This morning I took a Jeepney to the town of Dulag, about an hour from Tacloban.
There's nothing special about Dulag. It sits on the black sand of the Leyte Gulf, just a bit too far south to have
been involved in General MacArthur's 50th landing anniversary last October.
I followed a sign that advertised the Gulf View Beach Resort. The closer I got to the beach the sleazier the houses
became, and by the time I reached the beach the houses were little more than hovels.
I found The Gulf View Beach Resort. It was a resort in name only-a piece of black sand fenced with bamboo, and
dotted with tables and chairs. A picnic area; definitely not a resort.
I was watching fishermen repair their nets when an old woman shuffled around the corner. She wore a blue shawl,
flip flops, and was clutching three empty plastic water bottles.
"Ah, American," she said. Here all foreigners are Americans.
"Are you a veteran?"
"No, I was only a kid then." I should have said yes and kept walking.
"I was 15 when the Americans returned," she said. "General Douglas MacArthur landed right there." She pointed down
"Oh, I thought he landed in Palo."
"The people of Palo lie. They want the glory. Douglas MacArthur and President Osmena landed here together. With
these eyes I saw them raise the American flag."
Great. The entire Anniversary was based on a lie.
"What about the photos of the landing?"
"The photos are real, but they were taken here, not Palo."