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The Hag of Dulag
 

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.

"Hello."

"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 the beach.

"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."
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