LAST week, a break. This week, to odd bits about Baguio.

Like why is there this Harrison Road in the city, in Manila too?

Of course, we all know in the back of our heads that Harrison was an American from the period of Philippine history when it was a colony of the US. Still, who was he?

Well, the man after whom the streets are named was governor-general of the Philippines from 1913 to 1921 and was considered a staunch advocate for Philippine independence, which makes him stand out from among his peers. As by and large, the American presence in the Philippines was one of the colonial masters over the subjugated colony.

The Wikipedia page devoted to Harrison states that he was an "American-born Filipino statesman" who "advocated for and oversaw the process of Filipinization, or the transfer of authority to Filipinos in the United States territory's Insular Government to better prepare for independence."

That passage also states "citation needed," to be clear.

The same page states that Harrison was descended from prominent figures of American history, including founding fathers Thomas Jefferson, Confederate general Robert Lee, and an entire slew of others. In short, the good governor-general was well-born, if you will, and well-connected. His education is listed as Yale (1895), where he was also a member of the fraternity Skull and Bones, and New York Law School (1897).

Harrison's subsequent career seems to have been mostly with government: captain in the US Army, member of the 58th, United States Congress, the 60th too, and the 61st, the 62nd, as well as the 63rd. All these before 1913.

What few years that Harrison was not in government service, Wikipedia records that he taught and practiced Law.

To get a better sense of the man as "pro-Filipino," read that Wikipedia page (and beyond), where it is written too that "Despite the length of his tenure as governor-general he vetoed only five bills, the least number by any American governor-general in the Philippines [again, "citation needed" here]. His pro-Filipino stance made him a popular figure in the Philippines but also the object of criticism of conservative Americans who viewed his liberal governance as not supportive enough of US interests."

That second note about Harrison's pro-Filipino stance does have a citation: Jose, Ricardo Trota (2004). "Harrison, Francis Burton (1873-1957) - Champion of Filipinization." In Ooi Keat Gin (Ed.), Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. pp. 563-564. ISBN 1-57607-770-5.

The Wikipedia page does not state anywhere when Harrison left the Philippines, just that he did, for Scotland, and that he was recalled in 1934 "during a period of transition from an unincorporated territory of the United States to the Commonwealth of the Philippines."

(To be continued)