February 1936
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Month February 1936

February 29, 1936

Air of repose in the Executive Building—when Quezon is in Malacañan the whole place is like a beehive.

Visit from Sandiko. An interesting type, apparently of mixed ancestry: Chino and Moro. He reported on his investigation into Friar Land questions in Bulacan: says the purchase by the Government would benefit chiefly the hacendros; somewhat also the tenants who had added from two to four hundred pesos value per hectare to the land–the aparceros also would gain some slight benefit. They now pay 24-40 pesos rent per hectare which goes eventually to the hacenderos but is not entered on the estate books; if they can raise 70-80 gantas of palay per hectare, the aparceros now get only about 20-30 of it for themselves–not enough on which to raise a family. He says usury in one way or another is universal, and that a system like the “Raffeisen” must be introduced here. Says all wealthy Filipinos invest their money in land, not in industries or mines, for they know how to get much more for it thereby. He wants to break the power of landlords and to free the small man who is now a sort of slave under a feudal system. Says our Rural Credit Association under Prautch broke down because the caciques borrowed all the money intended for the aparceros, Sandiko says they may have him killed, but he is not afraid.

Visit from Don Vicente Singson, who came at Quezon’s request, to talk with me over the suggested purchase of silver at 45 cents with part of the “gold” (i.e., United States dollar) credits in the United States. Singson is opposed to this because silver is so uncertain, being now a by-product of other mining. Is in favour of a gold standard for this government. Is also strong for the Philippines having its own currency standard–free from the United States dollar, being suspicious of the latter. Two years ago, when he was Secretary of Finance, Singson went with the mission to the United States, and finally persuaded the War Department to agree to separate the currency system here, but was not informed of their decision for six months and meanwhile had left the post of Finance for private business. Says the change of system must be made while the Philippines are still under American sovereignty, so as not to alarm the public. He wishes to have a central bank here, such as has been introduced in “succession states” in Central Europe–thus making the government able to regulate and prevent raids on the gold supply. Has heretofore been opposed by other bankers here, but they have now come around to his view. Thinks Quezon does not understand these questions, and he admits it. Laughed at the Chinese irony over Kammerer’s regulations. I tols him my story of Yuan Shih Kai in 1915. Singson says he is convinced the United States will give the Philippine independence “whether the Filipinos want it or not,” and that they must prepare for it now.

Golf in p.m. at Caloocan with Fox, Jollye and Sinclair. Bridge 7-2:30 a.m. here with Guevara, Dr. Bangui and the younger Palma. Good game–they are better performers at the Culbertson system than are the English or Americans here. At supper, Guevara launched forth on his favourite subject–the absorption of the Philippines by Japan. Says that altho’ the two raced are related they really have nothing much in common–“but our grandchildren will.” Cited a recent statement by Vice-Admiral Kenkicki Takahashi, Commander in Chief of Japanese combined fleets as follows: “It is likely that Japan’s economic advance in Manchukuo, soon will reach its limits, and, therefore, the Empire’s future commercial expansion must be directed to Southern Seas, with Formosa or the mandated islands of the Equatorial Pacific as bases. In such event, the cruising radius of the Japanese Navy must quickly be expanded so as to reach New Guinea, Borneo and Celebes.”

February 28, 1936

Visit to office of the usual series of men wanting me to get them jobs. Great relief when Rafferty arrived–he has forced his partners in the Manganese Mine, to “do him right.” Told me Sy Cip’s brother took a Chinese “dumb head” to the United States to campaign against our attempt to make the Chinese keep their books in English, Spanish or Tagalog so that the Government could collect taxes. The Chinese won.

We discussed the “customary law” of the Philippines which underlies the laws imposed by the Spanish and by ourselves. This explains many apparently incomprehensible events here. I told of the magnificent lands in the Cavite foot hills which were unoccupied because of the bandidos. He said he was the first of the Americans in Cebu to move out to a section on the outskirts of the City–no Filipinos would then live there because of the Pulijanes. Said Osmeña told him apropos of the recent surrender of Encallado, that this was the customary method of putting an end to brigandage: inviting the leader to one’s house and treating with him. “I was afraid” said Osmeña “when the criticism was running so high here over the princely way Encallado was treated by Quezon, that the papers would recall that this was the method I used myself when Provincial Governor to put an end to the Pulijan movement in Cebu.”

Long talk with Rafferty about Pershing and the “Moro question”; he was collector of customs in Cebu and Zamboanga at the time General Pershing was military governor there. Rafferty believes there was no Moro question there; only a “question” created by the United States Army! Said the reason why Pershing did not oppose my plan to remove the Army from Moroland and install Civil Government under Carpenter was that Pershing wished the credit, for having made this possible. (As a matter of fact we would never have had peace down there unless we had withdrawn the United States Army!) Rafferty says Pershing was utterly selfish and extremely unpopular in Zamboanga. His “illness” when he left for home as the last military governor of Mindanao was only an excuse.

Golf in p.m. at McKinley with Doria.

Memo: Beyer said yesterday that Governor General Murphy had been so afraid of provoking “labor” hostility in the United States that he had declined to take action against two or three labour leaders here when they deserved it. (That seems to have seen his fault as an administrator: every question to be decided here was considered with one eye on his political future at home.)

Quezon is making speeches in the Cagayan valley denouncing people who will not pay their (cedula) taxes, and those governments in the provinces which fail to collect it. (Perhaps the land tax is involved.) It seems probable that the situation is due both to “hard times” and to a general relaxation of government in recent years.

Quezon has announced that the June drawing in the Charity Sweepstakes will be the last; no doubt the affair has given rise to some scandal but I think it wiser for an aministration to regularize and make use of gambling rather than vainly trying to eliminate it.

