February 28, 1942

Bataan, HQ, MIS

Non-stop bombing. Spent day going in and out of dug-out. If they bomb some more, I will not go to dug-out anymore.

Hungry. A handful of lugao is not enough. We are fed like chickens and we live like rats –underground.

Quarreled with Fred over the use of my towel. Silly thing. Guess we are all somewhat nervous. Nerves all on edge.

Mass will be said in our CP tomorrow morning. It’s about time. What we can’t get with guns, we might have through prayers. I will pray for cheese.

Intense fighting in eastern front. Jap thrusts in Capinpin’s sector stopped.

Checked up instructions to operations going to Nueva Ecija and Lingayen.

Bawled out by General. He claims I didn’t keep all his papers in order. “What kind of an aide are you?” he asked.

Wrote him letter of resignation. Asked for assignment to front. Fred tried to stop me. So did Leonie. They are good friends. I don’t give a damn what the general does about my resignation. He makes me sick.

Finished the rest of brandy with Fred and Leonie. Fred started talking of old days with coeds in U.P. He revealed a lot of ‘green’ incidents in U.P. campus. Nothing like co-education. Leonie started singing “We are in the Army Now.” Drinking orgy stopped by arrival of some civilians for questioning, heck.

I’ve finished questioning the fellow given to me. Leonie is still in the dug-out questioning the old man who was wearing a red shirt. He is typing with a candle on one hand. Wottalife!

(later)

Henceforth, supper will be called the “salmon-hour”, according to Lt. Tatco, mess officer. To hell with Salmon!

December 11, 1941

The day before yesterday, the ROTC Commandant informed me that General Valdes had ordered all cadets to report to their respective schools for several weeks of intensive military training. By virtue of this order the schools are being converted into military headquarters.

The announcement met with enthusiastic response from 160 students, some alumni, and some 14-year-olds who have either preferred to board and lodge with us in the College, or simply cannot return to their own houses.

For two days, the College supplied the provisions. But I had to make representations with the Commandant to provide for the headquarters, since this is what they are doing in other centers.

The University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University, San Beda College, the University of the Philippines, and other centers have been declared for military use as headquarters, staff offices and other similar purposes. At the University of Santo Tomas there were more than 2,000 cadets. They also wanted to put up a military health office at Letran, but we succeeded in dissuading them.

December 27, 1938

Dr Elliott, President of Purdue University, Indiana, on board returning from advising on the proposed reorganization of the University of the Philippines. Says that before leaving he submitted his report which took 40 minutes to read. Gil told him it was the only time Quezon was ever known to have kept quiet that long!

Elliott says he saw students informally and “off the record,” and learned a lot that way. That the University is now disorganized, though Quezon is deeply interested in its success and asked Dr. Elliott whether he should take over the portfolio of Public Instruction ad interim, and Elliott replied: “I am sorry to say–no!! Mr President!” He remarked that Quezon though claiming to be an oriental, had more of the occidental outlook than any of the rest of them. Thinks him “like all dictators, rather ruthless.” He believes Quezon is running down physically, and that Roxas is training himself for the presidency–the latter is very abstemious and “the only Filipino who goes in for physical exercise.”

He (Elliott) came out to Manila at the instance of Manuel Roxas, the man whom he places highest of the Filipinos today. He said Roxas should not serve as Chairman of the Board of Regents of the University because he fills too many political posts, and there should be no politicians on the board.

The diary is suspended here, and not resumed until May 1942. War conditions made it impossible for me to see Quezon meanwhile. The war began on September 1st, 1939 while I was again in France.

December 15, 1938

Celebration of commencement at the University of the Philippines, to which I was invited as an “alumnus” i.e., (hon. LL.D.). The fact that it is a state university is too much in evidence. According to the programme: the first number is to be the unveiling of an oil portrait of Quezon in a cap and gown; second a chorus by students entitled “Bathala, Bless our President” and then comes an address by Quezon’s secretary, George Vargas. Too much incense may become a trifle stifling.

