The Bataan Death March to the Sanctuary of Loma Linda
What is Seventh-Day Adventism? What was the Bataan Death March? What would my life be like had my grandparents stayed in the Philippines? These are only a few of the questions that I want to answer throughout my bibliography. My grandparent’s story is a journey driven by ambition and religion to escape their struggles and find a more prosperous life in the United States.
Through my research, I want to find sources that connect both the life that my grandparent’s had in the Philippines and the life that they now have in America. One part of the history I want to focus on is how war caused a push of people to leave the Philippines and possibly go to the United States. However, before I look into the eyes of World War II, what I want to focus on is my grandparent’s religion. Seventh-Day Adventism is a denomination of Christianity that has impacted the direction of my life. I want to know how this denomination is practiced compared to the more traditional denominations within Christianity. I want to discover how these different beliefs from Adventism have affected my grandparents’ every day lifestyles.
After looking into Seventh-Day Adventism and World War II, I want to briefly get an insight into what the culture is like in the Philippines today. These sources will allow me to have a ‘what if’ factor in my biography that will illustrate what my grandparent’s life and even my life could be like had they never immigrated to the United States from the Philippines.
“A closer look at Seventh-day Adventists in America.”
Lipka, Michael. Pew Research Center. 3 Nov. 2015.
In this article about Seventh-Day Adventism, Michael Lipka describes the demographics racially, ethically, and politically in the Seventh-Day Adventist church. Most denominations within the Christian church seem to be dominated by one perspective in each of those categories. However, within the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, there is great variation between the races as well as in ethical and political views.
The beginning of the article says that Seventh-Day Adventists make up about 0.5% of the U.S. adult population. However, Adventists are one of the most racially diverse denominations with 37% white, 32% black, 15% Hispanic, 8% Asian, and 8% another or mixed race. Also, about 31% of Adventists live in the West, where my relatives live, and 40% live in the South, where I currently live. Religiously, 100% of the Adventists in the survey believe God exists, which is contrary to the 63% of Americans that believe God exists. 83% of Adventists say religion is very important in their lives, which is also contrary to the 53% of U.S. adults. Other religious statistics include 86% of Adventists say they pray at least daily, 85% believe in heaven, 52% believe in hell and 89% believe the Bible is the Word of God. Finally, politically, Adventists are spread across the spectrum with 37% saying they are conservatives, 31% moderates, and 22% as liberals.
This article from Michael Lipka helps me to better understand where my grandparents and relatives fall within the demographics of the Seventh-Day Adventists church. I wanted to find how common or feasible it was for people in my family to be Seventh-Day Adventist. I also wanted to find what many Adventists believe and who has the same values that my relatives do.
“Loma Linda: The secret to a long healthy life?”
Bowles, Peter. BBC 8 Dec. 2014.
In his article for BBC titled “Loma Linda: The secret to a long healthy life?” Peter Bowles investigates how the community of Loma Linda, California came to be such a prosperous place with people living a much healthier lifestyle than the average American. He also discusses the various factors and parts of life that allow the members of Loma Linda to live this healthy lifestyle. Bowles mentions the basic elements associated with health such as eating right, exercising consistently, and getting enough sleep. However, Bowles delves into another element of life that greatly influences the well-being of the community in Loma Linda.
The characteristic that Bowles focuses on is how religion, specifically Seventh-Day Adventism, has affected the lifestyle across Loma Linda. Bowles gives a brief history of how Ellen White, a leading church pioneer in Loma Linda, brought about the existence of Seventh-Day Adventism in this community. In the article, Bowles mentions Richard Schaefer, a historian at the local university, who says, “She called tobacco a slow insidious, malignant poison in 1864.” Bowles makes the point that Seventh-Day Adventists do not believe in the use of harmful substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. Bowles’s account of history leads to his discussion of how the Seventh-Day Adventist, plant-based diet leads to a healthier lifestyle. The exclusion of meats has led many to believe that the diet is a main source to the longevity of life in Loma Linda. Finally, Bowles concludes saying that the constant keeping of the Sabbath has allowed the community to attain its rest. By abstaining from social media and even television every Saturday, which is the Sabbath for Seventh-Day Adventists, the people in Loma Linda are able to recuperate and maintain fellowship with one another, which is another contributing factor to the healthy lifestyle.
