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Philippine History Part II – State. Section 3 – Philippine Commonwealth

Quezon and McArthur

Based on the Tydings-McDuffie Act and the resulting Constitutional Convention in 1934, the Philippine Commonwealth and the 1935 Constitution were created. Presidential elections were held and won by Manuel L. Quezon (Nacionalista Party), with Emilio Aguinaldo (National Socialist Party) and Gregorio Aglipay (Republican Party) behind them. The National Defense Act was passed, with the Office of the Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines under General Douglas MacArthur, who was appointed to be Field Marshal of the Philippine Army.

Aguinaldo and Quezon in 1935

Aguinaldo and Quezon in 1935


McArthur inducts the Philippine Army Air Corps in 1941 at Camp Murphy, now Camp Aguinaldo

 MacArthur had the intention of making the Philippines self-reliant in its defense:

“A small fleet will have distinct effect in compelling any hostile force to approach cautiously. The only naval task is that of inshore defense. This will be provided by flotillas of fast torpedo boats, supported by an air force”

“These islands have enormous defensive advantages. Luzon has only 2 areas where a hostile army could land. Each of these positions is broken by strong defensive positions.”

“When developed the Philippine Army will be strong enough to oppose any conceivable expeditionary force. By 1946, the Islands will be in a favorable posture of defensive security.”

President Manuel L. Quezon built up the state with a number of impressive measures in the areas of social justice, agrarian reform, education and giving women the right to vote.

Tagalog was adopted as the basis for the national language, Filipino. The COMELEC was established in 1940.

The Japanese invaded in late 1941 and interrupted all of this.

The Japanese occupation

Jose P. Laurel

Jose P. Laurel

Luis Taruc

Luis Taruc

MacArthur, Quezon and Osmeña left the Philippines. The remaining combined Filipino and American troops surrendered in May 1942.

 Quezon and Osmeña set up a government-in-exile, while the Japanese set up a puppet government under Jose P. Laurel. Sergio Osmeña became President of the government-in-exile after Quezon died of tuberculosis in the United States.

The Japanese met with enormous resistance from guerrila groups: Philippine Army soldiers, USAFFE soldiers and Filipino Muslims. American submarines supplied some groups. The communist Hukbalahap were also formed under Luis Taruc in Central Luzon.

Former Katipunan General Artemio Ricarte, also known as “El Vibora” (The Viper), returned from Japanese exile. He was instrumental in setting up the Makapili, who cooperated with the Japanese Kempetai – as informers against the guerrilas.

All of this plus food shortages and severe inflation made times very difficult. Some people were place into internment camps. Numerous atrocities were commited against civilians by the Japanese Imperial Army.

McArthur returns

MacArthur, Kenney and Sutherland

Lt. General Kenney, Lt. General Sutherland, President Osmeña, General MacArthur

In October 1944, McArthur landed in Leyte with President Osmeña. Manila was reconquered in February to March 1945 but was heavily devastated, especially the old Spanish quarter of Intramuros. Japanese troops massacred, raped and mutilated countless people.

The Philippines Campaign retook all major Philippine islands by April, yet fighting continued until final Japanese surrender in August 1945. The last Japanese holdout was found in Mindoro jungles in 1974.

President Osmeña restored the Commonwealth. The Philippines became a founding member of the United Nations and the IMF. In the last Commonwealth Presidential election held in 1946, Sergio Osmeña (Nacionalista Party) lost against Manuel Roxas (Liberal Party). Roxas was instrumental in facilitating approval of the Bell Trade Act, which granted the United States preferential terms in trade in exchange for rebuilding funds.

On the 4th of July 1946, the Philippines became formally independent, yet strongly bound to the United States by military bases and trade agreements. The state was damaged but fully formed. The nation was still to go through many trials.

One of the technical assistants to President Manuel Roxas was a then 29 year old lawyer named Ferdinand Marcos, who was at that time still with the Liberal Party. Before the war, Marcos had passed his bar exam and successfully defended himself from prison against charges of murdering his father’s political rival…

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, June 12, 2015.