February 27, 1936

All day drive with Doria and Professor H. Otley Beyer through Laguna, Batangas and Cavite provinces. At Ft. Mckinley we turned down to the river and took the new road thru Pateros and Taguig to Alabang. Pateros is, of course, the centre of the duck raising industry and Beyer says the people there spread the story of how their men hatched their ducks–the fact was they had a primitive (and perhaps very ancient) incubator of layers of sand on bamboo slats; the top is covered, and the men sit on that and talk and smoke, hence this lurid tale!

The new road to Alabang passes Alcalde Posada’s hadienda--hence the road, according to Beyer! The shores of Lake Laguna are occasionally almost uninhabitable because of the smell of decaying algae, which sometimes even invade Manila via the Pasig River. Beyer said the decaying masses are due to the blackade created by water lilies–that A. D. Williams had installed a fine wire mesh at the outlet into the Pasig River which seems to cure that; there are so few boats on the Pasig River nowadays that this is possible.

We discussed the possibility of help for the Philippines health service from the Rockefeller Institute now that Dr. Victor Heiser was separated from that institution. I told how Quezon had recently thought of bringing Heiser out as Adviser on Health, so that if any epidemic broke out here, the Filipinos would not get all the blame–i.e., to make Heiser the goat. Heiser, who is a shrewd intriguer, “ducked.”

Passed one of Beyer’s archaeological sites on a ridge beyond Taguig.

Beyer mentioned how busy he is nowadays with Dr Geo. Pinkley of the American Museum of Natural History and his companions. Mnbien of Peking, Chinese archaeologist. They had spent 4 months together in Peking, studying the “Peking man”–they had a theory that the “drift” of continents had separated the Philippines and Celebes from the mainland, and that these islands had been the original “rim” of the continent; so that, perhaps the skulls or teeth of the “original” man could be found in the Philippines which they believed to have been formerly the seashore. He had persuaded these two scientists to stay on here to examine with him the brokel lime-stone areas near to and north of Montalban gorge–to search for “filled caves.”

I asked Beyer why the Filipinos used the reverse gestures in beckoning to come, and in nodding (also in using the saw); he said these matters were much disputed, but he believed they came from very early times; said there was a Basque village near Santander where the people also gestured in the reverse way.

He went on Speaking of the mountain people of Luzon, stating that the solution of the problem was their absorption by the Cristianos; said this would improve the Filipino stock and quoted Rizal to sustain his theory. Cited Paredes and Villamor as examples. The former half Tinguian and half Indonesian; the latter pure Tinguian.

Entering the province of Batangas, he said the residents were the most sturdy and independent race of Luzon, and were great fighters. Their horses and cattle are also the best in the Philippines. Their food is maize, dry rice, and poi. All the slopes of Mount Makalut (chief volcano)–5000 feet high, near Lake Taal, were densely inhabited in the neolithic age–a large proportion of his archaeological finds came from there. But there is a gap in their history of nearly 1000 years–positively no iron age relics. He supposes that an eruption of the Taal volcanoes drove out or destroyed all those early settlements–perhaps the survivors migrated to the site of the present Rizal Province. In 1911, the year of the last explosion, Father Algue of the Weather Bureau three days before the eruption came, had begged the Philippine Government to remove all people on the island of Taal. Some 2600 people who were there, and in the surrounding neighborhood, were killed in that explosion. The name of the mountain: Makalut, means “curly-headed” since it was inhabited until within 200 years of now by Negritos. Taal Lake is the crater of the great volcano of former times. Now only four or five small craters are left above the water, and also Mount Makalut of which the whole gigantic cliff to the west is the remaining wall. Thu volcanic ash makes wonderful soil when decayed–hence the better specimens of man and beast. The lake was connected with the sea by a river navigable to former ships, until the 1911 explosion which blocked the former outlet and raised the level of the lake. The water of Lake Taal is still brackish, and the fish are of marine types. The soil cuttings hereabouts show various levels of volcanic ash, marking the periodic eruptions.

Passed thru a barrio which had voted against de las Alas four years ago, so to punish them, he would not complete the 1½ kilometers of road connecting their barrio with the main road for three years!

Visited the town of Taal on the sea–it was moved from the original site on Lake Taal 200 years ago, after being twice destroyed by the volcano. Nice old church, and another well-known church and stairway constructed by Christian Chinese after a massacre of their people by Filipinos. In answer to my question why the Filipinos periodically massacred the Chinese–he replied “various reasons”–the massacre of 1603 was permitted by the Spanish because they thought the Chinese were getting too rich; the attempted massacre of 1922 was due to the arrogance of the Chinese after their own revolution in China.

Mabini came from Batangas–his brother still lives there; so do Conrado and Francisco Benitez, Teodoro and Maximo Kalaw (note how shrewd they are in keeping out of high political office)–Galicano Apacible, de las Alas and the Tironas, and the Lopez family. The Zobel and Roxas families have large haciendas in the southwest of this province.

I asked Beyer why in his “ancestral chart” of Filipinos, he did not mention the Japanese; he replied that the Japanese had only lately begun to settle in the Philippines. The similarity of appearance of many Filipinos to the Japanese is due to Malay ancestry which is in nearly half the Filipinos and in most of the Japanese. Those Malays now here invaded from Java and Celebes, and partly from the mainland. Those Malays who went to Japan, entered partly from the mainland, and others, during the Stone Age, from islands east of Java, via Guam, Marianas, Marshall and Bonin Islands–not via Celebes and the Philippines. This is proved by the oval stone axes of a type found in Japan and in the Pacific Islands mentioned, but never found in Celebes, Borneo, nor the Philippines. (Note: the Japanese are just becoming aware of this kinsmanship and are modifying their former arrogant attitude towards the “Southern Barbarians.”)

