This is a satirical cartoon that appeared in the October 26, 1907 issue of the Lipang Kalabaw comic-magazine. Signed by La Ignation, a pseudonym used by artist Jorge Pineda, this cartoon provides a glimpse of history in the early years of the American Occupation.
Determined to transform Manila from a tawdry Asiatic port into a model metropolis, the Americans enforced strict sanitation regulations that angered Manilenos.
Back then, private toilets were only affordable by the rich, and the poor Manilenos had either to use public toilets or provide disposable cans for their usual call of nature.
While this cartoon shows public reaction to the noxious odors from the pail wagon that collected the "toilet cans", the chemical spraying of the streets and houses to prevent diseases was even more distasteful.
Such measures were absolutely necessary, however. The previous Spanish regime had not installed any systematic sewerage nor a potable water supply system, endangering Filipinos to the dangers of the outbreak of cholera, dysentery, and other water borne diseases. A fact that resulted in the death of one of our national heroes, Apolinario Mabini, who died during an outbreak of cholera in 1904.
At least, an effective sewerage system, and the later affordability of private toilets under the American occupation was one of the United States' enduring legacy in the Philippine Islands.