Saturday, November 16, 2013







Gen Gregorio del Pilar Commanding Rear Guard Tirad Pass

It was at the peak of the mountain pass in Northern Luzon that 60 Filipino soldiers carried out a heroic stand against American troops in the morning of Dec. 2, 1899, thus enabling President Emilio Aguinaldo to flee towards the "wilds of Lepanto." Sadly, however, 52 of them including Del Pilar, then 24, perished in what an American war correspondent dramatically termed as a "battle above the clouds."

The awesome story has been told and retold with epic grandeur, how Del Pilar stood with his valiant soldiers on the steep and solitary mountain Pass of Tirad, steadfast to repel the invader, or fight and die like honorable men. In a moving eulogy delivered on the occasion of the delivery of the remains of Del Pilar to the National Museum on Dec. 2, 1930 – 31 years after the historic battle, Benito T. Soliven, then Representative of the First District of Ilocos Sur, observed that the Filipino soldiers’ "stand against overwhelming odds has been fittingly compared by American contemporary writers to that of Leonidas and his Spartans at Thermopylae, and that of the embattled Afridis at Dargai Ridge. Even now, we are thrilled with the account of their courage. But the death of Del Pilar is something more than a soldier’s death. It was the sublime protest of a patriot against the decree of adverse fate. He had yearned for death when he saw that all was lost for the Republic. He had wished for it when long before the battle of Tirad, he proposed to meet the pursuing enemy after the disaster at Caloocan. He felt its obsession when at midnight on the bank of the river at Aringay he woke up his soldiers and pointedly asked them this question: ‘Brothers, which do you prefer, to die fighting or to flee like cowards?’

"…From morning till noon he repelled charge after charge, he tenaciously held on with his handful of men through the heat and agony of battle, till he himself fell dead among his slain soldiers. And well chosen and most fitting was the place where he offered the sacrifice of his life. It was on the mountain summit, overlooking the plains and the shores of his country, a massive and tremendous altar, built as it were for Titans, caressed by the rolling clouds of morning, lighted by the stars of dusk."

Admittedly, it was one of the darkest hours in Philippine history. President Aguinaldo was retreating to the mountains with only a few faithful followers about him. The young general could not bear to see the misfortune of his country. A man of iron who could not yield to the foe like Andrés Bonifacio and Antonio Luna, Del Pilar could accept no compromise.

Men of their caliber are worthy of our admiration. For noble and worthy causes that will enrich national well-being, they fight to the death with manly devotion and true heroism. In moments of need and times of great emergencies such as today, the entire Filipino nation can always draw lessons from their selfless sacrifices.



Aug. 13, 1898: Mock Battle of Manila

PEACE PROTOCOL, Aug. 12, 1898, 4:23 p.m., Washington, D.C. [August 13, 4:23 a.m. in Manila] :  Jules Cambon, Ambassador of France and representing Spain [SEATED, left] and William R. Day, U.S. Secretary of State [SEATED, near center], sign the protocol suspending hostilities and defining the terms on which peace negotiations were to be carried on between the United States and Spain. The protocol was signed in the presence of Pres. William R. Mckinley [STANDING, 4th from right].

The mock battle of Manila was staged on August 13. At 7:30 a.m., with American and Spanish commanders unaware that a peace protocol had been signed between their governments a few hours earlier, the battle for Manila commenced.  Admiral Dewey had cut the only cable that linked Manila to the outside world on May 2nd; news of the war's end reached neither General Jaudenes or Admiral Dewey until August 16th.

Generals Wesley Merritt and Felix Greene looking at Spanish positions, August 1898

13th Minnesota Volunteers fighting in the woods near Manila

Capt. Thomas Bentley Mott, aide to Maj. Gen. Wesley Merritt, wrote:  "...the bugle sounded the advance, the whole camp sent up a tremendous cheer, showing that neither rain, the darkness of the night, nor the unseen foe could dampen the involuntary delight of the men at the idea of at last getting at their enemy."

A carabao (water buffalo) drags a gun of the Utah Light Battery into position

General MacArthur's 1st Brigade began its movement towards the Spanish positions on the road leading to Pasay. 


The terrain was swampy, the roads muddy, but by 8:05a.m. most of the elements had reached their forward positions and taken shelter for the opening volley.

1st Nebraska Volunteers moving on the seashore toward Manila

1st Colorado Volunteers kneeling on the beach to fire

Less than a mile to the west, General Greene's 2nd Brigade was making its advance along the beach.  Leading the way was the 1st Colorado Volunteer Infantry Regiment, followed by volunteer regiments from California, Nebraska, Utah, Pennsylvania, andOregon.  Ahead lay the Spanish fortification at Malate district, Fort San Antonio de Abad.

Company I of the 1st Colorado Volunteers advances through the grass

Fort San Antonio de Abad:  Photo shows damage from Admiral Dewey's naval guns

At 9:45 a.m., two of  Admiral George Dewey's ships (the cruiser Olympia and the gunboat Petrel) began bombarding Fort San Antonio de Abad. There was only sporadic and light return fire. As the 1st Colorado Volunteers  neared its walls, the naval bombardment stopped.

Aug. 13, 1898:  Two wounded Spanish soldiers found by the Americans inside Fort San Antonio de Abad.

The fort was deserted, save for two dead and two wounded Spaniards.

Original caption:  "From the staff at left, the First Colorado lowered the Spanish and swung out the American flag."  Fort San Antonio de Abad,  Malate district, Manila

1st Colorado Volunteers occupy Fort San Antonio de Abad in Malate district, Manila

The restored Fort San Antonio de Abad in contemporary times

At 10:35 a.m. Capt. Alexander M. Brooks of Denver, Colorado raised the Stars and Stripes over the captured fort.

Original caption: "Bamboo intrenchment of the Filipinos across the Manila and Dagupan railway. The cannon is a bronze piece captured from the Spaniards, June 1898".

As the naval bombardment ended and the American forces continued north in two columns, the Filipinos --- who had not been apprised of the script ---raced to join the battle. They thought there was a real battle going on that would liberate their capitol and they did not want to be left out. 

The Filipinos assaulted from four directions - the column of General Pio del Pilar took Sampaloc district; that of General Gregorio del Pilar took Tondo district, that of General Mariano Noriel took Singalong and Paco districts; that of General Artemio Ricarte routed the Spaniards in Sta. Ana district and pursued them all the way to Intramuros.

General Greene's 2nd Brigade left Malate and continued along the beach.

Aug. 13, 1898:  1st Colorado Volunteers entering Ermita district, Manila, close to Intramuros.

Aug. 13, 1898:  The first 2 American soldiers killed during the battle of Manila.

Blockhouse No. 14. Around this spot a great deal of the fighting of August 13 took place. A shell from a Utah gun took away the corner.

The gun that destroyed Spanish Blockhouse #14

Meanwhile, in the east, MacArthur's 1st Brigade moved through the Spanish trenches, overran Blockhouse #14, and confronted the Spanish position at Blockhouse #20 near Singalong.

The church at Singalong district, Manila, where the Astor Battery and 13th Minnesota Volunteers engaged the Spanish behind entrenchments

Photo taken in 1898 or 1899: 13th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment Gatling Gun crew in the Philippines; the Minnesotans arrived in Manila on Aug. 7, 1898 and left on Aug. 10, 1899. The Regiment was mustered out with: 51 officers and 952 men; 6 officers and 68 men were  wounded in action, 2 officers and 42 men died (4 Killed in Action, 1 officer and 2 men died of wounds,1 officer and 33 men died of disease, 1 drowned).

When the 1st Brigade's 13th Minnesota Volunteers approached, the Spanish defenders fired a few rounds in a token resistance.  It was met by a similarly light return fire from the Americans.  Hearing the sound of the skirmish, the Filipinos rushed into the foray.  A pitched battle ensued, the soldiers of the 13th Minnesota caught in a cross-fire between the Spaniards ahead of them and the Filipino forces behind them.

Astor Battery crew going to the front

The men of the Astor Battery charged the stronghold in a pistol attack which saw the Spanish withdraw. It was probably at Blockhouse #20 that the Americans prohibited the Filipinos from proceeding any farther, and MacArthur's advance the rest of the way to the central city was unopposed.

US Third Artillery acting as infantry. In backqround is the strongest Spanish blockhouse outside the walled district of Intramuros, Manila.

At 11:00 a.m., as the two American columns converged on Intramuros, Admiral Dewey hoisted the international signal flag  "Do you surrender?".

Meanwhile, General Greene and his troops had reached the Luneta, the city promenade (ABOVE, pre-war 1890's), where they were  confronted with a heavily defended blockhouse, and a group of Spanish soldiers who, like the Filipinos, apparently were not privy to the unfolding script.

The periodic sniping from the Filipinos at the outskirts made the Spanish wary of an American double-cross, while Admiral Dewey wondered if the Spanish were about to pull some kind of quick trick when the surrender flag failed to rise over the city.  A huge Spanish flag continued to float over the city walls near one of  the heavy batteries.

At 11:45 a.m., the Belgian consul's launch drew alongside the Olympia. Consul Edouard Andre (LEFT) conferred with Admiral Dewey.

Flag Lt. Thomas Brumby took the largest American flag on the ship and went aboard the launch. The launch steamed away toward Manila, 1,500 yards away.

At 12:00 p.m., the international signal "C.F.L.", meaning "Hold conference",  was hoisted over the city walls.

At 2:33 p.m., Lt. Brumby returned and reported that the Spaniards would surrender  as soon as General Merritt got 600 to 700 American troops inside Intramuros to protect them from the Filipinos. Admiral Dewey ordered Lt. Brumby to tell General Merritt that he agreed to anything.

American troops marching into Intramuros

The Americans rushed into Intramuros.

At 5:45 p.m., the Spanish flag went down and Lt. Brumby (ABOVE, in 1898) hoisted the huge American flag in its place. The 2nd Oregon band struck up "The Star-Spangled Banner" while the Spanish women wept. The ships of the US fleet saluted the new flag with 21 guns each. In ten minutes 189 saluting charges were fired.

Programme of the musical concert on board Dewey's flagship, August 13th, the day of the fall of Manila


At 6:00 p.m., the band on the Olympia struck up "The Victory of Manila". 

The squad of 2nd Oregon Volunteers detailed to escort and raise the American flag over Manila.

Aug. 13, 1898:  Group of American officers before the Puerta Real ("Royal Gate") of Intramuros, Manila.

