Category Archives: Tidbits


by alex

[*this is another historical tidbit that, like all good history, still contains lessons for us today…]

I like to look at archival photos every once in awhile. There’s something about seeing images from the past that grips me. The long dead faces, and old–almost foreign–landscapes tell stories.


I was interested in this photo from 1909 instantly, two Filipino indigenous men, captives of colonized Filipino soldiers working for the Americans. One of the bound men had a look that seemed to me fearful, while the other seemed proud and defiant. The caption under the photo only told me that they were the killers of Dr. William Jones.

Who was this Dr. Jones? What was he a doctor of? What was he doing in the Phils and, presumably indigenous territory? And, of course, why was he killed? Continue reading



I had long known about the phrase “white man’s burden,” but it wasn’t until just over a year ago that I learned that it originally referred to the ‘benevolent’ American occupation of the Philippines. I cannot come close to explaining how much that affected me.

* * * * *

White Man’s Burden, by R. Kipling (published 1899).

Take up the White Man’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed–
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

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[*note: this is a quick historical overview and thus not meant to be the full story.  There is alot more of the story to tell and if you know some of it, please comment and share it with us.  I originally posted this on my own site as a teaser for a history class I was helping teach at the KPC (a class which will be beginning again in April).  I am reposting it here as much of what we have been doing on this exchange deals with Philippine history, and the Fil-Am War is a critical part of it.  Archival images courtesy of Wikipedia, and the University of Wisconsin]

Women begging for food from Americans during the Phil-Am War.

Women begging for food from Americans during the Phil-Am War.

Today’s North American news has daily reports of the debacle in Iraq. It’s just the latest in a string of US invasions into sovereign lands, but the grand-daddy of it all was in the Philippines.

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Just wanted to drop a few before breakfast. Today will be a frenzy of practice and preparation for tonight, Manila Transitio 1945.

A few days ago, before we took the official tour, Ria took us on a brief walk-through of tonight’s version of the Intramuros tour. On this beautiful Manila morning we saw, to our delight, an Anda Street. We thought, haha hey cool, we have a friend named Anda, lols, kodak tayo! But it led me to wonder, as far as I know, my dear Romanian-born friend Anda did not have a Filipino namesake. So who or what is Anda? Luckily for me, Carlos’ knowledge as an historian extends far beyond the scripts of his tours, and without even a glance at google, I had my answer. Continue reading