National Geographic : 1966 Sep
September, 1966 THE NATIONALGEOGRAPHICMAGAZINE VOL. 130, NO. 3 COPYRIGHT © 1966 BY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY,WASHINGTON, D. C. INTERNATIONALCOPYRIGHTSECURED THE PHILIPPINES Freedom's Pacific Frontier By ROBERT DE ROOS Photographsby TED SPIEGEL THOUGH I HAVE NEVER lived in the Philippines, I sometimes feel I grew up there. My parents were missionaries on Luzon shortly after this century began. As a child I was entranced by their tales of a rug gedly beautiful land, of rice terraces like green steps to the sky, of people who lived in houses on stilts, of Igorot men wearing nothing but G-strings. Later, with millions of Americans, I ad mired the courage of the Filipinos as they fought beside us and stood firm through the terrible years of Japanese occupation. And I followed with hope and fascination their postwar plunge as a new free nation in Asia. Republic Born on the Fourth of July In two visits totaling two and a half months and 3,000 miles of travel, I found the reality far more exciting than I could have imagined. I learned that the young Republic of the Phil ippines-founded July 4, 1946-is a land of grace and many problems. It is a turbulent EME N.G.S. country, new to the ways of independence Dark-eyed sea gypsy, whose wandering fisher after four centuries of occupation by foreign folk dwell in the southern Philippines, comforts a rulers-Spain, the United States, and Japan. shy brother. Her island nation, born amid rubble It is a country imbued with America's ideals of World War II, struggles to fulfill its promise as of freedom, though corruption and poverty the Far East's first modern democracy.