Terms of capitulation were promptly agreed upon between American and Spanish commanders and the occupation of the Spanish capital of the Philippines was complete. The Americans at once began to fraternize with their Spanish counterparts.

Squad of Spanish prisoners, surrendered to Brig. Gen. Francis V. Greene on Aug. 13, 1898


Dec. 10, 1898: Treaty of Paris

Oct. - Dec. 1898: The American Peace Commission at a conference in their council-room at the Continental Hotel, Paris. LEFT TO RIGHT: Whitelaw Reid, Sen. George Gray, John Moore (Secretary), Judge William R. Day, Sen. William P. Frye, and Sen. Cushman K. Davis.

On Oct. 1, 1898, American and Spanish delegates opened discussions in Paris to end the Spanish-American War. The American commission consisted of Judge William R. Day, Sen. Cushman K. Davis, Sen. William P. Frye, Sen. George Gray, and Whitelaw Reid.

The Spanish commission included the Spanish diplomats Eugenio Montero Ríos, Buenaventura de Abarzuza, José de Garnica, Wenceslao Ramírez de Villa-Urrutia, and Gen. Rafael Cerero, as well as a French diplomat, Jules Cambon.

The Times, Washington, D.C., issue of Oct. 2, 1898, Page 1

On the same day, at Washington, D.C., Philippine ambassador Felipe Agoncillo and his secretary, Sixto Lopez, met with President William McKinley but his request that Filipinos be represented at the Paris peace talks was rejected.

The White House Visitor Center, ca 1898

Filipino diplomats and leaders in Paris, 1898. SEATED, from left: F. de Almores, Felipe Agoncillo, Pedro Roxas, and Antonino Vergel de Dios. STANDING, from left: B. Villanueva, Antonio Roxas, E. Brias, and P.A. Roxas.

Agoncillo (LEFT) and Felix Roxas (RIGHT) went to Paris and tried to represent the Filipinos in the negotiations, but they were excluded from the sessions as Aguinaldo's declaration of Philippine independence on June 12, 1898 was not recognized by the family of nations.

The snub irked Filipino leaders, whose troops effectively controlled the entire archipelago except Muslim areas in Mindanao and the capital city of Manila.

Tension and ill feelings were growing between American and Filipino troops in Manila and the suburbs. In addition to Manila, Iloilo, the main port on the island of Panay, also was a pressure point. The Revolutionary Government of the Visayas was proclaimed there on Nov. 17, 1898, and an American force stood poised to capture the city. Upon the announcement of the treaty, the radicals, Apolinario Mabini and General Antonio Luna, prepared for war, and provisional articles were added to the constitution giving President Aguinaldo dictatorial powers in times of emergency.

Issue of Nov. 22, 1898

Issue of Dec. 3, 1898

Dec. 10, 1898:  Last joint session of the Treaty of Paris. Attendees (LEFT to RIGHT) are:  Senator William Frye, John Moore (Secretary), Senator George Gray, Senator Cushman Davis, Judge William Day, Whitelaw Reid, General Rafael Cerero, Wenceslao Ramirez de Villa-Urrutia, Jose de Garnica, Buenaventura de Abarzuza, Eugenio Montero Rios, Arthur Ferguson (interpreter), and Emilio de Ojeda.

On December 10 the Treaty of Paris was signed, thus ending the Spanish-American War. Spain ceded  the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico (Cuba was granted its independence); in return, the US paid Spain the sum of US$20 million for the Philippines.(The Philippine-American War, which broke out two months later, cost the United States $200 million).

Diego de los Ríos, the last Spanish Governor-General of the Philippines. He became the governor on Aug. 13, 1898, with the capital at Iloilo on Panay Island, after Governor-General Fermin Jaudenes surrendered at Manila. His term ended on Dec. 10, 1898 when the Treaty of Paris was signed.


Dec. 21, 1898: Mckinley issues "Benevolent Assimilation" Proclamation

On Dec. 21, 1898, President McKinley issued the BENEVOLENT ASSIMILATION PROCLAMATION, announced in the Philippines onJan. 4, 1899, which stated the U.S.' "altruistic" mission in acquiring the Philippines.

The U.S. have "come, not as invaders or conquerors, but as friends, to protect the natives in their homes, in their employment, and in their personal and religious rights."

Moreover, the U.S. wanted to "win the confidence, respect, and affection of the inhabitants of the Philippines by assuring them in every possible way that full measure of individual rights and liberties which is the heritage of free peoples, and by proving to them that the mission of the United States is one of benevolent assimilation substituting the mild sway of justice and right for arbitrary rule."

Christmas Day, 1898. US soldiers on a carabao-drawn dray cart at San Miguel district, Manila.

Christmas Day, 1898. 1st Nebraskans on outpost detail.

Christmas Day, 1898. Men of Company E, 1st Nebraska Volunteers, enjoying the holiday meal at Santa Mesa district, Manila.

The San Francisco Call, issue of Tuesday, Dec. 27, 1898, Page 1

The Evening Times, Washington, D.C., issue of Wednesday, Dec. 28, 1898, Page 1

MGen. Elwell S. Otis proclaims American protection over the Philippines. Typo error in this original press release submitted to Manila newspapers by the US army: the date "January 4, 1898" should have read "January 4, 1899."

Emilio Aguinaldo's response to Otis's proclamation published in El Heraldo De La Revolucion, official newspaper of the Philippine government, Jan. 5, 1899.

Aguinaldo's response, in English, to Otis's proclamation; a soldier of the 1st Washington Volunteer Infantry said he pulled this document off a public wall in Singalong district, Manila, in January 1899.

The San Francisco Call, issue of Thursday, Jan. 5, 1899, Page 5

The San Francisco Call, issue of Thursday, Jan. 5, 1899, Page 5

The San Francisco Call, issue of Thursday, Jan. 5, 1899, Page 5

The Scranton Tribune, Scranton, Pennsylvania, issue of Friday, Jan. 6, 1899, Page 1

On Jan. 5, 1899, Aguinaldo issued a counter-proclamation to Mckinley's "Benevolence". He warned that his government was prepared to fight any American attempt to forcibly take over the country.

This sounded like a declaration of war to the American military although Aguinaldo had no wish to get into a war with the United States. He knew that war would only cause untold suffering to the Filipino people.

He was still hopeful that the situation could be saved by peaceful negotiations between him and the American military leaders in the Philippines.

The Guthrie Daily Leader, issue of Friday, Jan. 6, 1899

The Guthrie Daily Leader, issue of Friday, Jan. 6, 1899

The Guthrie Daily Leader, issue of Friday, Jan. 6, 1899

During the period Jan. 9-29, 1899, the Philippine Government negotiated with General Otis.

The Filipino panel was composed of Manuel Arguelles, Ambrosio Flores, and Florentino Torres; their American counterparts were Brig. Gen. Robert P. Hughes, provost-marshal-general of Manila and inspector-general ; Col. Enoch H. Crowder, judge-advocate-general; and Col. (later Gen.) James F. Smith, of the 1st California Volunteers. [Arguelles, Flores and Torres later abandoned Aguinaldo and became founding members of the pro-American Partido Federal on Dec.23, 1900].

All this while, however, Otis was merely waiting for six regiments of the U.S. army to arrive to supplement his forces against the Filipino army. When they did come in late January, the seventh negotiation session was forthwith called off.

Otis thought he was now ready to carry out President Mckinley's mandate to move on from Manila to occupy all of the archipelago.

Otis and staff at dinner, Malacañan Palace


Jan. 23, 1899: Inauguration of the First Philippine Republic

The American newspapers published in Manila (the first, The American Soldier, began circulating on Sept. 16, 1898) had a common point of view:  "These islands are rich untapped sources of American wealth and capital. The natives, half-devil and half-child, insist on playing government: a group of warlike tribes who will devour each other the moment American troops leave."

On Jan. 23, 1899, the First Philippine Republic, popularly known as the Malolos Republic, was inaugurated amidst colorful ceremonies at the Barasoain Church, Malolos, Bulacan Province. This was also the first republic in Asia. Aguinaldo took his oath of office as President of the Republic. He stated the aspiration of the nation "to live under the democratic regime of the Philippine Republic, free from the yoke of any foreign domination." In conclusion, he declared: "Great is this day, glorious this date, and forever memorable this moment in which our beloved people are raised to the apotheosis of Independence."

To make the event more memorable, Aguinaldo issued a decree granting pardon to all Spanish prisoners of war who were not members of the Spanish regular army and at the same time, granting to Spaniards and other aliens the right to engage in business within the limits of the Republic.

Aguinaldo wore a formal attire with top hat, white gloves, and bow tie and carried a tasseled gold-knobbed cane.

The food at the inaugural banquet was European and the menu written in French.

Aguinaldo's entourage enters Barasoain Church

Philippine army soldiers at the plaza in Malolos

The residents of Malolos and guests celebrate the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic


Jose "Sixto" Lopez (LEFT) and Felipe Agoncillo (RIGHT), Philippine ambassadors to the United States. Agoncillo was commissioned as Minister Plenipotentiary to negotiate treaties with foreign governments. PHOTO was taken in 1898.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Ambassador Felipe Agoncillo appealed to the U.S. Senate where the Philippine question was being debated.

The Scranton Tribune, Scranton, Pennsylvania, Jan. 25, 1899 Page 1


The San Francisco Call, issue of Jan. 27, 1899



The San Francisco Call, issue of Jan. 29, 1899


Agoncillo wrote a memorial addressed to the US Senators on January 30, reminding them to follow the precedents of their own country of recognizing the right of all nations to be free and to create and reform their own political institutions.

Juan Luna (LEFT), the Filipino painter, and Felipe Agoncillo (RIGHT) visiting Ferdinand Blumentritt, the Austrian teacher, historian, and ethnologist and close friend of the Philippine national hero Jose Rizal, at Litomerice, Austria-Hungary, in 1899. [Litomerice is now a part of the Czech Republic].

[When the Philippine-American War broke out on Feb. 4, 1899, which affected the decision of the US Senate to ratify the Paris peace treaty that ceded the Philippines to the Americans, Agoncillo moved to Canada. From there, he sailed to London, where he resumed his diplomatic activities and continued bringing into public knowledge about the newly born Filipino nation in the Far East that was struggling from American domination. When his funds ran out, he sold his wife's jewelry and resumed his work.]

Capitol of the First Philippine Republic at Malolos. Photo taken in 1899.

