As one of the final Presidential Tours, US President Barack Obama visited the Philippines during APEC. The purpose was to secure TPP and other trade deals, establish a united-front for opposing China and to say farewell to long-term friend PH President NoyNoy Aquino.
In addition; not too widely publicized in mainstream media, Obama continued a century-old tradition, as black American’s have been friends of the Philippines long before any APEC, the TPP, the war, Thrilla’ In Manila, Kobe, Tiger, Oprah, Allan Pineda Lindo aka apl.de.ap and Bruno Mars.
A proud part of Black American History, following The Treaty of Paris, which ended the Spanish American War in December of 1898, the United States took control of the former Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico, Guam, and of course, the Philippines. Troops from the -then- segregated Black infantry regiments reported to the Presidio of San Francisco on their way to the Philippines in early 1899. In February of that year Filipino nationalists (Insurectos) led by Emilio Aguinaldo resisted the idea of American domination and began attacking U.S. troops. The 9th and 10th Cavalry largely-volunteered to go to the Philippines as reinforcements.
Ultimately, all four Black regiments, plus African American national guardsmen stood with Filipinos in the war -and stayed after the war to ensure there was no uprising. Black Americans knew a good military showing by Black troops in the Philippines would insure the Filipino people would be met with compassion, it also reflected favorably and enhanced their cause in the United States. At that time, not long after slavery was abolished in the US (1865), blacks in the US military was a new and controversial issue. Though around the world, Black Americans, were revered as compassionate, hard-working, ambitious and nice people. They were also feared and respected throughout the world for their -sometimes aggressive- achievements against their slavery. They were the best comrades, to help the Philippines out of their own centuries-long form of slavery and oppression.
Historical Black American Press:
“Black Troops Should Go to the Philippines…It is now said that colored troops are to be sent to the Philippines. The sooner the better. The Negroes must be taught that the enemy of the country is a common enemy and that the color of the face has nothing to do with it.”
— Indianapolis Freeman, July 1, 1899
“The Philippine War is No Race War…It pays to be a little thoughtful…. The strife [against the Philippines] is no race war. It is quite time for the Negroes to quit claiming kindred with every black face from Hannibal down. Hannibal was no Negro, nor was Aguinaldo [the Filipino nationalist leader]. We are to share in the glories or defeats of our country’s wars, that is patriotism pure and simple.”
— Indianapolis Freeman, October 7, 1899
As the war progressed many African American soldiers gave their lives for the Filipino people. They increasingly felt they were being used in an unjust racial war. The Filipino insurgents subjected Black soldiers to psychological warfare, using propaganda encouraging them to desert. Posters and leaflets addressed to “The Colored American Soldier” described the lynching and discrimination against Blacks in the United States and discouraged them from being the instrument of their white masters’ ambitions to oppress another “people of color.” Blacks who deserted to the Filipino nationalist cause would be welcomed and given positions of responsibility.
However, blacks did not leave, black American’s overall did not approve of the way the Filipino people were being treated; having been in a similar position themselves, they fought relentlessly. Ultimately they won, the African American regiments were honored and celebrated for their service in the Philippines, and several senior non-commissioned officers, such as Medal of Honor recipient Edward L. Baker, would become officers in the newly established Philippine Scouts.
Still to this day, nearly 400,000 black Americans travel to, live and do business in the Philippines. Such as Philander Rodman, the father of famed basketball star Dennis Rodman, beloved former US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas; who married beautiful Pinay Mithi Aquino-Thomas, and US Resolution Recipient for his contributions to Minority America, Kareem Jackson, now the Philippines first black American self-appointed lifestyle ambassador, he publishes magazines, consults foreign interests, as well as, host TV and radio shows promoting the Philippines.
“Mahal ko kayo (I love you all.). I love Manila. I love you all so much. We are so proud to do the first Hollywood premiere [of the franchise] here in the Philippines,” he was quoted as saying in a separate article. “I can feel the love from you. I think this is the best place I’ve ever been to in my life.” -multi-racial Hollywood Action Star Vin Diesel expressed after a recent trip to promote Fast & Furious 6.
It is not a surprise then, Minority Success Magazine America named the Philippines as the “Top Destination for Black Americans to travel to, live and invest in.” due to their inherent lack of racism,and subsequent love and respect for black history and culture. ROOTS by Alex Haley is one of the countries most-popular books/movies. Justin Bieber who may no longer welcome in the country following his actions, where he distastefully, ridiculed Manny Pacquiao for a knockout, is example of the completely opposite perspectives and experiences the two American communities have in regards to the country.
That being said, President Obama’s obviously warm-welcome, cheerful, free charisma while in the Philippines has sparked a new craze in the United States for Philippines Black American Tourism -this time not to aide the Filipino people in a nasty war, but to celebrate their mutual success since the 1900’s.
Black Americans had never before seen themselves received so well abroad. With today’s technology and social media, the entire American public, (plus the more than 4 million Filipinos living there) all have access to the fruitful images of Filipino hospitality -towards one of their own. During the Spanish American War, there was no access to news, and propaganda was everywhere.
Never in the history of the United States, has any President had such a global appeal. Probably one of the largest tourism opportunities was missed by Philippines Department of Tourism -but, that is a good thing. Filipinos do not -necessarily see color, or utilize racism in marketing.
Nonetheless, black Americans did see it, they Googled it millions of times, the Philippines was the top ‘airfare search’ for weeks, PH foreign video bloggers on YouTube saw added traffic. Even Dixon White, renowned US anti-white supremacy advocate is scheduled for an interview with The American Press Service, to talk about “Why black Americans are looking abroad…to the Philippines.”
US-based Philippines lifestyle specialist groups such KA&CO a US LLC conglomerate, which specializes in marketing, international business development and publishing. They also publish The Philippines Magazine International; the countries first and only international distributed, complimentary coffee table book-style magazine. The group also produces, Kareem Jackson LIVE! ON THE SET, Philippines INK Magazine, PH: CIO, Food! Oh, Fabulous Food!, PH INK Master Tattoo Competition, and the countries first ever barangay neighborhood lifestyle magazine series and business directory among over 20 other titles, including events, expert commentary, radio and TV Shows. They also host dozens of US-based philanthropists, entrepreneurs and others interested in the Philippines.
“I think that the American people noticed the Philippines much more during this tour by President Obama. With all of the hatred,killing and new revelations happening to blacks in America right now, the black American public is watching Obama closely. They are looking for acceptance. And, they saw a lot of that during his Philippines tour.” said Kareem Jackson, KA&CO Chairman to The American Press Service, in regards to the sudden spit in tourism and travel within black America. “Blacks are looking for outlets, new vacation spots and investment opportunities which will take them out of the US, at least part time.” he continued.
Historically, black Americans and Filipinos alike, have done extremely well when they have expanded their talents outside their countries, Icons such as Josephine Baker, Billy Holiday, Mohammed Ali and even Michael Jackson were all more-successful, outside of the United States or were catapulted due to the lack of racial resistance abroad.
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