National Geographic : 1944 Nov
The National Geographic Magazine 1. S. Army. Official Mindanao Cinchona Seedlings Tell a Tale of Malaria Battle on Two Continents Col. Arthur F. Fischer (left), long chief of the Philippine Bureau of Forestry, risked his life to insure our future quinine needs. Flown from Bataan to Mindanao, he gathered cinchona seeds during the last days of the Philippines' defense. Though malaria-stricken, he flew out again. The seeds he took with him started -a quinine industry in Costa Rica (page 567). Brig. Gen. James S. Simmons, Chief, Preventive Medicine Division, Office of the. Surgeon General, wraps the plants at a Maryland station where the seeds were propagated. impose their culture on us; they soon learned they could not do this by cruelty. "From all reports we get, most Mindanao people heroically stick to their own way of life. They are not trying to learn Japanese. To talk with them, Japs have to use English, because that is the tongue of at least 30 per cent of all Mindanao. Native dialects of course remain in use. This is still true all through the Philippines. "More Americans than ever, counting prisoners of war and internees, are now in Mindanao, because so many fled there or were brought there from northern islands. Japs Armed the Moros "To help keep order, the Japs reorganized the Philippine Constabulary. One report says that Moros, armed by the Japs, went over in large numbers to guerrilla bands still in the hills. We know, too, that the enemy destroyed all the American-owned property they could and sent shiploads of metal, lumber, machin ery, and goods to Japan. "More and more Japs continue to arrive in the islands. Press reports say some fresh divisions were brought from Manchuria. But since the Japs seized all trucks, boats, and gasoline, transportation has so broken down that food movements are checked, and a con dition bordering on famine is imminent. "All regular coastwise shipping is de stroyed; only occasional sailboats move be tween Mindanao and other islands. Fisher men are afraid to put to sea. Cowboys used to herd many thousands of fine meat-bearing animals over the grasslands of central and eastern Mindanao; this industry, likewise, has undoubtedly been much reduced. There is particular suffering among the 100,000 Chris tian immigrants who had in late years moved here from northern islands (page 553). "My last sight of Mindanao was from the rescue plane that picked up my party at the American-owned Del Monte pineapple planta tion. So many pineapples were rotting there in the fields that the air was filled with the smell. We found it easier to get pineapple juice than to get a drink of water. "We all pray for the early return of Ameri can soldiers. That will be a big day in Philip pine history."