Yes, we need them. Those that are willing to take on the digital age and its challenges, who are willing to spend time, their precious time scouring the internet for anything old Davao. Those that understand the complexities of this generation, those that are willing to be guided by our past.
Recently we were floored by the latest finds of Andi Villa and Shieba Magno in a Japanese library of prewar Davao, and man they were clear and crisp. You could view downtown Davao never seen before. Years ago, Jaja Barriga also shared us her finds, also from a Japanese source. We posted those from our contributors who are and were willing to take on their Japanese past and roots.
What does this all mean? So much material on old Davao lays untouched or better, undiscovered by us. From digital archives of images from roving western photographers taking a look a colonies wherever they are to Japanese owned photo studios (which I am asking now their descendants if any, they share whatever they have) to family albums. These family albums are waiting to be dusted off and shared.
But we also need to be thankful to those who laid the groundwork, the late Ernie Corcino, Gloria Dabbay, Mac Tiu, Antonio Figueroa and others whose names escaped me for now, who planted in us the love for Davao. Those who inspired us to follow the lead.
So, yes again, we need those who can challenge the technology of today. For history is never meant to be stored and remain dusty, it is meant to be shared, understood and learned. For we will never understand ourselves as a people without learning from our history.
Thanks to Andi Villa and Shieba Magno for this images, to the estate of Fumio Umagoshi and to Showan Kan for their generosity.