Source:  The San Francisco Call, Sept. 24, 1899 Page 27

A bank note issued by the First Philippine Republic on April 21, 1899. The symbol used for the Peso was the same as for the US dollar.

The Voice of the Philippine Revolution (1899). In the wake of Commo. George Dewey's destruction of Spain's Pacific Fleet in Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo declared the independence of the Philippines on June 12, 1898. El Heraldo de la Revolución began semiweekly publication in September, continuing until fighting broke out between the Americans and Filipino forces on February 4, 1899

Original caption:  "A Waterway of Aguinaldo's Capital, Malolos, Philippine Islands".  Photo was taken in 1898.

[Description from

Caricature showing Uncle Sam lecturing four children labelled Philippines (who appears similar to Philippine leader Emilio Aguinaldo), Hawaii, Porto Rico and Cuba in front of children holding books labelled with various U.S. states. In the background are an American Indian holding a book upside down, a Chinese boy at door, and a black boy cleaning a window. Originally published on p. 8-9 of the January 25, 1899 issue of Puck magazine.

Caption: "School Begins. Uncle Sam (to his new class in Civilization): Now, children, you've got to learn these lessons whether you want to or not! But just take a look at the class ahead of you, and remember that, in a little while, you will feel as glad to be here as they are!"

Blackboard: The consent of the governed is a good thing in theory, but very rare in fact. — England has governed her colonies whether they consented or not. By not waiting for their consent she has greatly advanced the world's civilization. — The U.S. must govern its new territories with or without their consent until they can govern themselves.

Poster: The Confederated States refused their consent to be governed, but the Union was preserved without their consent.

Book: U.S. — First Lessons in Self Government

Note: (on table) The new class — Philippines Cuba Hawaii Porto Rico]

Issue of Feb. 3, 1899


Feb. 6, 1899: US Senate Ratifies Treaty of Paris

President William McKinley controlled all the information coming from the Philippines. On Feb. 6, 1899, after he reported to the American people that the Filipinos had attacked US troops in Manila, the U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Paris by one vote more than the necessary two-thirds (57 to 27). The American public tacitly endorsed the ratification by reelecting Mckinley in 1900.

When the treaty was signed on Dec. 10, 1898, it had to be ratified by the U.S. Senate before it could take effect. It, however, met opposition, mainly against the annexation of the Philippines.

An Anti-Imperialist League was formed to rally American public opinion against the annexation. Many League members felt empires were anti-democratic and a violation of the nation's heritage. Some union leaders argued that overseas empire would only feed the overwhelming power of big business.

Some prominent Americans, such as former President Grover Cleveland, the writer Mark Twain and industrialist Andrew Carnegie, also opposed the ratification. The latter even offered to buy the Philippines for US $20 million and give it to the Filipinos so that they could be free; he believed the U.S. should exercise global economic power but avoid annexing colonies.

One of the reasons why the United States should not acquire the Philippines was that the Filipinos themselves were fighting the Americans in the Philippines. Such an act, they said, showed that the Filipinos did not want to be under American rule. They also reasoned that it was inconsistent for the United States to disclaim—through the so-called Teller Amendment—any intention of annexing Cuba and then annex the other Spanish colonies, such as the Philippines.

Attitudes about race divided the anti-imperialists. Some opposed annexation because they did not want a "primitive race" to join the U.S. Others,  including many African Americans, suggested that U.S. talk of "uplifting" the Filipinos was hypocritical; at home, they argued, the U.S. was not even trying to protect the rights of black citizens.

There were also many in the United States who saw the advantages of taking over the Philippines. Many Protestant missionaries, for instance, favored annexation.  They felt the U.S. was duty-bound to educate and "christianize" the islands, not realizing that most Filipinos were already Catholic.

Some people feared that Germany or another European power might get the Philippines if the United States did not. Newspapers had painted the Filipinos as primitive "savages"; consequently, many Americans came to believe they  could not govern themselves or defend themselves against threatening European powers.

There were those who favored annexation to give America a “foothold” in the populous markets of Asia. They pointed to the Philippines' value as a coaling station for U.S. ships; and as a stepping stone for American exporters with an eye on the "Great China Market."

A group of prominent bankers, industrialists and politicians convinced high government officials that the U.S. economy faced stagnation, widespread unemployment and possibly revolution unless moves were made to penetrate Asian markets.

Senator Albert Beveridge observed: "American factories are making more than the American people can use; American soil is producing more than they can consume. Fate has written our policy for us . . . . The Philippines give us a base at the door of all the East . . . . The power that rules the Pacific . . . is the power that rules the world ....The mission of our race [is to control] the trade of the world....and the Philippines logically are our first target."

"Self-government," Senator Beveridge said, "applies only to those who are capable of self-government. We govern the Indians without their consent, we govern our territories without their consent, we govern our children without their consent."

In the 1900 presidential election, the Anti-Imperialist League supported William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic candidate, who opposed the annexation of the Philippines.

[To be sure, Bryan argued for approving the Treaty of Paris ending the war, by which the Spanish would cede Puerto Rico and the Philippines to the United States, saying that the United States should first secure the freedom of the Philippines from Spain and then award them independence when the international situation was more favorable.]

But rising prosperity and patriotic support for U.S. soldiers helped McKinley to victory.

April 11, 1899:  John Hay, Secretary of State, signs the "Memorandum of Ratification" of the Treaty of Paris on behalf of the United States.

April 11, 1899:  Jules Cambon, the French ambassador, signs the "Memorandum of Ratification" of the Treaty of Paris on behalf of Spain.

May 1, 1899:   John Hay, U.S. Secretary of State, hands to French ambassador Jules Cambon the $20 Million due to Spain under the Treaty of Paris. Photo was taken at the State Department, Washington, D.C.


The Philippine Army: From "Katipuneros" to "Soldiers"

A chapel where Katipuneros were sworn in. Influenced by the Masonic Order, the Katipunan was established as a secret, fraternal society, complete with Masonic rituals, blood oaths, coded passwords, and an aura of religious mystery. Women were admitted later on although most were exempted from the blood-letting rites.

The Katipunan or KKK was founded by Filipino rebels in Manila on July 7, 1892(Long name: Kataas-taasang Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan or “Supreme and Venerable Society of the Children of the Nation").

The founders --all freemasons-- were: Andres Bonifacio, Ladislao Diwa, Teodoro Plata, Deodato Arellano, Valentin Diaz, Jose Dizon and a few others.

They met secretly at Deodato Arellano's  house on Azcarraga (now Claro M. Recto Avenue), near Elcano Street, Tondo district.

Unlike the pacifist and Europe-based Propaganda Movement, whose members were scions of the elite and wealthy, theKatipunan --- composed of the common people, with only a sprinkling of the well-to-do middle class --- did not dream of mere reforms. It aimed at liberating the country from Spanish tyranny by preparing the people for an armed conflict. Thus the Katipunan was founded on a radical platform, namely, to secure the independence and freedom of the Philippines by force of arms.

The San Francisco Call, Sept. 24, 1899, Page 26

Residence of Deodato Arellano on Azcarraga (now Claro M. Recto Avenue), near Elcano Street, Tondo district, birthplace of the Katipunan.

Spanish police headquarters at Tondo district, Manila, 1897.

A seal of the Katipunan emblazoned on a letter written in code and signed with blood

A Katipunero's cedula and a skull used in Katipunan initiation rites

Manila:   The Garrote was a strangulation machine. The two young Filipinomuchachos (male domestic helpers) were sentenced to death for killing their abusive Spanish employer. The execution took place in front of the public slaughterhouse. The photographer, American businessman Joseph Earle Stevens, wrote: "The sight of the unfortunate prisoners...was pitiable in the extreme, and their faces bore marks of unforgettable anguish."

In 1896 Julio Nakpil, a musician and revolutionist, composed and wrote the lyrics of a national anthem in Tagalog, Marangal Na Dalit Ng Katagalugan (ABOVE), at the request of Katipunan leader Andres Bonifacio. A literal translation of the title in English would be “Noble Hymn of the Tagalog Nation”, but by “Katagalugan”, Nakpil (RIGHT) meant the entire multi-ethnic Philippine Archipelago. The rebels  took “Tagalog” to mean any person born in the Philippines who spoke a native dialect.

At the time, the term “Filipino” applied solely to Spaniards born in the archipelago; the natives were called Indios.

The premature discovery of the secret militant society on Aug. 18, 1896 forced theKatipuneros, as the members called themselves, to open hostilities.

The first major battle of the revolution took place on Aug. 30, 1896 when the Katipunerosattacked but failed to capture the Spanishpolverin (powder depot) and deposito (water reservoir) in San Juan del Monte; 153Katipuneros and 2 Spanish soldiers died.

As the rebellion progressed, a split developed between the Magdiwang faction (identified with Supremo Andres Bonifacio) and the Magdalo faction (loyal to Emilio Aguinaldo), both situated in Cavite Province.

The marker reads: "The Tejeros Convention: A revolutionary assembly was held March 22, 1897 in the building known as the Casa Hacienda of Tejeros that once stood on this site. Presided over by Andres Bonifacio toward the end of the session, the assembly decided to establish a central revolutionary government and elected Emilio Aguinaldo President, Mariano Trias Vice President, Artemio Ricarte Captain General, Emiliano Riego de Dios Director of War and Andres Bonifacio Director of the Interior. Certain events arising in the convention caused Bonifacio to bolt its action (1941)".

At the Tejeros Convention on March 22, 1897 held in Barrio Tejeros, San Francisco de Malabon (now General Trias), Cavite Province, the delegates voted to do away with the Katipunan.  They argued that the insulated fragmentation that had aided the Katipunan's  secrecy had outlived its usefulness; in a wide-open national war for independence, unified leadership was required. A well-defined structure was needed to steer a combat force of thousands. From a small circle of conniving men and women, membership had grown to about 15,000 to 45,000 patriots (up to 100,000, according to some estimates; the previous figures, considered as more credible, were supplied by the Ilocano writer and labor leader, Isabelo de los Reyes, who was born in 1864 and died in 1929).

Bonifacio did not strongly object; the convention went ahead and formed the "Pamahalaang Tagapamatnugot ng Paghihimagsik" or Central Revolutionary Government.

Artemio Ricarte restrains an enraged Andres Bonifacio who tried to shoot Daniel Tirona; the latter had objected to Bonifacio's election as Director of the Interior of the Revolutionary Government. Tirona had argued that the post should not be occupied by a person without a lawyer's diploma. Bonifacio, who had to quit schooling at age 14 due to a family exigency, fumed at the thinly-disguised personal insult.