The inclusion of Seventh-Day Adventism in Loma Linda has greatly impacted my family’s life on both my mother and father’s sides of the family. My maternal grandparents immigrated from the Philippines in 1966 and ended up in Loma Linda two years later. My fraternal grandfather immigrated from Canada and met my grandmother in the United States, and they moved to Loma Linda after meeting each other. The community of Loma Linda has been a big pull factor for my family and has affected my roots that will remain forever.
“Secrets to Longevity Revealed in Denomination’s Lifestyle”
Johnson, Lorie. CBN.com, 17 Feb. 2015.
This article for CBN News by Lorie Johnson further delineates the lifestyle that the Seventh-Day Adventists live in Loma Linda. While again describing that importance of the diet and continual exercise for the Seventh-Day Adventist community, this article also tells why the day of rest each Saturday is so important for this denomination and for living a healthy lifestyle overall.
One of the main components for Seventh-Day Adventists is the day of rest that occurs each Saturday. The beginning of the Sabbath begins sun-down on Friday night and ends sun-down Saturday night. Johnson describes this day as a time to rest and “to spend time with friends, family, and God.” Johnson mentions a 100 year old woman, Benita Welebir, who still enjoys a healthy lifestyle in Loma Linda who says, “I feel that rest is one of the most important things in aging.” This statement by Welebir exemplifies the priorities that the Seventh-Day Adventist community places on life. Even if it means staying away from work, staying away from electronics, and abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, keeping the Sabbath is one of the most important things in life.
This component of my background is again important because it portrays the type of lifestyle that my grandparents have lived during their time in the U.S. and the community that both my parents grew up in as they both grew up in Loma Linda. This article helps me to continue to learn more about the pull factors that brought my grandparents to Loma Linda and more about how my roots have gotten me to where I am today.
“As they turn 150, Adventists still praying for the Apocalypse.”
Burke, Daniel. The Washington Post. 10 Apr. 2013.
In this article, Daniel Burke writes about the anniversary when the Adventists believed the world was going to end in 1844. Burke brings up the emotions that the Adventist Church is feeling during this anniversary, while also recounting the beliefs that Seventh-Day Adventists have had since the 1860s. Burke also discusses why Adventists are still confident in the belief that God will return in the near future, which is the belief that Adventism has been built off of.
At the beginning of the article, Burke depicts how Adventists are not too thrilled about the anniversary of the apocalyptic prediction because the return of God has still not occurred. By celebrating the anniversary, it means Adventists still have not gotten what they are looking for. However, throughout the article, Burke discusses where Seventh-Day Adventism stands currently. Since the disappointment in 1844, Seventh-Day Adventists have turned to a positive outlook on life. Burke says, “But Jesus told Christians to occupy themselves until he returns — advice that Adventists take to heart.” Since Adventists are still waiting on the return of Jesus, Adventists have decided to take on a healthy and productive lifestyle until that day comes. Burke again says, “Adventists also turned an eye to earthly time, setting Saturday as their Sabbath and preaching the value of healthy living.” While Adventists wait, they still continue to live a lifestyle that God has set out for them.
I am using this source because it pertains to one of the main beliefs of Seventh-Day Adventism. This belief of the eventual return of Jesus is a belief that remains at the core of the Adventist church. By using this source, I am learning what Seventh-Day Adventism is built off of, and I am also learning more about the beliefs that my grandparents and relatives are living by.
“Methods of Bible Study.”
Seventh-Day Adventist Church. 12 Oct. 1986.
