Blurred Lines

History books both in the Philippines and the U.S. have generally glossed over the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902, leaving many of us ignorant about the valiant battles that Filipino guerrillas waged against the very superior force of the U.S. Army. The war, which until a few years ago U.S. historians insisted was just an "insurrection," actually lasted longer than three years, necessitated the deployment of 200,000 U.S. troops, cost the U.S. government about $100 million a year, and drew more than 4,000 casualties on the U.S. side and hundreds of thousands on the Philippine side.

John L. Silva, who, with partner Jonathan Best, owns an extensive collection of historical postcards and photographs, reminds us of the significance of the Philippine-American War in both countries' histories in "The Valiant People's Army." It marked the emergence of the U.S. as a colonial power and began, for the Philippines, half a century of American rule.

An intriguing story of historical synchronicity is told by author/poet/educator Oscar Peñaranda in "A Reunion of Strangers." It is a story that connects the Philippine-American War, Filipino martial arts, eBay and strangers getting together in Dumaguete City -- seemingly random events that resulted in a blood-stained flag, more than a century old, being returned to the owner's heirs.

How do young Fil-Ams reconnect to their heritage? Alexandra Drechsler, herself part of the demographic, tells us the ways she and her peers make sure that they know and appreciate where they came from in "The Power of Reconnecting."

As Father's Day is around the corner, please read my blog on "A Day in the Life of a Single Dad." 

Happy Independence Day to all of us. No matter where we are on this planet, we will always be tethered to the 7,100 islands we call home.

Gemma Nemenzo

Editor, Positively Filipino