Emilio Aguinaldo was elected President; when his own election as Director of the Interior was questioned for lack of academic credentials by Daniel Tirona, Bonifacio (RIGHT) took it as a personal affront. At age 14, his father and mother had died forcing him to quit his studies and to look after his younger siblings. As a means of support, he made wooden canes and paper fans which he sold in the streets. (Daniel Tirona became one of the founding members of the pro-American Partido Federal when it was organized on Dec. 23, 1900).

Feeling grievously insulted, Bonifacio hotly declared that by virtue of his authority asKatipunan Supremo, he was voiding and nullifying the decisions of the convention. He stormed out of the convention and drafted his own government and army.

Gen. Pantaleon Garcia (ABOVE) was appointed a committee of one by Emilio Aguinaldo to investigate and to report on the case of the Bonifacio brothers. He recommended a court-martial; when the brothers were convicted, Garcia recommended that the death penalty be imposed on them.

Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were arrested, tried and convicted of treason; they were executed on May 10, 1897.

(Andres Bonifacio had 4 years of formal schooling compared to 7 years for Emilio Aguinaldo. However, while Bonifacio wrote and spoke good Spanish, Aguinaldo was barely able to speak it).

The Revolutionary Government unified the ragtagKatipunero rebel forces into a cohesive Philippine Revolutionary Army organized along European  lines. It gave each conventional unit a nomenclature and organization. The army  adopted two official names: in Tagalog,  "Hukbong  Pilipinong Mapanghimagsik" and in Spanish "Ejército Revolucionario Filipino".

General Artemio "Vibora" Ricarte was designated as Captain-General (Commanding General). He held this post from March 22, 1897 until Jan. 22, 1899 when he was replaced by General Antonio Luna.
When independence was declared on June 12, 1898, the Philippine Revolutionary Army became the Philippine Republican Army. Aguinaldo replaced Bonifacio’s official anthem withMarcha Filipina Magdalo, a composition of fellow Caviteño Julian Felipe; this became the present-day Philippine National Anthem (Lupang Hinirang).

The first Philippine Army used the 1896 edition of the Spanish army's  Ordenanza del Ejercito to organize its forces and establish its character as a modern army. Rules and procedures were laid down for the reorganization of the Army, adoption of new fighting methods, regulation of ranks, adoption of new rank insignias and a standard uniform called rayadillo.

Orders and circulars were subsequently issued covering such matters as building trenches and fortifications, enticing Filipino soldiers in the Spanish Army to defect, collecting empty cartridges for refilling, prohibiting unplanned sorties, inventories of captured arms and ammunition, fund raising, purchase of arms and supplies abroad, unification of military commands, and exhorting the people to give any material aid, especially food, to the soldiers.

A Sandatahan (militiaman) of northern Luzon armed with a crossbow, 1898.

Sandatahanes, militiamen aged 15 to 50, were equipped with bows and arrows to partially meet the acute lack of arms,

Filipino flag secured by Peter MacQueen, correspondent of The National Magazine in the Philippines in 1899.

Pay scale of officers and men of the Philippine Army, per decree of President Aguinaldo issued from Bacoor, Cavite Province on July 30, 1898. He raised money by taxing merchants, businessmen and well-to-do families. Benito Legarda, director of the treasury department, was described by Joseph Stickney, aide to Admiral Dewey, as "a suave diplomat" and "...just the man to convince a reluctant lot of business men that it will be more pleasing to themselves and more satisfactory to the government for them to part with their money than their blood."

Shoulder bars of Philippine army officers.

The Filipino army's main weapons were the 1893 Spanish Mauser bolt-action 7 mm rifle (TOP); it was reloaded by pressing 5 cartridges stacked in a thin metal clip down through the open bolt; and the single-shot, breechloading Remington Rolling Block .43 Spanish rifle (BOTTOM).

Bladed weapons carried into battle by the Filipino rank-and-file.

Filipino army officers wielded European-style swords, 1898.

The Filipinos were short of artillery; the few guns they possessed were booties from the Spanish army. They  improvised by making cannon out of water pipe, strengthened with timber.

A Filipino iron pipe cannon strengthened with bamboo

A cannon made of bamboo by the Filipinos

Igorots in the Philippine Army. Photo was probably taken in  January 1899 at Candon, Ilocos Sur Province. The Igorots --- numbering 225 --- were hardy mountaineers from the Cordilleras of northern Luzon. They were recruited by Maj. Isabelo Abaya (PHOTO, central figure, with pistol and sword). Abaya was killed in action on May 3, 1900.

Filipino soldiers in Bacolor, Pampanga, 1898. The American photographer's caption: "PORTION OF AGUINALDO'S ARMY IN THE SUBURBS OF BACOLAR. These men were well armed and drilled, and if they had been commanded by officers trained in the military service, they would have made excellent soldiers. But they cannot stand before a charge of American volunteers."

The Filipino soldiers in dark uniforms were former members of the Spanish Army who had defected to the Philippine Republican Army. This photo could have been taken on May 28, 1898, when a native regiment of  the Spanish Army surrendered at San Francisco de Malabon (now General Trias), Cavite Province, and a large number of the men enlisted in the Philippine Army. In his memoirs,  Aguinaldo wrote that about 1,800 crossed over.

The army was divided into an active and a volunteer force. The Active Army was organized into regiments, companies and batteries. In turn, the companies were divided into soldiers with firearms and those without, the duty of the latter - the proportion of five to each rifleman - being to keep themselves close to the rear of the firing line and secure the guns of men who are disabled. The function of the Volunteer Army was the gathering and storing of food supplies and obtaining iron and copper from every possible source for the fabrication of arms. It was also its duty to search the fields for projectiles which had failed to explode, to carry food to the troops, to strengthen daily the defenses and deploy others to suitable sites.

Academia Militar - First Philippine military school

Filipino army officers (under General Juan Cailles)

On the recommendation of General Antonio Luna, General Emilio Aguinaldo authorized the creation of a military school for officers.

On  Oct. 25, 1898, the Academia Militar was established at  Malolos, Bulacan with Colonel Manuel Bernal Sityar, hijo (meaning junior), as Director.

Colonel Sityar (RIGHT) was a Spanish mestizo who had served as a lieutenant in the Spanish Civil Guard.  In 1882, he trained at the Academia Infanteria de Filipinas in Manila. He graduated from the Academia Militar de Toledo in Spain in 1895. He was born on Aug. 20, 1863 in Cavite City of an "Indio" mother and a Spanish father who hailed from Cadiz, Spain. His great grandfather was a lawyer to Spanish King Alfonso. His great grandmother was a relative of Queen Isabela. Both his grandfather and father were Spanish Dukes, and his father was in addition a commodore of the Spanish Navy.

Sityar was the first to suspect the existence of a revolutionary movement. On July 5, 1896, he reported to the Civil Governor of Manila that certain individuals, especially in Mandaluyong and San Juan del Monte, were enlisting men for unknown purposes, making them sign in pledge with their own blood. But his report did not alarm the colonial authorities. Fifty-six days later, on Aug. 30, about 800 Katipuneros assaulted thepolverin (Spanish powder magazine) at San Juan del Monte, igniting the Philippine Revolution. (153 Katipuneros and 2 Spanish soldiers died in this first major battle of the revolution).

1898: A company of Filipino soldiers originally in the Spanish service

Telesforo Carrasco, a pure Spaniard who defected to the Philippine army.

Sityar later defected to Aguinaldo's army at San Francisco de Malabon (now General Trias), Cavite on May 28, 1898. He declared, " I have served the country of my father with blood. Now I will serve the country of my mother with blood". Colonel Sityar served as aide-de-camp and assistant chief of staff to General Emilio Aguinaldo. In the Malolos Congress which opened on Sept. 15, 1898, he represented the province of Laguna.

Sityar and his wife accompanied the president of theFirst Republic in his long and arduous trek to northern Luzon, from Nov. 13, 1899 in Bayambang, Pangasinan, until Dec. 25, 1899 in Talubin, Bontoc, Mountain Province.

On that Christmas day, Aguinaldo, wishing to spare the 5 women in his entourage from further hardships (Aguinaldo's wife and sister, Sityar's wife and Col. Jose Leyba's 2 sisters) ordered Sityar and a certain Colonel Paez to accompany the women and surrender to the Americans in Talubin. [Colonel Leyba was Aguinaldo's adjutant and secretary].

Aguinaldo and his party reached Palanan, Isabela on Sept. 6, 1900. Here, Aguinaldo was captured by the Americans on March 23, 1901.

The Liceo de Manila, 1900.

After the surrender at Talubin, Sityar quit the military life and taught at the Liceo de Manila when it was founded in 1900. Curiously, in the same year, the Queen Regent of Spain made Manuel Sityar Knight of the Military Order of Maria Cristina.

Sityar was one of the founding members of the pro-American Partido Federal when it was organized on Dec. 23, 1900.

He died in 1927.

General Juan Cailles and aide, 1898

1898: Staff officers of General Juan Cailles

1899: Filipino army officers

Group showing General Manuel Tinio (seated, center),  General Benito Natividad (seated, 2nd from right), Lt. Col. Jose Alejandrino (seated, 2nd from left) and their aides-de-camp

Generals Manuel Tinio (second row, center), and Benito Natividad (to Tinio's left) and some of their subordinate officers.

A page from The Illustrated London News, issue dated March 17, 1899. Clockwise, from top left: Generals Pantaleon Garcia, Gregorio del Pilar, Tomas Mascardo, and Isidoro Torres.



Shoulder bars of Philippine army officers. From: "Buhay na Kasaysayan" by Pedro Javier and Yonito Flores

The Academia Militar's  mission was to complete the training of all  officers in the active service. The academy formally opened its classes on Nov. 1, 1898.  The classes were divided into two sections, one for field officers from colonels to majors, and the other from Captains and below. Graduates became regular officers of the army. The course of instruction consisted of current orders and regulations, field and garrison regulations, military justice and penal laws, arithmetic and military accounting, geography and history, field fortifications, and map drawing and reading.

Barasoain Church and Convent. Photo taken on March 31, 1899, shortly after the Americans captured Malolos.

The Academia Militar was housed in the convent of Barasoain together with the Universidad Literia de Pilipinas and Instituto Burgos.

The Academia was deactivated on Jan. 20, 1899 due to highly escalated tensions between the Filipinos and Americans. Fifteen days later, on February 4, war broke out.

