April 22, 1936

Quezon returned on Visayas having left the Arayat on account of a small typhoon in the Bicols. Unson met him at the steamer and said he was in excellent health and spirits. He gave the President the result of the work of the Survey Board and Quezon at once appointed Assemblyman Marabut of Leyte as Under Secretary of Finance vice Carmona now President of the Philippine National Bank. The President accepted the Survey Board’s resolution creating a Budget Office directly under the President, consisting of Under Secretary Marabut, Auditor General Hernandez and Director of Civil Service Gil–transferring to this Board all accounting divisions of the Bureaus. Unson and Hernandez wanted property divisions also transferred to the Budget Office, but Trinidad, Paez and Dizon thought this would make too much friction–however, it is “now or never”!

Quezon spent 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Malacañan signing papers etc–then went off to Baguio for some days where he is busy with such Government officials as are now up there on “summer” vacation.

Babbitt and Rockwell have left the Philippines for a long vacation–“everybody” is supposed to be gone from Manila, but gaieties still keep up. Doria is preparing to depart on the 27th on Empress of Japan en route to Peking.

A San Francisco (Cal.) judge writes to Paredes concerning the “repatriation” scheme for Filipinos in the United States that: “the Filipino community in his city, in proportion to its numbers, affords the courts more criminal business than any other, and most of this is due to the fact that nearly all of them have white mistresses of a type not likely to do them much good–but still they are happy.” (This is all the more notable because such relations have always been very rare in the Philippines itself–and incidents arising therefrom are most unusual out here.)

April 1, 1936

Message from Quezon asking Babbitt, Andy Anderson and me to join him on Arayat. I accepted, Babbitt and Anderson declined–rather a job to get substitutes–Peters and Wolff were proposed.

News in the morning papers that Lanao Moros had fortified a cotta–it was stormed by the Constabulary and 5 Moros are reported killed (more likely 50!).

What an intolerable bore it is being in an office where three out of four visitors come to ask something of me!

A. D. Williams says Quezon has approved plans for the appraisal of a yacht in Los Angeles–1000 tons–sister ship of Yolanda (Mrs Moses Taylor’s).

March 25, 1936

Busy morning at office. Miguel Unson has seen Quezon and has received instructions that I shall work with the Government Survey Board. He came in and outlined their work. The office is at the Heacock Building, and he spends most of his time there. Is worried by the belief that insufficient revenue is obtained from the customs, and is trying to work out a scheme for improvement; he says that every time the customs bureau is investigated the revenue receipts leap up!

We talked over the issue of railway vs. roads in Mindanao: he says the plan is to take down there that useless railroad outfit in Cebu, and perhaps in Iloilo as well, and to build roads as feeders. I also saw Osmeña for a moment before the Cabinet meeting and he talked on the same subject: says the time has come to decide either for railroad or roads, and not to make the same mistake as in Luzon, where they run parallel.

Hartendorp came in, and reported that he had recently called on General MacArthur, who has an office in Santa Lucia barracks. The General told Hartendorp that he was the first editor who had called on him, and expressed surprise; he also voiced regret that Quezon’s address on National Defense at the University had not been better received, and that the press does not support the plan. He said that his plans are extremely well forward, and that the Philippine army is going to get munitions and equipment at one-quarter cost from the United States Army. In ten years, the Philippines, he believes, will have a force making it necessary for another country, if attacking, to lose a great number of men, and to spend perhaps a billion dollars, which will make them hesitate to attack. This would be very different from the picnic the Japanese had in walking into Manchuria. Hartendorp asked whether the Philippines were not rich enough to make this “worth while,” and whether these islands are not a prize because “strategically located”? The General replied that the strategic situation would bring in other allies–especially the United States. Seemed positive of that. He also remarked that Quezon was one of the five great statesmen of the world.

Hartendorp reported that Quezon had cut his Friday press audiences four times running–“doesn’t seem to care a damn about the press,” and, of course, is being criticized by the newspaper men.” Hartendorp observed that in the opinion of people with whom he talked, there were too many United States military reviews and parades going on (n.b. Quezon is reviewing troops at Fort McKinley this p.m.).