Today’s newspapers give an account of a military revolt in Japan led by the army, and the murder of five leading statesmen by the soldiers. Beyer said this is in the Japanese tradition. The samurai were so arrogant and such bullies that the Japanese 80 years ago got rid of them and re-instated their Emperor. In his opinion, the domination of the military caste today in Japan is dangerous, but the Japanese will eventually throw them out as they did the samurai.

Other remarks of Beyer were:

Searchers are finding the teeth of elephant and rhinoceros in the Philippines, but none of the tiger, as yet. Plenty of tamarao teeth, all other Luzon. This central region has been agricultural for so long that the dangerous animals were killed off in prehistoric times.

He is not sure the carabao is not indigenous here; the appearance of the Ifugao cimarron is quite different from the domestic type. I could corroborate that statement.

Chinese carp had been introduced here by the Bureau of Science in the fine fish lake in Camarines. Result: the newcomers had devoured the superior type of fish already there, and the people would not eat the carp. So the Bureau of Science is now trying to eliminate the Chinese carp by some disease fungus.

Coming from Butangas through the western part of Cavite towards Tagaytay ridge, Beyer said this country was not settled as is the adjacent southern Batangas, because it was and always had been a paradise for gangsters, now operating as cattle thieves. Some of them were rich men who were playing cattle rustler where formerly they would have been pirates–for sport. They had “fixed” the municipal officers and the Constabulary. I commented on the great decline in morale of the Constabulary under the amiable General (Dr.) Valdes. He said part of it was due to the building of so many roads–the Constabulary had given up “hiking” patrols, and now seldom got out of their motors. He added that my execution of General Noriel–public enemy N° 1 in Cavite, had put a stop to the gangster business in that province for nearly 20 years. Now it was springing up again.

Beyer said that as a geologist, he believed the gold reef in the Philippines extended straight along the Cordilleras. That the Benguet Igorrotes were “gold conscious” and knew all the surface gold places in their provinces; that he did not believe there would be any new gold “strikes” there except at deep levels; that the Bontocs were opposed to gold prospecting, and that the country to the east–Ifugao–was not geologically suitable. That Abra and Kalinga offered a good field for prospecting, especially since Abra, like Benguet, was not heavily wooded.

He expressed worry over the change of the governorship of the Mt. Province now that Colonel Dosser has resigned. Said Bontocs and Ifugaos were resistant to changes in their social and economic system. They were large, organized and proud nations. But, he added, the Filipino officials generally started with great enthusiasm for “reform” in the Mt. Province and then cautiously let the people alone and went in for personal petty graft. Said the Ifugaos were afraid of Cristianos getting all the public offices in their country and taxing, and changing their customs. Said during Governor General Murphy’s vacation in United States, Vice Governor Hayden had appointed some twenty of the Ifugaos as minor officials in their own country.

I asked him what had become of the lgorrote girls educated in Mrs Kelly’s school–he said some of they had married Americans–some lived with them without marriage–most of them had gone back to their filthy ancestral huts and had become lgorrote wives, forgetting their education.

He said the Kalingas, the handsomest and most warlike of the northern nations, had nevertheless proved less resistant to modern “progress” than any of the others.

When in the barrio of Makalut, town of Cuenca, we visited the home of the local cacique, Caves. I asked Beyer to explain his odd face; Beyer said it was mostly Moro–the Moro pirates governed here when the Spanish first came here 350 years ago.

Later that evening we gave a dinner to Consul General Blunt and Mrs. Blunt, Carr, Sinclair, Mrs. Swift and Miss Masters–the latter was half an hour late, for which there was no excuse, for she is hardly a “mere chit of a thing.” Manners in post-war times are certainly “shot to hell.”

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 25, 1936

Mrs. Quezon returned from a month’s absence in Java etc. Press photos of attentive loving couple, Quezon in yachting cap. The next day Quezon left with Nieto and his aides for an eight day trip through Balete pass and the Cagayan valley.

Talk with Colonel Vicente Lim, senior Filipino officer in the United States Army and a graduate of the American War College. He said: “Quezon is a very hard man to work with.” I commented on how the President’s calendar was congested, because gave too much time talking with each visitor. He replied, “He understands the psychology of his people.” He stated Quezon “is giving us the best Government we ever had, but God help us if he dies and we get a weak-kneed President.” Lim also said: “even Quezon is only human and can’t be 100% perfect–as evidenced by the appointment of Antonio Torres.” As Lim himself had wished to be Chief of Police of Manila, he may be prejudiced, but he seemed to be trying to be fair in the following estimate of Torres: “integrity unquestioned; has ideas, but is childish and can’t write English, and is a coward.” Lim said that his “thesis” at the Army War College in 1929 was that Japan within five years would take Manchuria; that they would wait until the United States got into great financial difficulties; that England is now also waiting, but to see if the United States will put itself together; otherwise England is prepared to fall back on Singapore. That Japan is planning a canal thru the neck of the Malay peninsula in Siam, and for this purpose is making friends with the Siamese rulers. That this canal would present no more difficulties than had the Panama Isthmus. Lim also said in his thesis (and still believes) that the Philippines is bound to fall under the economic domination of Japan, but the latter will not pay the cost of physical domination. Said the Americans could never defend the Philippines against Japan, but the Filipinos could make the invasion of their country too difficult to make it worthwhile. Lim is a brother-in-law of Vicente Villamin, and thinks highly of him, tho’ Quezon does not like Villamin. Lim told Quezon that he is ready to give up his rank in the United States Army to serve in the Philippines Army if really needed–otherwise not.

