The Philippines on the Potomac (POPDC) project started in September 2012 when, on a whim, we sat down one evening and started listing all the places in the DC area that we thought had some significance to Philippine-American history and culture. We were pleasantly surprised to find that we knew enough places for a small walking tour and for what we hoped could someday be a Philippine-American street map of DC.
Since then we have sifted through a wealth of hardcopy and digital archival materials, including memoirs, diaries, news archives, and vintage directories, among many other sources of information. Names of important historical and cultural figures—Filipino and American colonial officials, member of the Philippine Independence Missions in the 1920s and 1930s, Commonwealth officials, National Artists—guided our search but the materials we found also quickly led us to many other sources we knew little about, including those related to the social history of the first community of migrants in the DC area. Rita Cacas recently published an important book about the lives of these first migrants and their Filipino-American children, together with Juanita Tamayo Lott (Images of America: Filipinos in Washington, D.C., Arcadia Publishing: 2009). Rita has also generously shared with us many important leads.
We have now identified over 150 places, many of them supported by vintage multi-media materials. Only a few blog entries have been produced to date but more will be posted soon. In December 2012, we collaborated with the Ateneo Alumni Association of Metropolitan Washington DC to produce a limited-run fold-out map designed by Rina Alfonso featuring 32 of the over-150 sites that we have discovered.
As described in the Introduction, each blog entry consists of a brief description of a place and its significance, photographs, further information on its location and accessibility, a list of references and, in some entries, a section called ‘Digital artifacts’ featuring vintage audio and video clips and digital photographs of related, original artifacts. The descriptions are based entirely on written sources except in a few instances when descendants of historical figures and biographers shared new information from personal recollections, as indicated in selected entries. The accompanying photos are from our private collection unless otherwise indicated.
This project has benefited enormously from the warmth and generosity of numerous individuals.The following provided valuable leads, suggestions, and encouragement at various stages of the preparation of this website: Caro and Red Alcuaz, Gina Alfonso, Rina Alfonso, Terette Andaya, Sarah Andrews (Woodrow Wilson House), Nenette Arroyo, Marissa Barrera, Ditas Bernabe, Lawrence Bouton, Rofel G. Brion, Rita Cacas, Tricia Capistrano, Erlinda Carandang, Bernadita Churchill, Michael Clemens, Erwin de Leon, John DeFerrari, Jack Garrity, Reme Grefalda, Andrea Hackman (US Supreme Court Curator’s Office), June Hajjar (Arts Club of Washington), Danny Huang SJ, Francis Huang, Nathan Humphrey, Bergis Jules (The George Washington University), Tony Lambino, Ricardo Lim (Family of Luis H. Lim and Estefania Aldaba-Lim), Henry Ma, Tina Manglapus Maynigo, Ria Manglapus, Glenn May, Carmela Navarra, Dennis Ocampo, Trish Panganiban, John Perseo, Sonia Pinto Ner, Anya Plana-Hutt, Liana Romulo (Carlos P. Romulo Foundation), Mr. and Mrs. Pedro Sarmiento, John Schumacher SJ, Dennis Soliven, Mikey Tan, Sharon Tee, Von Totanes, Volt Trinidad and Alie Quong-Trinidad, Constance Uy, Lia Uy-Tioco, Happy Vergara, Marijn Verhoeven, Diana Villamor, Roni Cacdac Warnock, Cris Yabes, and many others. The Library of Congress, the University of Michigan Library, the University of Washington Archives, and the US National Archives and Records Administration, among many other institutions, have been important sources of information.
We are particularly indebted to Ruel Hector R. Tiongson and Woweene Ledesma for helping us obtain access to numerous rare books and archival materials.
This website is dedicated to our children, Nicolas and Rafael Tiongson.
Concept, research and text: Teresa G. Carandang-Tiongson and Erwin R. Tiongson. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.