Barasoain Church and Convent in contemporary times. Photo by Joel C. Garcia.


Feb. 9, 1899: Battle of San Roque, Cavite Province

San Roque (ABOVE, in 1899) lies about 22 miles (35 km) southwest from Manila by road; a narrow artificial causeway about 600 yards (meters) in length  separates it from mainland Cavite Province. [LEFT, 1896 map].

It adjoins the Cavite navy yard that fell under American control after the battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. (In 1903, the town of San Roque was merged into Cavite Nuevo, which, in turn became Cavite City; San Roque has been reduced to a district).

On the night of February 4, word reached the Americans at the yard  that the Filipinos had attacked US forces in Manila .

The call to arms was sounded. From across the bay the thunder of guns and the roll of volleys told that the conflict was on. The Americans  expected that the Filipinos would attack them from San Roque, but they did not.

51st Iowa Volunteers in the Philippines, 1899

Immediately thereafter sentries and outposts were established at the outskirts of San Roque by a battalion of the 51st Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment under the command of Col. John T. Loper.

American outpost at San Roque, Cavite Province, 1899.

American outpost at the causeway separating San Roque and mainland Cavite Province

Batteries were placed opposite the approach from the causeway separating San Roque and Cavite Nuevo. Gatling guns were placed on bastions, and field pieces were trained on the blockhouses of the Filipinos, while the gunboats Manila and Callao were anchored close inshore in readiness to lend assistance to the Americans in case it was needed.

Filipino entrenchments commanding the causeway connecting the Cavite peninsula with the mainland

On the afternoon of February 8, the Americans sent 2Lt. John A. Glass, of the 1st  Battalion of California Heavy Artillery (California National Guards), with a flag of truce and an escort to the Filipino commander, General Salvador Estrella (RIGHT), and presented him with Commodore George Dewey’s demand that the Filipinos evacuate San Roque; unless the demand was complied with before nine o'clock of the following morning, the town would be bombarded.

San Roque burns

On February 9, at 7;30 a.m., a party of three, headed by the Mayor of San Roque, came over the American line and asked for further time. Commodore Dewey, who was ashore, refused, and the delegation immediately returned. A white flag was then hoisted over a Filipino blockhouse, but it was a bluff, intended to draw the advance of American troops into a trap. Shortly thereafter the town was set ablaze by the Filipinos.

Gun. No. 3 of the California Heavy Artillery shelling Filipino positions at 1,200 yards (meters), San Roque, Cavite Province.

American troops in San Roque fighting

Two battalions of the 51st Iowa Volunteers, the Wyoming Light Battery and the Nevada Cavalry, with Batteries A and D of the California Heavy Artillery were dispatched across the causeway. Every passage through San Roque was a seething mass of flames, and in order to gain entrance to the town it was necessary for the Americans to flank it by moving along the seashore. The Americans fought their way through the flames of the burning town in pursuit of the retreating Filipinos, dragging their heavy guns by hand, and skirmishing whenever the opportunity afforded.

Fortifications at San Roque built by the Filipinos

Americans in San Roque battle

Filipino POWs at San Roque

Ruins of San Roque

Burr Ellis, of Frazier, Valley, California, narrated what he did in San Roque, Cavite. He wrote:

"They did not commence fighting over here for several days after the war commenced. Dewey gave them till nine o’clock one day to surrender, and that night they all left but a few out to their trenches, and those that they left burned up the town, and when the town commenced burning, the troops were ordered in as far as possible and said,  'Kill all we could find.'  I ran off from the hospital and went ahead with the scouts. And you bet, I did not cross the ocean for the fun there was in it, so the first one I found, he was in a house, down on his knees fanning a fire, trying to burn the house, and I pulled my old Long Tom to my shoulder and left him to burn with the fire, which he did. I got his knife, and another jumped out of the window and ran, and I brought him to the ground like a jack-rabbit. I killed seven that I know of, and one more, I am almost sure of: I shot ten shots at him running and knocked him down, and that evening the boys out in front of our trenches now found one with his arm shot off at the shoulder and dead as h____. I had lots of fun that morning...."

The Wichita Daily Eagle, Feb. 10, 1899, Page 1

American guard mount at San Roque, 1899.

American officers in command at San Roque, 1899.

American troops in possession of Teatro Caviteño in Cavite Nuevo (now Cavite City). The theater was Emilio Aguinaldo's first military headquarters upon his return from Hong Kong on May 19, 1898. It was here that the Philippine national flag was hoisted for the first time on May 28, 1898 after the Filipinos defeated the Spaniards in the battle of Alapan, Imus, Cavite. The town of San Roque was merged into Cavite Nuevo in 1903.

The New York Times, issue of Feb. 10, 1899


Feb. 10, 1899: Battle of Caloocan

Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr. (central figure) and staff near Caloocan. At extreme left is Capt. Charles G. Sawtelle Jr., Asst. Quartermaster; 2nd from left is Colonel (later Brig. Gen.) Frederick Funston; 3rd from right is Maj. Putnam Bradlee Strong, Asst. Adjutant General; and 2nd from right is Maj. John Mallory, Inspector General.

After capturing La Loma, Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr. pushed toward Caloocan, an important railroad center 11 miles (17 km) north of Manila. For several days, trainloads of Filipino soldiers were seen landing in the town.

Old Spanish gun mounted by the Filipinos near Caloocan to control the railroad between Manila and Malolos.

It also barred the way to Malolos, Aguinaldo's capitol. General Antonio Luna together with a Belgian-trained engineer, Jose Alejandrino had constructed trenches to defend Caloocan.

La Loma Church:  General MacArthur's headquarters before the Battle of Caloocan. PHOTO was taken in February 1899.

Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr. directing the American advance on Caloocan.

20th Kansas Volunteers digging trenches just before the engagement at Caloocan

1st South Dakota Volunteers and a section of a light battery behind entrenchments just before the battle of Caloocan

Original caption:  "The Montana Regiment Waiting The Order To Advance On Caloocan."

Original caption: "Idaho volunteers near Caloocan, waiting to be called to the Front"

Edward Stratemayer in his article entitled UNDER OTIS IN THE PHILIPPINES described the capture of Caloocan: "On to the town! was the next cry and into the city they advanced, the Filipinos contesting every step stubbornly but unsuccessfully. A stand was taken at a church and at several public and private buildings; but the blood of the Americans was not up and they forced the rebels out, in many cases at the point of the bayonet. Compelled to give up the city, the Filipinos tried their best to burn the main portion of the town, and soon the smaller houses were a mass of flames. An attempt was also made to burn the church and the city hall, but here the Americans interferred and many of the rebels were caught and taken prisoner. The general advance had begun at one o'clock in the afternoon. At half past five, Old Glory was swung to the breeze from the flagstaff of the city hall and rebel sway in Caloocan became a thing of the past. When the smoke of war cleared out, the inhabitants of the town found their homes in ashes, the buildings razed to the ground and only the Casa Tribuna, the church, and the convent remained standing."

Original caption:  "The trenches before Caloocan afforded the best test of soldierly nerve under the strain of constant expectation of attack. The guns are here being placed in position for the coming battle. The defense is admirable."

US Battery at Caloocan

US trenches at Caloocan. In the foreground is the Utah Light Artillery and line of Kansas trenches extending to the water overlooking Malabon, which can be seen in the distance.

1899 painting, drawn from eyewitness accounts, by G.W. Peters. Title:  "The Battle Before Caloocan, February 10, 1899--View from the Chinese church".  Maj. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr., is the khaki-clad officer with binoculars; the battery of Utah Artillery is on the middle foreground, while the 10th Pennsylvania Volunteers occupy the ground  behind the wall. This print came from the book, "Harper's Pictorial History of the War with Spain", published in 1899.

Describing the Caloocan battle, Charles Bremer, of Minneapolis, Kansas, wrote:

"Company I had taken a few prisoners, and stopped. The colonel ordered them up in to line time after time, and finally sent Captain Bishop back to start them. There occurred the hardest sight I ever saw. They had four prisoners, and didn’t know what to do with them. They asked Captain Bishop what to do, and he said: 'You know the orders', and four natives fell dead.”

Capt. David S. Elliot, of the 20th Kansas Volunteers, said: "Talk about war being 'hell,' this war beats the hottest estimate ever made of that locality. Caloocan was supposed to contain seventeen thousand inhabitants. The Twentieth Kansas swept through it, and now Caloocan contains not one living native. Of the buildings, the battered walls of the great church and dismal prison alone remain. The village of Maypaja, where our first fight occurred on the night of the fourth, had five thousand people on that day—now not one stone remains upon top of another. You can only faintly imagine this terrible scene of desolation."

Original caption:  "The Advance On Caloocan --- On The Firing-Line Of The Kansas Volunteers."

Volley firing by the 20th Kansas Volunteers, 1899

20th Kansas Volunteers advancing across an open field, 1899

Arthur Minkler, of the 20th Kansas Volunteers: ""We advanced four miles and we fought every inch of the way;... saw twenty-five dead insurgents in one place and twenty-seven in another, besides a whole lot of them scattered along that I did not count.... It was like hunting rabbits; an insurgent would jump out of a hole or the brush and run; he would not get very far.... I suppose you are not interested in the way we do the job. We do not take prisoners. At least the Twentieth Kansas do not".

US soldiers on firing line at Caloocan

During the battle, the Kawit Battalion from Cavite refused to attack when given the order by Gen. Antonio Luna. Because of this, he disarmed and relieved them of their duties. Soldiers from this same Cavite battalion later assassinated Luna in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija on June 5, 1899.

Igorot POWs at Caloocan

The Igorots --- hardy mountaineers from the Cordilleras of northern Luzon island---sent a contingent of men to fight the Americans at Caloocan. The warriors were armed only with spears, axes, and shields.They were commanded by Maj. Federico Isabelo "Belong" Abaya (LEFT), a native of Candon, Ilocos Sur Province. He was a member of the Espiritu de Candon, a revolutionary group in Candon. On March 25, 1898, he led the so-called Ikkis ti Kandon (Cry of Candon), drove away the Spaniards from the town and beheaded the Spanish parish priest (Fr. Rafael Redondo) and two visiting friars. He served in the Philippine Army under General Manuel Tinio, and later became guerilla commander in southern Ilocos under Col. Juan Villamor of Bangued, Abra Province

Abaya was born in 1854 to a well-to-do family and died in battle on May 3, 1900. He and 10 men were at the mountain village of Guilong, Galimuyod, 11 miles east of Candon, when they encountered a 30-man patrol of Company G, 33rd Infantry Regiment of United States Volunteers (USV). The Americans were led by 2Lt. Donald C. McClelland. Abaya died with 2 of his men and 3 were captured. There were no casualties on the American side. [Guilong has been renamed "Abaya" in honor of the hero].

