArthur in Australia, from time to time, and also, in bits, from returned travelers like Consul Willoquet, etc.

George Vargas, altho head of the government commission under the Japanese is not trusted by them. He is always attended by Japanese “aide-de-camp” when he goes out; Japanese officers live in his house. His wife confessed to Willoquet who saw her alone, that they are not free agents.

Quezon thinks the Japanese have disposed of Manuel Roxas by a feigned airplane accident. Soriano thinks that they have taken him to Japan to hold as a hostage. When Quezon was in the tunnel at Corregidor, he thought he was dying, and wanted to go back to Malacañan. Roxas begged him not to do so. Later when the time came for Quezon to leave Corregidor to join to MacArthur in Australia (an event which was not then anticipated), Manuel Roxas begged him with tears in his eyes not to go from Corregidor. He exhorted him to “think of your fame.” Roxas followed Quezon to Dumaguete, and went with him to Mindanao, though he did not wish to leave Wainwright at Corregidor. Refused to leave Mindanao and joined General Sharp’s forces there. Sharp was ordered by Wainwright from Corregidor, when the latter fell, to surrender explaining that the Japanese would not give any terms to those on Corregidor unless all the military forces in the Islands also surrendered themselves. So, to save the men and women on Corregidor, Sharp and Roxas came in and gave themselves up to the nearest Japanese command. (NOTE–later–Roxas and Commander Worcester, U.S.N.R. fled to the mountains of Bukidnon). General Paulino Santos and Guingona, [who were not in the army, are in Mindanao. They have “gone over” to the Japanese.] Quezon says that Guingona was with him when Vargas’ co-operation with the Japanese was mentioned in Quezon’s presence, and, as Quezon says, when he heard no adverse comment upon Vargas’ action, being a “bright fellow” (Q.), Guingona followed suit. Quezon expressed a desire to know what Guingona had done with the four million pesos of Philippine currency he took to Mindanao to pay the army there–“if he kept it for himself…” I protested vigorously that nobody who knew Guingona could believe such a thing possible. Quezon agreed. “But,” I said “I have now heard you say twice that–if he kept it for himself.” Finally we agreed that he had probably burned the money, as his instructions required.

Soriano asked if he could bring the Spanish Cabinet Minister of War (Bergdorfer?), who is now in Washington, to call on Quezon tomorrow morning? Soriano said B. was an anti-Nazi, and had remarked that Quezon’s fame was now great in Spain. Quezon replied that he could squeeze in a half-hour for the call from B. “which should be long enough if I don’t start making speeches–which I always do!”

It appears that Justice Frank Murphy presented to Roosevelt the plan for the recent announcement that Roosevelt has already recognized the Philippines as possessing the attributes of an independent nation by putting Quezon on the Pacific War Council and asking him to sign the United Nations declaration. Murphy then told Roosevelt quite heatedly that he disapproved the decision to make Hitler the No. 1 enemy, and concentrate on him to the disadvantage of the Pacific area. Roosevelt took Murphy’s objections in good temper and told Murphy to “cool off.”

Somehow, the conversation turned back to Dr. Dominador Gomez. Quezon described him as a pure Malay type, but very big and a tremendous orator in the Spanish style, who swayed his audiences as he pleased. He had been a colonel in the Spanish Army. Was elected in 1907 as a delegate to the First Philippine Assembly. The election was declared void by the Assembly because there was no proof that Gomez was a Philippine citizen. Another election, and Gomez was returned by an even larger majority amid tumults and mob fighting. So they let him in!

When Quezon was Resident Commissioner in Washington he had occasion to make some uncomplimentary remark about Gomez. Quezon, traveling homewards, got to Shanghai on the steamer where he received a letter from Gomez challenging him to a duel. On arrival in Manila Quezon received a visit from the famous Colonel Blanco, also formerly a colonel in the Spanish Army in the Philippines and founder of the Macabebe Scouts, who appeared as Gomez’s second to challenge Quezon and asking who his second would be. Quezon replied: “I shall appoint no second. I do not wish to fight a duel with Dr. Gomez. But you may tell him this: ‘I give him leave to shoot me any time he sees me. Also tell him that any time he comes within one metre of me, I shall immediately shoot him.'” Shortly afterwards, Quezon attended a burial in Manila. With him were his cousin Miss Aurora Aragon–now Mrs. Quezon and Mary Buencamino. They knew about the challenge and were horrified to see Dominador Gomez standing near Quezon and all the more so since Gomez had his hand in his side pocket! Mrs. Buencamino slipped right behind Gomez and stood there to grab his arm, but Quezon pushed right in front of him to look down into the grave. Gomez drew out his hand from his pocket, but produced only a pocket handkerchief to mop his face!

Quezon then told of his marriage to Miss Aragon in Hong Kong in 1919. I (the present writer) was on the Ocean (Pacific) en route for New York when I received a radio from Quezon. “Married Hong Kong.” I went down to Dr. Oñate’s cabin to wake him, and demanded that he should tell me who Quezon had married. He was afraid to commit himself and it was a half-hour before I could get out of him the guess that it was Quezon’s cousin, Miss Aurora Aragon.

