by John T Pilot
Question by Charity Name: Which requires more responsibility and maturity having a baby or getting married?
Having a baby means you are keeping the baby and raising it to be a product member of society, and getting married means being faithful and not getting divorced (staying true to your marriage vows). Given these definitions, which require more responsibility and maturity?
Answer by Kevin F
Add your own answer in the comments!
Mr. & Mrs. Hal Bowie and baby daughter Lea. Los Banos Interment Camp survivors, Laguna, Philippines 1945. (A very important picture. Please read below:)
Image by John T Pilot
“A couple of admiring GIs look with interest as Mr. And Mrs. Hal Bowie, Ridgewood, N. J., show off their 7 months old daughter, Lea. Cpl. Harry Kusmierczyk, Lackawana, N. Y. of the 511th Parachute Infantry is on the left and S/Sgt. Chas. Egbert, Bowling Green, Ky is on the right. Baby Lea is the youngest of the liberated prisoners of Los Baños prison camp, Luzon, Philippine Islands.” (Lea was 7 months old in the photo but looks almost new born. She was a premature baby and only weighed 2 pounds (900 grams) at birth).
This is an important photograph to me. Early Oct. 2011 Lea Bowie contacted me asking permission to possibly use some of my historical photos. She had a smaller, lower definition copy of this photo. I didn’t know the importance of it at the time but I had saved this large, high definition copy to my computer just a few months earlier. One of the original prints is in the National Archives. It was my pleasure to have it for Lea and to post it here with information on the Bowie family that beat the odds during a time of hard difficulties and went on to distinguish themselves with deserved admiration.
Lea’s father Hal is noteworthy because he was a radio and TV pioneer in Manila Philippines that some of you may remember. In 1939, Hal Bowie inaugurated DZRH by signing the radio station on the air for the first time. The fledgling station, which took the call sign KZRH, would buck the challenge of history and remain as the only surviving radio station in the country. In the late 1940s Mr. Bowie was General Manager of MBC (Manila Broadcasting Company). He later worked in television in Manila until Marcos' took over ABS-CBN in 1973. This was a devastating blow to all the employees as this meant a loss of their livelihood, pensions and health insurance. For Hal, it meant the loss of his life’s work that he loved. Aside from being a newscaster, he was in charge of the special events division, which included Masters Golf Tournaments, the landing on the moon, and other events. He also had a weekly show for kids that featured games and showed old cowboy movies. He was known as “Cowboy Hal.” He covered the Mexican Olympics for the Philippines and President Macapagal’s visit to the United States in 1969. He went to Vietnam to interview the troops there and when the returning POWs from that war passed thru Subic Bay on their way back to the US, he covered that as well which was an emotional high point for him. He also did TV advertisements for San Miguel beer and Cosmos Sarsaparilla. He held television campaigns for the Red Cross (who being a prisoner of war himself, appreciated their work), and against the buying and use of firecrackers (this was a big business and big deal on New Year’s Eve) since the firecrackers were unsafe and caused many children severe burns, severed limbs and even death. After his death in 1974, (he was only 60 years old), he was posthumously given a special award for his long service in radio and television in the Philippines.
Lea’s mother, a native of Barcelona Spain, had escaped the Civil War in Spain in 1938 with her mother and sister and joined other family members in who lived in Manila. She met Hal Bowie in January of 1941 and after a year courtship, they were married on December 7, 1941 in Manila. (While they were exchanging their marriage vows, the Japanese were launching their attack on Pearl Harbor). A month later, the Japanese took Hal to Santo Tomas Internment Camp. Paquita insisted on joining her husband in the camp even though the Japanese said they were not asking her to, as she was a Spanish citizen. She defiantly told the Japanese that she would follow her new husband wherever he was. And she did.
Following, is a short recap from Lea herself. “I was born in a Japanese concentration camp in Los Baños, Laguna in 1944 and raised in Manila. I spent my grade school years in Maryknoll College and my very happy high school years at St. Paul's College of Manila. Most of the summers of my life, I practically lived in the Army Navy Club of Manila. I married a nice American man in 1965 and moved to New York. In 1969, I left New York for Barcelona (I divorced the nice American man) and stayed there for the next 8 years of my life. I then returned to the States in late 1977 and have lived here since then. I visit my two favorite cities - Manila and Barcelona as often as I can. I have a lovely daughter and granddaughter, who live in New York. My father, Hal Bowie, died in Manila in 1974, and my mother, who moved back to Barcelona after his death, died there in 1995. I recently retired from working for almost 30 years at Polytechnic University (now NYU-Poly) in Brooklyn. I’ve made my new home in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA.”