Igorot POWs at Caloocan

The Igorots soon fell out with the Philippine army and became U.S. allies, acting as guides for American troops in the rugged highlands of northern Luzon.  A Tingguian Igorot, Januario Galut, led U.S. troops to a position where they could surround and defeat the forces of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar at Tirad Pass on Dec. 2, 1899.

Many of the Igorots who served in Aguinaldo's army later joined the colonial Philippine Constabulary.

The mortal combat at Caloocan killed Luna's Chief of Staff, Major Bautista of the Territorial Militia, and Captain Licero of Malolos.

The Annual Report of the U.S. War Department listed 5 American dead and 45 wounded; 200 Filipinos killed and 800 wounded.

10th Pennsylvania Volunteers atop captured Filipino blockhouse

Original caption: "Flags of truce in the streets of Caloocan"

(LEFT) The San Roque Parish Church at Caloocan after bombardment by Admiral George Dewey's fleet.  (RIGHT) Americans set up a field telegraph station inside the church

San Roque Parish Church at Caloocan, after the battle.  The American photographer wrote:  "Caloocan, six miles north of Manila, bombarded by guns of the 'Charleston' and 'Monadnock' and leveled to the ground by fire, was a sorry sight as the Twentieth Kansas regiment advanced. The insurgent dead lay in great numbers for it was here that the Kansans won their first great victory. What was a prosperous town was in a few moments wiped out of existence. The church was afterwards used as headquarters."

A US soldier signals from the tower of San Roque Parish Church to Manila Bay, spelling out a message to the monitor Monadnock over the intervening Filipino lines

The San Roque Parish Church, now a cathedral, in 2010

Original caption: "View of Caloocan, showing burned district"

US army ambulances at Caloocan

Conveying wounded American soldier, February 1899

Trainload of dead and wounded Americans at Caloocan

Original caption:  "On the road to Caloocan --- the aftermath. Photograph by Lieut. C.F. O'Keefe, U.S.A."

1st Nebraskan Volunteers and dead Filipinos at Caloocan

Dead Filipino soldier at Caloocan

Filipinos killed by the Utah Light Battery at Caloocan.  Fred D. Sweet, of the Utah Light Battery:  "The scene reminded me of the shooting of jack-rabbits in Utah, only the rabbits sometimes got away, but the insurgents did not."

Theodore Conley, 20th Kansas Regiment:  "Talk about dead Indians! Why, they are lying everywhere. The trenches are full of them...There is not a feature of the whole miserable business that a patriotic American citizen, one who loves to read of the brave deeds of the American colonists in the splendid struggle for American independence, can look upon with complacency, much less with pride. This war is reversing history. It places the American people and the government of the United States in the position occupied by Great Britain in 1776. It is an utterly causeless and defenseless war, and it should be abandoned by this government without delay. The longer it is continued, the greater crime it becomes—a crime against human liberty as well as against Christianity and civilization..."

Men of Company B, 1st Idaho Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 1899

US soldier on picket duty at Caloocan, 1899

Americans with captured Filipino smooth-bore cannon at Caloocan

13th Minnesota Volunteers and captured Filipino cannon at Caloocan

The Caloocan tramway carhouse near the bridge which the Filipinos fortified, and from which they fought

The station at Caloocan, on the Manila to Dagupan railroad, captured by the Americans on Feb. 10, 1899.

Train captured from the Filipinos at Caloocan. The Americans secured 5 engines, 50 passenger coaches, and 100 freight cars. Photo was actually taken shortly before the Battle of Quingua, Bulacan Province, on April 23, 1899

The Atlanta Constitution of Georgia reports on the capture of Caloocan, issue of Feb. 11, 1899

Feb. 17, 1899: Founding of Philippine Red Cross

Emilio Aguinaldo's first wife was Hilaria del Rosario  (LEFT, 1898 photo) of Imus, Cavite Province, whom he married on Jan. 1, 1896.  She was born in 1877. They had five children: Miguel, Carmen, Emilio Jr., Maria and Cristina.

Hilaria organized the Hijas de la Revolucion (Daughters of the Revolution), which later became the Asociacion Nacional de la Cruz Roja (National Association of the Red Cross), considered a kind of precursor of the present Philippine National Red Cross.

On Feb. 17, 1899, the Malolos Republic approved the Constitution of the National Association of the Red Cross. The Republic appointed Hilaria del Rosario Aguinaldo as President of the Association. In its first five months it had thirteen chapters. She and others helped to organize and distribute the needed food and medicines to wounded Filipino soldiers.

On Oct. 5, 1899, Mrs. Aguinaldo spoke to the soldiers assembled in Tarlac:

"...Were it not a shocking thing for us to wear trousers and to carry rifles ... we [the women] members of the Philippine Red Cross -- would aid you in the struggle and die by your side, for what would our lives amount to if we should still have to live in slavery? Though I am a weak woman, I can assure you that my prayer is for all the Filipino people..."

She accompanied her husband in his long and arduous trek to northern Luzon, from Nov. 13, 1899 in Bayambang, Pangasinan, until Dec. 25, 1899 in Talubin, Bontoc, Mountain Province; on that Christmas day, Emilio Aguinaldo, wishing to spare the 5 women in his entourage from further hardships (Hilaria, Aguinaldo's sister, Col. Manuel Sityar's wife and Col. Jose Leyba's 2 sisters) ordered Colonel Sityar and another officer to accompany the women and surrender to the Americans in Talubin. Hilaria was reunited with her husband soon after his capture by the Americans on March 23, 1901.

Hilaria and son Miguel.  Photos taken in 1901.

Hilaria del Rosario Aguinaldo died of tuberculosis in Kawit, Cavite on March 6, 1921.

A view of the native hut used as a hospital during the Philippine-American War by the International Red Cross Society

Francis A. Blake, of California, in charge of the Red Cross, wrote after a battle:

"I never saw such execution in my life, and hope never to see such sights as met me on all sides as our little corps passed over the field, dressing wounded. Legs and arms nearly demolished; total decapitation; horrible wounds in chests and abdomens, showing the determination of our soldiers to kill every native in sight. The Filipinos did stand their ground heroically, contesting every inch, but proved themselves unable to stand the deadly fire of our well-trained and eager boys in blue. I counted seventy-nine dead natives in one small field, and learn that on the other side of the river their bodies were stacked up for breastworks."






First Shot of the War, Feb. 4, 1899

San Juan Bridge: Contrary to popular belief that prevailed for over a century, the first shot of the Philippine-American War was not fired on this bridge but on Sociego Street in Santa Mesa district, Manila. The Philippines' National Historical Institute (NHI) recognized this fact through Board Resolution 7 Series of 2003. On Feb. 4, 2004 the marker on the bridge was removed and transferred to a site at the corner of Sociego and Silencio streets.

Filipino outpost at the San Juan Bridge

Feb. 2, 1899:  Col. Luciano San Miguel, Philippine army, conferring with Col. John M. Stotsenburg, commander of the 1st Nebraskans, at San Juan del Monte-Santa Mesa. Both men died in combat: Stotsenburg fell at Quingua, Bulacan Province on April 23, 1899, while San Miguel was killed on March 27, 1903, at Corral-na-Bato, Marikina, Rizal Province. President Theodore Roosevelt officially closed the war on July 4, 1902 but San Miguel held out until his death.

Company D, 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Photo was taken in March 1899.

On Saturday night, Feb. 4, 1899, Privates William W. Grayson and Orville H. Miller of   Company D, 1st Nebraska Volunteers, while doing sentry duty, encountered 3 Filipino soldiers on Sociego Street in Santa Mesa, Manila, between Blockhouse 7 (Manila City boundary) and Barrio Santol (Sampaloc district).

Pvt. William W. Grayson (1876-1941):  The Englishman who fired the shot that ignited the Philippine-American War; he was born in England to parents William and Sarah Grayson. The family immigrated to Nebraska where young Grayson worked as a hostler. He enlisted in the 1st Nebraska on May 10, 1898. The regiment returned to the US from the Philippines on Aug. 1, 1899, mustered out, and Grayson settled in San Francisco, California. He married Clara Francesca Peters on Oct. 10, 1899, became a US citizen in December 1900, and had one child, Marguerite, born in 1909. He worked as a house painter or an undertaker; ill health forced his retirement in 1920. He died in the San Francisco Veterans Administration Hospital on March 20, 1941.

Corner of Sociego and Silencio streets, Santa Mesa District, Manila. The National Historical Institute placed two plaques (in English and in Filipino) marking this spot as the scene of the first shot that sparked the Philippine-American War. The plaque in English states: "Here at 9:00 in the evening of February 4th, 1899, Private William Grayson of the First Nebraska Volunteers fired the shot that started the Filipino-American War.”

Pvt. William W. Grayson, standing on the spot where he fired the shot that started the Philippine-American War.

Pvt. William W. Grayson, standing on the spot where he fired the shot that started the Philippine-American War.

Grayson said: "About eight o'clock, Miller and I were cautiously pacing our district. We came to a fence and were trying to see what the Filipinos were up to. Suddenly, near at hand, on our left, there was a low but unmistakable Filipino outpost signal whistle. It was immediately answered by a similar whistle about twenty-five yards to the right. Then a red lantern flashed a signal from blockhouse number 7. We had never seen such a sign used before.

"In a moment, something rose up slowly in front of us. It was a Filipino. I yelled 'Halt!' and made it pretty loud, for I was accustomed to challenging the officer of the guard in approved military style. I challenged him with another loud 'halt!' Then he shouted 'halto!' to me. Well, I thought the best thing to do was to shoot him. He dropped. If I didn't kill him, I guess he died of fright.

"Two Filipinos sprang out of the gateway about 15 feet from us. I called 'halt!' and Miller fired and dropped one. I saw that another was left. Well, I think I got my second Filipino that time...."  [LEFT, front-page report in the Freedom, Feb. 16, 1899, published in Manila by the US Army].

The name of the first Filipino fatality of the war was Corporal Anastacio Felix of the 4th Company, Morong Battalion under Captain Serapio Narvaez. The battalion commander was Col. Luciano San Miguel.

Pvt. William W. Grayson:  Photo was taken near Blockhouse No. 7 on the spot where he fired the first shot.

