Posted at 11:32 am , on January 3, 2018
I came across this image while looking up something else. I couldn’t find the name of a photographer for it, though some say it is likely a hotel in Stockton, California, in and around 1930. Though I had read about such signs, especially in the great Carlos Bulosan book America is in the Heart, I hadn’t seen one before.
There is something visceral and powerful about this image. How dark it is. How well-used the door, floor, and walls look. It doesn’t appear to be a place of wealth; rather, it is a place on the margins of American economic security and who gets counted as belonging.
Posted at 11:48 am , on December 27, 2017
Thank you goes out to all the readers out there who’ve read my stuff, and to the editors and publisher who put my poetry and fiction out there for the world to read. Continue reading
Posted at 3:14 pm , on November 11, 2017
This is my Lolo, Maximiano Saqui Janairo, in a studio photo taken in Manila around 1930, when he was about 24 or 25 years old. On his lapel, you can see the castle emblem of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Note the shoulder patch — the gold carabao on a red field — the symbol of the Philippine Scouts.
Here’s a photo of my Lolo, Maximiano Saqui Janairo.
- 1930 graduate of U.S. Military Academy at West Point
- Commission in the Philippine Scouts
- Chief engineer with the Philippine Army in 1941
- Captured by the Japanese in April 1942
- Survived the Bataan Death March
- Prisoner of War in Camp O’Donnell
- Escaped while being transferred to a hospital for malaria and dysentery
- Joined the guerrilla units fighting the Japanese occupation
- Served in Korea during the Korean War
- Served with NATO in Paris
- Retired as a colonel, stationed at the engineer school at Fort Belvoir
- Awarded Legion of Merit “for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States from 8 December 1941 to 9 April 1942”
- Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Posted at 9:14 am , on October 31, 2017
Basketball is a huge sport in the Philippines. In trying to figure out how that happened, I came across this image in the archives University of Michigan Library Digital Collections, which includes lots of images from the early interactions of the US in the Philippines.
Posted at 8:22 pm , on October 30, 2017
First published: Sunday, October 7, 2007, in the Albany Times Union
As President Bush tries to shape his legacy in regards to the Iraq war, he should pick up David Silbey’s engaging history “A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902” (Hill and Wang; 272 pages; $26).
Though both were wars of choice, the details are quite different. Still, the generalizations that can be gleaned from Silbey’s account are eerily familiar: a quick and stunning conventional military victory turns into longer-than-expected guerrilla warfare; a failure by the United States to understand its enemy; a sense of racial superiority that enflames troops and politicians in Washington; and a native population whose loyalties seemed to change depending on the time of day.