Arrived in Manila on Empress of Russia. Fleet of a dozen launches with flags, music, etc., accompanied the steamer to quarantine with terrific screeching of whistles. My first return since I left on March 5, 1921. At quarantine, a reception committee came on board. Rafael Palma, Chairman of this group was just as he had been in 1913. Quezon headed the party –the first time in years, I am told, he has come aboard a steamer to greet a guest. All old friends were there, including the surviving members of my former cabinets: Barreto, Apacible, De Veyra, Paredes, etc., etc.! Only Ilustre, Mapa, and Jakosalem are dead. Copious photos by newspapers.
Went down on Harry Payne’s boat to meet Quezon on the Coolidge. Philippine Flag made for me by Mrs. Vicente Madrigal on the occasion of the repeal of the Flag Law (1916?) at mast head. Quezon in fine form on his way back from the United States where the new Commonwealth Constitution has been signed by President Roosevelt. Took him to H. Payne’s where he talked very frankly before us all of the future of the Commonwealth. Said if he was elected he would secure General MacArthur to prepare for the defense of the Philippines.
As for Japan, he though that country would never try to take the Philippines if they had a strong, well-trained army; that Japs might think it worthwhile only if the Philippines were defenseless. Phil Buencamino was with us; he had come up from Manila to see that the Shanghai police took proper steps for the protection of Quezon whose life had been threatened in the Philippines. (N.B. I supposed this was a result of recent Sakdalista disorders, but back in my mind was a suspicion of the followers of Aguinaldo.) Quezon asked me to come with him to Manila but told him we would wait until after he was elected. He said, “If I am elected, I shall want you to do some work on the Philippines.” He introduced me to Governor General Murphy who was also on the Coolidge. Great cordiality from Murphy who is a fine looking, simple-mannered and upright man. Saw also Quintin Paredes (Speaker) and Miguel Cuaderno, now in the Philippine National Bank, formerly my stenographer.