P.S. In-depth related articles: (will be updated as they appear)

Series on McArthur by guest author Bill in Oz:

I am working on a Quezon biography. Manong sonny is working on a history of the Commonwealth Army.

63 comments to Philippine History Part II – State. Section 3 – Philippine Commonwealth

  • Diary of Francis Burton Harrison, June 11, 1936:

    Arrived early in Jolo. The party went off to tour the island, while Quezon took me swimming to a beach half an hour by motor from Jolo, an ideal strand and cool crystal water. This is the only proper swimming place we have yet found. We were followed by Major Gallardo and six soldiers, who were posted at sharpest attention facing back from the beach on to the jungle. There have been three killings this week in Jolo–one of a soldier by a juramentado..

    I told Quezon that the closest parallel to his constructive work was that of Mustapha Kemal in Turkey, who has given perhaps the best example today of government work in modernizing and organizing an Asiatic race. He replied: ”Yes! he is more like me than anybody else.” He has evidently been studying Kemal’s career. Quezon added: “the chief difference between us is the religious one–he is a Mohammedan and I a Christian.” I remarked that Kemal had separated Church and State. “Yes, but the religious difference between us, however superficial the religion of each of us, permits him a different behaviour. We both love to gamble, but I refrain from doing so–Kemal seeks his excitement, when government affairs are quiet, in the underworld, drinking with the lowest men and frequenting the coarsest women.” I remarked: “Well, Kemal is not a gentleman.” Quezon replied “Neither am I,–I come from the common people.” He went on to say that Kemal, like himself had an “unbalanced nervous character,” but while Kemal satisfied his tendencies in abovementioned ways, Quezon restrained himself. He agreed with my remark that he (Quezon) would not be so well if he did not have all these troubles and excitements of political life with which to contend..

    • sonny

      PiE, this is an important factoid coming from Harrison, Quezon & Ataturk (Mustapha Kemal). It shows that Muslims, Christian and other reps can and must come together for the sake of peace and order because of divisive allegiances that separate each concerned. Muslims carry their lenses of belief (Qur’an)and public morality (Sharia) as do the Christians (Bible, Catechism). The common ground is a secular democracy and the Constitution.

      • by Amir Mawallil

        Several weeks ago, I was browsing on social media as a break from my daily fasting this Ramadan. One recurring pattern among social media users was this ardent imposition of some Mindanaoan social media users from various non-Muslim cities and municipalities in Mindanao of the “Mindanao-ness” of the imposition of martial law in Marawi City. The argument highlighted that Filipinos from Luzon and other parts of the country were not entitled to their own opinion because—as the argument said—they are not from here.

        I could have been a willing defender of the argument of my fellow Mindanaoans that only people from Mindanao are privileged to speak in behalf of the people in Marawi City. I found it to be a sinister approach on making Filipinos from other parts of the country become passive readers of this carnage in Marawi City and assign a victim role to the residents of the city as the rest of Mindanao, especially those who were safe in privileged situations, took the role of spokespersons. I had to disagree.

        Filipinos from the rest of the country—those in Luzon, Manila, and other parts of the Philippines cannot be just a spectator in terrorism, especially now, in this situation wherein Muslim communities are in a vulnerable position. We have to make them an active participant in critically deciphering the meaning of all this. We cannot allow the Maute group and their cohorts impose on our countrymen what they are supposed to see, think, and understand while a major city in the country is destroyed slowly by violence and terrorism.
        What a Mindanaoan can do is expand the space for more critical engagement so people across the country can find a common ground to agree to disagree on how to make something of the many meanings that can be understood from the terrorist attack in Marawi.
        The Maute group wants to separate us, hijack our discourse while it is shattered by divisions, and impose their terrorist agenda on our collective consciousness.

