Filipino Midgets

Noong 1904 American World Fair – na tinawag na Louisiana Purchase Exposition sa Saint Louis, Missouri – si Martina de la Cruz (na kilala rin bilang “Jeanne” sa Unidos) at ang kanyang kapatid na si Juan (na kilala rin bilang “John”) ay sinipi ng Pittsburgh Gazette bilang “ang pinaka-kagiliw-giliw na mga uri ng antropolohikal” bukod sa iba pang palabas na galing ng Pilipinas, na inilathala noong Marso 1, 1904. Sila ay tinawag din bilang “pinakamaliit na mga tao sa buong mundo”  noong Exposition.


Ipinanganak sa Panay, Capiz, ang magkapatid ay itinaguyod ng kanilang mga magulang kasama ang tatlong iba pang mga kapatid. Matalino umano ang mga ito at madaming talento; marunong magsalita ng 3 lokal na dayalekto tulad ng Visayan, Tagalog, Kapampangan at dalawang banyagang wika tulad ng Espanyol at Ingles.


Matapos ang World Fair, ang pares ay nanatili sa US at gumanap sa isang serye ng road show na kilala bilang Filipino Midget. Si Martina ay 36 taong gulang na may 32 pulgada ang taas, habang si Juan ay 32 taong gulang at 24 na pulgada ang taas. Pinakasalan ni Juan si Gregoria Gabriel -de la Cruz, isang 21 taong gulang na babae at mayroon silang isang napakagandang anak na babae, si Maria. Ang sanggol ay lumaki sa normal na pangangatawan ngunit sa kasamaang palad ay namatay sa edad na 3 sa bayan ng Daytona, Florida, noong Marso 15, 1907. 


In the 1904 American World Fair – Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Saint Louis, Missouri — Martina de la Cruz (also known as “Jeanne” in the States) and her brother Juan (also known as “John”) was quoted by the Pittsburgh Gazette as “the most interesting anthropological types” among others in the Philippine display, published in March 1, 1904.They were also dubbed as “the smallest living adults alive in the world” at the time of the Exposition.

Born in a village in Panay, Capiz, The two were raised by their average size parents among three other siblings. They were smart and talented; spoke 3 local dialects such as Visayan, Tagalog, Kapampangan and two foreign languages such as Spanish and English. After the World Fair, the pair stayed in the U.S. and performed in a series of road show known as the Filipino Midgets.

In this photo, Martina was 36 years old and 32 inches in height, while Juan was 32 years old and 24 inches in height. Juan married Gregoria Gabriel -de la Cruz, a 21 year old lady and they had a very pretty baby girl, Maria. The baby was of normal size but unfortunately died at the age of three in the town of Daytona, Florida, March 15, 1907.

In June 3, 1932 in Washington D. C, the pair was appearing in a street carnival when a fire occurred. They were eventually saved in their tent by a German shepherd named “Kink/King”. Martina was 60 years old, 21 inches in height and weighs 34 pounds. Her brother, Juan was 58 years old, 24 inches in height and weighs 32 pounds.

Photograph by: Harris & Ewing, 1912
Photo Source: United States Library of Congress
Colorized by: Bilog Bilugan


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