8 p.m.--Negros left Manila with a large party as guests of Don Andres Soriano headed for Masbate, to inspect his mines there: Masbate Consolidated and IXL. Quezon, Roxas, Sabido, Confesor, Babbitt, Belden, Correa, Dewitt, Spanish Consul, Fairchild, Fernandez (Ramon), Fox, Hodsoll, Ingersoll, Kerk, Le Jeune, Peters, Selph, Whittall, Wolf and many others. Fine ship of 1900 tons and everything aboard de luxe. Bridge with Quezon, Babbitt, Ingersoll, Peters, Wolff etc. at all hours. Conversations with many aboard on mines, sugar, etc. The general impression as to the latter is no basis for the buoyancy and optimism as to the present prices of sugar shares and their future prospects. No one can answer the question: why this optimism? Not only are Filipinos buying up sugar mills, but haciendas also in the sugar districts are changing hands at prices much higher than before. Ramon Fernandez says they have just found that they can produce sugar at four and a half pesos a picul, whereas five and a half has been the cheapest heretofore. But the real reason for the situation is probably that the Filipinos know the sugar game (some have already made fortunes out of it), and they would rather stick to something they do so well than venture into new fields. Many of the gold mines are in an experimental stage still, and the general public is waiting to see what happens.

Duggleby states that up to date, no proof exists that the Paracale district is as rich as the gold vinds in Baguio. However it was formerly the chief seat of Spanish mining. Says that under American rule no new mines have been discovered in the Philippines–yet every creek in the islands has traces of gold. He doubts whether sufficient gold will ever be produced to satisfy the world, since production is not increasing, in spite of very high present price of gold as a commodity.

The general opinion is that very little foreign capital has as yet come into Philippine gold shares.

Talked with Fairchild, Fernandez and Alunan on sugar: the latter sold his own sugar shares in Negros. Babbitt is bewildered by the high prices of sugar shares, including those of his own company.

I asked Quezon if he couldn’t do something to ease off the dismissal of Hartendorp. He replied “we are going to make him a Professor of English.” Quezon was tired out when he came aboard, and the next morning he was as fresh as a daisy, and very gay. I heard him dictating in his cabin–next to mine, at 6:30 a.m.

February 21, 1936

P.M. bridge party at Babbitts, which Quezon accepted thru me. As I arrived, Babbitt said Quezon had just telephoned him he was ill in bed and couldn’t come. He was seen at the Carnival later that evening! The resurrection from bed was probably due to the fact that his recent girl friends had been candidates for election as Queen of the Carnival, and probably begged him to come. Don’t blame him. Our bridge went ahead, Jim Rockwell, Anderson, Babbitt, Mrs. Dodge and myself. Doria went to Carr’s cocktail party where she said the guests were mostly English and very agreeable.

January 12, 1936

(Sunday) bridge at 10 a.m. in Mariquina in Lord’s house (as partner of Babbitt). Players: Rogers, Andy Anderson, Babbitt, Quezon & myself. At lunch, Quezon was in good form, though he had to get up and wander around as he can never stand sitting through a long banquet. Spoke about his campaign against Encallado and the other bandits, and of his method of handling a bandit campaign when he was Governor of Tayabas 30 years ago, which was to suspend the Presidente and Consejales of Casiguran (his kinfolk) and threaten to put them in prison for 20 years, if they did not turn over the bandit –who had been living quietly in Casiguran all the time. He told them to get him dead or alive, and shortly his body was delivered in two pieces with the head cut off.

Anderson asked the President if he could pay a bonus to the “boys” of the Manila Hotel who had so cheerfully accepted a reduction in their wages –Quezon said no! that a similar request had been referred to him by Corpus, President of the Philippine National Bank, for his employees, on the allegation that it would keep them honest (!!). Quezon remarked to Corpus that he would like to put some of them in prison, as he needed prisoner workmen for building the new prisons at Alabang. A lot of chaff about Anderson & Rogers, each of whom had put 6,000 pesos in the stock of the new oil companies. Quezon said he had discovered that the Standard Oil Company’s lease was illegal.