September 4, 1936

After luncheon at Malacañan, Quezon took Ross and me into his office and read us a long letter from a young Filipina girl who had been one of the summa cum laude students whom he had congratulated at the recent University of the Philippines commencement. He had met her again on the steamer on his last trip to Iloilo and since then has been conducting a sentimental, (tho innocent!) correspondence with her. He seemed struck with amazement at her independence of view, lack of respect for his position, distrust of politicians and freedom of thought. She even used that phrase “corrupting the youth” (for which Socrates was condemned) about one of her University Professors who had been discharged from the faculty for teaching the students to think for themselves. Quezon exclaimed many times how the Filipina had changed since he was young. I told him my own daughters made me understand this, and he was lucky to find out by chance what the young people of his country are thinking. I have never seen him more absorbed. A few days later I sat next but one to him at the funeral ceremonies for poor Trinidad. In middle-age, the sudden death of one of the group sobers up all the rest of us. Quezon looked very shocked. He came in barong tagalog, while all the rest of us were formally dressed. At the coffin afterwards, Quezon was quite noticeably jostled–for once, he was not the first person in the room. Visit to Osmeña’s home on his birthday–talk with Rafael Palma &c.

May 12, 1936

Survey Board meeting, called to co-ordinate the work of the University of the Philippines with various bureaus. Present: Bocobo, Bewley, Kasilag, acting Director of the Bureau of Public Works, and Camus, Director of the Bureau of Plant Industry. Very interesting meeting in which they all seemed ready for cooperation. Bocobo suggested a means by which this may be done. Also, he and Bewley, Director of the Bureau of Education, talked of overproduction of vocational graduates, especially in agriculture, who could find no jobs afterwards. Public opinion is outraged if any attempt is made to close or limit schools. New type “A” curriculum is to be 60% academic and 40% vocational. They are going to try to give primary education to every child, and gradually to reduce the secondary. In Java and other Dutch East Indies there are only four trade schools and four agricultural schools for a population of over 50,000,000. The Muñoz Agricultural School in Nueva Ecija costs the Government nearly five times as much as do other schools.

Bocobo said the plan to have the legislature fix the salaries of Professors in the University of the Philippines would take away academic freedom. (I agree.) Unson made mild fun of this statement. Bocobo is strongly for increased funds for research–he suggested getting the several industries of the Philippines to contribute. We talked of the National Economic Council, and I called attention to its paralysis because no general economic policy has been adopted by the government; all its energies are now bent towards getting a relaxation of the sanctions of the Tydings-McDuffie act. Unson told me confidentially that the membership of the National Economic Council was not well received by the public. He said Elizalde and Trinidad were well thought of–but Madrigal’s business methods were prehistoric.

Bridge in p.m. with Satterfield, Peters and Saleeby.

May 4, 1936

Quezon back for 48 hours. Malacañan humming again as per schedule. Visited the Ice Plant with E. B. Rodriguez, Assistant Chief of the Philippine Library to see the old archives of the government which were moved two months ago to the top floor because this building is supposed to be fire proof. Quarters for archives are commodious enough, but are as hot as the hinges of hell since they have no ventilation–95 degrees Fahrenheit at 8:30 a.m.–it rises later to 108 degrees. Need of twenty-five cataloguers, and money for binding and repair of old Spanish documents, which are written on fine old paper and in beautiful handwriting. A horrible smell of fish arising from Army cold stores below! Rodriguez says Governor General Murphy’s economies are partly responsible for Sakdalista uprising in Laguna a year ago.

Later in the morning, I visited Otley Beyer at the University of the Philippines, and asked his opinion of the Bureau of Science. He says it was originally started as a government laboratory; Worcester put Freer there and made the staff do research work. In my time, Denison made it more “practical.” Later, Dr. Brown came in and realizing the difficulty of getting from the legislature funds for research began to boom and advertise the practical, or routine, productions of the bureau (glass, paper, pottery etc.) and raised the annual appropriation to nearly one million pesos, but disorganized the Bureau and left it in a mess. He attempted too much. Beyer says Arguelles is a good chemist but has not backbone enough for political life. He added that the Filipinos treat the Government like a family (pariente) affair, and when a high salaried post is abolished, the salary is divided up among half a dozen small men who are of no earthly use. Says research and routine should not be combined–with the Dutch in the Indies they are kept entirely separate. He believes that Secretary Rodriguez is one of the worst pariente job seekers of the lot. Am to see him later.

