January 15, 1942

Ignorance is really bliss. Walked right into the American concentration camp in Santo Tomas, without knowing the Japanese prohibited such visits. Saw old friends: Sam Cronin of the Associated Press, Arthur Evans, Duggleby, Dr. Leach, Turner, Stevens, Sam Gaches, Calhoun, Farnsworth, Stewart, Grove, and Duckworth. They ganged around me anxious for news, news, news. “How’s Bataan?” “Corregidor?” “What about the convoy?” “How about food, clothing?“ “How’re the Japanese treating the Filipinos?“ “How’re you? “How’s everybody?” “How long do you think it will last?“ “Oh very short, of course.” “It’ll be over in a minute when the convoy gets here.” “They just got us by surprise but when they wake up back home, you’ll see.” Americans will always be Americans. Concentration camps can’t dampen their spirits. A flight of bombers droned high above, like silver specks. “They might be U.S. planes!” remarked a young lad.

The food and finance committees of the concentration camp have ₱1,000,000 with which to purchase supplies. Dr. Brusselle is in charge for the Red Cross. The Red Cross has six weeks supply. They want to make arrangements with the Japanese regarding an appeal to the United States or Roosevelt or Red Cross for essential food. I mentioned this point to Mr. Noya and he thinks the Japanese Army authorities will not consent. “That’ll be beneath their dignity,” he opined. He gave me a friendly advice: “Avoid dealing with the Americans in the camp.” He implied something about “hostile act.”

Had to report the number of trucks, jitneys, cars, gasoline, and oil NARIC has in stock and how many and how much will be needed for its operation, to secure the necessary permits and passes from the Army authorities.

Vic said he saw our Buick parked near Villamor Hall. It’s now in the hands of the Navy. “I felt like stealing our car,” he said. “It was just parked there without a chauffeur.” Only in war can absurdities like stealing your own car occur.

February 26, 1936

Talk with Rafferty who is being done in by his partners in the manganese mine. Rafferty told me of repeated lies and evasions which are characteristically the world’s 11th wonder!

Talk with Simmie about the arrastre plant and the Government’s attitude toward same. Simmie says he, Gaches and Hausserman would become Philippine citizens in a moment if they could get out of the United States income tax by so doing. Said he was selling out his California property as quickly as he could.

Jollye told me last night that he once crossed the Atlantic on the same ship with ex-Governor General Stimson and ex-Governor General Davis–they spoke to one another but were not friendly.

Sinclair mentioned that the Tabacalera had spent several hundred thousand pesos here trying to raise Sumatra tobacco wrappers–it would not grow–either due to the soil or the climate. At the Carnival, he and I had inspected his (Smith-Bell’s) hemp stripping machine–noisy, slow and almost as much physical exercise as if done by hand!

February 22, 1936

Holiday. An hour with Sam Gaches in his office where he told me at my request the whole story of the Mineral Resources Mining properties. Excellent and vivid 40 minutes talk by him on rediscovery of the ancient Chinese mines of 500-1,000 years ago in Camarines Norte. Gave all the difficulties of mining in that region (Labo) and said it might be a “flop” “but”–with a gesture–“it drives you crazy it looks so good.” Said all mines in the Philippines except those in actual operation, like Benguet Consolidated, were “hooey,” meaning, a speculation only as yet–but added he believed the Paracale–San Mauricio–Labo district was destined to become the great gold fields of the Islands.

Had a talk yesterday with Palting, who has made a survey of the executive offices at Malacañan since inauguration, and he reports four times the volume of business compared with the days of the Governors General–but, he added, this was mostly due to the different boards engaged in reorganizing the Government.

Saw also Colonel Antonio Torres, Municipal Councillor, candidate for appointment as first Filipino Chief of Police of the City of Manila. He seemed downcast and said to me “My career is ended”–I replied “No! it is just beginning”–that afternoon’s papers carried the announcement of his nomination to head the Police Department.

Saw also Dr. Calderon, Director of the Philippine General Hospital–he is old and failing–walks with a stick. He is the senior surviving appointee to office made by me as Governor General.

Long talk with Colin Hoskins on currency problems in the Philippines. He had two hours with Weldon Jones this morning on the silver purchase. We also went into constitutional questions; the United States under Roosevelt; and the administration. Colin asked why Jim Ross and I could not support Roosevelt.

Doria’s dinner here tonight. Colette Guest, Kuka Guest, Mr. & Mrs “Shiny” White, Andres Soriano, Jim Rockwell, Paco Oleaga, Evelyn Burkhart who is to marry Paco in a few days, Tony McLeod, Young Hoover, Florence Edwards and Commander MacDowell. Dinner not well cooked. Orchestra dismissed by Doria as no good, so we went on to the Polo Club dance and had a gay evening. Mr. & Mrs. Gaches had a large dinner party there on the lawn–with the Rectos and Buencaminos. Doria said the Army crowd mournfully regretted that the last stronghold of the Palefaces was now invaded. Mrs. Gaches told Doria how difficult her social-political work on the committees was, because the Filipinos with whom she served were so casual–not to say rude!

December 25, 1935

Talk with Rafael Corpus, former director of Agriculture and new President of the Philippine National Bank. He told how Wood had tried to liquidate the bank; how eventually all the money supposed by Wood to be lost in sugar mills had been made good –even Philippine Vegetable Oil paid back 50%. Said he discovered more and more how the economic basis for the country was laid during my administration.

