Thursday, December 08, 2016

Here the day that will live in Infamy is December 8th

Because of the date line, the day of attack against Manila was on December 8th.

It is a holy day of Mama Mary, so many were at church at the time.

After news of the attack filtered up to the provinces, Lolo said that his mom decided to evacuate to the farm, which is about 5 miles north of here. She carried a baby (presumably a grandchild of one of the relatives she was caring for) and he carried the food etc. Lolo was a young teen during the war, so didn't join the fight until 1945, although his older brother and cousin joined the insurgency against the Japanese, hiding out in the woods of a nearby extinct volcano.

The Philippines tends to get overlooked in these things: most of the news via google is about Pearl Harbor

SenseOfEvent blog  has a long article about the attack from a military standpoint. (he also points out that in the US that Google ignored the anniversary)

not a lot in our newspapers either... presumably the photos and stories will be on line later today.

But the Phil Inquirer includes this headline from the AFP:

Obama praises Japan at Pearl Harbor rites

Obama is actually praising Japan for being the US ally in times since then, but reading the headline is jarring.

A lot of stories say that MacArthur was "unprepared" for an attack, but I suspect he was just not expecting such a large attack. But he must have been aware that it could occur, because presumably he was the one who arranged the NMNG anti aircraft battalion to be shipped to Clark Field, where they did manage to shoot down quite a few planes.

and MacArthur did manage to get his mainly Filipino troops to Bataan, where he pleaded in vain for help. Most of those who died in the Death march were Filipinos, not Yanks.

The GI's in the USA despised MacArthur, calling him "dugout Doug" for deserting his troops, but on the other hand he was brilliant: there is a good argument that his ability to see the oceans as a path rather than a barrier made him different from other generals. He also devised a way of destroying Japanese bases indirectly, by passing over Japanese islands to a couple islands up, and then letting those behind the line starve for lack of supplies, probably saved a lot of American soldiers who would have died in a direct assault of each island.

MacArthur was popular in the Philippines: Unlike a lot of Yanks, he hung out with the locals to drink and party and even had a beautiful local actress as his mistress.

And he understood the concept of  Loob...  which could be loosely translated as reciprocity, but is embedded deep in Philipine culture, and is the reason why bribes are not always seen as evil, but ways to cement partnership. It also explains why a person will help another one he is linked to by family or friendship ties.

Filipinos are more moralistic than foreigners generally believe. The most powerful moral obligation in Filipino culture is utang na loob or debt of gratitude. It is the essence of loyalty, commitment, and moral order.
Utang na loob is a form of reciprocity, i.e., a favor must be repaid adequately and properly to show gratitude. Quantifying the original debt may be difficult, but repayment is expected to supersede the original or else acknowledge that payment is partial and needs further reciprocation.Other moral obligations include dangal (honor), puri (also honor), pananagutan (responsibility, accountability), and katapatan (loyalty).

So when MacArthur said I will return, to Yanks this was propaganda. But for Filipinos, it mean he valued them as friends and family and would come back because he had ties with them, and because he said so, and to not fulfill that promise would go against his word as a man of honor.

An old post on relates the attack on Manila but again from the point of view of Americans.

And then there is this:


in other news, the Embassy warned us that terrorists might try to set off bombs etc this holiday season.

So what else is new?

as for priorities. Shabu, corruption, EJK, and  terrorism? No problem.

The real priorities of the western elite:

Watchdog insists we need more access to condoms.... for "men who have sex with men".

Well, guess they can't find any cheap condoms in Malate, but up here they used to have them at the checkout counter a the local grocery store.

And the World bank's priorities is... cigarette smoking. Add a "sin" tax to cigarettes is their idea.

uh, that would only lead people to smuggle cigarettes, Just what we need: Another opportunity for graft and corruption.

And FYI: Up here, most of the working class and poor buy cigarettes one at a time via a street vendor. Only the middle class can afford a pack at a time.

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