In p.m. to cinema with Peters.

Saw Paulino Santos, just made a Major General and Chief of Staff of the new Army. He appears happy and thrilled. Sworn in today and asked me to attend.

April 4, 1936

Breakfast with Quezon. He is in great form. Had dismissed a school teacher and a J.P. in Bicolandia. Said the school master who was a married man with two children had seduced a fifteen year old pupil and she was with child. Her parents had whipped her for two days to ascertain the name of the man. The school teacher denied the story, so Quezon cross-examined both the girl and man. He said “I am no hypocrite, but seduction of a girl pupil in the school house is too much–besides the man denied it and lied about it, so I fired him.”

The Justice of the Peace had let off two of three cattle rustlers brought before him by the Captain of Constabulary because they were parientes of his. The judge’s argument was that the law permitted arrests by the Constabulary–but now they were officers of the Philippine Army!! Quezon said “well you let them go, and I shall let you go to join them” and dismissed him.

I thanked the President for his kind reference to me in his recent address at the University of the Philippines commencement. He said he wanted “those young people to know what you had done for our country.” He rather feared Murphy might be displeased at my receiving mention during his ceremony but Murphy had told Quezon how much this pleased him. Quezon said “I love Murphy as I do you, but he would never have done what you did–he is too sensitive to newspaper criticism.”

Quezon spoke of going for a vacation up to Shanghai on April 27th–and asked me to come for a two weeks trip.

Arrival at 8 a.m. at Catbalogan, Samar. The crowd attending the reception committee on the wharf bore several signs showing the dissension and accusations of oppression in the provincial and municipal governments. The Governor of Samar in his introduction of Quezon mentioned that no men from this province had been given high posts in the Commonwealth Government; and that the province had been neglected in road appropriations. This gave Quezon a fine opening and he went for the governor hammer and tongs–one of his best addresses this season. The crowd understood English, so Quezon dismissed the local interpreter; he then attacked the whole idea of provincialism and “tribal” sentiment–reminded them that they were Filipinos rather than Samar people–that the government was their own–that it was the duty of the government to treat all provinces alike in road appropriations; that he had never favored unfairly his own province of Tayabas. Advised them to pay their taxes, So as to show their patriotism.

Left Catbalogan at noon–through the straits of San Juanico, between Samar and Leyte. Five or six hours of the loveliest tropical scenery. Narrowest place was only just deep enough for a small steamer. We arrived at Tacloban, Leyte, at 4 p.m.–Quezon’s speech on the wharf to a big crowd was as excellent as that of the morning but somehow the crowd seemed duller than at Catbalogan. He went to inspect the new hospital and later to confer with provincial and municipal officials. He then shut off any more speeches. We drove to the United States Military Reservation, the finest Constabulary station I have yet seen. Went to Enaje’s house, and waited for an hour making laborious conversation in Spanish with his brother. Much enlivened by discussing Tommy Wolff’s wounding, capture and tortures by local Filipinos during the United States-Philippine war. I felt ill and wished to walk back to the steamer to pull myself together, but was defeated by our host–there is something of the jailer in a provincial host in this country–he must have his own way, and you must take all his hospitality whether you will or no. The idea of our walking down to the pier, I suppose, made them fear to lose face–they resist you like steel. Quezon then arrived and we went to the Paye Club for a banquet and a little dance. I managed to sit at the table, but couldn’t eat. Quezon talked of his speeches, and I said he should have them taken down by a stenographer, to protect himself against misquotation. He said he was not afraid of that, since under the constitution he had one term only–that it was very difficult to get his friends in the Convention to accept the one term provision, because they wanted him to serve longer–he insisted and “it is one of the best things I have ever done.”

Left at 8 p.m. for Lanao.

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.”