This article from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church gives a description on how to interpret and value the Bible if you are to practice this denomination of the religion. The article states what Seventh-Day Adventist believe about the Bible and continues to describe how Seventh-Day Adventists should interpret the scriptures that are written in the Bible. These two methods are important because they are the basis of what forms the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination within the Christian religion.
The article begins with the presuppositions arising form the claims of scripture. First, with the origin, it says, “The Bible is the Word of God and is the primary and authoritative means by which He reveals Himself to human beings,” meaning the Bible constructs what Adventists should believe on a day to day basis. The article says that the Bible transcends its cultural backgrounds, “the Bible transcends its cultural backgrounds to serve as God’s Word for all cultural, racial, and situational contexts in all ages,” which is relevant because of the diversity within the Adventist church. One important factor when interpreting is that “The Bible claims God’s power to predict the future (Isa 46:10).” Therefore, the Bible recognizes God’s ability to know when the return of Jesus will occur, which is the basis of the Adventist religion. Finally, at the end of the article, Ellen G. White, one of the founders of Seventh-Day Adventism says, “Thus it is true of the Bible, as it was of Christ, that ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’ (John 1:14).”
I chose this source to understand better how Adventists truly interpret the scripture coming from the Bible. I wanted to know why Adventists have maintained the beliefs that they have from the direct writing that is the Word of God. This source gives a better perspective on how Adventists approach the Bible when interpreting its meaning.
Seeking a Sanctuary
Bull, Malcolm, and Keith Lockhart. Bloomington: Indiana U Press, 1989. Print.
As articulated by some of the previous articles, one of the core beliefs of Seventh-Day Adventism is that Christ will make a return to Earth one day, which is called the “advent.” Although many Adventists struggled with the disappointment of Christ not returning in 1844, many hold hope that Christ will still return one day. However, some Adventists wonder why the return has still not happened.
In an excerpt from Seeking a Sanctuary by Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart, the authors give an insight into the “The Reason for the Delay” by Ellen White. Because so many Adventists were confused why the advent did not occur in 1844, Ellen White gave a reason why it did not happen. Bull and Lockhart say, “First, Christ had not come because his people were not ready. Second, he had not come because Adventists had not preached the gospel.” They continue, “The solution, therefore, was in their hands: Jesus would return just as soon as his people perfected their characters and brought the gospel to the world.” This passage from Seeking a Sanctuary shows that Adventists believe that Christ has not returned because people have not perfected their Christianity yet.
This is a unique source because it answers questions that arise from my other sources. This article partly explains why Seventh-Day Adventists live the lifestyle that they do full of discipline in their religion and their physical health. Through this source, I have learned a reason why the Adventists still maintain hope in the return of Christ.
Dir. Mel Gibson. Perf. Andrew Garfield.
In the film Hacksaw Ridge, Director Mel Gibson depicts a battle during World War II where medic, Desmond Doss, is able to rescue 75 wounded soldiers from the battle field. Mel Gibson illustrates the struggles that Desmond Doss faces throughout the preparation for the war because of his belief in Seventh-Day Adventism. Throughout the beginning of the film, Desmond Doss constantly is verbally and physically criticized for his refusal to bear arms during World War II.
At the beginning of the film, Mel Gibson portrays how Doss’s religion and his father beating his mother during childhood caused him to not bear arms when deciding to fight in World War II. Once Doss arrived at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, Doss was physically beaten by his comrades for choosing not to shoot a gun. Doss’s refusal was seen as cowardly and his fellow comrades did not appreciate the cowardice. Doss was even put on trial by the military for refusing to bear arms. However, Doss’s charges were eventually dismissed, and he was able to fight in World War II. The latter half of the movie takes place on the battlefield at Hacksaw Ridge where men are brutally killed and wounded. After the Americans are forced to retreat, all of the soldier go back to camp except for Doss. Doss bravely stands by his wounded soldiers and ends up saving 75 lives without ever firing a gun. The film portrays Doss’s heroism, and Doss was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor, the first to be awarded as a Conscientious Objector.
