Concentrated Nonsense (cinema edition)

The March of Time (Feb-10-1938)
April 21, 2008, 4:11 am
Filed under: Philippine Chronicle | Tags:

[Click here to listen to or download the audio file discussed below, the February 10, 1938 “The March of Time” radio newsreel, which features the re-enactment of a story concerning a Filipina “washerwoman” turned golfer, Dominga Capati. The voice talent playing Capati speaks in a curious Spanish-accented English. On another note, the file also includes Orson Welles providing the voice of Hitler, which begins at minute 20:25. Thank you to Wellesnet for providing the link and I believe uploading the file.]


“Tonight LIFE, the weekly magazine of pictures, joins TIME, the weekly news magazine, in presenting by radio the re-enactment of memorable scene from the news of the week! From the March of Time!”

[cue score]

“The Philippine Island! This week in Manila comes the climax of a story which begins on a corner of the Calamba Sugar Estate, bordering the Manila Golf Course, where Filipino washerwoman Dominga Capati is scrubbing clothes as a caddy approaches her.”

– “Hey! Hey! Did you see a golf ball come out this way?”
– “What? What that little white ball they hit around over there?”

“Yes. Did you see it?”
– “No I did not. And if you ask me, a sensible people ought to find something better to do with their time, then a walk around in the hot sun, hit a ball, go and look for it. Hit it again. Foolishness.”

“Ah, easy to talk when you’ve never tried it.”
– “Try it?! Huh! If I did, I would hit it harder than those big fat men! Those women with their little thin arms.”

“Ah, you could not even hit the ball.”
– “Oh, you think so huh? Alright. Just put a ball down on the ground there. Go ahead, put the ball down on the ground. Now give me one of those esticks… now, stand back out of my way… THERE! … now get along and don’t bother me, I have got work to do.”

“Hey, wait. Let me see you do that again.”
“Okay.” [swings again]

“Two hundred and fifty yards! Here, try another.”
[swings again; then cue music]

“Two years ago, husky Dominga Capati swung her first golf club, hit her first golf ball. This week in the roster of entries in the Manila Women’s Open Golf Tournament …
Capati, Dominga. Age 25. Nationality: Philippine. Club Affiliation: None. Occupation: Washerwoman.” [cue music]

“The opening day of the tournament. Up to the first tee steps Dominga Capati, only native Philippine entry in the match. She tees up her ball, looks once down the fairway; Swings! [cue audience “ohhhh”, followed by applause]”

The Second Day. A Cheering crowd is following Dominga Capati. Two strokes ahead of the field as she tees up for her 35th hole.”

[swinging sound; audience applause]

“The Final Day. Dominga Capati is four strokes ahead of her nearest competitor– Socialite Jean Morgan– as she prepares to put on the seventy second and final hole of the tournament.”

“Quiet please! Quiet for Senorita Capati.”

[sound of sinking ball in hole. audience cheers]

“This week, New Open Golf
champions the Philippine Islands as washerwoman Dominga Capati finishing five strokes ahead of her nearest rival. The first Filipino ever to win a golf championship. And at weeks end, back at her washboard, says champion Capati:

– ” I get driving muscles…scrubbing up and down like this. And my wrists? Ringing out the clothes– like this. And the putting? Well that just a seems to come naturally.”

“1938– Marches On!”


On March 11-13, 2008, the 41st Dominga Capati Memorial Tournament was held at Canlubang Golf & Country Club (South Course).

Dominga Capati
Domninga Capati
(image source)

link: “Backstairs Golfer”: brief New York Times article on Capati dated February 14, 1938.

(This is the fourth in an ongoing series of posts that will chronicle, as objectively as possible, curious references to Filipinos or the Philippines in internationally produced art or writing. The reason for doing this, I am of yet unaware. But there is an impulse. They are filed under the category Philippine Chronicle.)

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