TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Ann (Hodges) Robinson Reminiscences, 1941-1945.
Ann Hodges of Dallas, Texas married University of Texas football player William Doniphan (“Mogul”) Robinson around 1910. They subsequently emigrated to the Philippines, where they operated a copra plantation on Basilan island, across the Basilan Strait from the town of Zamboanga on Mindanao. In early 1942 the Robinsons abandoned their plantation as the Imperial Japanese Navy conquered the Philippine islands. From 1942 until early 1945 they lived in hiding from the Japanese occupation, changing their location several times between the settlements of Tungawan and Payat, in the forested hills of the Zamboanga peninsula. During this time, Ann Robinson began writing the story of their experiences on the unused blank parts of plantation records. In 1945 they reoccupied their plantation as American forces liberated the islands. Ann Robinson later returned to her family in Dallas, where she produced the typescript of her reminiscences.
A five hundred and seven page typescript narrates the Robinsons’ flight from their Basilan plantation to the upland forest in advance of Japanese forces, their subsequent travels to various small communities and hideouts, and their return home in 1945. The well-written narrative, in three parts, includes descriptions of life among the Yakan people of Basilan and the Zamboanga area, of the capture, occupation and liberation of Zamboanga City, the character of the Japanese soldiers and of Japanese settlers on the islands, the progress of the war, food and clothing, life in the forest and the history of the region. The second and third parts of the narrative include accounts of guerrilla bands operating in the area, led by unsurrendered American soldiers such as Frank McCarthy and Major Santillan, as well as the experiences of Filipino resistors such as Corporal Barredo, who fought in northern Mindanao. Collaborators, spies, smugglers, gamblers, Filipino and Yakan farmers, rural doctors and dentists, American and Filipino soldiers, and many others are described.
Archivist’s Note: William D. Robinson is “Don Robinson of the Philippine Islands,” the author of Two Letters to Edward Crane Written from Zamboanga, P.I., January 8th and August 25th, 1945, in the rare books collection, Center for American History.
Ann (Hodges) Robinson Reminiscences, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, the University of Texas at Austin.