On the 77th anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor and the invasion of the Philippines, we remember the devastation and massive loss of lives but we also choose to remember the ultimate victory of US and Philippine forces in the Pacific. Ahead of the Battle of Leyte and the military campaign to liberate the […]

George H.W. Bush will forever be remembered as the 41st US President who served from 1989 to 1993. In November 1944, however, he was Navy Lt. j.g. George H.W. Bush, who flew eight combat missions in Luzon. An entry in the squadron logbook documents one of their many victories: “Again on 13 November in Manila […]

Thank you Papc Usa-org for the 2018 Plaridel Best Profile Writing Award for “The Untold Story of Nina Thomas” reprinted by Positively Filipino. We also want to thank Rene Cirio Cruz for accepting the award for us, and David Celdran for asking us to write Nina’s story for Vault Magazine. Photo Credits: Raymond Virata and Odette Keeley

Former US Secretary of State John F. Kerry visited Georgetown University last Thursday, October 4th, to talk about his recently published memoir, “Every Day is Extra.” In this clip, he recalls the experience of meeting Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in 1985 just a few months after Kerry was first elected US Senator, the lone Democrat […]

Please join us tomorrow, Thursday, October 4 at the 2018 DC Archives Fair at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives. Wdc Rita of DC Filipino History and Elizabeth Novara of the Hornbake Library, University of Maryland will be with us to talk about preserving and sharing the history of Filipino-Americans in Washington DC area. We will be there 2-2:45. https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/events/archives-fair/2018 […]

The US honors an American hero today at the National Cathedral. Earlier this week, the Philippine Government also remembered a friend who supported, among other causes, the Mindanao peace process. But the late Senator John McCain’s ties to the Philippines go back decades, including at the end of a painful period that would help shape […]

The Second World War ended 73 years ago this weekend. But Carlos Romulo, who was then Philippine Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth Government, had celebrated the coming of peace some two weeks earlier. In a quiet ceremony on the 2nd floor balcony of the Old Philippine Chancery in Washington, he lowered the Philippine flag and […]

Sofia de Veyra was a DC resident from 1917 to 1923. She was the wife of the Resident Commissioner Jaime C. de Veyra, who was considered a non-voting member of the US Congress. We saw a Red Cross poster at the Fairfax Museum asking for help to provide socks for American soldiers abroad during World […]

“My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I” is an ongoing exhibit at the National Postal Museum. The title is from a letter sent to American soldiers in 1918 by Gen. John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe. Pershing previously served in Mindanao until 1913 and led American forces at the brutal […]

We previously wrote about NINA THOMAS, the brilliant lawyer who could have been First Lady of the Philippines. As you may recall, she was engaged to Philippine Commonwealth President MANUEL QUEZON until his friends apparently warned him that it was “political suicide” to marry an American while leading the independence movement. This afternoon, Nina Thomas’s […]

Today we visited the recently renovated Old Chancery of the Philippine Embassy (now the Consular Section of the Embassy) and found what we consider historical treasures, using photos of the Old Chancery published in Bataan Magazine in 1952 as guide: (1) We think we found the 1952 location of the office of Gen. Carlos Romulo […]

THE PHILIPPINES AND WORLD WAR I: Some Draft Notes The First World War began 104 years ago today, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. One understudied part of Philippine American History is the Philippine contribution to US and Allied Forces in Europe. This propaganda poster, encouraging the public to buy bonds to support Allied forces, […]

Titchie wrote about artist and soldier Galo Ocampo in the July 11 issue of Arlington Connection. Read more at Galo’s Road: The Journeys of an Arlington Resident. Photo: Mitch Ocampo, eldest son of Galo Ocampo with the portrait of his mother Loretta at his home in Arlington. Photo by Teresa  Carandang

Erwin had an interesting conversation with NCCA Chair and National Artist Virgilio Almario about Filipino artists with links to Washington. DC. Thanks to the US-Philippine Society and the Philippine Embassy for organizing this event!  