        Mindanao, the place and the imagined community, carries several voices, narratives, and histories. To assign a single narrative, voice, and community as the spokesperson to homogenize this place and imagined community is a trap that we are trying to escape collectively since the time of Marcos. To homogenize is to silence other voices and to some degree, to revise Mindanao’s multi-layered history. To argue that you are from Mindanao objectifies the narratives of the Bangsamoro struggle and the struggle of the lumad, and limits them as they try to acquire more expanded spaces for their own claim in the grand narrative of Mindanao. Let the people of Marawi City speak for themselves, for their struggles—and let them speak to the nation as their voices are not muted as the center of power in Mindanao and in the capital in Luzon thought them to be.


    Diary of Basilio J. Valdes December 8, 1941 – Monday

    At 6 a.m. General Sutherland phoned me that the Japanese had treacherously attacked Pearl Harbor at 5 a.m. and consequently the U.S. and Philippine Forces were in a state of war with Japan. I notified by phone all the members of my General Staff. Rushed to the office. At 9 a.m. I received news that Japanese planes had bombarded Davao Harbor and Airfield, destroying them. At 12.20 p.m. the Air Raid alarm was sounded. Japanese planes bombarded Clark field killing and wounding many and destroying 17 bombers and other smaller planes. At 4 p.m. Japanese planes attacked the Airfield at Iba Zambales, destroying some U.S. Army planes, and killing and wounding some soldiers.

    The night between December 8 to December 9 was bad. The moon was shining brilliantly, the night was very clear, making military targets very visible. Air Raid alarms were sounded 3 times. The enemy planes attacked Nichols Field and Fort McKinley.


      Diary of Basilio J. Valdes December 9, 1941 – Tuesday

      People of Manila nervous trying to leave Manila for a place away from aerial bombardment. Those who owned cars rushed frantically to towns near Manila. Those who did not own means of transportation were willing to pay exorbitant prices for trucks and automobiles. Prominent families moved either to Antipolo, Taytay, Marikina or San Mateo and Montalban. Some even moved to Los Baños and towns in Bulacan.

      My girl, Charito(Nucay) must have caught cold during the night, while rushing out of the house during the raids. She developed fever and cough.

      At 11 a.m. while I was in my office the air-raid alarm was sounded. The Japanese planes entered Manila and passed over Philippine Army Headquarters in a beautiful formation, in two waves, one of 26 planes and another of 28 planes. They flew directly to Cavite Navy Yard and bombarded it severely. They destroyed most of the buildings there, part of the oil deposit and part of the old historical town of Cavite. Admiral Rockwell narrowly escaped death when the Commandancia was hit. He saved himself by jumping into a deep canal and staying there until the bombing was over. He lost all his clothes and other belongings. His cook was killed, a Filipino who loyally stood to his post.


        Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P. December 10, 1941

        Tonight the few interns stayed with us because they did not have any place to go, and the Fathers brought their things down to the ground floor. Fr. McGuiness and myself decided not to bring our belongings down, since we were very tired from the activities of the day.

        The siren sounded twice. The second time it did not awaken me. Morpheus was stronger than the plaintive whining of the siren.

        The government has advised the people to evacuate to the suburbs. The roads teem with thousands of evacuees and military traffic. Meanwhile, all means of communication with other provinces are disrupted, and for aliens, the only way of communicating abroad is by radiogram. There is no telegraph, no telephone, no radio communications. Fr. Honorio and Fr. Diaz boarded a boat for Negros together with the eight Arnaiz brothers and a number of interns. Luckily the boat official decided not to sail.


    Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P. December 7, 1941

    These past weeks, a whirl of speculation passes through the public mind. There are those who cling to unbelief over the possibility of an impending dispute in the Far East; and others—the majority—who hold on to the certainty that the imminent tempest is inevitable.


