March 7, 1936

Photographed by Arellano for Malacañan. Quezon wishes to hang up photos of Taft, myself and Murphy as the three Americans most closely connected with significant chapters of the American occupation. Arellano told me that everywhere confidence in Quezon was growing–that he was a real leader.

Papers contain notices about two matters showing the results of slowness in the administration. 1st, the rice regulation by the Government. The dealers claim that Quezon had acted too slowly to benefit them as intended. 2d, Quezon has suspended the Governor of Albay because he would not come to Manila to answer as to why the Provincial Board had reduced the cedula tax from two pesos to one. But it seems that the resolution of the Board had been before Quezon for so long without action that it became effective without approval!

Long talk with Manuel Concepcion on the currency; we agree that Paredes had lost his fight in Washington against the repeal of the law authorizing the payment of $23,000,000 to the Philippines for the gold devaluation, because he argued on sentimental grounds instead of giving exchange and commodity prices, the best he can do now is to get action by Congress suspended until proper arguments can be presented later on.

American republicans of the Philippines had their political convention to select delegates to their National Convention. Selph and Marguerite Wolfson were the spokesmen. They have learned very little in 36 years of progressive defeat on the Philippine question. They still hope to turn back the hands of the clock. They did not come out against “independence after ten years” but denounced the economic provisions of the Tydings-McDuffie Act.

Doria describes the hopelessness of trying to shop in establishments where Filipinos serve. They are obstinate, disobliging and arrogant. Always answer to any enquiry that “we haven’t any of that”–will never compete successfully in the retail trade with Chinese, Spanish and Japanese.

Attended dinner of Yale graduates of Philippines in honor of Yale men promoted recently: Justice Jose Laurel, Judge Delgado, Secretary of Finance de las Alas, Assemblyman from Marinduque and Celeste, the Secretary of the National Economic Council. A lot of real fun and a very pleasant evening.

Bridge earlier with Colonel Lim, Tan and Nazario at the Philippine Columbian Club–good game.

Did not attend Tommy Wolff’s gigantic reunion of “Old Timers.”


March 5, 1936

Reporters who accompanied Quezon on his northern trip said that at the dedication of the Bayambong bridge and in three other speeches, Quezon stated that the opening up of Nueva Viscaya and Isabella was due to my hunting trips there of twenty years ago.

San Juan Lateran “commencement” of the military class and presentation of a gold sword to Colonel Vicente Lim, Professor of Military Science there. Marquee on the lawn in front of the old walls of city. Father Rector spoke in English–complimenting the cadets; he said that most of the leading soldiers in the revolt against Spain had been trained in this Corps “and though I am a Spaniard, I recognize the right of a people to fight for their independence.” This address was made just forty years after the day when the prisons behind those walls had been crammed with Filipinos supposed by the priest-ridden Spanish Government to sympathize with the Insurrectos! I sat next to the Father Rector of Santo Tomas University whom I knew of old. He said he approved of military training in the schools, and disapproved of college athletics because of their semi-professionalism. Bocobo, the President of the University of the Philippines, delivered the address in favour of military training; he commended it as a cure for Filipino slackness, tardiness, and lack of discipline in business as well as in social life. I said to Father Rector (who is Spanish), “He is telling the Filipinos some home truths which neither you nor I could express.” The Father Rector approves greatly of Quezon’s Government and he added: “he understands his own people.”

Saw Unson who, on my enquiry, told me Quezon had said nothing to him as Chairman of the Government Survey Board as to my working with him. I told him Quezon had contemplated turning the whole thing over to me, and when he created the Board instead, he had wanted me to work with them.


February 25, 1936

Mrs. Quezon returned from a month’s absence in Java etc. Press photos of attentive loving couple, Quezon in yachting cap. The next day Quezon left with Nieto and his aides for an eight day trip through Balete pass and the Cagayan valley.

