February 1, 2018

Street Scene in Batangas c. 1898

Extracted from the public domain book "The United States Army and Navy."  Colorized courtesy of Algorithmia.
Extracted from the public domain book "The United States Army and Navy."  Colorized courtesy of Algorithmia.
The colorized picture above has been extracted from the public domain book “The United States Army and Navy: includes Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Hawaii,” published in the United States in the year 1898. It was captioned in the book as “Street Scene in Batangas.
Below was the accompanying brief text:
“The accompanying photograph shows a street scene in the shambling but picturesque little village of Batangas, which is located a few miles from the city of Manila. The village of Batangas is composed mostly of thatched roof residences, or flat-roofed gambling places, in which games of chance on a small scale are in progress the year round. There is little to attract in the place aside from the quaint thatched houses and the picturesque cactus hedges, for the place, as is usual with native villages, is dirty and illy [probably from root word ‘ill’] built. The people think more of a fighting cock than an American farmer does of his horse, and the cockpit holds more interest for most of them than the fate of the islands. However, the way they rallied to the rebel standard after the Battle of Manila seems to indicate that their petty gambling has for a time at least been forgotten.”
The picture must have been taken around the time the fleet of Admiral George Dewey was laying to waste the Spanish Navy at Manila Bay, essentially paving the way for the American annexation of the Philippines.

Below is the original sepia-toned photograph after its extraction from the digital book, processed with graphic software to improve clarity.
Extracted from the public domain book "The United States Army and Navy."



Notes and references:
The above photographs were extracted from “The United States Army and Navy: includes Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Hawaii,” published 1898.

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