Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Romulo, Carlos Peña (1899–1985)

Philippine journalist and nationalist who worked with General Douglas MacArthur during the war years. Born in Manila on 14 January 1899, Carlos Romulo graduated from Columbia University in New York City in 1921. A brilliant, articulate reporter, he rose to be editor in chief of the Philippine DMHM chain of newspapers. He also became a leading citizen of Manila and an unfailing supporter of Philippine President Manuel Quezon. He championed Filipino autonomy and freedom, and in 1941, he won a Pulitzer Prize for newspaper articles that warned of the Japanese threat. He stated that the peoples of Southeast Asia, other than the Filipinos, would not fight the Japanese; in fact, he said, they would welcome them.

Following the U.S. entry into World War II, General MacArthur placed the then mobilized Major Romulo in charge of the Philippine press and radio. In this capacity, Romulo issued press releases and helped editors select headlines that would simultaneously soothe and inform Filipinos, and he established a radio station on Corregidor called the Voice of Freedom. He defined the war not as a fight for America but a fight with America for freedom.

MacArthur sent Romulo to the United States to tell the Philippine story. There, Romulo spoke to factory workers and to Congress, bringing the story of the Philippine resisters to life for his American audience. He told them of the small bands of poorly armed Filipino guerrillas who were keeping the faith with the United States. Romulo, who was promoted to colonel in August 1942, embodied Filipino resistance and loyalty. One month after becoming a brigadier general in September 1944, he landed with MacArthur on Leyte. His stay in the Philippines was short, however, for he was ordered back to Washington, D.C., to tell Congress about MacArthur's return to Leyte and about Filipino loyalty to the United States.

In April 1945, Romulo went to San Francisco as chairman of the Filipino delegation to the United Nations. There, he became an impassioned champion of the small nations of Asia, especially those still striving for independence. He remained in the United States for 17 years. Between 1945 and 1954, he was the Philippine ambassador to the United Nations, and he was also ambassador to the United States from 1952 to 1953 and again from 1955 to 1962. Romulo was elected president of the Fourth General Assembly of the United Nations in 1949. He served as president of the University of the Philippines from 1962 to 1968 and was his country's foreign minister from 1950 to 1952 and from 1968 to 1984. He also wrote numerous books. Romulo died in Manila on 15 December 1985.

John W. Whitman


Further Reading
James, D. Clayton. The Years of MacArthur. 3 vols. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970–1985.; Romulo, Beth Day. Inside the Palace: The Rise and Fall of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. New York: G. P. Putnam, 1987.; Romulo, Carlos P. I Saw the Fall of the Philippines. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran, 1942.; Wells, Evelyn. Carlos P. Romulo: Voice of Freedom. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1964.
 

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