The marriage was secretly decided on when Quezon and Miss Aragon were in Hong Kong. Quezon sent his a.d.c. to the American Consul and requested that he should ask the Governor to waive the required 10 days residence, which was done. When the guests and the principals had met in rickshaws at the civil marriage bureau, Quezon turned to Luis Yancko and said: “Do you know why we are gathered here? I am going to be married right now!” Yancko’s mouth fell open with surprise and he stammered “but to whom?” Quezon replied: “To this young lady who stands beside me.” “But, but that’s impossible” said Yancko (meaning because they were within the degrees of relationship prohibited by the Church). “Impossible–how do you mean?” “Well” said Yancko “not impossible but improbable!”

Yancko gave them a beautiful wedding breakfast at the leading Hong Kong hotel.

At lunch today Mrs. Quezon and General Valdes were describing the discomforts of life in the tunnel at Corregidor. Mrs. Quezon got tired of waiting in line before support to get her shower, so she would wait until 2 a.m. and bathe then. Soon others discovered the way, and they began standing in line in the middle of the night. No curtain hung on the alcove which contained the shower. After the heavy bombings, the water main was broken, and for two weeks they had not only to bathe in salt water, but also to cook their rice and make their coffee in salt water, which entirely upset their stomachs.

Colonel Velasquez, a West Pointer, who was in the front lines at Bataan and Corregidor, was recently at the military school at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he says he made himself rather unpopular when the meals were discussed by saying: “Sometimes we may have to go hungry for a long time.” Velasquez told me he thought a campaign like that in Tunisia was necessary to harden the American troops, who were now overfed and thinking and talking all the time about their three big meals a day. He said he thought our American troops were pampered.

Quezon has started work again on his book. Has rewritten the foreword. Warner Bros have offered to make a film of it. Much talk with Bernstein about terms and arrangements. Quezon does not think that Morgan Shuster has been careful enough in editing the English of his ms. He evidently wishes to be thought letter-perfect in English. He says he now wants to finish the book–can’t do it in Washington–too many interruptions. Requests me to go off with him for 20-30 days and work with him on the book.


June 28, 1941

Today’s Manila News says Finland declared War on USSR.  And Louis Chevrolet, builder of my favorite car, died at age 63, but I am still very much in love with that Chevy Apple Green Coupie.  Let me continue to pay tribute by mentioning those early military pioneers.  The PC being the core of our new PA, PCA Alumni are the primary source and its roster from 1907 to 1935 only totals 508 which means there were only about 400 to select from.  Maj Porfirio Zablan and Lt Pelagio Cruz of the PAAC came from this pool.  Other sources are the Phil Scouts (PS) and US Army’s Phil Depmt (USA) at Ft McKinley.  My friend, Lt Luis Villareal, former Jr Aide to the Pres, informed me that Quezon was personally involved in the selection of these pioneers.  He first selected Gen Vicente Lim USMA ’14 to be the G-1 of C/S Paulino Santos.

Early PS recruits were Cols Fidel Segundo for UP; Pastor Martelino, Capts Rufo Romero and Emmanuel Cepeda for PMA.  These PS Os were promoted one rank higher which was termed assimilated ranks.  Maj. Paciano Tangco who had an aptitude for radio communication was picked by Quezon to pioneer the Signal Corps. He was assisted by Capt Lasseter Mason USA SigC. Then came the UP group headed by Lt Francisco Licuanan & Manuel Quiogue; thence by Manuel Syquio, Amos Francia and Jose Rodriguez from PMA. They built a great Branch of Service.

I remember Miss Rosky Santos, beautiful daughter of C/S Gen Santos who used to attend our Yearling summer hops as a drag of Cav Pedro Francisco.  I wonder where she is now. 


June 25, 1941

Front page news today says FDR pledges all possible support to USSR  under German attack on wide front since June 21.  Also, Wilhelm II, German ex-Kaiser died, age 82.  British RAF fighters shot down 26 Nazi planes showing German air superiority over England is waning with the help of their radar system.

I commented previously on the leadership and administration of our military establishment, the Commonwealth Phil Army.  Currently, I consider the leadership and administration under Gen Basilio J Valdes MC comparatively stable and normal with Gen. Vicente Lim as his G-3 and the different services manned by technically trained leaders.

To appreciate how we arrived at this stage, let me mention those early pioneers aside from Quezon’s military advisors (MacArthur, Eisenhower, Ord and Huff) who did the early work.  Maj Gen Paulino Santos was appointed as first Chief of Staff from 1936 to 1939 with Gen Vicente Lim as his G-1.  The PC with Hq at Oriente Bldg was made the nucleus of the PA.  PCA graduates like Maj Porfirio Zablan ’15 with flying aptitude was  recruited by Lim to pioneer the PAAC together with Maj Lee and Lt Jose Francisco USNA ’32.  Then came Lts Pelagio Cruz, P Q Molina, Jesus Villamor Grp and the 17 members of Class ’40 which made PAAC at present a solid organization in personnel.  I remember Miss Aurora Zablan, Maj Zablan’s daughter, a drag of my Mistah Romeo Lising during our summer socials.   I wonder where she is now?  Cav Lising  was a casualty of WWII. 


June 21, 1941

This is the third week of intensive torpedo training by the 1st Q-Boat Squadron under the supervision of Chief Torpedo man William Mooney USN.  We are not only learning a lot but more importantly, we are beginning to know the actual employment and use of this powerful weapon that can sink the mightiest battleship.  Needless to say, all hands at OSP are working very hard with lots of enthusiasm.

News headline says German troops drive into Russia in a wide front from Arctic to the Black Sea.  Meantime, the Japs are increasing their troops in French Indo-China proclaiming its right to forge a new order in the region.