Dinner with Jollye–excellent food and civilized service–later to Carnival–poor show, and the loudspeaker has added new resources of horror to the barkers!

February 24, 1936

Bridge at Columbian Club with Vicente Lim, Reyes and Nazario on Tuesday p.m.

Large dinner for us at Ramon Fernandez’s home. Osmeña and Roxas were there, and everybody was very polite–the dinner was well cooked and well served. Later Doria and I went to a buffet dinner at Jim Rockwell’s–usual back-slapping-hello-old-man American crowd.

February 23, 1936

Gold share market booming here with some sensational advances. Bridge at Manila Club with Jollye, Humphreys and Jameson.

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!

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.

February 21, 1936

Discussions on currency question in the Philippines with Hoskins, Lagdameo and Weldon Jones. Lagdameo says that their monetary policy must follow the economic, and the latter must follow their political leaders. Thinks as I do that the Philippines should already be making plans to expand their foreign markets, and that eventually they must have their own currency instead of being tied at 2 to 1 to the rubber dollar. Weldon Jones is afraid of the effect on business if we buy silver here, but is interested in the subject and appears eager to study the point I put. He agrees with me that so far as silver is concerned, the United States has no policy. He says Roosevelt adopted plans for going off gold and buying silver to appease elements determined on a far more dangerous course of inflation.

February 20, 1936

Just as we were starting for the Stevenson’s party Quezon called me up asking me to explain to Betty how sorry he was he couldn’t come as he was giving a dinner at Malacañan. (It seems he had personally promised her to come.) She would not receive my explanations when we arrived. Had a later chance and told her how Quezon had planned to go to her party with me, and was quite unconscious that this was the evening he was giving a dinner for Romulo. She was still angry and said “Well just let him ask me to dinner!” I asked “You wouldn’t accept?” “I’ll be damned if I would.” There really is considerable disarray in Quezon’s social engagements. An a.d.c. who was not afraid of him could keep him straightened out, but this seems impossible. Certainly there was no mention of his own dinner party on his calendar when I was with him yesterday. Doria tells me she likes Quezon so much personally, but feels he is rude to her about engagements.

Saw Colonel Hodsoll at Stevensons–he was invited to Malacañan and refused because of Stevenson’s party–that will jolt Quezon. The real fault is psychological, Quezon cannot endure to be pinned down–he wants to be free and get away if he feels like it.

February 19, 1936

Colin Hoskins called with Biggars, manager of the Chase Bank at Hong Kong to discuss the possibility of the Philippines buying silver, with a large seignorage profit, and putting the currency on a silver basis, with gold credits for foreign trade accounts. Biggars advocates this and says he thinks the United States would approve; and he would be glad to see a solvent nation going on silver. Said the United States had driven a very hard bargain with England on silver.

In p.m. at work at office on a speech for tonight. Saw Quezon for half an hour–in his pyjamas after siesta, and looking tired, but in his usual vitally active mood. I told him I had suggested to Unson before the latter saw him the setting up of a budgetary bureau within the framework of the Act creating the Survey Board on the reorganization of the Government–let the Survey Board serve for 2-3 years or until they had finished a scientific standardization &c. Let the members of the board plan the consolidations etc., for immediate use. He said “Oh! I thought that was Unson’s own idea.” The President wants me to work with the board.

Then I took up the subject of Landlord & Tenant and he said no special session was to be called. Told him the more I went into it, the more suspicious I was of the existence of a racket on part of both landlords and tenants–he agreed, and said he must have some plan by which the small man would get his lands–and to beat the speculators. I told him two of the Friar Estates were on 60-90 year lease to outsiders, and that these lessees were demanding 1-2 million pesos for their interests–we must put penalty taxation on all estates larger than 1000 hectares, to squeeze them.

Then I told him of my morning’s talk with Biggars and he at once wrote me notes to Roxas, Weldon Jones and Vicente Singson Encarnacion to consult them on this subject.

Then he arranged on the telephone a trip to Masbate with Andres Soriano for March 25-30, to see the mines; he invited Doria and me to come and some lady to accompany Doria. His conversation with Soriano was gay and courteous. Soriano is chartering the Negros for the trip, and Quezon begged him to go light on the food, so as not to threaten “mi ulcera de estomago.” Quezon also fixed up with the Japanese consul dates for the trip to Davao, April 1-10, inviting Doria and me to accompany him on the Arayat.

Quezon Said he was tired and needed recreation, so we arranged for two bridge games.

He told me of his speech to the executive chiefs at Malacañan that morning; telling then how he had been getting all the credit for their work, and while this satisfied his vanity it hurt his sense of justice, and if anything went wrong he would get all the blame!

I spoke that evening before the Foreign Relations Club of the University of Manila–good audience and it went off well. Constitution Day. The Dean (Gallego) in introducing me referred to Quezon as the “Father of the Constitution” and to me as its “Grandfather” which pleased the students and brought a big laugh. Usual anemic musical program.

February 18, 1936

When I saw the Cabinet today waiting patiently for the President to finish a talk in the Palace, I did not much envy them–especially when remembering that Quezon’s intention is not to share anything confidential with them (on account of Osmeña?) but to have an “inside cabinet” of his own–like the War Cabinet in England.

Roxas has been appointed head of the “Rice Commission” which relatively unimportant post he accepts with every show of pleasure after his recent encounter with Quezon’s will and a thorough drubbing.

Enaje has been appointed Adviser to the President on matters concerning judicial reorganization–an excellent choice, but small potatoes after his disappointments over the Speakership and Presidency of the Court of Appeals.

