|Replica of the massacre of Chinese people(People's Daily Online/Ander Vltchek)|
These days the old Clark International Airport on Luzon Island appears quiet, almost dormant. Decrepit military barracks; former symbols of the US imperialism in Philippines are now converted to logistical centers, customs houses and dormitories. The Clark airport itself is nearly idle, with only a few chartered and low cost carriers, including Air Asia, bringing in an insubstantial number of travellers to this part of Luzon located just over 100 kilometers from the national capital – Manila.
However, the tranquility of the place is deceiving and security is everywhere. I drive my rented car past the military policepost; my short haircut deceives the guard who apparently mistakes me for some GI on an outing. I park the vehicle; I casually walk to the gate that separates the airport buildings from the tarmac, and begin photographing. Surveillance system kicks in and on the way back I am stopped and questioned. “I am an American historian”, I explain. “I am writing a book about the glorious days of this distinctive US air force base - the pride of my nation.” The guard does not get my sarcasm.