    Diary of Albert E. Holland December 4, 1944

    It is reliably reported that a few days ago. Shiragi & Kamatsu refused to allow into camp a truck which was loaded with beans, eggs. milk, fruit for the children & the sick -The supplies had been purchased by neutrals outside – It cost the Japanese nothing – this is sheer cruelty and meanness – They intend to starve us – If this goes on, they’ll succeed -No matter how strong the spirit, the body is becoming weaker all the time


    Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P. – October 26, 1944

    The soldiers are commandeering horses, calesas, bicycles and push carts, and the people are forced to hide them. As a consequence, there is an even greater lack of transportation in Manila. This is a sign that the Japanese are running short of motorized vehicles. The trucks which they had confiscated at the start of the war are reduced to junk. They are now willing to pay ₱200,000.00 for an automobile of a reputable brand in running condition, and ₱400,000.00 for a good truck. The only cars moving about are those which are being used by the officers and ministers. There are many other cars, but their owners have dismantled them, hoping to drive them around again when the Leyte invaders arrive.

    Private trucks are very few due to lack of fuel. A trip to Baguio costs from ₱50,000 to ₱70,000..

    Due to lack of transportation and to air raids, the food problem is becoming acute. Rice costs ₱4,000 to ₱5,000 a sack, if it is at all available. Bananas are sold at ₱3 to ₱4 each, eggs at ₱10 or ₱12, a kilo of camote at ₱40, a kilo of meat at ₱150. People are opting for carabao meat, as it costs only ₱110. Mongo, corn and beans are as scarce as rice. In short, prices soar with each air raid. Hunger is widespread in Manila, and the aged, women and children dying of starvation are a common sight. All are praying to God to shorten this period of transition.


      Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P. – October 27, 1943

      Our guests were leaving the College, going French style. They took with them all that was theirs and all that was ours. Among the latter were chairs, beds, tables, cabinets, the refrigerator, bulbs, lamp shades, all amounting to thousands of pesos, specially now that they were irreplaceable. We were disillusioned by the belief that independence would extend to us the pleasure of having our whole building back. But other soldiers were coming in with beds on their shoulders and installing themselves in the divested building. They were sure to be groping in the dark tonight, as their predecessors took all the bulbs with them. It seemed that it was common practice among these soldiers to leave nothing behind whenever they transferred quarters. One of them, whom we approached in complaint and protest, justified such conduct saying that when General Kuroda had to leave the palace of the American High Commissioner which was converted into the Japanese Embassy, all the furniture was taken out, and Mr. Murata had to stay at the Manila Hotel until the Embassy had been refurbished.


        Diary of Felipe Buencamino III – October 29, 1944

        Went to Mass with Mama and Neneng at 6:30. It was still dark. We didn’t bow before the sentry and he said nothing. Maybe he was in a happy mood. The Japs are in a happy mood. Their Propaganda Corps has been telling them for the last four days of great naval victories in Sulu Sea. Our Jap neighbors were drinking and feasting last night and shouting “Banzai! Banzai!”. Right now I can hear the radio saying something about outstanding victories in the waters east of the Philippines and that the American fleet is almost entirely crippled. Now he is boasting that MacArthur’s troops are stranded on Leyte. (Wait, I hear the roar of planes, many planes)

  • Diary of Francis Burton Harrison September 15, 1936

    uezon asks the Assembly to permit the recall of the “Chinese book-keeping” bill, as he will not veto it if passed, but asks that the Chinese be given a term (2-3 years?) to prepare!! This is a bill already mentioned in the preceding pages of this diary, which requires Chinese in the Philippines to keep their accounts for tax inspection in English, Spanish or a native dialect. The Herald, Tribune and Bulletin commend his action editorially. As this is the law for which he and I fought so hard nearly twenty years ago, and the unconstitutionality of which as declared by the United States Supreme Court caused Quezon to denounce savagely to me only three months ago the legal decisions of both Chief Justice Taft and Justice Johnson,–that is, to say the least, a most extraordinary reversal on Quezon’s part. The power to make this law is now said to be existent under the new Commonwealth constitution. It is very sad for me to see him jettison one of the principles which he held most ardently. He now gives somewhat the appearance of a man riding a bucking broncho–not of a leader.