Let me make a brief comment on our military leadership and administration at present which is the Philippine Army created under CA # 1, Dec. 21,1935, crafted by MacArthur, Eisenhower, Ord and Huff, mil advisors to our current CinC, Pres Quezon.  Our Sec of Defense is Teofilo Sison, Chief of staff is Maj Gen Basilio Valdes MC.  He is the second Cof S, the first being Maj Gen Paulino Santos.  HPA is at Oriente Bldg near Binondo Church and G-3 is B/Gen Vicente Lim USMA’14 and Eisenhower’s classmate.

MacArthur and staff holds office in Malacañang and in the beginning, they called all the shots through Gen V Lim who started as G-1 at HPA.  At present, HPA is well organized that minimal interference is coming from Malacanang.  At present, Ord is gone since that fatal plane crash in Baguio in 1938.  Eisenhower is also gone for a new assignment in CONUS in 1939 and replaced by B/Gen R Sutherland. This leaves MacArthur, Sutherland and Huff as the present Mil Advisors of Quezon.


July 9, 1936

One hour with Miguel Unson at the Survey Board, where we went over the ground of my recent conversation with the President concerning the policy of having appointive governors in the Provinces.

Unson next asked my advice as to how he should go about reporting to the President three resolutions of the Survey Board on matters in which Quezon has already acted or formed an intention of doing so, over the heads of Unson and of his other colleagues on the Board, and against Unson’s deepest convictions:

(a)  Salaries in the Bureau of Justice recently fixed by Quezon (a “hot one” just put over by Secretary of Justice Yulo), which deranges the other scales of salaries under the standardization plan;

(b)  Quezon’s reported plan to put the Bureau of Prisons under the Philippine Army (another “hot one”–this time by General Paulino Santos);

(c)  Creation of new machinery for the Moro Province. This is Guingona’s influence, and when Unson had him before the Survey Board, Guingona refused to answer our questions, alleging that he had already taken up the matter with the President and considered it confidential! Unson had then read to Guingona the law requiring all government officials to answer questions of the board, but the latter still refused to reply and stuck to his guns!

Inasmuch as both Quezon and Unson, separately, have previously expressed to me the same ideas as to how to deal with the Moros, viz.: to stop “babying” them and to block their drive for “separation” from the rest of the population of the Philippines, it appears to me that this breach is only one of form, or procedure and not of principle. However, the way of the reformer (Unson) is no path of roses, especially when an equally determined “reformer” (Quezon) is his superior officer, and has already decided things!

Rafferty came in to my office and said he had recently talked with Osmeña, who commented on how much my past and present services were appreciated here, and how well the Assemblymen thought of me. Celestino Rodriguez, (who has never been very pro-American) told Rafferty the same story. These comments came as rather an anti-climax to my scene with Quezon yesterday over the Landlord and Tenant bill.

Rafael Palma next came to see me, happy over an interview held just previously with Quezon, concerning an attempt to introduce religious instruction in the government schools. To Palma’s great delight, the President had told him that, as a leading Mason, he should keep in the background, and must leave to him, Quezon, the duty of putting a stop to the Church’s attempted intrusion into the schools. Palma looks younger, more serene and happier than he has appeared since my return here last Autumn. This man is through and through an ardent patriot and always an upright public servant. He has entirely recovered his former serenity now that he is doing really useful public service, as head of the National Council of Education.

I commented to Palma that I could barely understand the English spoken by the young Filipinos of today. He admitted that their accent is getting worse and worse, and hopes that this may be corrected by the use of gramophones in the schools. He added that it was superhumanly difficult to get a new idea through what he called “The Junta.”

My last caller was “Deacon” Prautch, who wished to talk “Credit Unions.” He has a peculiarity I have never observed in another man:–he not only evades an answer to any direct question, but doesn’t even trouble to reply.


June 22, 1936

At office; visit from Becker from Aparri, who has always been a sort of confidential agent of the Government on affairs in the far north. Says he cannot persuade his two handsome mestizo sons to go to the Military Academy to become army officers. He came down to Manila to try to induce the President to visit the Northern Islands–as to which I talked later with Quezon and he agreed to go to see the Batanes, Camiguin etc “in between two typhoons,” tho he spoke rather ruefully of a typhoon getting him and me! Becker also asked to have one of Quezon’s confidential advisers sent up to Aparri for a while.

Becker says the Japanese are settling in isolated places on that coast, getting sea weed (for iodine)–they pay 5 centavos a kilo for the sea weed and sell it for 22. They also take camagon wood from the forests and load it in Japanese ships returning from the South. The island of Camiguin is heavily wooded with fine timber, and is people by those of Aguinaldo’s small force who escaped northwards when he was captured in Palanan by Funston. Becker says the Japanese fish these waters with ice-supplied boats which are periodically visited by a mother ship.

The country of the northern coast is a fine source of supply of rattan, and there are thousands of hectares lying idle in the interior. Ilocano emigrants are slowly trickling into Cagayan province. Many Negritos are in the cordillera east of Lake Cagayan, which, by the way, is not nearly so large as is shown on the maps. There was, he added, no danger of attack from the Negritos unless one goes armed. The Apayaos and Kalingas no longer disturb travelers from Ilocos immigrating via Abra across their country. The Aparri breakwater is not yet finished. Once a month a subsidized Tabacalera steamer calls at Batanes with supplies but gets practically no cargo there.

Later from 10:30 to 1:40 on the balcony at Malacañan Palace with Unson, Yulo and Marabut checking up on Quezon’s message on the budget–later we were joined by Quezon, Osmeña and Vargas–(Osmeña came on other business but took part in this discussion).

