2003, February 20. Arrival of Japanese Workers for the Construction
of Kennon Road, Centennial
Litho Offset. Amstar Company, Inc., Perf. 14
Singles, Sheets of 50
Kennon Road - Singles (80,000)
Alfonso V. Divina
First Day Covers: Manila
Arrival of Japanese Workers for the Construction
of Kennon Road Centenary
The famous Benguet Road, better known far and
wide as Kennon Road, is one of the best mountain roads in the world.
Named after Major Lyman M. Kennon, the ultimate builder of the road,
it stands as a tribute to Major Kennon's engineering skill and
knowledge and excellent understanding of human nature.
The construction of the historic road was difficult and dangerous.
Diseases and even cholera attacked the workers. Some of the
nationalities who contributed to the labor force in the construction
of the highway were Filipinos, Spaniards, Indians, Chinese,
Japanese, Hawaiians, Portuguese, Mexicans, Italians, French,
English, Canadians, Germans, Americans, etc. The largest contingent
of foreign workers recruited to construct the Kennon Road in 1903
were the Japanese. Based on the 1903 census, there were 921 Japanese
migrants. Of these, there were 800 Japanese workers from Okinawa
Prefecture. They were among the more than 20 nationalities of
workers who worked in the Kennon Road Project under the supervision
of Colonel Lyman Kennon. Of the original 800 workers, only about 300
survived when the road was completed in 1907. The rest fell victims
to accidents and diseases.
2003 celebrates not only the 100th anniversary of the role and
historical significance of the arrival of the first group of
Japanese workers who worked in the construction of the historic
Kennon Road, but also a celebration of the human spirit among
peoples of different nations that brought about the construction of