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December 14, 1970 Monday


10:50 PM

December 14, 1970

Our first day with Bongbong. Woke up late believing he would not be able to awake early but he had breakfast with the two girls before seven o’clock.

He looked bored the whole morning as I attended to my visitors — Ambassador Urabe, Mrs. Adelina Rodriguez, the Cavite officials on Sangley Pt. (we decided to inform the American Ambassador we would like to see the turn-over take place finally after one year; we are going to set aside an area for a ship-building complex for Bayside Shipping which is being given reparations items this year and some electronics factories; but best of all finish the coastal road to Cavite City although we will have to wait for the case pending in the sala of Judge de la Rosa of the Pasay City Court of First Instance; the runway is only 8,000 feet long and therefore cannot be utilized for big planes).

In the afternoon we had the Christmas festival at 3:00 PM for the indigent children. Bongbong delivered the speech for the family party in Tagalog and partly in English – “Ikinagagalak kong pinahintulutan akong umuwi nang aking mga magulang at lumahok sa inyo sa mg araw ng kapaskuhan x xx This Christmas is doubly happy for me — It is the kind of happiness that I intensely wish for everyone — for you, all our people, and our country. × xx Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon sa inyong lahat.”

But again the hysterical explosion of greetings for Bongbong. “Guapo si Bongbong,” was the comment. Of course the girls were more excited than the boys. He received all of these as a matter of fact and casually.

After the induction and dinner of the officers of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce led by Mr. Antonio Roxas Chua at which they pledge cooperation with my administration anew, I met Baby Ysmael at 7:15 PM. He brought an air rifle with tranquilizer darts. I asked Bongbong to come and help me get the gun working. He showed scarce interest and went back as fast as he could to his room to do a recording,

I am amazed at the rapport between him and his sisters. Imee had faithfully written him every event that had happened here and now they seemed to have so much to talk about — classes, the idiosyncrasies of his “mawsters,” the characters in his school, what he thought of the Filipino boys in Worth (Iñigo Zobel who he says is known to be rich but thick [thick headed] and is always copying his homework and the Soriano boys who are on their third year in Worth; he does not think very highly of them). They talk of drama, Shakespeare, Bernard Shaw, Janos Joyce and the other writers.

Imelda and I just listen very fondly – too fondly I am afraid.

But he is more orderly in his habits, takes care of his room which used to be untidy before he went to Worth and seems shy with the girls.

Incidentally all the girls big and small wanted to meet him and shake his hand.

He seems decided not to go to Oxford after Worth but to go to the University of the Philippines instead for his law degree. Apparently he is affected by his classmates who seem to think that Oxford was not much.

And anyway, he says, for him to go to Oxford, he would have to stay six years in Worth.

We are letting him make up his own mind. After all he seems to know what he wants.