After having his office in Malacañan air-conditioned, Quezon turned the “conditioning” off and sits outside on the balcony to do his office work. (Those of whom I enquire here seem to be of two minds concerning the advantages of air-conditioning–a process new here, tho I first experienced it in Buenos Aires six or seven years ago!)

Visit from Ramon Diokno and Eulogio Benitez with the former’s draft of my landlord & tenant bill; he has amplified it by including amended portions of the Civil Code, rice tenancy law and sugar tenants law–a remarkable bit of legislative drafting. If this bill is adopted it will free the “serfs” on the land and provide in the Philippines an exit from the feudal system.

Talk with Unson concerning the plan to make the Governors of Provinces appointive instead of elective (qua France). It will have support in the Assembly since this measure would enhance the prestige of Assemblymen, who will then be the chief elective officials in the provinces. Even if he favours this centralization of power, Quezon will hardly come forward to advocate it, since it appears superficially to be a step back from democracy!

Unson reports that the disappearance of fish from their former haunts in the Philippine waters is due chiefly to dynamiting. He said further that agents from the Department of Labour foment “safe” strikes in order to have the credit for settling them. His last bit of official gossip was that the Philippine Army is to buy old type Enfield rifles, and .45 caliber revolvers–a size Unson thinks unsuitable for Filipinos.

When Quezon joined our group, his budget was gone through, and he was particularly concerned to change the last paragraph which as originally drafted, sternly admonished the Assembly not to touch the surplus of the government–(thirty-one million pesos nominally–nine millions real unencumbered surplus)–Quezon asked us what we thought of appropriating the government’s surplus. Unson spoke up at once, pointing out that the system had been different here than elsewhere. In England and France they budgeted only for expected actual expenditures. Quezon and he agreed that the real riches of a nation were to be found in the pockets of the people and not in the Government vaults. I told of the first United States surplus under President Andrew Jackson, which was divided up by the government among the states. Quezon then modified his budget message so as to leave a door open to use the nine million surplus later if needed; said he wanted to get his tax laws through first, then take five millions of the surplus as a revolving fund for the development of Mindanao. He went on to say that the trouble in using a surplus would not be with the Assembly, but with the United States Government which under the Tydings-McDuffie law has powers to intervene here in financial matters–that the High Commissioner was always at him to keep a surplus and to balance the budget–principles which, however, Murphy did not himself observe when Mayor of Detroit, and which are certainly not followed by his chief, President Roosevelt. “I could manage Weldon Jones” he said, “but it is hardly worth while for he will not be Deputy High Commissioner for long; from what I read in this morning’s paper, Murphy will be back in a few months; in reference to a proposed nomination for Governor of Michigan, he now states that his work in the Philippines is not yet finished.”

The President then invited me to lunch with him after all the others left, and told me how he had left Manila dead beat on Friday but as soon as he got to Atimonan and had a swim he wanted my company and thought of wiring for me to join him on an excursion to Alabat Island where the sea bathing is so wonderful. He had talked to the school teacher at Alabat and found that in the schools practically no Filipino patriotism is taught. Said he had gone in swimming again at Sunset Beach, Cavite, “but if I had not been enough of a man to go through with it, I would have refused on account of the jelly-fish.”

I handed him the Landlord & Tenant bill. He said Secretary Torres had come to him a day or two after his message to the Assembly last Tuesday, and had told him that his passages referring to the land system had killed all danger of disturbances; especially now that he has reversed his former position and has come out against purchase by the government of the great estates. I asked him if the church was not disappointed. He said “Yes, for they expected to sell their lands to the government at a terribly high price.”

He had been reading a Spanish work of the early conquest of the Philippines and expressed regret that the high reputation of the Filipinos for commercial honesty in their early dealings with the foreigners was no longer maintained today. He also said he was sorry that the Spanish expeditions of long ago against the Moluccas and Borneo had failed–for by now they would be the center of a great empire. I remarked that this would come to pass anyway in the future. Quezon agreed.

I enquired whether he wished the Survey Board to proceed with their attempt to consolidate scientific laboratories or to wait, since, against the wish of his own expert adviser, Dr. Manuel Roxas, he had wired to ask for some export from the Mellon Institute, to come out here to help us to reorganize. He said: “Yes, go ahead.” The President is determined, if possible, to prevent “overlapping” and we dealt with the extreme difficulty of getting at the real facts from the bureaus concerned here!

I asked him to request Washington to prolong the service of Consul General Hoover at Hong Kong for one year (to the time of Hoover’s retirement). He at once drew up a cable to the High Commissioner to that effect, which was very complimentary to Hoover.

Told him that Doria and I wanted to go to Bali for a couple of weeks:–he replied that he did not understand the interest in Bali, adding: “We have plenty of Balis here.”

Quezon then said he was celebrating a great event today telling me that a month ago, spots had been discovered again on his lungs. He had been dreadfully worried, and told nobody, not even his wife, but today another examination had been made and he is now absolutely clean of tuberculosis. Meanwhile, he had taken exercise and had avoided the sun. This dread of tuberculosis hangs over all the truly brilliant prospects of his remarkable career.

Asked him for the pardon of Evangelista in San Ramon and he said he would attend to it.

He had asked Unson about amending the sales tax law so as to collect it at a higher percentage but with a single incidence, and thus to stop tax evasions. Unson said it was impossible to stop Chinese evasions, and that collection at the source would penalize manufacturers instead of falling on the merchants.