Doria tells me that the tradesmen try on her a regular racket of overcharging–to wit those who supplied conveniences for our tea dance–electrician, chair man and orchestry. She says it really frightens her, and she must get everything down in writing before hand. If, as Major Anderson told me, commercial morality had been enormously lowered in the United States since the war evidently similar influences are at work here.

Saw Osmeña for a few moments, handsome and smiling as of yore.

Professor Africa of the University of the Philippines, the head of the Department of Students of Foreign Relations, called on me to enquire whether the “supervision and control” of the United States over the foreign affairs of the Philippines prevented the establishment of separate Philippine Consulates. Told him I would get Quezon’s opinion, but my own opinion was that it could be done if Philippine Consuls were to deal only with Philippine ships, matters of citizenship and of commerce. I then told him of the question which the American judge at Shanghai recently asked me: “what am I to do if Filipinos now claim extraterritorial rights here?”

A. D. Williams came in to enquire whether there was any basis for Quezon’s newspaper statement that it was being considered whether to build main roads in Mindanao, or railroads, which would cost ten times as much and probably be a heavy loss. We agreed that roads were the modern solution, and that a railroad was only justified if leading to a mine or other heavy industry. He had told Quezon of the failure of the Bureau of Science to get a 6,000 peso machine to manufacture quinine for the Bukidnon plantation. Quezon took up the phone and ordered this done at once. Williams is greatly relieved that Quezon has now abandoned his plan of constructing another building opposite Malacañan–he has compromised on a chalet for tea parties constructed of Philippine woods, after the fashion of the forestry Exhibit at the Carnival.

Visit from Lacson, Iloilo lawyer, whom I asked what the Negros sugar planters were doing to prepare for the “sanctions” of the Tydings-McDuffie law? He replied, as they all do, “nothing, except to wait for a modification of that law–no effort is being made to lower costs of production and transportation–except talk of a harbour and wharf in Negros.” He said he had never been in favour of immediate, absolute independence; that the Visayans are all “Progresistas,” and the Tagalogs are for immediate independence. I asked him just what he meant–he replied “I am an Idealist–I want independence, but it is like wanting a beautiful woman–you want her all right, but if you have any sense, you count the cost.”

Dr Piguiging of Tanay called. He is going to work with the Bureau of Plant Industry and Bureau of Commerce on the Friar Lands question. Evidently Quezon is getting all the information he can on this subject.

Pedro Tan of Arayat and Major Santos, Assistant Chief of the Constabulary in Central Luzon called; both keen sportsmen. I asked them why the law against trapping and selling snipe was not enforced and Santos said because it added fuel to the flames of socialism–the peasants said the rich could shoot snipe and the poor couldn’t catch them. We agreed to try to get the snipe shooting season extended for next Autumn and Winter.

Santos told me of the rarity of the monkey-eating eagle of the Philippines. The British Museum had finally secured two specimens from a missionary priest in northern Luzon. Santos has one specimen, Jaronilla one and the University of Santo Tomas one. Santos also said he could prove that the “painted snipe” bred all the year around in the Philippines like the wild chicken. He believes that Balabac and Palawan had been part of Borneo at one time, as is shown by the existence of the peacock and mouse deer in those islands. Said he disapproved of “deer-sticking” in Jolo, because usually only the females and young were speared.

February 17, 1936

Call from General Sandiko whom I last saw as a speaker at my farewell banquet March 5, 1921. He had been recently with Quezon to the United States on a mission presenting the Constitution to President Roosevelt, and had been “modernized.” Is now employed on the investigation of Friar Land disputes for Quezon. His points are to try to ascertain:

(a) Who will obtain the lands when the government buys the lot and sells in parcels; and (b) how accurate the books of the Friar’s agents are; whether the rents from aparceros are all entered as income; and he would also verify the sale of mangoes. The aparcero system is that the one who clears the land pays no rent for the first three years and then six pesos annually for five years. They often sublet for a share of the crop.

Call from Zosimo Fabella who was a boy when he accompanied us in 1921 on the Eastern Exporter to Colombo. Had since been many years in the United States studying at colleges there. Comes from Pagsanan–and says coconuts are now 15 pesos a thousand–were up to 19 a few weeks ago–9 pesos at this time last year; that they raise only one drop of rice a year, in spite of irrigation, because the soil is so poor (thru flooding)–as compared to that in Tarlac Where they get 60 cavans of palay per hectare per crop while in Laguna around Pagsanan they get only 30. Said that the people are now much better pleased with Quezon, especially because of such action as the dismissal of Judge Paredes and the resignation of his second a.d.c. Major Martinez of the Constabulary. He comes from Negros and is without promotion because he had begged to remain on leave longer with his family. The politicos sought to bring pressure on Quezon on his behalf, but in vain.

Fabella told me he had been president of the election board in Pagsanan during the presidential election last year, and that they had returned all except 20 of the 350 electors of his town as having voted (for Quezon mostly), whereas only about half of them really cast their votes. Said his justification was that they feared the election of Aguinaldo, “who would not make as good a President as the average high school boy.”

Pagsanjan had been the headquarters of the Constabulary all through the bandit campaign; Fabella thinks that the bandits would have taken eight months more to round up, if it had not been for their surrender. [That Cailles had not really helped at all–it was merely artful advertising on his part. That Cailles’ wife and a partner of hers owned the gambling business of Laguna province–bribed the police and stood off the constabulary]–that during the recent anti-jueting campaign by Quezon a few of the very many joints had been raided and closed, but would soon reopen. That Cailles’ wife had an income of 6,000 pesos a month from that source, and that jueting built their fine house in Dayap in which Cailles entertained us in the Autumn. Said jueting was conducted crookedly. It is a simple game with 37 numbers in a bottle. The players bet on a combination of any two numbers as they are shaken out of the bottle.

