Occupy Pilipinas: History Stories Lost in the Cracks of Centuries

This podcast delves deep into the untold history of the Philippines.

Not very many people know the British once ruled Manila. That's because it is largely left out of history textbooks in the Philippines. Lio Mangubat breathes life into the lost histories of the Philippines through Occupy Pilipinas, a podcast about history. 

Chapter 1: When Manila was Brutal, Bloody, and British tells about the time when the capital fell into the hands of England's King. "It is 1762, and a British fleet has appeared off the coast of Manila, demanding the Spanish surrender Why are they here, and how will they invade the city?" 

Mangubat enlightens his listeners to the political dynamics that were happening between Britain, Spain, America, India, and China at the time. 

The British invasion of Manila was in part motivated by the British desire to control the region but also influenced by Spain, which was then the world's waning superpower. 

Season 1 of Occupy Pilipinas is based on Mangubat's series of articles on Esquire Philippines published from 2017 to 2018. 

Chapter 4: The Spy Ring Inside Club Tsubaki tells the story of a nondescript club located on Kalaw Avenue right across Luneta Park. The club became Manila's hottest nightclub, where a singer by the stage name Madame Tsubaki mesmerized Japanese officers. Tsubaki's real name was Claire Phillips, as she called herself after the war. She aided Filipinos and Americans by spying on the Japanese officers inside the club. She got the code name High Pockets because she stuffed secret messages inside her bra.

Photo by The Daily Tribune.

Mangubat also shines a light on the tragic story of a Pintados from Mindanao in Chapter 5: A Tattooed Prince, A Tattooed Slave. In this episode, Mangubat narrates the story of Jeoly,  a slave from Davao, whose skin was hung at Oxford's Bodleian Library for hundreds of years.

Photo by John Savage.

In the last episode, Quarantines, Asumptmatic Carriers, and the Bubonic Plague, Mangubat enlightens his listeners to events 120 years ago when Manila went into lockdown and the Bubonic Plague arrived. Mangubat plays with the idea of how this forgotten piece of Philippine history compares to Red Red Redemption 2 and how Filipinos managed to contain some of the world's most feared diseases. 

Listen to Occupy Pilipinas on SpotifyApple Podcasts,and Google Podcasts.

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