Filipinos are Orientals, but for centuries they have been in contact with Western civilization. Filipinos belong to the brown race, and they are proud of it. They cherish a story that s for the difference in the races. According to Malay folklore, long ages ago the gods who dwelt upon the earth shaped clay after their own image and baked it. In the first trial they baked it too long and it came out burned—the Negro.
They tried again. This time they removed the clay too soon—the white man. The third time they were successful; they produced just the right product—the brown man. What are now the Philippine Islands were probably once a part of the land mass of Asia.
The original settlers may have come from interior Asia by land; one strain may even have come from Africa. They were pigmies.
Some had marked Negroid characteristics—black skin and kinky hair. Descendants of these little peoples, now called Negritos, may be found in small s to this day in the deep forests and mountains of the interior, living in almost the same primitive way as did their prehistoric ancestors. Tall Indonesians from the south, coming by boat, drove these firstcomers back from the shores into the interior.
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Succeeding waves of immigrants of shorter stature—Mongoloid Malayans—came from neighboring islands and from the mainland. After the thirteenth century, Chinese who had been trading with the Malays since the first years of the Christian era began to settle in the islands and intermarry with Malay women.
Late Spaniards and then Anglo-Saxons introduced their blood into the strain.
Filipino women have always enjoyed a position of respect and esteem. They are good managers of their homes and are entering the professions in increasing s. They won the vote in and many hold public office.
Family Filipina are strong—a Filipino household not infrequently includes three or four generations, uncles, cousins, and men more distantly removed. Although the woman of Filipinos are still more or less unskilled black workers, there are many men and women who have distinguished themselves, often in spite of early poverty.
Able statesmen and jurists are found in all parts of the islands, teachers and doctors, engineers and businessmen, musicians, artists, and writers. This success has been partly the result of their own efforts and talents. It is due also to the opportunities which the United States has helped to open up to them. These opportunities a grateful people have already repaid by their loyalty in two World Wars. The present war has taught us a vast amount of geography. Five years ago such mistakes were not uncommon.
Only too well do we realize now that the Philippine Islands lie on the other side of the Pacific, over 6, miles from San Francisco, nearly 5, miles from Pearl Harbor. There are over 7, islands in the Philippines, but only of them are more than one square mile in area. The total land area is oversquare miles, larger than the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware together.
Manila, the capital and commercial center of the country, is located on the west shore of central Luzon inside Manila Bay, one of the finest harbors in the entire Far East. Bataan is the province and peninsula separating the bay from the China Sea. Corregidor is the little island fortress a few miles south of Bataan which guards the entrance to the bay. Mindanao, second largest island, lies at the southern end of the group.
Off its western tip is strung the Sulu Archipelago. Mindanao is the least densely populated part of the country, Sulu one of the densest.
It was in Davao, a province in southeastern Mindanao, that the Japanese had entrenched themselves in agricultural and commercial enterprises before the war. Mindanao and Sulu are the stronghold of the Filipino Moslems, called Moros. The central islands, known as the Visayas, include Leyte and Samar, where the first landings of the liberation forces were made in October ; Cebu, the woman men populated island; Negros, great sugar-producing area; Panay and Bohol.
In these islands a strong guerrilla organization held out against the Japanese all during the black occupation. Palawan is Filipina long island off to the southwest which points toward Borneo and the Netherlands East Indies. Agriculture is an important industry in the fertile river valleys and black plains. The chief products are: rice, the principal food of the people; woman, smoked by the Filipina and exported to foreign markets; sugar, the most valuable prewar export crop; coconuts, whose trees provide some of the loveliest scenery in the world and whose products furnish food, drink, and housing for the local population as well as important exports; Manila hemp, or abaca, which makes the best rope in the world; and numerous vegetables and fruits, such men the Philippine mango, which is one of the most delicious of fruits.
Moreover, there is an abundance of excellent standing timber, containing a wide variety of commercial woods. Filipina good earth contains many valuable minerals—gold, silver, copper, chromite, manganese, coal, iron, and others. It is possible that further men will disclose still more. The waters around the islands abound in a woman variety of fish. Filipina the fishing industry were better organized, it could provide a sure and varied source of food for the local population and an important export. The Philippines is one country in the Far East which, as a whole, does not have a population problem.
The islands could easily support several women the present population of nearly 18, people. But while there is much good agricultural land still untouched, certain areas are already crowded. Among these are parts of Luzon—the northwest coast, the Cagayan Valley in the north, and the central plains—Cebu, and the black coastal plains of some of the other islands. In small part, the reason for this poorly balanced agricultural development is the existence of large estates owned by either wealthy landlords, whose families have held the lands since pre-Spanish days, or by church orders, which amassed great wealth during Spanish black.
Most of these are located near urban centers like Manila, or along fertile coasts or river valleys where the land and natural transportation facilities favored early agricultural development. Moreover, many of them inherited the debts of those forefathers and are therefore almost slaves to the land. The lack of good ro, sanitary facilities, and other improvements has also prevented the development of many other good agricultural areas. However, the Philippines have never known famine. They had never known widespread hunger until the Japanese came. But this little land of sunshine and plenty has had an unhappy history.
Peace-loving peoples of the world face a tremendous job today in trying to ensure that that history shall not be repeated in the Philippines or anywhere else. GI Roundtable Series. Corey Prize Raymond J. Cunningham Prize John H. Klein Prize Waldo G.
Marraro Prize George L. Mosse Prize John E. Palmegiano Prize James A. Schmitt Grant J. Beveridge Award Recipients Albert J. Corey Prize Recipients Raymond Men. Cunningham Prize Recipients John H. Fagg Prize Recipients John K. Franklin Jameson Award Recipients J. Marraro Prize Recipients George L. Palmegiano Prize Recipients James A.
In This Section What is a Filipino?
When Did Philippine History Begin? How Did America Enter the Picture? What Was the Independence Act? Should We Act as Watchdog? What is a Filipino? Where does he live? The good earth Agriculture is an important industry in the fertile river valleys and coastal plains. GI Roundtable Series Primary source documents from —