I spoke of Vamenta’s article on the Japanese leases in Davao. He said that the illegality had been committed by Filipinos who had sub-let to the Japanese; that these Filipinos were getting 15% of the profits and that he was going to seize that 15% for the government –even if he did not disturb the Japanese until their leases expired. That it really dated back to Governor Carpenter who had encouraged every development of Mindanao, “a thing which any one of us in his position would have had at heart.” (Vamenta was one of Carpenter’s young men). Mention was made of some American for years in the service of the Japanese (supposed, erroneously I believe, to have been Geo. Bronson Rea) who had announced that he was going to retire and live in Zamboanga. Quezon commented that he would hang him if he could.

Babbitt told me later that it always made him furious to have Americans denounce Quezon for his “hair-trigger” opinions, and that Quezon had told him recently how different it was being an Executive –that causes he had championed in the Senate now appeared impracticable to him (Such as Sec’y. Torres’ opinions on labour). Babbitt also said that he usually knew to a centavo how much money the President had –and that Quezon had said not long ago, that he had not saved up anything for his wife and children –he spends every cent he gets, in keeping up his position and the fight.

Quezon said Murphy was so very “good” it made him uncomfortable.

Doria said Mrs. Gaches had stated that all the Filipinos (Mestizos??) she had met, had expressed a great fear of the new army –that they expected to be unbearably taxed to support it. Babbitt told me the new army was the only thing which could keep down future civil disorders.

At lunch, during the discussion about the outlaws, I said that in former times there were some very good people among the remontados, hoping that Quezon would tell the story of his own youth in Baler, where he struck a guardia civil with a club and knocked him out (in a quarrel over some girl)and fled to the mountains with the wild men –but he did not rise to the bait.

January 7, 1936

Played golf in a.m. at Fort McKinley with Doria; afterwards, we swam in the bay in front of our house. Colin Hoskins to lunch and we talked over landlord & tenant situation, and land taxes; and planned trips to see the big haciendas.

Left at 3 p.m. with Babbitt & Anderson for Cabuyao. Babbitt said his sugar companies were going to make all they could in the next five years, hoping to repay the capital in that time, and thereafter what assets were left were in the nature of a dividend. Said sugar machinery was of no use for anything else. After independence, a differential even as good as that given Cuba would not save the Philippine mills because the cost of production and haulage are so much lower in Cuba. Andy Anderson (manager of the Manila Hotel) said that tourist traffic here could never be much because the Filipinos had suppressed everything which might really interest American visitors –such as the Igorrotes and their naked women– hence these Americans made a bee line for Bali where there were plenty of naked women; otherwise Bali was nothing but the Philippines all over again.

Anderson predicted more trouble in the future for the Philippines from internal disturbances, especially when they had their own army with ambitious generals. Said he was not particularly apprehensive about Japan. Trouble here was that there is only “one Quezon” –Roxas, he thinks, is the next coming man.

When we arrived in Cabuyao, Phil Buencamino and his wife greeted us. Quezon was there with Nieto –they had been inspecting his farm just the other side of the river where Quezon is going to build a nipa house and to go there every Friday. He complained of being very tired. We were just sitting down to the bridge table when I had a long distance call from Geo. Vargas to say that Doria had been thrown from a horse in Manila and was in St. Paul’s Hospital. I left at once. Poor Doria was suffering great pain. Fool polo pony of Angel Elizalde bolted with her and ran her into the stable where she was smashed off. Very brave and already feeling better. Narrow escape from death!!

Anderson said Quezon’s troubles will come from his own followers, because he will not give them all they want and they will “double-cross” him later. He also commented on the fact that many wealthy white men here kept Filipina women; that it was more expensive than a white woman because the whole family has to be kept!