I was adrift in Pittsburgh.

Tony’s first experiences in the Philippines were both alluring and alarming.

Tony was a still a teenager when he was assigned to serve in the Air Force at Clark Air Base on Luzon Island. It was 1974. The island provided much that was beautiful. He was drawn to the magnificent wood carvings available in the street shops. One of his first purchases was two very large, beautifully detailed masks. He remembers carrying them through the streets on his way back to the base to the wonder and amazement of those around.

Luzon Island also provided much that was alarming. Tony was cautioned early on by his superiors not to venture too far into the mountains on his bike. Although the Igorot and Kalinga peoples had formally abandoned headhunting in the early twentieth century, Tony was warned that some highland peoples still engaged in cannibalism. Soldiers were forbidden to go to the mountains alone.

Read the rest of the story in Polynesiacs: Tiki at Home, page 200.

Driftwood Lounge, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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