Sunday, May 29, 2005

Filipino and AMerican Guerillas, Boondocks and Jazz

Dear mouse,

Tomorrow is Memorial Day-- a holiday to celebrate the bravery, heroism and sacrifice of people who fought for democracy and freedom.

In AMC,a TV channel that shows old pictures, really old...they have the MEMORIAL MOVIE MARATHON since yesterday. I did not like the movie about Mac Arthur. It's obvious that the shooting was not made in the Philippines. Mukhang Spanish ang mga Filipinong extras.

Today, they showed American Guerilla in the Philippines starring Tyrone Power.

Before I watched this movie, I came across the aarticle of Rodil Rodis, a Filipino lawyer who is in the Board of the San Francisco City College.

All along, I thought guerilla warfare started only during the Japanese period.

This is what he wrote:

The dictionary defines "boondocks" as "hinterland, remote and underdeveloped area." Derived from the Tagalog word bundok, meaning mountain, it became part of the American lexicon during the "Philippine Insurrection" that followed the Spanish-American War of 1898.

The Filipino "insurgents" resisted the American occupation of the Philippines but could not engage the superior American forces in conventional warfare. They had to wage a guerilla war mostly in the mountains as the rugged terrains offered the only strategic advantage to the Filipinos fighting for their country's independence.

Patrolling the boondocks in search of Filipino "insurgents" became the everyday assignment for US soldiers who were tasked with eliminating opposition to US rule.

Having worked in San Francisco, a stone throw away from the Union Square, this fact about how jazz originated from the Philippines also caught my attention.

I first heard about the Philippine origins of jazz from a newspaper editor named James Finefrock. I had written an op-ed piece about the Dewey Monument in the center of San Francisco's Union Square ("To the Filipinos, Dewey was no hero," San Francisco Examiner, October 30, 2000). Mr. Finefrock called to tell me that there was once a street by Union Square called "Manila Street" until a jewelry business named Shreve & Co. successfully lobbied San Francisco authorities to rename the street "Maiden Lane" after the London street where jewelers hawk their merchandise.

And I have been stopping that place to admire the jewelries in the display windows.

So back to the movie, these are the things I learned:

1.When the Filipino guerilla built the communication system, it was received by the military headquarters in San Francisco.

2.Para bang e-mail ngayon. Then they were asked of information to verify their identities.(Parang password ngayon).

3.The message was intercepted by the Japanese.

Sila yong mga hackers.

4.The Filipinos, despite war, were depicted as fun-loving and musically inclined people and good dressers as well. During parties, the gentlemen were either wearing the barong, a suit with matching black and white shoes while the ladies wore kimonas or sayas.

5.The Makapilis can be male or female. Hiding their identities from the people they betrayed, they wore the "bayong". They pointed to the Japanese authorities the traitors to Imperial Army. No question asked.

6.They had brothels were the mamasan offered Filipinas in Japanese kimonos in exchange of rice and other goods.

7. Before Mc Arthur came for liberation, there were already goods distributed to people marked with I SHALL RETURN, with the sig of the general. Talagang malakas ang ARRIVE ng heneral. In the other movie which was his story as the Liberator of Asia, he had always a cameraman in tow.Para bang o pose muna.

I did not finish the movie again. I have to get an important call.Di bale pagdating na yon ni Mac Arthur.

The Ca t


At 7:53 PM, Blogger Mec said...

:) found that boondocks fact when i started in mountaineering and was tickled pink... irrational but you know, i couldn't help but think that the Philippine jungles really took its toll on soldiers then...

w/c is why i also didn't have much faith in the balikatan exercises...


anyway sis, miss you :)


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