Thursday, March 22, 2001
: . The Stars and Stripes Forever:
“When I asked the local Libby, McNeill & Libby agent why Filipinos buy our canned fish when their own waters teem with this food, he said, 'They only buy it in the rainy weather; they don’t like to go fishing in the wet season.' He also said that Manila imports about 500,000 cases of evaporated milk a year, besides a vast amount of condensed milk.
“’No effect of American occupation,’ said Field Marshall Douglas MacArthur, of the Philippine Army, ‘is more noticeable to me as an Army man interested in soldier physique, than the improved physical condition and even the increased stature of the Filipino recruits.’ Over and over I heard observers say this: that today’s Filipino, in the cities at least, is an inch or more taller than he was a generation ago.
“’Our young people are in better health: they’re not only stronger and taller, but also have larger legs and arms than their parents had. Look at the crowd of boys and girls on any college athletic field and see for yourself. I know this for a fact, and you can quote me: Our girls once had such skinny legs they didn’t buy American hosiery because they could not keep it up; it bagged and wrinkled! Now they buy it because they can fill it!’ That observation is from Don Carlos Romulo, dynamic American-trained editor of the Philippines Herald, Manila’s largest Filipino-owned English newspaper.”
--Frederick Simpich, from “Return to Manila” in The National Geographic Magazine, October, 1940