In the afternoon, tea dance at Bilibid for the birthday of General Santos. Quezon was there, but did not seem to enjoy himself much.


June 6, 1936

Arrived at Iligan, route having been changed by Quezon in accord with news from the Manila Weather Bureau. The visit to Culion is now to be at the end of trip.

Before making wharf at Iligan, Quezon addressed the Assemblymen, asking for funds for the development of Mindanao. He used maps, and said that an electric railway was to be built from Misamis, via Bukidnon to Davao, the water power for this project coming from the falls in Lanao. Only four or five of the Assemblymen had ever been in Mindanao before. The gathering seemed to be willing to vote the money, but wanted to know how they were to get the colonists? Quezon replied “Open roads, and they will come of themselves.”

Sabido is opposed to agricultural colonies, when established with government money.

I told Quezon, Osmeña and Roxas that economic plans for the Philippines were blanketed until either they decided, or circumstances decided for them, on their future economic relations with the United States. (I find many here agree with this feature of the difficulty of the sugar situation.)

Quezon talked of Elizalde and the Polo Club incident; he insisted that the refusal to elect Nieto a member had been due to its race discrimination against Filipinos; he added that Saleeby is an Assyrian Jew; that the Assyrians had for centuries allowed the Turks to trample them; that people of that type could not insult the Filipinos.

Osmeña is subdued and triste. He has, I am told, money and family troubles, as well as political.

There is no drinking whatever aboard the ship; the steward complains that he had stocked up, and nobody uses it! Sharp contrast indeed to the last voyage on Negros when Don Andres Soriano was host to the American mining magnates.

Drive from Iligan to Dansalan (Lake Lanao)–surely one of the most beautiful bits of scenery in the Philippines. Through Maranao Botanical Gardens, where there is a waterfall; past the fine fields at Momungan, where in 1914 we established an agricultural colony for “down and out” Americans, of whom there were originally about fifty but now there are only eleven left; all the other colonists today being Filipinos. Then Lake Lanao with mountains in the background which is as fine a scene as any in Switzerland. The buildings, however, have run down since American army days here. The Constabulary who now compose the garrison are splendid picked troops: big, athletic men.

The President’s speech of the day was made at Camp Keithley, where most of the Lanao Moro Datus were present. This made a brilliant scene with their vivid costumes. Quezon, instead of flattering them, as his predecessors had done, talked straight from the shoulder of what his government proposed to do to develop their country; and stated that now they would be required to expect no further consideration as Moros; that they must remember that they were all Filipinos, and that this is their own government. He stated very positively that he wanted no more disorders, adding that: “Life is precious everywhere, but in such beautiful surroundings as Lake Lanao, life is doubly valuable,” and then finally cautioned them that: “thus it would be wise of them to be good”!!

This was new talk for the Moros, and one of them remarked to a friend: “he is hard on us.” All this will do inestimable good. Quezon spoke very carefully, selecting each word. It was badly translated by a native into the bastard Arabic which the Lanao Moros are supposed to use.

Luncheon was served as the post club. It suddenly became dark and began to rain. The meal had been laid for one hundred and twenty, but many more were there, and the food disappeared in ten minutes–as in a visitation of locusts!

After lunch, Wolff and [I went to the house of Lt. Ormai, of the Artillery. He is a small man and a killer.] He said he had two stokes mortars, two mountain guns (3.2) and a sub-machine gun; that the last time he took a cotta (about two months ago) he found their bolt holes, and described how he shelled the Moros there. He said the Lanao Moros are cowards (Cooley says ditto). They oppose everything proposed by the government, but are divided into numbers of petty sultanates. These “Sultans” are selected, if of the blood of the former sultan, for their personal bravery. They get a share of the religious receipts. The older Moros present today had, no doubt, been leaders of the Pirate Empire existing from ancient times which fell after the American occupation; until that, they used to raid the northern islands of the Philippines for slaves and plunder. Their reign is at an end.

Visit to Reina Cristina falls; a magnificent site, and the best hydro-electric proposition in the Philippines. This will certainly suffice to run an electric railway. Quezon has ordered the Bureau of Public Works to give no more franchises for water power in the Philippines; all are to be reserved for the government.

Camp Overton, near Iligan has been entirely abandoned. I first came there with General Pershing in December 1913.

Left Iligan for Zamboanga. At dinner with Quezon, Santos, Roxas and Sabido. Roxas and I pressed hard for reforestation and a campaign against forest destruction for clearings (caigñins). Quezon heartily agreed with our arguments. Someone remarked that Cebu had been so ruined by destruction of its forests, that in a century from now it would have hardly any population. I mentioned what the Government of Japan was doing for reforestation; how Germany, France, Switzerland managed it by communes. Quezon said he was confident he could make the people understand why they should not burn the forests for homesteads (caigñins).

The President added that this was the first visit to Lanao he had ever enjoyed, because he didn’t have to listen to Datu Amanabilang; that the last time this old Moro had spoken in his presence he had argued that they did not want to be governed by Filipinos but wanted the Americans there; but today a Datu had protested against the American Superintendent of Schools, and wanted a Filipino. He, (Quezon), thereupon “went for him”; and told him his threat of closing the schools by withholding children would not be listened to by the government; that if the schools here were closed, the money would go elsewhere, where people were clamoring for schools. Quezon further admonished this man that the Datus were no better before the law than the poor man–that even he as Chief Executive was not above the laws. That the Moros, though in a minority, had equal rights with the Christian Filipinos; that if the Moros developed a great leader, as he hoped they would, this man would be available for election as President. Quezon also denounced their petition for Moro Governors of provinces and Presidentes of villages, and said the best citizens would be selected where he was a Moro or a Cristiano.