Says the Sakdalistas talk independence because it is the only real issue they have.

February 16, 1936

Rumour heard by Doria from army officers that a group of American businessmen, of whom Julian Wolfson is said to be one–are trying to buy a yacht for Quezon to give it to him for eight months of the year. Doria replied that she did not know whether Quezon would accept it, but if he did, the businessmen need not expect in return any special favours from the government, for Quezon stood up so straight he leaned over backward; that as their first President, he was trying to establish precedents for absolutely clean and honest Government. Doria and friends went to Billikin Ball at the Carnival–only “pale faces” present–Doria comments on how sadly (decorously?) the Filipinos take their social pleasures. I replied that everything among them seemed on a minor key, but mat might only be their social manner.

P.M. Doria, Mrs. Swift and I to Montalban for tea, and we saw the bats issue at 5:45 from the limestone caves in the cliff far above–long twisting columns which came tumbling out in hugh detachments–must have been a million of them. Two small kites appeared about 10 minutes before them, and when the bats dashed out, each bird secured his supper.

February 15, 1936

Carnival starts. City full provincianos. Traffic jams on Ayala bridge simply intolerable. Certainly calesas should not be allowed to cross there at such a time.

Visit from my old acquaintance E. J. Haberer writer. German-American Jew. How much cleverer the Jews are than all the others! He will not call on Quezon because he is a devoted friend of Isauro Gabaldon. Wished to talk over the agrarian question which he considers the most important of all Philippine issues (so do I). Says there are no friar land questions–it is all a racket on the part of the church to sell dear lands at a high price and buy more land elsewhere much cheaper; also on the part of the tenants to get something for nothing. Says the days when the friar stood in the fields with a whip are gone forever. Advocates repression of the agitators, of the agents provocateurs and of the land speculators. Intensely admired Quezon’s statement to the tenants who want to work but forty days a year; that all should be obliged to raise two crops–even tho’ one is dry (maize etc.). That the food crops of the Philippines such as coconut oil should be shipped to the underfed people of Central Europe. Admires the practical achievements of the Bolsheviks, and their handling of the land question. Says “small holdings” cannot succeed because they are uneconomic; he added that homesteading is the practical solution of the land question in the Philippines. He expressed the view that the worst disaster which can overtake a man in the Philippines is to become rich–such is the bloodthirsty horde of parasites and parientes which immediately settles on him.

Bridge in p.m. with Doria, Mrs Peters and Babbitt.

February 14, 1936

Quezon appoints the National Economic Council and Government Survey Board; both have been held up for more than two months while Roxas was coyly weighing the advantages to himself in accepting or declining this work. Quezon told me only two days ago that he had abandoned the idea of the government survey board for lack of time to complete its work before the Assembly meets in June; that he wanted me to do the work superficially of course, but to give him something to show the Assembly. Yesterday when talking with Unson and Trinidad I suggested to them that they ask for a budgetary bureau to be set up within the framework provided by law for the Survey Board, and to be allowed to run on for a couple of years until they could finish the standardization, and all other technical reforms. Meanwhile, we could offer plans of consolidation and co-ordination of the different bureaus. Immediately after, they saw Quezon and I surmise the plan suggested by me went through, as they, with Paez are appointed as the new members of the Survey Board.

Talked with Hartendorp, publicity adviser; he has three plans:

(1)  To condense news of local papers for Quezon, under separate columns of approval and criticism

(2)  To post a one sheet Government “Gazette” with caricatures etc., selected from local papers, in every municipality and school in the Islands

(3)  To send one sheet of selected articles in local papers out to a list of American papers.

Talked with Lapointe about his recent trip to San Fernando, Union, to see the carnival there. He travelled 3d class in the railroad and is amusing but bitter in his criticism of the dirt and delays. Also says most of the passengers carry a revolver in the hip pocket. He mimics General Wood very well–also Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. whom he calls the “Play Boy” of the “Far East.”

Golf in p.m. at McKinley with Doria.

Talk with Palting, mail clerk in Malacañan; he lived eight years in New York, joined Tammany Hall and voted without being a citizen. Came back here at Quezon’s suggestion. Has valuable suggestions as to reorganization in the Post Office here.

General Holbrook arrives vice General Kilbourne.

February 13, 1936

Evening papers carry an account of the suicide of my old friend Manuel Earnshaw in his family mausoleum at the Cementerio del Norte. This is the second suicide in our old Tiro al Blanco group–the first was Antonio Roxas. Poor Manuel with whom I had talked several times lately, was in the depths of depression from loss of all his money &c. He was born in 1862; thus was 74 years old.

Dinner at Judge Ross’.

February 12, 1936

At office, Hartendorp, who has been appointed Adviser to the President on press matters, came in to see me–he has the next room. He suggested that Roxas had tried to drive a sharp bargain with Quezon and had been repulsed.

He told also the story of Quezon’s visit of a few days ago to the Lian Friar estate. The President asked an old man there why the tenants had burned the residence of the manager for the Friars. The old man replied that this had not been done by the tenants, but by the estate managers in order to get up a case against the tenants. Quezon replied “I am not an American Governor General–don’t tell me such nonsense. As a matter of fact, I am a Filipino, and not from Manila–I was born and brought up in a small place just like this.”

