Tag Archives: usa


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



by alex

Jocelyn Polborido's family home.

It was 4am, the sun was still a long time from rising, and rain was falling when I woke up to make breakfast with the one other guy in the group.  We were in Balinak, Ligao, Bikol, a town at the end of the road—literally.

The single paved lane wove around the rolling hills of the land around Mt. Mayon, it ended at the basketball court of Balinak, a simple village that still consisted of many nipa hut homes, a village with a sad recent story.

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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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