Later, the President told me he now thinks the Lanao Moros will gradually “come into camp,” when they see that the government is in earnest; that they are good farmers, and he was going to build a fine road right around Lake Lanao, to help to civilize them, “instead of killing”; and if they won’t be “good” they will eventually meet the same fate that the American Indians did.

The President was rather sharp with his a.d.c., Major Natividad, for trying to get him to read a paper at dinner, when he wanted to talk.

In the absence of the Governor, Quezon called up the Colonel commanding the Constabulary here, and ordered him to remove the squatters from around the reservation at Reina Cristina falls. He also told Roxas that he would wire the President of the United States asking that the remaining Army reservations near Camp Keithley be turned over to the Commonwealth Government, so that henceforth settlers on these lands would not be evicted.

I had a talk with Assemblyman Luna of Mindoro about his bill to protect tamaraos, a unique small buffalo, found on his island and nowhere else today. He told me that the game reserve I had created by Executive Order on Mt. Calavite, Mindoro, was of no use because no game wardens had been appointed. He said the peculiarly malignant malaria found on this island had been eliminated at least from around San Jose. He added that he himself, has never been in the interior of the island, and it is almost uninhabited. Naturally, he wants this great province, just opposite Batangas, developed. I told him I thought the malaria in the past had practically ruined the island, since there had been a large population there in ancient times, to judge from old Chinese records.

A geologist named Belts, a great traveler and good observer, said a special brand of English was being developed here in the Philippines. The teachers had a bad accent and the pupils worse. (This is why I now find it more difficult to understand my servants,–and indeed all Filipinos, especially over the telephone.)

Talk with General Paulino Santos, the head of the Philippine Army, who is my cabin mate. More than twenty years ago I appointed him to be the first Filipino Governor of Lanao, and now he comes back as Chief of Staff, naturally, very proud he is of his rise in life. He is very conscientious and is fiery tempered about his work; he has no patience with political or personal promotion seekers. He is quick on the trigger about resigning if he meets a serious obstacle in administration–as he did with General Wood. He finds General MacArthur to be the cleverest American he has met, and very broad-minded. Santos intends to have all supplies for the new army made if possible in the Philippines. He will tolerate no interference with his official authority, and recently “sat on” General Valdes and Major Ord, MacArthur’s assistant. He does not get on well with Osmeña, but has a fine relationship with Quezon, who he says, was very cold with him at first. Santos is utterly and completely devoted to the service of his country,–and is not afraid of anyone nor of any nation. He remarked: “I honestly believe that next after the Japanese, the Filipinos are the greatest of the Asiatic peoples.”

Comments I have heard upon the Lanao Moros by my companions are: vacant expression, open boob mouth, stained with betel nut–(Malay type). These Moros do not bathe, and one is glad to avoid shaking hands with them. Their poor physical appearance is variously ascribed to inbreeding, hook-worm, and opium.

A passenger on the Negros who is a much-traveled geologist said that in the Dutch East Indies the third generation of Mohammedan Malay were quite tractable, and he thought these Moros would develop in the same way.

Talk for one hour with Vice-President Osmeña:–recollections of old times when he was the undisputed leader of his people, and we had worked so closely together. I asked him about Palma’s report on education; he said he hoped it could be put into effect but was not sure. I next asked him about the high price of sugar shares in the Philippines. He thought the market level far too high, but said the sugar people had so much money they put it into more shares and high-priced haciendas. Next I recalled how with backing he had founded the National Development Company, eighteen years ago and it had accomplished nothing. Asked if all economic plans were not paralyzed by the sugar question, and he agreed.

Then I enquired about the reforestation of Cebu and he expressed himself as enthusiastic over the idea but at once diverted the conversation into a eulogy of planting fruit trees, and increasing the export of fruits. Said it was almost impossible to induce the Chinese to eat more sugar but in fruit: “can do.” He eloquently pictured millions of Chinese eating Philippine bananas which he thinks far superior to those from Formosa. I called attention to the recent exclusion of mangoes from importation into the United States on the old dodge of thus preventing the introduction of the “fruit fly”! (Recalled my speech in Congress on this subject, and the cynical smile of Speaker Cannon.)

I asked Osmeña about the future of their free trade market in the United States. He agrees with me this cannot be held. (So does Tommy Wolff, who comments: “none so blind as those who will not see.”)

Next I asked Osmeña about Nationalism in the Philippines. He said it was growing greatly, but that “it is wise to preserve some local sentiment or culture.”

Osmeña commented on the political strength of agricultural organizations in the United States, and said Secretary of State Hull told him: “These people are very powerful.” I asked him why United States spokesmen are now “delivering so many kicks against the Philippines.” He replied: “because of (a) the economic situation in America and (b) they have lost interest in the Philippines; the old generation, many of whom had altruistic feelings towards Filipinos, are gone.”

He agreed that the period before complete independence would be shortened by the United States if the Filipinos asked for it.

Osmeña then expressed feelings against the taking of teachers camp in Baguio for the army; said the teachers made the best soldiers anyway since they were so conscientious, and had such a sense of responsibility towards their country.

