PASSPORT 1926 PHILIPPINE ISLANDS FRANK HAMILTON ROBERTS
This is a great example and a fantastic addition to any passport collection. Look at the huge seal. Philippine Islands passports are rare to find nowadays and over the years I have seen only a few. So if you have ever the chance to grab one for your collection – DO IT!
In 1902 governors of the United States insular possessions were authorized to issue passports (32. Stat. 386). Passports for the US territory of the Philippines Islands were issued till July 4, 1946, when the Philippines became independent. Early passports of the Republic of the Philippines are also difficult to find, especially in good condition.
Many people are unaware that the Philippines were once a US territory. It was ceded to the United States from Spain in the same treaty which ceded Guam. After the conclusion of the Spanish War, the Filipino forces that were fighting Spain for independence turned their attention to the Americans. For several years, American and Filipino forces fought to lead to the deaths of thousands on each side. It is one of the most forgotten wars in US history.
There were many in the US who never felt comfortable with the annexation of the Philippines. In the 1930s the Philippines was declared a commonwealth and plans were developed for a transition to full independence. The Japanese invasion on Manila on December 8, 1941 (same time as the Pearl Harbor attack, but on the other side of the international date line) postponed independence for several years. The Philippines eventually became independent on July 4, 1946. Today, however, the Philippines celebrates its Independence Day on June 12, the day they became free of Spain in 1898.
During its brief tenure as a US territory (brief compared to Spain’s 333-year rule), the Philippines had a non-voting representative in the US Congress and was covered by an Organic Act giving Filipinos full rights under the US Constitution.
Today, if you visit the WWII Memorial in Washington DC, every state and territory are listed in stone pillars including the Philippines, recognizing their role in the war.
If the Philippines had remained a US territory and had become a US state, it would be the 6th largest state by area and largest state by population. In a fictional world where the Philippines is the 51st state, it would consist of 1/4 of the entire US population and have a population almost 3x larger than California.