As they ran back to their post, Grayson shouted, "Line up fellows, the niggers are in here all through these yards."

Pvt. William W. Grayson in firing position on the spot where he fired the first shot of the Fil-Am War.

Filipino troops at San Juan del Monte exchanged fire with the American line at Sta. Mesa. The companies of the Morong Battalion under Captain Narvaez and Captain Vicente Ramos charged the American positions and pushed back Grayson’s unit and even captured an American artillery piece. "By 10 o'clock at night," said American historian James LeRoy "the American troops were engaged for two miles from Pasig river north and west."

Pvt. William W. Grayson, 1899.

Page 2

Many of the Filipino commanders were on weekend furlough.  General Antonio Luna, commanding general of the Philippine Army, visited his family in San Fernando, Pampanga Province. Gen. Mariano Noriel was in Parañaque making preparations for his wedding. General Artemio Ricarte and Col. Luciano San Miguel, commanding officers of the troops in San Juan and Santa Mesa, were at Malolos meeting with Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo. They stayed the night in Malolos, at the house of Tomas Guison.

Many others were similarly indisposed. The Filipino soldiers were for the most part leaderless.

General Pantaleon Garcia (LEFT) was the only one who was at his post in Maypajo, north of Manila (he was captured by the Americans in Jaen, Nueva Ecija Province on May  6, 1900).

On the American side that same night, Maj. Gen. Elwell Otis and Brig. Gen. Robert Hughes were playing billiards, Maj. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, Jr., and his staff were playing cards and most senior officers were absent from their commands; the officers of the 1st Colorado Volunteers were in dress whites playing whist.

Near Intramuros, several hundred 1st California Volunteers and civilians were enjoying themselves at a circus. When firing commenced and the alarm spread, an excitable orderly rushed in and between gasps howled the soldiers to quarters. The men rushed over the flimsy structures through the rings, the civilians followed suit, and clowns and trained horses were forgotten in the general rush to the doors. A number of officers were present who attempted to restore order, but the delay cost them their carriages; for when they reached the street they found their horses had been taken by soldiers in their anxiety to get to barracks.

The strength of the US Eight Army Corps as of February 4 was 20,851 (819 commis- sioned officers and 20,032 enlisted men).  Out of this number, 2,415 officers and enlisted men were assigned in Cavite and Iloilo harbor.

After subtracting further the sick, those serving in the civil departments and those belonging strictly to and doing duty in the staff organizations, the effective combat strength of the Corps in Manila was about 14,000.

An American newspaper in Manila, published by the U.S. Army. The newspaper was founded on Dec. 13, 1898. This issue came out on the fateful day of Feb. 4, 1899.


War Escalates: Battles in Manila and Suburbs, Feb. 5-6, 1899

1899: US troops battling Filipinos. Location not specified.

At daybreak of February 5, the reinforced Americans counterattacked and retook their original positions. Soon after, firing broke out across the 16-mile Filipino and American lines involving 15,000 Filipinos and 14,000 Americans (3,000 of whom were assigned to provost or police duty in Manila). Admiral George Dewey's navy artillery pounded the Filipino positions.

General Hughes sent his Provost Guard out in the streets, blocking off thoroughfares, dispersing crowds, and keeping a close watch on suspected neighborhoods.

Feb. 5, 1899:  A view of the church at San Miguel district, Manila, and a group of Filipino POWs.

Large numbers of suspected "insurgents" were arrested; Hughes grimly noted that "when the police company got through with them the undertaker had enough business for the day."

Aguinaldo tried to stop the war by sending  Gen. Carlos Mario de la Torres to Maj. Gen Elwell S. Otis, commander of the US Eight Army Corps, to propose peace talks and a demilitarized zone. But Otis responded, "fighting, having begun, must go on to the grim end."

The church at La Loma ("The Hill") in 1899

Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr., commander of the 2nd Division, Eight Corps,  attacked the Filipinos in the north and captured La Loma, on the Santa Mesa Ridge overlooking Manila, on February 5. [Santa Mesa Ridge is now known as Santa Mesa Heights in Quezon City]. After capturing the blockhouses, he seized their fortified strongpoints at the Chinese hospital and cemetery and La Loma Church. (La Loma is now a part of Quezon City).

Major Jose Torres Bugallon (RIGHT, image) defended La Loma. He was born on Aug. 28, 1873, in Salasa (now Bugallon), Pangasinan Province. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Colegio de San Juan de Letranin 1889 with high scholastic ratings. In 1892, he went abroad as a pensionado of the Spanish government to the world-famedAcademia Militar de Toledo in Spain. He graduated in 1896 and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 70th Infantry Regiment of the Spanish Army. He fought several battles against Filipino revolutionaries and after the Battle of Talisay on May 30, 1897, he was promoted to Captain. He was also awarded the coveted Cross of Maria Cristina and the Red Cross for Military Honor (Cruz Roja del Merito Militar). After the Treaty of Paris on Dec.10, 1898 ended the Spanish American war, Bugallon joined Gen. Antonio Luna's staff as aide-de-camp and recruitment officer for Spanish war veterans. At that time, General Luna urgently needed instructors for the training of officers at the Academia Militar in Malolos, Bulacan.

A gun of Battery A, Utah Volunteer Light Artillery, is sighted before the advance on La Loma.   Cpl. Noble McDonnel, Utah Battery A:  "The enemy numbered thousands and had courage, but could not shoot straight... If these natives could shoot as accurately as the Spanish, they would have exterminated us."

US artillery in action at Battle of La Loma

Capt. Frank A. Grant's battery shelling Filipino trenches at or near the Chinese hospital at La Loma.

Filipino soldiers killed on La Loma Hill by the 10th Pennsylvania Volunteers. The Filipinos fought from behind earthworks, barbed wire, and cemetery headstones.

10th Pennsylvania Volunteers ambulance at La Loma

Retouched photo of 10th Pennsylvania Volunteers conveying their wounded at La Loma

10th Pennsylvania Volunteers headquarters at La Loma, February 1899

Upon learning from Lt. Colonel Queri, that Bugallon was wounded, General Luna ordered: "He must be saved at all costs. Bugallon is worth 500 Filipino soldiers. He is one of my hopes for future victory." Too weak to keep his strength any longer due to profuse bleeding, he died on the breast of Gen. Antonio Luna, a few hours after he was withdrawn from the battlefield. General Luna wept unashamedly before the lifeless body of his aide-de-camp. To perpetuate his memory, a law sponsored in 1921 by Congressman Mauro Navarro of Pangasinan changed the name of Salasa to Bugallon. His remains now lie inside the Sampaloc Church in Manila.

Feb. 5, 1899: Battery A of the Utah Volunteer Light Artillery on McCloud Hill, Santa Mesa district, Manila, shelling Filipino positions in the San Juan Bridge area (Santa Mesa and San Juan del Monte). A soldier was killed near this gun a few minutes after the photo was taken.

Feb. 5, 1899: 1st Nebraska Volunteers battling the Filipinos in the San Juan del Monte-Santa Mesa area.  Sgt. Arthur H. Vickers, 1st Nebraska Regiment:  "I am not afraid, and am always ready to do my duty, but I would like some one to tell me what we are fighting for."

Feb. 5, 1899: 1st Nebraska Volunteers firing on Filipinos in the San Juan del Monte-Santa Mesa area.

The San Juan Bridge. Photo taken on Feb. 5, 1899.

The San Juan Bridge and Company F of the 1st Nebraska Volunteers that took it.

The 1st Nebraska Volunteers captured the San Juan Bridge, powder magazine, waterworks, and San Juan del Monte church and convent; the Utah Volunteer Light Artillery occupied Santa Mesa.

Feb. 5, 1899:  Ruins of war at San Juan del Monte

Filipino dead at Singalong, Manila. The American who took this photo noted:  "After the battle of February 5th raged around Manila in every direction, every one with a camera took snapshots of the more impressive scenes."

Filipino dead at Singalong, Manila.

Feb. 5, 1899:  Filipino dead in a trench near Santa Ana. The trench was circular.   After the Battle of Manila, the members of the U.S. Army hospital corps were startled to discover several women, in male dress and with hair cropped, among the Filipino dead.

1st California and 1st Wyoming Volunteers view Filpino dead at Santa Ana

Brig. Gen. Thomas M. Anderson, commander of the 1st Division, Eight Corps, routed  the Filipinos at Santa Ana, San Pedro de Macati, Guadalupe and the village of Pasay and captured Filipino supplies stored there.

Dead Filipinos in a trench before Santa Ana.  Charles L. French of the 13th Minnesota Volunteers wrote: " some trench ...most of them were shot through the head, some of them had the tops of their heads blown off, others parts of the face, in fact, the bullets seemed to reach all parts of the body. It must have simply rained lead."

Filipino dead at Santa Ana

Capt. Albert Otis describes his exploits at Santa Ana in a letter home:   

"I have six horses and three carriages in my yard, and enough small plunder for a family of six. The house I had at Santa Ana had five pianos. I couldn't take them, so I put a big grand piano out of a second-story window. You can guess its finish. Everything is pretty quiet about here now. I expect we will not be kept here very long now. Give my love to all."

Pvt. Edward D. Furnam, 1st Washington Volunteers, on the battles of February 4th and 5th:

"We burned hundreds of houses and looted hundreds more. Some of the boys made good hauls of jewelry and clothing. Nearly every man has at least two suits of clothing, and our quarters are furnished in style; fine beds with silken drapery, mirrors, chairs, rockers, cushions, pianos, hanging-lamps, rugs, pictures, etc. We have horses and carriages, and bull-carts galore, and enough furniture and other plunder to load a steamer."

The 1st Idaho and 1st Washington Volunteers massacred hundreds of Filipinos who  tried to cross the Pasig River. An American officer estimated that about 700 Filipinos who attempted to cross in boats and by swimming were killed, drowned, wounded or captured. Not a man was seen to have gained the opposite bank. One American soldier explained, "picking off niggers in the water" was "more fun than a turkey shoot."

Gun and crew of the USS Olympia, 1899

The coastlines were pounded continuously by Admiral George Dewey’s naval guns. An English resident commented about Dewey’s role: “This is not war; it is simple massacre and murderous butchery. How can these men resist your ships?”  “The Filipinos have swollen heads,” was Dewey’s reply. “They only need one licking and they will go crying to their homes, or we shall drive them into the sea, within the next three days.”