    Most of the Filipinos who first settled in Santa Clara Valley in the 1920s and early ‘30s were Ilocanos. One of the last of them still alive is Esteban (“Steve”) Cabebe Catolico, a WWII veteran of the 1st Filipino Infantry Regiment who survived his older brother Mariano Cabebe Catolico (1909-2009).

    Mariano, who immigrated in 1928, and Esteban were cousins of my stepfather Dalmacio (“Danny”) Laya Cabebe (1914-2008), whose first wife was my mother Mária (“Mary”) Vidal (Lapaz, Abra; 1907-1970). The three Pinoys were from Barangay Pantoc, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, and remained close, life-long cohorts working for and retiring in the City of Palo Alto. They were active in the fraternal organization Caballeros de Dimas-Alang, Malvar Lodge No. 7, San Jose, California, and in the Pantoc Association.

    Dan, who immigrated in 1930, passed away a few months short of 94 years of age, and Mariano 12 months later, missing 100 years by a little over a month. That left his brother Esteban now 103, as probably the last of the pre-Tydings-McDuffie Law (“The Philippine Independence Act” of 1934) immigrants who lived near or frequented the now-vanished “Pinoytown” enclave in San Jose’s old Chinatown…

    These three First Wave Ilocanos are a part of the “un-storied” generation as there was no organized effort to document their early life experiences. Fortunately, we were able to video-record, for our history project, the life stories of Mariano and Esteban in person. We also recorded the history of some of their deceased peers, including Dan, through their children, the Fil-Am “Generasian,” who are now in their 80s and often referred to today as the mánongs and mánangs.

    Most of the Ilocanos I knew in the 1930s and ‘40s were employed as farm laborers or service sector workers who had only an elementary school, or maybe a junior high equivalent education — 6th grade for my father Sergio (“Sharkey;” Pañgada, Santa Catalina, Ilocos Sur; 1907-1994), none for my mother (even with no formal education she could converse in Tagalog, Visayan and English, besides Ilocano). The three Pinoy boys were products of an educational system of the WWI era, less than two decades under American rule.


    Diary of Ramon A. Alcaraz June 19, 1941

    Things are getting interesting. In answer to Washington’s order closing all German consulates in USA, today Germany and Italy order closure of all US Consulates.


    Diary of Victor Buencamino June 16, 1942

    Talked to Fukada regarding Mr. Inada. I told Fukada that Inada must be told to change his arrogant ways. He cannot treat Filipinos like dogs. Personally, he has not been rude to me. But I resent his rudeness to fellow Filipinos.

    Fukada asked me to be patient.

    The Japanese are thinking of introducing Hori rice. They are excited about it. Hori rice seems more glutinous.


    Diary of Victor Buencamino June 13, 1942

    Mr. Fukada ordered the removal of all pictures of President Manuel Quezon from the Naric. He explained that this was in line with a suggestion issued by Malacañan a month ago.


    Diary of Francis Burton Harrison June 12, 1936

    All day at sea. Worked in the morning on Landlord & Tenant bill. Bridge with Quezon, Roxas and Sabido. At Dumaguete from 4-5 p.m. to allow four Visayan Assemblymen to disembark. Quezon again put Osmeña forward to receive the honors. The President took Speth, Assemblyman Villanueva and me by motor out to see the hot springs. Many attractions in this neighbourhood. They have a “Baguio” at 3000 feet on the extinct volcano–very rich soil, and 70,000 people in or near the town; Quezon agreed that there is sufficient population here to make a chartered city with a decent hotel, this could be developed into a tourist resort. There is a crater lake, also limestone caves which are a great site for archaeology–evidences of iron, gold and sulphur exist hereabouts. They have a successful Methodist university, the Silliman. Quezon asked me many questions about Dr. Otley Beyer–evidently wants to be informed of the ancient history of the Philippines. Said he himself had Ilongot blood through his mother. There are many mestizas in Dumaguete–it appears that when the Spanish liberals were exiled to Mexico, some of them drifted out here and to Zamboanga. Quezon remarked that they did a good job!

