(Excerpt from a letter of James Martin Welborn, an American soldier in the Philippine-American War who turned planter in Davao in the first decade of the 1900s.)
October 14, 1956
I notice in the F. P. (Philippine Free Press) that there is a lot of graft around Manila; does the same condition apply around Davao?
It seems that all the world has gone crooked. We have it in this country almost as bad as there with you. The older Philipino was trained in it by the Spaniards and many have improved on their methods.
When I was there the aim of most of the young men was to get an education so they could live without work, not for the betterment of their country or countrymen.
Is there still the feeling of dislike between the Tagalogs and the Visayans like when I was there? The Tagalogs thought they were the superior people of the islands although there were many more Visayans than Tagalogs.
I found the Visayan much more reliable than the man from Manila. If they liked you they were very loyal and would stay with you but I could trust the Tagalog farther than I could see him. I hope this is all changed and that they are united as one people by this time. It is a wonderful country and all it needs is good government and hard work to make it paradise on earth.
Best wishes, love to all.
(This letter was addressed to his son, also named James, who was left behind in Magnaga, Pantukan (now in Compostela Valley) when Welborn returned to the States. Original letter in the possession of Rosendo Welborn, a grandson. Permission to use it was granted to Macario D. Tiu for his research on Davao history.)