I reminded him of how we carried through the plan for civil government in Mindanao and Sulu in 1914, to which the War Department agreed because Pershing joined in the recommendation; Pershing’s motive being support for his own record–he wanted to rank as the last Military Governor of the Moroland and to show that his administration had pacified those regions in order that the army could be withdrawn etc. Osmeña then told a story of Pershing on a visit with him to Cotobato just before I came to the Philippines in 1913, when the proposal to establish a colony of Cristianos there was under investigation. Osmeña added that Bryant (?) was taking photographs of Pershing, explaining that he wanted a record of the one who would be “respondible” for the project, and Pershing at once said he would have the plates broken. Quezon said they have by now spent a million pesos on this plan, but agrees that it was worth it, since, right where there is the largest Moro population, the purpose has been accomplished in Cotobato of “settling the Moro question.”

Osmeña also talked of the Japanese: thought them very clever, and thoroughly disciplined. He expressed surprise that though the Japanese did not talk good English [while] their government statements in the English language were always so perfectly expressed. (I think former Consul General Kurusu is this “foreign office spokesman.”)

Short speech by Quezon to the Assemblymen as we approached Zamboanga. He believes that the town is ended (commercially) because of its geographical position. He asked the respective committeemen to visit the schools and leprosarium; but the great object of interest is of course, San Ramon prison colony (founded by Don Ramon Blanco in 1870 for political prisoners, and developed by us into an agricultural and industrial penal colony). He stated that the time had now come for the Assembly to decide (a) whether to sell this hacienda to private parties, or (b) to sell part of it and keep part (piggery) or (c) to keep it as training school for the Davao penal settlement. There are 1300 hectares at San Ramon, and 27,000 at Davao.

Tommy Wolff told us how, during one of his earlier political campaigns Quezon had been savagely attacked as a mestizo–especially in the provinces of Tarlac or Zambales. Quezon at once went to a meeting there and stated in his speech that his mother was a Filipina, he was born in the Philippines, and that he is a Filipino–he “didn’t know what mestizo meant.”

In Zamboanga, Osmeña made the address at the Plaza Pershing. It was said to have been extremely eloquent. He spoke con amore of the development of the former “Moro Province” and made polite allusions to my work there. The President and I played truant and went out to San Ramon with Speth and swam on the beach there. All the rest of the party joined us there at tea-time. Quezon persuaded me to eat for the first time balut, i.e., eggs containing chickens about to hatch! It is really quite a delicacy. The President at once noticed the prettiest girl there and danced with her; there was a lot of amusing chaff over his writing in her autograph book. Quezon then told us a lipstick story of a Hollywood girl he once met on the steamer crossing the Pacific:–he was giving her a cocktail and remarked: “I wonder why girls use that hateful lipstick?” She instantly replied: “Don’t be afraid, I’m not coming near you.” (But she did.)

Talk of the bad English accent of the young Filipinos of today; Quezon said he was going to try to have English instruction eliminated from the primary grades, and get Americans to teach in higher grades. I asked: why not get teachers who really speak English–namely, the English themselves?

Then had a talk with Quezon about Secretary of War Newton Baker. Listening to my account of my own slightly strained relations with him, he said “I thought the atmosphere of the army in the War Department was affecting him.”

Quezon told me of High Commissioner’s insistent dwelling on the necessity of balancing the budget. Quezon had heard that Murphy stated the Philippine Army was unbalancing the budget, “and that was one of the reasons I accompanied him on the boat as far as Hong Kong but we never had a chance to discuss it.” When Quezon returned to Manila, he sent for Weldon Jones to talk this over, and said to him: “before we begin to talk, let’s agree on the term ‘balanced Budget.'” This was then defined as: “the ordinary expenses of the Government falling within the ordinary revenues.” Agreed. Then he told Jones that the recent income of the Philippine Government was not “ordinary,” because “we have had a row of Governors General here who didn’t collect the taxes.” He added that he would collect five million pesos a year more than his predecessors had done from the present taxes, and “in the first quarter of this year I have already collected two millions more than were received last year; moreover, I am going to impose new taxes: an inheritance tax (where there are no children) to confiscate all estates over a half million pesos, and heavy income taxes on all those having over 100,000 pesos income which is “enough money for any human being.” Weldon Jones expressed himself as delighted with this form of taxation, and, added Quezon “Murphy himself would be delighted but had not the nerve to risk public disapproval here; he will be glad to be absent while this is done”!

I commented to the President on his advantage with the legislature in being a Filipino himself, and, unlike his predecessors, he was thus able to deal directly with them, and not thru an intermediary. He replied: “I know the (sotto voce) Goddamn psychology well enough.”

Quezon asked Colonel Stevens commander of the local Constabulary (Army) at Zamboanga whether he would like to be transferred to Manila. Stevens, who was driving the motor said slowly: “Well, Mr. President, I would really rather stay in Zamboanga.” Quezon replied: “Well, next year you will have to come to Manila anyway for six months,–you can’t get to be a General without doing that. I will attach you to Malacañan and then you can get a per diem.” Stevens said “Very good, Sir.” He has about the nicest house in Zamboanga. We went there to play bridge later. Quezon explained to Stevens that he wanted the Non-Christians to “get accustomed” to Filipino officers and had moved Dosser from the Mountain Province, and Fort from Lanao accordingly.

