Tuesday, January 19, 2010

JAPANESE PIONEERS in the Northern Philippine Highland

JAPANESE PIONEERS in the Northern Philippine Highland.  In the early years of the 20th century, American government installations in the Philippines were important work sites for Japanese migrant laborers. In northern Luzon, the most ambitious of these projects resulted in the creation of Baguio and its development into the country's most famous vacation resort. The building of a highway (the “Benguet Road,” later called the Kennon Road) to connect this proposed urban center to the Manila railroad employed over a thousand Japanese men. Upon the completion of the Road in 1905, some workers went to live in the Baguio­Benguet region.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The First Filipino by Leon Ma. Guerrero

Leon Ma. Guerrero’s The First Filipino which won first prize in the biography contest sponsored by the Jose Rizal National Cen­tennial Commission in 1961 is a breath of fresh air on a worn out topic. Rizal is usually portrayed in extremes either as a sinner or a saint, but Guerrero took the middle ground and gave his read­ers a human Rizal. Guerrero’s extensive and sensitive use of Rizal’s correspondence and writings shaped a new and more human pic­ture of Rizal. It is remarkable in that the biographer usually stands aside and allows Rizal to speak for himself.