President Quezon and his family stayed at the White House 76 years ago last month (May 1942). Titchie’s article about that stay — based on archival documents, diaries, and vintage newspapers — appears in this week’s issue of Positively Filipino . Special thanks to Manolo Quezon. Photo Credit: The Philippines on the Potomac Project Collection. Last […]

Erwin will be discussing Philippine art in Washington, DC with NCCA Chair and National Artist Virgilio Almario on June 11 at the Philippine Embassy. Details here: https://www.usphsociety.org/2018/05/31/june-11-philippine-culture-and-arts-in-washington-dc-reflections-by-virgilio-almario/  

We remember National Artist Fernando Amorsolo today, his 126th birthday. In this photo, he is shown completing several presidential portraits that can now be found among the art collection of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC. His other paintings can be found among the art collections of the US Supreme Court, the Harry S. Truman […]

We have just acquired an original program featuring the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) in one of their post-war Manila concerts in 1945. (Several names in the program are familiar and have appeared here on our POPDC page on various occasions.) The MSO famously played in the middle of the rubble of Santa Cruz Church in […]

We were excited to take members of the World Bank – IMF Filipino Association on a POPDC-themed walking tour of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood. Here we are in front of the Manila House.

Proud to join the Rita M. Cacas Foundation (RMCF), the Toribio Family and the Philippine Arts, Letters & Media (PALM) Council on the 1st anniversary celebration of the Literary Landmark Dedication Ceremony of the Manila House. The Manila House served as the center for social life of Filipinos in DC from the late 1930s until […]

POPDC was mentioned in Jon Melegrito’s Manila Mail article about our walking tour with Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Senator Loren Legarda. POPDC’s Suffrage Exhibit was also mentioned in Teresa De Veyra-Montilla’s letter to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Teresa is the granddaughter of Sofia de Veyra, one of the leaders of the Philippine suffrage movement and […]

It was a privilege to take Senator Loren Legarda and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on a POPDC-themed walking tour of Washington. Here is our younger son Rafael in front of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building telling them about the Eisenhowers’ life in the Philippines (circa late 1930s) and John Eisenhower’s (the son of President Dwight Eisenhower) childhood […]

Fifty-seven years ago, two streets near the Philippine Chancery in Washington, DC were named “Bataan” and “Corregidor.” Despite the gloomy weather, it was a festive occasion with US and Philippine flags adorning the lamp posts and the music provided by the Army Band. US Secretary of State Dean Rusk addressed the distinguished guests (US Chief […]

84 years ago today, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Philippine Independence Bill aka Tydings-McDuffie Act. This is one of the original photo press releases. From left to right: US Sen. Joseph O’Mahoney; US Secretary of War Dern; Phil. Sen. Elpidio Quirino; Manuel Quezon,who was then President of the Philippine Senate; US Sen. Millard […]

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we remember Clemencia Lopez of Batangas, who came to the US in 1902 near the end of the Philippine-American War to meet with US President Theodore Roosevelt and and ask for the release of her brothers who were imprisoned by the US military. On May 29, 1902, she spoke […]

This afternoon we visited the tiny section on the Philippine- American War in the “Wars of Expansion” Section of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The exhibit features a “homemade Philippine rifle”, Filipino sandals, a Krag-Jorgenson rifle (the “standard issue infantry weapon” during the Philippine-American War), a flag used by Muslim revolutionaries, and a […]

From the February 23, 1926 issue of the Washington Post: “Filipino residents of this city commemorated [George Washington’s 194th] birthday anniversary with a meeting at the Playhouse, 1814 N street northwest. The principal speaker was Senator Sergio Osmena, president protem of the Philippines’ senate. Others who spoke were Representative James A. Frear, of Wisconsin; Clyde H. […]

The easiest Valentine’s Day post to write is probably on the history of heartbreak in DC: the unhappy love story of Douglas MacArthur and Isabel Rosario Cooper (early 1930s), the broken engagement of Nina Thomas and Manuel Quezon (around 1916-1917), and the story (circa 1905) of the Sultan of Sulu and Alice Roosevelt, the headstrong […]

February 11, 1937, a sit-down strike by autoworkers in Flint, Michigan ended after 6 weeks and General Motors (GM) formally recognized the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union. Michigan Governor Frank Murphy — who served as the last US Governor General of the Philippines a few years earlier — is also remembered today for rejecting the […]

Wooden stamp of members of the Katipunan, according to the caption. The Katipunan was the secret organization that fought for Philippine independence during the Philippine revolution against Spain from 1896 on. One of the many treasures of Philippine history in the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian’s Museum Support Center in Suitland, MD. The center […]

Working on POPDC has been a richly rewarding experience, like being granted a privilege of putting together an immense jigsaw image. But there is a special kind of joy that comes from finding a familiar face in the middle of this puzzle. Here is a photograph of the June 1953 ordination of about 40 Jesuits […]

At 10:00 in the morning 76 years ago, at the beginning of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, Capt. Jesus Villamor and his squadron of 6 old training planes engaged superior enemy warplanes over Zablan field (in Camp Murphy, east of Highway 54/EDSA, now known as Camp Aguinaldo). They battled Japanese air raiders again two […]

A page from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first typed draft of his Pearl Harbor speech delivered 76 years ago today before a joint session of US Congress. This typewritten draft was marked up and updated as new military information came in. “Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands” appears mid-page. It was handwritten, reflecting […]

We visited the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford and saw these!  