Interesting talk with Quezon over my landlord and tenant propositions. He told me of the bill introduced to lay progressive taxes on large landed estates, as I had recommended in January. He said that Assemblymen had been in touch with him on this; that the savage attack in the Bulletin against this bill convinced him of its merit, if before that he had had any doubt that the idea was sound. I then talked about the Irish Land Laws with him, and asked him if Roxas would oppose, after lamenting in his University of the Philippines commencement speech that “the land in the Philippines was passing from the peasantry to large land-owners.” Quezon said “Yes, he will object, on account of his wife (a De Leon from Bulacan) but we shall beat him.” Told him I wanted to consult with members of the Labour Committee now on board about the bill, and he said “Yes–you’d better.”

After dinner I stayed on board writing up these notes, while all the rest went to the dance at the Zamboanga Club and returned at 11 p.m. in high spirits, but with no signs of alcohol.

Bridge with Quezon, Roxas and Sabido, from 11:30 to 4 a.m. Then sat talking with Quezon and Sabido until 5. For the first time, with Quezon, I raised the Japanese question. He said his first preference would be for the Philippines to stick to the United States, if possible; if not, to England. If those alternatives are not available, he would come to an arrangement with the Japanese, and “I can do it–I know how.” Sabido said that the Japanese individuals who he knows are all afraid of Quezon–that the President was the only man who could handle that question. Quezon said that a few years ago, in Shanghai, he brought Chinese and Japanese leaders together, and the success of those negotiations was temporarily such that the Japanese people at home were for a time annoyed with their army for treating the Chinese so harshly. Like every one else, Quezon has grown tired of trying to help the Chinese “nation,” but now says it would be the best thing for China to recreate her country with the aid of the Japanese. “The Japanese despise the Chinese” he said “but admire the Filipinos for setting up their own nation.” He then told some of the recent history of North Asia with a sympathetic understanding of Japanese problems; described how, at first, all they wanted in Manchuria was to protect the interests of their railroad there. The Chinese had agreed to Japan’s building this railroad, thinking it would be a dead loss but when, instead, it became profitable, “They threw stones at the Japanese.” He recounted the extreme aggressions of the Chinese which had harassed the Japanese so sorely–how the Chinese propaganda had brought the European powers to her side as had also the missionary propaganda in the United States. He added that the successful war of Japan against Russia had been brought by them as a purely defensive campaign, if ever there was one.”

Quezon believes in the good-will of Japan towards the new Filipino nation. He remarked: “I have acquaintance with a large number of Japanese, but have hardly ever been able to make friends of them”–an exception is Marquis Tokugawa–the grandson of the Shogun. Another friend is the present Japanese Consul General in Manila, who replaced an arrogant and trying man, and is more like Kurusu. The President said he is getting constantly closer to the Japanese Consul at Manila; that the latter is now learning to trust him, and actually gave him more information about the strained Davao situation than “any of my own fellows”–“I telephoned him recently and told him that the question which caused real irritation against Japan among the Filipinos was not Davao, a question the people at large really do not understand, but that of their invasion of our fisheries, a matter the Filipinos do understand, since it affects their own food supply.” The Consul replied that he saw the point clearly, and would ask his government to draw off the invading fishermen. President Quezon admitted that the reported “incident” on his recent visit to Davao was true: namely, that the Japanese Consul had suggested that there might be “grave consequences” in the outcome, and Quezon had replied: “You can’t bluff me.” We then talked of our old friend Ambassador Hanihara of long ago in our congressional days in Washington–Quezon said the incident which caused his recall as Ambassador, was very unjust: “Hanni,” (as we used to call him), showed the “offending” letter to Secretary of State Hughes before he sent it and Hughes said “fine”:–then, the fierce public reaction in the United States frightened Hughes, and Ambassador Hanihara was recalled by the Japanese Government and Hughes permitted this injustice in silence.

I asked Quezon what he proposed doing to stop the Moros from smuggling in Chinese coolies and opium? (A matter apparently entirely neglected nowadays) and inquired why he didn’t get a fast gunboat. He replied that in a couple of months he would have five of Mussolini’s fast “torpedo type” boats capable of going fifty miles an hour.

To bed at 5 a.m. after a more interesting day and night.


May 20, 1936

Quezon issues a statement that passage by the United States Senate of a bill repealing the authorization to pay the Philippines $23 millions for gold devaluation of Philippine Government deposits in the United States banks was a “great injustice to the Filipino people,” and that the “loss of the money to the Philippines was directly due to the refusal of an American Secretary of War to convert convert Philippine Government deposits in the United States into bullion, despite the urgent requests of Philippine representatives”; and that: “The said funds were in the keeping of the government of the United States and held in trust by its officials and America has profited by it as much as we have lost.”

General Santos said, quoting MacArthur, that judging from the registration for military enrollment, the present population of the Philippines is 18,000,000. This is 4 million more than is usually given, but seems probable. It is 18 years since we took a census.

Victor Buencamino told us there is a daughter of Governor Frank Carpenter employed in the Philippine Education Co. I asked him about mestizos. He said those part Spanish and American blood exhibited all the worst traits of both races–that the Chino-Filipino was the best–(n.b. he is one himself)–the real reason (in my opinion) is that the half-blood of one of the dominating races tries to “belong” to the social caste above him and is rebuffed and embittered by his partial failure. The Chinese, on the other hand, have never dominated politically nor socially here.

At the Survey Board, Unson who had proposed abolishing the “home economic division” of the Bureau of Science, had today been interviewed by Miss Olora, head of that division. He was all of a twitter, and couldn’t keep off the subject of what a great work she was doing.