Camera Familia #13 — John Dyer Writes

Manila, Philippines. 1956. Everyone in this photo has an interesting story to tell. Most, but not all, were foreign nationals and of these, not all from the United States. Many of the parents were in-country on temporary assignments. Others had resided in the Philippines for decades. A few of the families were Philippine citizens, firmly established but not necessarily Filipino.

There were said to be fifty-thousand Americans living in and around Manila when I was there. Military kids typically attended school on base. There were other private schools, including Catholic institutions, teaching classes in English. Mail-order home-school academies were an option. We were not the only world-traveling first graders in town.

At the American School campus near downtown Manila. The chemistry teacher was German. The music teacher was Russian. I was awkward and shy. Pretty much everyone else was swash-buckling.

Readers are invited to share memories, stories, observations, whatever, in the comments below. If you’re enjoying these essays, please subscribe to receive notifications.

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