Talk with Colonel Vicente Lim, senior Filipino officer in the United States Army and a graduate of the American War College. He said: “Quezon is a very hard man to work with.” I commented on how the President’s calendar was congested, because gave too much time talking with each visitor. He replied, “He understands the psychology of his people.” He stated Quezon “is giving us the best Government we ever had, but God help us if he dies and we get a weak-kneed President.” Lim also said: “even Quezon is only human and can’t be 100% perfect–as evidenced by the appointment of Antonio Torres.” As Lim himself had wished to be Chief of Police of Manila, he may be prejudiced, but he seemed to be trying to be fair in the following estimate of Torres: “integrity unquestioned; has ideas, but is childish and can’t write English, and is a coward.” Lim said that his “thesis” at the Army War College in 1929 was that Japan within five years would take Manchuria; that they would wait until the United States got into great financial difficulties; that England is now also waiting, but to see if the United States will put itself together; otherwise England is prepared to fall back on Singapore. That Japan is planning a canal thru the neck of the Malay peninsula in Siam, and for this purpose is making friends with the Siamese rulers. That this canal would present no more difficulties than had the Panama Isthmus. Lim also said in his thesis (and still believes) that the Philippines is bound to fall under the economic domination of Japan, but the latter will not pay the cost of physical domination. Said the Americans could never defend the Philippines against Japan, but the Filipinos could make the invasion of their country too difficult to make it worthwhile. Lim is a brother-in-law of Vicente Villamin, and thinks highly of him, tho’ Quezon does not like Villamin. Lim told Quezon that he is ready to give up his rank in the United States Army to serve in the Philippines Army if really needed–otherwise not.

Dinner with Jollye–excellent food and civilized service–later to Carnival–poor show, and the loudspeaker has added new resources of horror to the barkers!


February 24, 1936

Bridge at Columbian Club with Vicente Lim, Reyes and Nazario on Tuesday p.m.

Large dinner for us at Ramon Fernandez’s home. Osmeña and Roxas were there, and everybody was very polite–the dinner was well cooked and well served. Later Doria and I went to a buffet dinner at Jim Rockwell’s–usual back-slapping-hello-old-man American crowd.


February 6, 1936

The President names all but one of the Judges of the Court of Appeals–good selections, made in accordance with recommendations of the Supreme Court, and various Bar Associations. It now appears that the undue deliberation in the selection was owing to Quezon’s desire to make the public understand that there would be no “politics” in his courts. Even so, I think he overplayed his hand. I saw Francisco Delgado and congratulated him–he replied that his acceptance was at a considerable financial sacrifice–I said “of course”–he replied that when, years ago, I offered to appoint him a Judge, he could decline but now every citizen must do what he was able to help their own new Government.

In the afternoon, I had a bridge party–Rafael Palma, Pedro Guevara, Colonel Lim, Angel Tuason, Jose Reyes, Zamora and Nazario–they play really expert Culbertson bridge.


December 14, 1935

Saturday –Quezon away at Canlubang, presumably staying with the Ehrmans. Garfinkel, Vargas and Nick are all dashing about trying to meet the President’s sudden decision to change his office to that formerly occupied by Secretary Franks; they are also pushing work on a new office to be called the library in Malacañan Palace.

Bridge with Zeitlin and Colonel Lim at Pedro Guevara’s house. Pedro told me that if a vote were taken in the Philippines on the proposal he made as Resident Commissioner for a permanent Protectorate by the United States, he would win. Thinks it will come about, anyway.


December 9, 1935

Quiet day—talk with Garfinkel, a.d.c. at office: he says Quezon is ill again from eating too much; that the President does not like to come to his office at Malacañan and prefers to do his work in pajamas at his home in Pasay. Nor does Mrs. Quezon wish to move into the Palace—she also prefers Pasay.

Bridge and dinner with Mr. & Mrs. Fox, Peters, and Espinos (Spanish Consul General). Last named told me that Colonel Lim was to leave Scouts and become a general in the new Philippine Army. Good selection.