    Quezon talked of the Public Service Commission which as he recalled was one of the progressive acts of my Administration, intended to protect the public, but had turned out exactly the opposite; said the Supreme Court under Johnson had entirely rewritten our law; remarked that he ought to have been on the Supreme Court himself. Has now put Vera as Public Service Commissioner to try to get things more decently run. I told him there was general dissatisfaction with this commission.

    At dinner, the President talked with me confidentially about Osmeña & Roxas. He had been very reluctant to oust Osmeña as the leader in the days when I was here (as I was then urging him to do) for it would have been said that he had gained the leadership thru the support of the American Governor General. He added that he had lost Roxas to Osmeña when those two were on the “Osrox” mission to Washington–that they then believed he, Quezon, was dying. That he was reluctant even then to go to issue with Osmeña, but his Senators were “sick of O” and forced him into it. He said Osmeña is now less powerful mentally, and was not at all the man I used to know–no brilliant ideas–always coming to him for appointments, in which he (Quezon) skillfully outmaneuvers him, taking a leaf from Osmeña’s own book. I asked him why Osmeña looked so triste; whether it was his troubled family affairs (his sons)? “No” he replied–indicating that it was Osmeña’s loss of power. Said he had been ready to break with the whole lot of them over Teacher’s Camp in Baguio, even to the point of accepting the resignation of Osmeña as a Cabinet member! He thinks Roxas is the one with brains, but that he would have to break him if he went on organizing “his fellows.” Quezon said he could not let down his own supporters, who had “made him President.”


      Diary of Francis Burton Harrison June 13, 1936

      At sea–caucus between Quezon and members of the Legislature. Most convincing evidence of good will and cooperation of the executive and legislature upon a high level of intelligence. The President’s method of address to the Assembly was perfect:–extreme seriousness in presenting his plans, and terminating many a subject with a pretty wit which brought roars from his audience. I believe he will get his whole program through, and very progressive it is: increased income tax and inheritance tax; increased taxes upon the mining industry (where not still in the exploration stage); change of cedula into “school tax”; progressive land tax on large estates to solve agrarian problems without the necessity of government purchase of all the Church haciendas (my contribution); regulation of transport by omnibus so as not to lose government investment in the railroad; trebling of sales tax, but to be imposed only once–and at the source. He said that without these taxes there would be only one million pesos surplus in the budget–which left nothing extra for the “pork barrel,” i.e., public works. If passed, he would see that the Assembly had at least three millions more to spend on public works. He also recommended Boards of Arbitration for fixing minimum wages, etc.–said they had been going slow heretofore in labour legislation being recommendations from the Department of Labour are “too theoretical” and might possibly cause damage greater than their good. Time, he thinks, has now come to make a beginning “for we have done nothing as yet for the labourer and small farmer.” (To my surprise, when Quezon broached his “somewhat radical” plan for a progressive land tax, Roxas who sat next me turned and said “splendid”).


        Diary of Francis Burton Harrison June 16, 1936

        Called on T. Wolff at his office to discuss his memorandum on the new cedula tax law. Finished the draft of Landlord & Tenant Bill.

        In the p.m., the Survey Board had its weekly meeting; they are framing a plan for the standardization of salaries in the Government. One of the marked characteristics of round-table conferences of Filipinos is their sense of humour. Unson, Trinidad, Paez, Rustia and Occuña were there.

        Went to the Legislative Building to hear the message of the President to the Assembly. Gratings were locked on the doors. I pushed through the crowd, got a policeman to open the door and was met by Chief of Police Antonio Torres who said the city had been “under arms” since the night before; the only people in the galleries were his secret service men. Communists were supposed to have threatened a bomb.


          Diary of Francis Burton Harrison June 18, 1936

          Saw Quezon from twelve to one o’clock in his office with Secretary Torres, Alcalde Posadas &c. He asked me about the Landlord and Tenant Bill–I told him I had left it the day before in Diokno’s office for revision–he said “It is loaded with dynamite–better telephone Diokno how confidential it is; not to let it leak out prematurely; and I want to see it before it is sent to the Assembly.” Something or somebody has been at him–this warning from him is alarming!