Hartendorp also told me of last Friday’s Press Conference: how somebody asked whether Judge Paredes’ petition for a rehearing of his sentence of dismissal would be entertained by the President, and Quezon had replied that since he had read a whole column editorial in the Bulletin commending his act of dismissal, this being the first time in his life he (Quezon) had not been attacked by the Bulletin, he would not forfeit this new found favor by rehearing the sentence. Then Hartendorp later advised Quezon that Robert Aura Smith had been very much flattered, and the other newspapers were jealous. Would it not be well for Quezon to compliment the other editors? (Quezon told me later he had replied: “You ass! I was sarcastically running the knife into Robt. Aura Smith–not flattering him!!!)

Quezon came back and asked me to go for a ride with him–the usual ceremonies took place which he has established for leaving Malacañan–motorcycle cops etc. Quezon went to see the High Commissioner, who was very cordial to me. Do not know the purport of their half hour talk. I chatted with Franks, Ely, Teahan, the a.d.c.’s and others of the High Commissioner’s office until Quezon and I started back to Malacañan for lunch-alone together, and about as pleasant a time as I have ever had with him; we had at least twenty hearty laughs.

He explained the whole Roxas business: he had arranged with Don Manuel to accept the post of Secretary of Finance and on February 8 wrote him a former offer of this plus power to vote Quezon’s powers of control in the Manila Railroad and the National Development Co. To his intense surprise, on his return from taking his children out for a drive at 5 p.m. (which drive he didn’t want to take) he received an answer from Roxas, which he read to me, in which Roxas thanked him but stated that in as much as he had been elected, in accordance with his own wish, a member of the Assembly from Capiz, he could not leave his constituency unless called on to do so by “unavoidable duty of the Government.” This was a shock and surprise to Quezon who at once sent him a letter saying that he (Quezon) had believed that Roxas could be more useful as Secretary of Finance than as a member of the National Assembly; that Roxas was entitled to his own opinion on the matter, and since he (Roxas) had decided against it, Quezon would accept his decision not to be a member of the Cabinet, but with regret. Thereupon Roxas hurried around and tried to chip in–said he would withdraw his letter and would serve as Secretary of Finance, but Quezon replied it was “too late” as he had already appointed de las Alas. Then Osmeña came to see Quezon and Quezon says that if he (Osmeña) had then offered to resign as Secretary of Public Instruction, he (Quezon) would have interrupted the opening of his first sentence with “I accept”; but Osmeña had no idea of resigning. Quezon says Osmeña is an “old snake, but a non-poisonous snake.” He said “I licked those fellows only a year and a half ago, but they won’t stay licked.” I told him he had enough loyal men around him to run any government, and it was unwise to count upon loyalty from his opponents. He said that the night after he got rid of Roxas he was so happy he could not sleep–he wanted to call up an old friend (me) to come and talk to him; that after staying awake until 3 a.m. he got up and worked at his desk until 6.

Next I asked him about his acceptance of “Mike” Elizalde’s resignation of the presidency of the National Development Co. He replied that “Mike” had been the largest contributor to Quezon’s campaign fund in the election for the Presidency; that “like the Republicans in the United States, he had expected in return to run my administration, and so I dropped him.”

Next Quezon described his recent interview with Hausserman, Marsman and Andres Soriano, the three leaders in gold mining here. He told them he was in favour of developing the natural resources of the Islands; that he was also in favour of a fair return to investors. That all three of them had contributed to his campaign fund but if they believed that gave them a right to do as they pleased under his administration they were in for a rude awakening. That if they found existing laws unfair or unworkable, they should come to him and they would find a “sympathetic” listener when they were proposing amendments, but that if they or their clever lawyers tried to evade the law, they would go to jail. He said from the aftereffects of this conversation, they seemed to be very well pleased with the outlook.

Next, I took up with him the question of his attitude to the newspapers–a point on which he and I seem to be entirely congenial. He said he had agreed to the Friday interviews, and enjoyed them. That when he had been questioned and had answered, and another question was put he had “refused to be cross-examined” which produced a sympathetic laugh. I urged him to bend a little to avoid the nibbling of squirrels which might impair the confidence he was gradually inspiring in his own people. But he continues to scorn the press. I said I was just like him and had never crooked the knee to the newspapers.

Then we reverted to Hartendorp, and Quezon said he had received news from him a day or two ago that Scandal was going to publish an article about him and Miss. “That sweet girl” Quezon added. He told Hartendorp to let it be published, and I recalled the Duke of Wellington’s answer: “Publish and be damned.” Quezon replied that he never objected to this sort of scandal “because they always get the wrong woman or the wrong place.”

Then Quezon told me that the law permitting him to reorganize the Government had been drafted by Roxas who was to have undertaken the job. That he regretted he had allowed this to happen, because Singson told him it had taken six months of the hardest work of his life to reorganize only the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources–and even then his doorstep was always crowded with weeping wives and children. So, Quezon asks me to draft a “superficial reorganization,” so as to have something to show to the Assembly when it convenes in June; he will give me the appropriation and personnel. “We” he added, “will really reorganize the government two or three years hence.”

His mind is set on our vacation trip in April to Moroland when he “will be through establishing his Government firmly and can relax.”

Golf at McKinley later with Doria and call on Felicia Howell.

February 11, 1936

Morning paper discussed whether Roxas’ refusal indicated a split in the coalition; also announced the resignation of “Mike” Elizalde as head of the National Development Co.

Off at 8 a.m. with Doria and Professor H. Otley Beyer for an all-day trip around Laguna de Bay, thru Rizal and Laguna Provinces. Beyer showed us various sites of his archaeological excavations. Bagas is the oldest continuously inhabited village in the Philippines, dating from neolithic times. He showed us various old Spanish churches on the eastern shores of the Laguna, of which the most interesting is at Morong. The priest who built that in 1640 had evidently come from Acapulco in the galleons –the facade of the tower was designed by him– an odd mixture of Renaissance and Rococo, and with designs of windows and cornices of Maya patterns.