This film is relevant for my research because the plot contains both World War II and the religion of Seventh-Day Adventism. The war scenes throughout the movie help portray how brutal World War II really was and helps me better understand what my great-grandfather experienced during the war. Because Desmond Doss was Seventh-Day Adventist, he understood that honoring the Sabbath on Saturday was very important. Doss’s respect for the religion helps me better understand how important the religion is to all Seventh-Day Adventists.
American Experience: MacArthur
Dir. Sarah Holt and Austin Hoyt. PBS. 1999.
In this interview as part of a special interview from the PBS documentary, “MacArthur,” the special feature interviews four soldier who survived the Bataan Death March during World War II. The unnamed interviewer asks questions about the experiences that the soldiers had during the infamous march, which is widely considered to be a war crime nowadays. The interview not only delves into the actions that the soldiers witnessed during the march, but it also pours into the emotions and physical feelings that the soldiers experienced during this brutal and cruel march. Though some were not as fortunate, these four soldiers give their accounts of how they survived one of the deadliest events of World War II.
The questions that were asked during the interview where ones such as, “What was the Death March like? Did you witness cruelty on the Death March? Did you see anybody else die or get killed?” These questions that the interview asked caused the soldiers to really open up about what the March was actually like. The soldiers gave detailed descriptions of what the Japanese did to them and their fellow comrades. The soldiers described the cruelty and brutality that the Japanese inflicted on them and how these events impacted them during the March. The witnesses that these soldiers give make the reader cringe on the inside and discover how brutal this event during World War II really was.
I am using this source because my maternal great-grandfather, Victoriano Calderon, participated in the Bataan Death March as a Filipino prisoner of war. These accounts given by these four soldiers give insight into what my great-grandfather really experienced during World War II. These stories help paint a picture for what my great-grandfather saw, experienced, and felt during the gruesome march to Camp O’Donnell.
Bataan: The March of Death
Falk, Stanley L. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 1962. Print.
In this book about the Bataan Death March, Stanley L. Falk gives a detailed description of the events that transpired during World War II that led to the March of Death. Falk does an adequate job of portraying the way the events happened from both the Japanese side and the American and Filipino side. Falk is able to illustrate what happened without choosing a side during the war. The book begins with the Fall of Bataan and continually describes the many events that eventually lead to the brutal march. The book not only covers the physical actions that happened, but it also describes the reactions from the population after the march.
The part of the book that I focused on for my research was the reaction to the Bataan Death March. Especially in the United States, Falk says that many people were shocked when they learned about the violence and brutality that the soldiers had to endure in the Philippines. Falk talks about how “men were beaten, robbed, killed, starved, denied water, and forbidden to assist each other” during the march. The development of these events caused the American attitude toward the war to become more negative because the victories seemed to be less significant when things like Bataan were still occurring. These events also lessened the view of the Japanese around the world.
This source is significant to my research because my great-grandfather marched in the Bataan Death March. Knowing the reaction to the march that occurred will allow me to better understand the mentality and culture of people after the war was over, whether there was a positive or negative light on the Filipinos.
“Forget Duterte. The Philippines loves the United States”
Tharoor, Ishaan. The Washington Post. 22 Oct. 2016.
In this article from The Washington Post, Ishaan Tharoor writes about the public opinion that the Filipino people have toward the United States. The United States has mixed reviews when it comes to the way countries around the world feel about them. There are many countries that are in favor of the United States, but there are also several that are extremely opposed to the United States’ government. This article dissects the view that the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, and the Filipino people have of the United States.