    Diary of Ramon A. Alcaraz June 11, 1941

    Despite Hitler’s nightly air raid, Churchill’s England keeps fighting back. Their radar system are a great help. The PA’s two elite branches, the OSP and PA Air Corps (PAAC) are busy with their training programs. Because they are located in Manila area our classmates easily maintained contact and found ethos sympathetic to our PMA experience. I became a sort of message center being stationed in Port Area and residing in Manila, among my classmates from the different PA branches far and wide.

    My classmate who kept me abreast of the goings on at PAAC is Cav Alberto “Kabayan” Aranzaso, a close chum at PMA. PAAC Hq is located at what was popularly known as Nichols Field but their specific base is called Zablan Field (now Villamor AB) named after an early pioneer, Maj Porfirio Zablan PCA ’15, who died in a plane crash. Out of the 32 class ’40 that tried out, 17 finally got their wings. Tomas Tirona was the first to solo flight while Nolasco Escobar with his instructor Maniquis, crashed, killing Maniquis and an Air Field was named after him. Escobar survived and got his wings.

    To date, my 17 PAAC classmates are assigned to various post participating in rigorous training. Alberto Acena and Pedro Baban are with the 9th Obsvn Sqdn in Cebu; Mariano Punzalang, Pedro Bartolome, Crisosostomo Monta, and Damian Pavon are with the 7th Adv Trng Sqdn Maniquis Field, Cabanatuan, as flight instructors: Bartolome Cabangbang, Alberto Aranzaso, Urbano Caldoza, Horacio Farolan, and Pedro Aragon are with the 6th Pursuit Sqdn under 1st Lt Jesus Villamor; Tomas Tirona was appointed Comdt PAAC Basic Flying School with Lauro Ello, Nolasco Escobar, Victor Osias, and Epifanio Segovia as Flight Instructors.


      Diary of Ramon A. Alcaraz June 16,1942

      he Malolos Women’s Club under the leadership of Mrs. Cristina Magsaysay Cuenca continues to help the Malolos POWs. As mentioned before, when they found out that we were sleeping on bare cold concrete prison floors during our early days here, they lost no time providing each of us mattresses and other beddings including mosquito nets. Today Mrs. Cuenca accompanied by her able assistant, Miss Luming Flor R. Cruz (whose brother, Perico, is graduating from West Point this month) visited us. I learned from them that they have already made two trips each to Camp O’Donnell and Camp Cabanatuan bringing medicine. They told us the deplorable conditions of POWs at O’Donnell where daily deaths are reported at 400 to 500. Other Ladies Group leaders performing similar civic assistance to POWs at Camp O’Donnell Mrs. Cuenca mentioned are Mrs. Josefa Llanes Escoda, Mrs. Pilar Hidalgo Lim (wife of Gen. Vicente Lim) and Miss Lulu Reyes, a prominent social worker of Ermita well known to OSP student officers of Class ’41 that boarded with her.


    Diary of Charles Mock Thursday June 10, 1943

    Messrs. Gimmel, Kodaki and Kuroda came up from Manila today and are staying to look things over for a few days. Worked in the Y today and find it improving to the point where it will (be) livable in few days. More liquor trouble. Monitors meeting tonight on the subject—certain incorrigibles are to be isolated in a separate compound, we mean isolated this time. No confirmation on the barracks collapse of yesterday, but it is probable that at least one did go down.