Remembering Gen. Gregorio del Pilar—the “Boy General”—who died at the age of 24, about 118 years ago during the Philippine-American War. He and his 60 men fought valiantly against some 300 American soldiers who were led by Major Peyton March and were guided up the Tirad Pass trail by a Filipino. “We had seen him […]

We visited the last residence of William W. Grayson on Masonic Avenue in San Francisco. Grayson fired the first shot that started the Philippine-American War in February 1899. He was a British migrant and a member of the Nebraska Volunteer Infantry. In late 1899, Grayson was honorably discharged, got married and settled down in San […]

  Reading the correspondence between US President Dwight Eisenhower and Philippine Commonwealth Secretary of Defense Basilio Valdes. (The Eisenhower library generously provided a copy of their correspondence.) At the time these letters were written (March/April 1943), Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander in North Africa. A few months later he became Supreme Allied Commander in Europe […]

On one of the upper floors of this building, the old Philippine Chancery, the following scene took place exactly 73 years ago today, according to Carlos Romulo: “On the morning of August first, the President’s chief of staff General Valdes, called me from Saranac to tell me that the President has just died. I went […]

We visited Union Station a few days ago and we think we found the exact spot where US President Franklin Roosevelt welcomed Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon and his family in May 1942. President Quezon, other Commonwealth officials, and their families were in exile in DC during the Second World War. (Photo credit: Quezon Family […]

We visited Annapolis, MD the other day (about 30 miles east of DC) and saw the foremast of the USS Maine on display on the grounds of the US Naval Academy. (The main mast is at the Arlington National Cemetery.) The sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898 and the […]

Titchie’s article on the Manila House published in this week’s issue of Positively Filipino!http://www.positivelyfilipino.com/magazine/the-manila-house-in-washington-dc Juliana (center) and Rudolfo Panganiban (far right) with friends in front of the Manila House, 1944. (Source: The Rita M. Cacas Filipino American Community Archives Collection, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, College Park, Maryland)

In 2013, we visited the site of the Manila House. It was an amazing experience to walk in the same rooms described by Bienvenido Santos in his short story, “Manila House.” Since then we have learned more fascinating stories about this place–once the center of community life among Filipinos and Filipino Americans in DC–and together […]

On the Berth Deck of the USS Olympia, the crew ate and slept (of the 400+ crew members, according to one sign we saw, some 200+ men slept in hammocks on this deck). The sign also said that at various points in the USS Olympia’s history (1892-1922), this deck had a dentist’s office, a laundry […]

A few years ago we visited the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. The Museum features the USS Olympia, Admiral Dewey’s flagship. We saw the exact spot where Dewey stood on May 1, 1898–119 years ago today–and said to the captain, “You may fire when you are ready, Gridley”. With these words, the Battle of Manila […]

A little over three years ago, we published an article in Asian Journal called “Finding Philippine Art in Washington, DC”. The article was about important Filipino artists who spent some time in the metro Washington, DC area and Philippine works of art that are among Washington’s collections or currently on display at an art gallery […]

Our exhibit, The Washington Home of the Philippine Suffrage Movement,” is now at the University of Maryland’s Hornbake Library. Please check it out if you are in the neighborhod. https://hornbakelibrary.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/two-exhibitions-on-womens-suffrage-in-the-maryland-room/ Photo Credit: Elizabeth Novara  

This is a stereo card (or stereograph) featuring Filipino Scouts in Theodore Roosevelt’s inaugural parade, March 4, 1905. (US presidential inaugurations always took place on March 4 through 1933 then the 20th amendment moved the inauguration to January 20.) Because it is a stereo card, it appears as a three-dimensional image when viewed through a […]

“First, a poem must be magical / Musical as a seagull” These are the first lines of our favorite Jose Garcia Villa poem. We first read these lines in a freshman literature class decades ago.The poem appears in Villa’s first poetry anthology, “Have Come, Am Here” (1942). This month marks the 20th year since the […]

The origin of Senate Rule XIX, the little known rule invoked by Senate Republicans this week to prevent Senator Warren from reading a letter about Senator Jeff Sessions: A fistfight in February 1902 between two Senators from South Carolina over a Philippine bill. The rift began almost exactly three years before when the two Senators, […]