June 17, 1941

Japanese military adventurism emboldened by their treaty with Germany and Italy continues unabated in Indo-China. Finally, today there is a reaction from USA. News report states that US Defense Oil Coordinator Harold I Ickes stopped the shipment of 252,000 gallons lubricating oil from the Jap tanker, Azuma  Maru  loading in Philadelphia.  There was strong protest to no avail. To my young mind, this is a good sign because while US Pres Roosevelt has an aggressive attitude, American public opinion is against involvement in the war going on in Europe since Sept. 9, 1939 when I was still a lst Classman at PMA and the military analyst for “The Corps.” Majority are isolationist and even think the Japanese are incapable of waging war citing the flimsy toys they manufactured.

And now, let me say something about another “Magnificent Seven” classmates who joined the Field Artillery (FA).  One of the branches of the service of our young PA is the FA initially organized in Camp Dau (near Mabalacat) Pampanga in late 1936  pioneered by Capt Jesus Vargas, 29, Lt Luis Villareal ’32 and ’36 graduates of ROSS  like Lts Zoilo Perez, Felipe Pilapil followed by Lts Francisco Adriano ’37 and Simplicio Rivera ’37.  It was a huge Camp later named Camp del Pilar where a Reserve Officers School and Artillery trainees are trained. I have visited the place on invitation of my Mistah Manuel Acosta to attend a fiesta in Mabalacat.

My seven classmates in the FA are:  Lt Manuel Acosta, ExO Hq & Hq Btr, 141st FA under Lt Francisco Adriano ’37; Lt Basilio Genson, Instrtr, SRC & FA Trng School; Lt Eulalio Jamilosa, Instrtr, FA Trng Cadre & Os School; Fancisco Jimenez, Btr Comdr, Btr “A”; Lt Gregorio Mercado, 1″ Bn, 51st FA Regmt; Lt Leon Trinidad, together with Lt Gepte (USMA ’40)  are assigned with FA Units in Tagaytay; and Segundo Velasco, ExO,Btr C 140th FA Prov Bn. FA is a very vital branch in the PA and Lt Velasco reported to me the very intensive training they are conducting to produce FA Res Os and Trainees for our citizen army expected to be about 400,000 strong in 1946 when we become an independent nation.

It may be pertinent to mention that at present Capt Jesus Vargas ’29 is the Commanding O, FA Training Center with Lt Luis Villareal as his Operations O (S-3).   I think this magnificent FA Camp is the first military establishment to honor our Bulakenio hero, Gen Gregorio del Pilar.

 

June 16, 1936

Called on T. Wolff at his office to discuss his memorandum on the new cedula tax law. Finished the draft of Landlord & Tenant Bill.

In the p.m., the Survey Board had its weekly meeting; they are framing a plan for the standardization of salaries in the Government. One of the marked characteristics of round-table conferences of Filipinos is their sense of humour. Unson, Trinidad, Paez, Rustia and Occuña were there.

Went to the Legislative Building to hear the message of the President to the Assembly. Gratings were locked on the doors. I pushed through the crowd, got a policeman to open the door and was met by Chief of Police Antonio Torres who said the city had been “under arms” since the night before; the only people in the galleries were his secret service men. Communists were supposed to have threatened a bomb.

Sat with the Alcalde and the Chief of Police. Quezon read a forty minute message of “progressive conservatism”–really an excellent program for the development and relief of the country. Acoustics of the hall are so bad, I could hardly catch his words. Torres says this building was designed for the National Library and 3000 pesos have just been spent to improve the acoustics of the hall, but with no success;–he said it must be air-conditioned and hung with tapestries. Quezon’s voice is too strong and oratorical for the loud speaker. If he proposes to broadcast, I have advised him to study the matter of his voice.

Bridge with Gordon, Jollye and Sinclair at the Manila Club. When I was home at dinner Quezon called me on the telephone to ask if I had read his message. He said he was very tired–had only begun it yesterday morning and had been up all last night over it. Quezon called attention to his reference to the Irish Land Laws.

Will analyse his message after reading it in the morning papers.

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.”