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.”