Thursday, 7 August 2008

Behind the Songs: Celia

"I still remember the mountains of the war
Sierra Madre and the Philipino shore
When will I lie beside my Celia 'neath the trees?
Oh when will Celia come to me?"
--Phil Ochs, "Celia" (1963)

The Philippines: Colonialism, Collaboration, and Resistance!

by William Pomeroy

Born in Waterloo, NY in 1916, the author grew up in Rochester, NY and worked in whatever industrial jobs were available in the 1930s. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force in the Pacific from 1942-46. In the course of the Philippine campaign he became closely acquainted with the Hukbalahap movement. At the war's end, he wrote a history of the Hukbalahap. He decided to stay in the Philippines, enrolling at the University and writing stories and articles. In 1948 he married Celia Mariano, a Huk leader. He and Celia were involved in the postwar Huk struggle, and early in 1950 accepted assignments to help conduct education and propaganda in the forest and mountain regions. Both were captured in 1952, and served 10 years as political prisoners until pardoned after a U.S. campaign for their release. The author was deported to the U.S. but Celia was denied U.S. entry. Therefore, since 1963 they have lived in England. William Pomeroy is the author of numerous books, a contributor to many periodicals, and frequent lecturer. The Pomeroys have continued to work in many academic and practical ways for the national democratic development of the Philippines.

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