      Diary of Charles Mock Friday June 11, 1943

      For about the 20th successive lunch, excepting last Sunday, we had beans, black brown or mongo, for lunch. They just put in a spoonful of camote or squash for the sugar value. Imagine a leveled tablespoon of sugar per day per man. The evening chow is pretty good, always stew, but a lot of meat—there is meat in the noon beans too, “Goddamn seldom.” Bill and I usually have some fruit at night or make coconut milk and cut up bananas or mangoes on the rice (left over) with a few peanuts and sugar on top. It makes an edible mess. What a time we’re going to have eating after this. I haven’t been weighed lately, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not gaining too much weight…


        Diary of Charles Mock Sunday June 13, 1943

        Tomorrow we move to the Y, a month ago we were supposed to be in within a few days. It will be quite comfortable, but I’d prefer to stay right here. Bill mixed some grated coconut and mashed bananas with sugar for desert, quite a tasty mess. The bus returned tonight with food supplies, our notes go down tomorrow or the next day. I hope you don’t have any trouble with the peanut butter, I don’t like to ask you for anything, but we would like some of that stuff! The boys drew for spaces in the Y this morning and there was comparatively little argument. Marked and numbered the spaces this afternoon. There is indication that they’re trying to complete 10 barracks and move in an experiment; if that happens the next group from Santo Tomas will number about 400-500 and will come up about the middle of next month; we’ll see how much of a guesser I am. I certainly wish it was all over.


    Diary of Francis Burton Harrison June 9, 1936

    Quezon made an excellent talk to the Assemblymen just before our arrival at Davao: he spoke in Spanish and first called attention to their visit to Cotobato, and said that the former army post at Parang should be the capital not only of Cotobato but of all Mindanao. That it was equidistant from Zamboanga, Lanao and Davao. He then turned to the Davao question giving a very carefully worded exposition of the burning question of the day: he said “there is no Davao question,” and that the press had been guilty of irritating public opinion both in Japan and the Philippines. “It shows how the newspapers can embroil nations, even to the point of war,” he said, “but there is nothing in Davao which threatens Filipino rights nor the economic position of the country. If there is no Davao question there is a Davao situation, which is not to be sneezed at. By their handling of this matter, the Filipinos will be judged as to their ability and sense of justice in dealing with foreign nationals.” He went on to say that: “The Executive branch of this Philippine Government has examined the situation very carefully, with a determination to solve this matter with the Assembly. It is not desirable, nor is it necessary for the legislators to examine into this matter today.”


    Diary of Fidel Segundo June 1, 1939 Thursday

    Meeting at Malacañan. Present — President and Secretary Vargas, the full staff of the Military Adviser and the members of the general staff. Valdez, Lim Garcia and myself. The pres. addresses the council by saying that from time to time he will call this body together and discuss important matter in the manner of a war council. He talked on three subjects, namely concentration, cadres for training purposes (my general study) compulsory R.O.T.C. units for all universities and quartering R.O.T.C. cadets in government owned barracks. On the subject of concentration, he says that as a result of his inspection he is virtually convinced that concentration is the proper thing. MacArthur tried to present his side by saying that the scattered cadres were decided upon in order to develop nationalism in the various localities. The pres. stopped him short by saying that the development of nationalism among the people is a political phase of the national defense and not a military phase, and as the political head of the nation, he is charged with this mission and the MacArthur confine himself strictly to the military phase. He told MacArthur that in his national defense planning he should disregard political influences. The president himself will face the legislature and the people in such subject. After the discussion, MacArthur promised to present to him in a month a plan for concentration. (MacArthur argument in developing nationalism by the scattered cadres is falacious. A man develops nationalism irrespective of where he trains and the influence of such a soldier is the same whether he trains at home or in some other locality) On the subject of compulsory R.O.T.C. trainings for all universities, the president says that his secretary of justice has rendered his opinion that the president is empowered to compell all universities to establish R.O.T.C. units. MacArthur remarked that it was probably necessary to compell them as he was advised by the general staff of the willingness of the heads of the institution to establish on invitation such R.O.T.C. units; nevertheless the president says that he is going to issue an executive order compelling all institution to establish R.O.T.C. units. On the subject of quartering cadets in government owned barracks, MacArthur said that he will have that subject more closely studied, and a report will be rendered to the president.

  • karlgarcia

    An article on The Proclamation of Philippine Independence.

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