The road around the eastern side of Laguna de Bay has been opened only two years. In my time, this region was a mere backwater gone to decay. But the immense old semi-ruled churches in every poblacion show how rich the church was there in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Beyer pointed out to us underground caves still inhabited today and first used as homes in the iron age. Modern history began there in the twelfth century with the invasion of foreign (Javanese, later Moro) conquerors, who drove the lake-dwellers up into the hills behind. Those whom they dispossessed were of the Indonesian type we know today as Ifugaos, and all the surrounding hills are still marked by the ruins of stone-dyked rice terraces, many of which we examined. We saw in Tanay the old ceremonial tree with a surrounding stone platform, just as is found among the Ifugaos today. The platform had been kept up by the villagers without any thought of their animist ancestors. To the east of us –perhaps 50 miles to the Pacific was “unexplored” country, the home of negritoes and remontados –this belt stretches about 400 miles to the north. We passed the country where the recent bandit campaign was conducted. Then to Pagsanjan –the rich coconut country and so to Lillo on the slopes of Banahao. San Pablo with its crater lake –country with bamboo like those, so Beyer says, in Celebes.

Beyer remarked that the Sakdalista movement is only marking time. That during the recent depression, the people in these provinces were lucky if they made twenty-five pesos in cash a year –that a peseta was big money to them; that they were worked upon by agitators, who ased them whether their conditions had improved in the thirty years of American occupation– then they dwelt on the faults of provincial officials, and told them the two peso cedula tax each man paid went to the rich politicians in Manila for their entertainments and automobiles. The bright spot of it all was that the price of copra had risen again now, and even at the very worst, these people never starved –they could live off the country.

We had passed over the high hills on the peninsula of Jala-Jala made famous by La Gironiere; the hinterland is still uninhabited, and the jungle comes right down to the new mountain road.

When, in 1913, I first met Beyer he was stationed among the Ifugaos and has, I am told, an Ifugao wife –so, I asked him questions about what “modern” civilization had done for them in a quarter century. He said that the situation was delicate –that they had three grievances: (1) government interference with their tribal customs; (2) sanitation and (3) schools.

That having a sense of humour, they laughed at themselves over the new sanitary regulations, but that the school question was difficult. The first barrio schools were introduced there by Secretary Denison in my time, say 1915 or 16 –then the elders of the villages were begging for schools– they promised to build the house for the teacher and to feed him. About two years later, they began to balk and to withdraw their children –these formerly had learned at home to play at building rice terraces and Ifugao houses –something useful for every Ifugao to know, but now they were learning to play baseball, or basket ball– things useless for an Ifugao. Besides, they were taught in school to despise some of the immemorial customs of their parents. Finally the only children who were allowed by their parents to go to school were those rounded up by the policeman and marched there. Then came the burning of the teachers’ houses and reprisals of a burnt village by Governor Dosser.

At Morong (or was it at Pillia?)  the young parish priest, namely Prince Troubestskoy who recently succeeded the Baron de Steuer, came down from the convento and begged us to enter and “have a whisky” because he had no beer. Then he asked Beyer to give him the dates of his church, and Beyer replied –foundation in 1585, church really started in 1640– fortifications around it in 1696.

Beyer said that in San Pablo there had been 15 couples, rich Filipinos who had married American wives, who made up a society of their own. Only two of these marriages had been conspicuously succesful. He and I agreed that a mixture of races produced the greatest social and mental movement –that a pure race tended to become mentally stagnant.

To diversify the diet and elevate the morale of the mountain peoples, Beyer advocates goats and sheep –the only animals which could live in those mountains– there are no beasts of prey in the Philippines.

Said the problem in Nueva Viscaya was the two thousand square miles inhabited by the Ilongots –among them no Christians cared to settle, and the one thousand square miles now densely inhabited by Christians.

Apparently, Beyer is now writing busily, a task to which I have often nagged him.

Further observations by Beyer were:

Roxas is very ambitious and is unwilling to risk being Secretary of Finance with the prospect of an unbalanced budget –also, the political situation in the United States may influence him.

The Spanish priests under Legaspi (1560-90) brought the remontados, (Ifugao type) down from the mountains on the Pacific coast to settle again in their former homes on the lake-side whence the Moro pirates had driven them out a century or two earlier.

Dean C. Worcester and David P. Barrows fell out in 1904, and the Department of Ethnology was tossed about for years like a baseball.

J.D. Rockefeller, Jr. was taken out for a ride from Pasig towards Montalban in 1922 by the advice of Dr. Heiser –the road was always 6 in. deep in dust, and there was lots of tuberculosis– Rockefeller offered to pay the cost of a new road; Governor Wood declined the offer, but the road was built by the government.

Governor General Stimson took the funds set aside for the new bridge we had planned across the Pasig above Malacañan for some other public works project in which he was interested—hence the traffic jam and dangerous situation of Ayala bridge which is being now, since a year, incompetently and wastefully doubled in width.

When we passed Muntinlupa, where the new “Bilibid” is being established, I told Beyer how Santos had already planted one hundred and fifty prisoners who are picked men, to labor there, without guards. Doria expressed surprise, but Beyer joined me in explaining that the “criminal classes” in the Philippines contained very few of our type of jail birds –that many of them were there for offenses artificially created by Spain or American taboos and entirely at variance with their own traditional standards. That in consequence, in most cases no great stigma attached among them to a prison sentence.

Beyer also said that Paredes was an Indonesian type, not unlike the Hawaiian which is frequently in Ilocos; that Bocobo was probably a negrito type –rather snappy  for the President of the University of the Philippines!