Sugar– said it was O.K. for seven years.

Hemp– said Sumatra’s attempt to rival the Philippines had failed.

Rice– said next year would be worse than this; that the floods in Pangasinan etc., had ruined the crop; that sugar had absorbed much of the rice land.

Iron– said Economic Council must establish a steel industry here –Japan was now taking 300,000 tons of iron ore yearly from Paracale in the Philippines– that our coal in Mindanao was just right for iron, but was too hard for ships. We had all the materials at hand, and even if it would compete with the United States we must insist on it. It was also a matter of national defense. We need a mineral survey, particularly of the vast and untouched iron fields of Surigao, reserved for the government.

Government of Quezon– said it had taken well so far.

Roy Howard article– said the fear of Japan was very real and the commercial classes would like an anchor –either the United States or England. Said fear of Japan did not penetrate to the common people in the provinces.

Sakdal & Communism– a very real problem –said some Filipinos had gone to the International in Russia and had come back with money. General Valdes told him one of these leaders had 50,000 pesos. Valdes confirmed this to Corpus.

Japanese– said they were very bold; that they were watching the development of the Davao matter; that they had been allowed by connivance or by supineness of Filipino officials to get these lands illegally and should not be blamed. Corpus says it was the Filipinos’ own fault.

Christmas dinner (lunch) with the Headquarters Commander of the 31st Infantry, the only regiment of American soldiers left in the Philippines. Excellent home food and a far better entertainment than last Christmas at Luxor in Egypt. Captain & Mrs. Lussier and Captain & Mrs. Howell.

Dinner with Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Gaches. Talk with old Colonel J.N. Wolfson who told me that McKinley’s secret instructions to Taft when he sent him out here to the Philippines as the first Civil Governor were to prepare the Filipinos as rapidly as possible for self-government –hence the “little brown brother” (and Taft’s fight for power against the United States army). Colonel Wolfson also told me of being retained recently (he is over 80 years of age) by 81 inhabitants from Tarlac who had been ousted from their lands by a local cacique under claim of a prior Spanish title, even tho some of them had Torrens titles. The judge of first instance in Tarlac had decided in favor of the cacique —Wolfson got this reversed in the Philippine Supreme Court.

December 4, 1935

Moved into my office in Malacañan Executive Building. It is very cool, quiet and delightful. Put in my first morning at writing Christmas letters to go by air mail to my children –beginning with Kiko who was born in the Palace just beside here, nearly 15 years ago.

Apparently no announcement of my appointment was made by Quezon so it will just leak out in the press.

In the afternoon, we joined the Gaches at the Carabao Wallow Club to watch a jumping contest in the ring there –we were then told that when the bugle blew we were all to go out and form a “horse-shoe” to greet the High Commissioner and the Commanding General on their arrival. After our waiting 15 minutes in the dark, the two dignitaries arrived. General Parker having come down from Baguio, but having had to stop at the hospital first; his arm was still in a sling and evidently he is not well. Usual press photos and flash lights. Then the High Commissioner spoke for about twenty minutes in eulogy of General Parker, and bid farewell to him on behalf of the members of the Club of which he is the Patron Saint. Murphy used excellent English and has a good vocabulary but was too long, too solemn and too eulogistic. Give him a cloak and cowl and he would make an excellent monk of the Savanarola type.

General Parker was visibly affected, and was spurred to a reply also lasting at least twenty minutes. He displayed the army mind of the “Days of Empire” by showing that he believed that he and the Governor General together had governed this country for the past two and a half years!

Dinner at the Walter Stevensons, where garden and trees were most artistically lit.

November 19, 1935

4-5 p.m. University of the Philippines military review of students; folk dances with sixty five couples, all students; the men were in camisas de Chino and the girls in lovely traje de mestiza. This was the first time I had seen these dances. In my day they would all have dressed in European costume and danced the turkey trot. This shows their new self-confidence or pride of nationalism. They are not ashamed of being themselves. All notions of their being Indios have been thrown in the dust-bin. It was very lovely and a big success. The American Vice-President and Speaker Byrnes went after the first dance –(most of us are quite exhausted by these festivities). The visitors leave tomorrow, thank God!! Myriads of autograph-seekers.

Cocktail party at Le Jeunes (National City Bank). Big crush with the usual traffic jam &c &c –N.B. when entertaining in Manila, look after the traffic problem first; give far more light on stairway & in house, and less glaring lights in the garden. Confusion existed as the original request for “full dress” at Malacañan tonight. Sam Gaches sent his motor to Baguio to fetch his dress clothes –then flew up there himself– now is marooned there by washouts caused by the typhoon!

This morning the newspapers carried a very gracious statement by Quezon that he was trying to persuade me to remain as adviser to the Government. He is always such a gentleman! (This was answered the next morning by an editorial attack on my qualifications in the Bulletin, and much criticism there of Quezon for making a “political” appointment.)

(This was the first anniversary of my wedding with Doria. Nov. 19, 1934 at Alexandra, Egypt.)

First Ball at Malacañan given by President and Mrs. Quezon. Big crush, and a really brilliant affair, with sufficient light in the ball-room. Doria danced with Phil Buencamino in the Rigodon de Honor; she was dressed in a green Mestiza costume with silver flowers. Well done. Home early and to bed.