The beginning of the article mentions how Duterte has publicly expressed his distaste for the United States. When Duterte visited China back in 2016, he said, “In this venue I announce my separation from the United States,” saying that “Americans are loud, sometimes rowdy.” However, many Filipino people were quick to suggest the opposite opinion of the United States. Emily Rauhala, a colleague of Tharoor, says, “Many Filipinos are also perplexed…his anti-U.S. rhetoric is at odds with the public.” Later in the article, Tharoor mentions statistics from Pew Research Center showing that Filipinos has one of the highest favorable attitudes toward the United States out of all the countries around the world. In 2015, Pew Research Center found that 92% of Filipinos had a favorable view of the United States.
This source is necessary for my research because it relates to the relationship between the Philippines and the United States. Because my grandparents immigrated into America from the Philippines, I want to find out what the relationship is between the two countries. By using this source, it raises the question of if the Filipino’s view of America was just as favorable back in the 1960s when my grandparents left for the United States as it is now.
“What Filipinos Think of Philippine President Duterte”
Brainard, Cecilia. Huffington Post.
In this article about the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, Cecilia Brainard discusses the differing opinions about the President. Duterte seems to be an outrageous President with some calling him “The Punisher” or the “Trump of the East.” The main mission of Duterte’s presidency has been to eliminate all of the drug dealers within the Philippines, which has in turn been the most controversial part of his presidency. Duterte has eliminated about 2,000 drug dealers by setting up bounties to kill these drug dealers around the Philippines. Throughout the article, Brainard describes the view points that the citizens have toward Duterte.
Many citizens are in favor of Duterte because of his aggressive approach for the war on drugs. Even though there have been killings of people with no relation to the drug war, the positive effect has been greater than the negative in the eyes of many Filipinos. One writer, Wilson Lee Flores, praises Duterte because of “his policy of no-frills lifestyle for public officials, with no fancy SUVs, luxury sports cars or limousines.” However, many Filipinos are against the reign of Duterte. Jerome, a teacher, said, “He has a septic tank for a mind and a sewer for a mouth. He is a boor, a bully, a buffoon, and worst of all, a butcher.” Many citizens view Duterte as immature, vulgar, and inefficient as a leader. Mainly, the Filipinos opposed to Duterte see him a disrespectful toward the citizens of the Philippines.
I chose to use this source because Duterte is the current President of the Philippines, the country from which my parents immigrated from. I wanted to use the source as a way to show what my grandparents life could possibly be like if they had stayed in the Philippines and not moved to America. I wanted to show the social issues that they could possibly be dealing with in their own country. This source brings a little bit of a ‘what if’ perspective to the overall research.
“Food Culture in the Philippines.”
Hamlett, Christina. USA Today.
This travel article from Christina Hamlett gives an inside look into the most common food habits in the filipino culture. The article beings with the considerations of Filipino food and continues to describe throughout the article the staples, sauces and dips, signature meals and desserts of Filipino cuisine.
For considerations, the article states the Filipinos consume five small-plate meals on any given day. The meals include breakfast, a 10 a.m. snack, lunch, a 4 p.m. snack, and dinner. The staples of Filipino food include steamed white rice, corn, noodles, and bread. Some foods also include seafood, particularly grouper, tilapia, bass, shrimp, and clams. Beef is considered to be used for special occasions. Some of the sauces and dips include salty fish sauce, coconut cream, lemongrass, adobo sauce, soy sauce, and bagoong. The signature dishes consist of Dininding, which is a traditional of vegetables and seafood; Laksa, which is a melting pot of shrimp, pork and vegetables; and Estofado, which is a deep-fried meat dish served with potatoes. For dessert is usually flan, sweetened rice cakes, ambrosia salads, or caramel custards.
I wanted to use this source because it gives a cultural look into the type of food that my grandparents most likely ate when they still lived in the Philippines and sometimes eat even today. This article is also interesting because a lot of the dishes contradict the no meat rule coming from the Seventh-Day Adventist church. Learning about the food from the Philippines helps me to begin to learn the cultural fusion between the Philippines and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.