1Lt. Henry Page, Asst. Surgeon, of the Regular Army:

"The recent battle of February 5th was somewhat of a revelation to Americans. They expected the motley horde to run at the firing of the first gun. It was my good fortune to be placed—about ten hours afterward—near the spot where this first gun was fired. I found the Americans still held in check. Our artillery then began to assail the enemy’s position, and it was only by the stoutest kind of fighting that the Tennessee and Nebraska Regiments were able to drive him out... A frequent exclamation along our lines was: 'Haven’t these little fellows got grit?'"

Americans in Manila street fighting

The Puente Colgante, or suspension bridge, spanning the Pasig River. PHOTO was taken in 1899.

From Manila, wrote Pvt. Fred B. Hinchman, Company A, United States Engineers:

"At 1:30 o’clock, the general gave me a memorandum with regard to sending out a Tennessee battalion to the line. He tersely put it that  'they were looking for a fight.' AtPuente Colgante (ABOVE), I met one of our company, who told me that the Fourteenth and Washingtons were driving all before them, and taking no prisoners. This is now our rule of procedure for cause."

White American troops referred to Filipinos as “niggers,” “Black devils,” and “gugus.”  They told friends and relatives that they had come "to blow every nigger to nigger heaven" and vowed to fight "until the niggers are killed off like Indians."

Feb. 5, 1899: Americans fire on Filipino forces from Blockhouse No. 13 in Manila while a Filipino boy --seemingly oblivious to the fighting behind him-- ponders the camera 

One white soldier wrote:  “Our fighting blood was up, and we all wanted to kill  niggers. This shooting human beings beats rabbit hunting all to pieces."

Two wounded Filipino POWs inside the Americans' First Reserve Hospital grounds in Manila

February 1899: Old woman shot through the leg by US troops while carrying ammunition to the Filipinos. She is shown here being treated by American medics in Manila.

Filipinos captured by the 1st Nebraskans at Santa Mesa district, Manila, on Feb. 5-6, 1899.

A wounded Filipino POW at Santa Mesa district

US troops carrying their wounded at Santa Mesa district

Wounded American soldiers at Santa Mesa district

US battery at San Pedro de Macati

US battery near San Pedro de Macati

Feb. 5, 1899: The Filipinos tried to hold the church but the 1st Wyoming Volunteers forced them to break and withdraw

The San Pedro de Macati Church in contemporary times. Photo by Joel C. Yuvienco.

Another view of the church at San Pedro de Macati. Photo was taken on Feb. 5, 1899.

San Pedro de Macati:  The view from the church tower

Wounded US soldiers utilizing church at San Pedro de Macati as a hospital

1st California Volunteers at camp near the church at San Pedro de Macati. Photo was taken after the Battle of Manila.

1st Idaho Volunteers at San Pedro de Macati

Former headquarters of General Pio del Pilar in San Pedro de Macati taken over by Brig. Gen. Charles King, commander of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 8th Corps

Philippine army officers at Paco district, Manila. PHOTO was taken shortly before the war broke out.

Brig. Gen. Charles King and staff before the firing line at Paco district, Manila, Feb. 5, 1899

Feb. 5, 1899, Battle at Paco Church.  The Filipinos were positioned in the upper story of the church; Col. Victor D. Duboce and his men of the 1st California Volunteers dashed inside under heavy fire, scattered coal oil, set fire to the oil and escaped.  Capt. Alexander B. Dyer's Sixth Artillery then bombarded the church, dropping a dozen shells into the tower and roof. A company each of  the 1st Idaho and 1st Washington Infantries, stationed on either side of the building, picked off the Filipinos as they were smoked out. Twenty Filipinos were killed and 53 captured.

Paco Church ruins, 1899.

US troops removing Filipino dead from Paco church, Feb. 5, 1899.

Feb. 5, 1899:  A US Volunteer Signal Corps field telegraph office near Paco bridge.

Feb. 5, 1899:  Americans pose with a captured Filipino flag at Blockhouse No. 11, Paco district, Manila.

Filipino soldiers marching through Pasay

US Sixth Artillery Gatling gun rakes Filipino positions in Pasay

Original caption:  "Gatling gun trained on the Filipinos near Manila."   Photo taken in Pasay on Feb. 5, 1899.

Original caption:   "Sixth Artillery clearing the Woods near Pasay, Philippine Islands."   Photo taken on Feb. 5, 1899.

Troops of the 14th Infantry Regiment (Regulars) fighting from captured Filipino trenches in Pasay, Feb. 5, 1899.

Troops of the 14th Infantry Regiment (Regulars) entrenched at Pasay, Feb. 5, 1899.

Pasay:  1st South Dakota Volunteers, armed with Krag-Jorgensen carbines, await orders to fire, Feb. 5, 1899.

Filipino dead at Pasay

Brig. Gen. Thomas M. Anderson viewing Filipino dead

Pasay:  The Americans found large quantities of ammunition, most of which the Filipinos had taken from sunken Spanish ships. Several marine guns were captured, one of them showing here. Photo was taken on Feb. 5, 1899.

Pasay:  Filipino civilians entering the line manned by Company D, 14th U.S. Infantry Regiment. Photo was taken in February 1899.

Colorized photo of Company M, 20th Kansas Volunteers, on the firing line at Manila, Feb. 5, 1899.

Feb. 6, 1899: 1st Nebraska Volunteers entrenched at the Manila Waterworks, SitioEscombro, Barrio Santolan, Pasig (Marikina Valley portion of the town).

Feb. 6, 1899:  American rapid fire guns at the Manila Waterworks, Sitio Escombro, BarrioSantolan, Pasig (Marikina Valley portion of the town).

Feb. 6, 1899: 1st Nebraska Volunteers supervise the burial of dead Filipinos at the Manila Waterworks, Sitio Escombro, Barrio Santolan, Pasig (Marikina Valley portion of the town).  A Nebraskan said: "We came here to help, not to slaughter, these natives…I cannot see that we are fighting for any principle now."

Feb. 6, 1899:  Another view of the burial of Filipinos killed at the Manila Waterworks, SitioEscombro, Barrio Santolan, Pasig (Marikina Valley portion of the town).

Feb. 6, 1899: Negritos in the Philippine Army captured by US troops at the Manila Waterworks, Sitio Escombro, Barrio Santolan, Pasig (Marikina Valley portion of the town).

Feb. 6, 1899: Negritos in the Philippine Army captured by US troops at the Manila Waterworks, Sitio Escombro, Barrio Santolan, Pasig (Marikina Valley portion of the town).

Issue of Monday, Feb. 6, 1899

Issues of Monday, Feb. 6, 1899

The Bulletin of San Francisco, California, reports on the Americans' Manila victory, Tuesday, Feb. 7. 1899.

In the 2-day battle of Manila, Harper's Encyclopaedia of United States History, published in 1901, listed 57 US soldiers killed and 215 wounded; it estimated Filipino dead at 500, with 1,000 wounded and 500 captured. [ Most Filipino historians believe that owing to the heavy firepower unleashed by the Americans, the true number of Filipino dead ranged from 1,000 to 3,000].

The San Francisco Call, issue of Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1899. The photo of Felipe Agoncillo, Aguinaldo's chief envoy to the United States, was not a part of the original news report.

The San Francisco Call, issue of Wednesday, Feb. 8, 1899

The Bulletin of San Francisco, California, issue of Wednesday, Feb. 8, 1899

Feb. 8, 1899:  Brig. Gen. Charles King, with his staff, receiving two Filipino peace delegates. The Americans turned down Aguinaldo's proposal for a ceasefire and peace talks.  On this day, General Otis wired Washington:  "The situation is rapidly improving. The insurgent army is disintegrating, Aguinaldo's influence has been destroyed."

Americans fire volley over graves of fellow US soldiers at Paco Cemetery, Manila. Undated photo.

Burial of slain US soldiers at the Presidio, San Francisco, California, U.S.A. PHOTO was taken in 1899.



The War in the Visayas, Feb. 11, 1899 - March 10, 1899

General Martin Delgado and staff in Iloilo, 1898

Filipino regiment in Iloilo, 1898

On Feb. 11, 1899, the US First Separate Brigade commanded by Brig. Gen. Marcus P. Miller, West Point Class 1858, invaded Iloilo City (ABOVE, in 1899) on Panay Island. The  defenders were led by General Martin Delgado and Teresa "Nay Isa" Magbanua y Ferraris, the Visayan "Joan of Arc".

Company G., 1st Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment

The brigade consisted of elements of the 1st Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment,  18th US Regular Infantry and 6th US Artilley. The Americans were assisted by several ships from Admiral George Dewey's squadron (the war vessels Baltimore, Boston and Petrel, troop transports Arizona, Newport and St. Paul, and the launches Iloilo and Vicenti). The invasion force totaled 3,322 men.

At 9:30 a.m., Saturday, February 11, the gunboatPetrel and the cruiser Baltimore bombarded the Filipino shore trenches. Forty-eight marines from the Boston and a company from the Petrelwere sent ashore. The Filipinos retreated.

The Filipino soldiers burned Iloilo to prevent the Americans from making it as their base of operations. The Swiss consul's residence was burned. The entire Chinese and native sections of the city were destroyed, but foreign mercantile property escaped with slight damage.

The Semi-Weekly Gazette and Bulletin of Williamsport, Pennsylvania reports on the capture of Iloilo, issue of Feb. 14, 1899.

D. M. Mickle, Tennessee Regiment, at Iloilo:

"The building had been taken possession of by a United States officer, and he looted it to a finish. I suspected something and followed one of his men to the place. I expected to be jumped on by the officer as soon as I found him there, as I was away from my post, but it seems he was afraid I would give him away; in fact, we were both afraid of each other. He was half drunk, and every time he saw me look at anything he would say, "Tennessee, do you like that? Well, put it in your pocket"........The house was a fine one, and richly furnished, but had been looted to a finish. The contents of every drawer had been emptied on the floor. You have no idea what a mania for destruction the average man has when the fear of the law is removed. I have see them—old sober business men too—knock chandeliers and plate-glass mirrors to pieces just because they couldn’t carry them off. It is such a pity."

Jaro, Iloilo:  Gordon's Scouts from Rhode Island.  Photo taken in 1899.  The soldiers actually belonged to Company G, 18th U.S. Infantry Regiment (Regulars); the company commander was Capt. Walter H. Gordon.

On February 14, the town of Santa Barbara was captured by the Americans. Next they captured Oton, Mandurriao, and Jaro.

The San Francisco Call, issue of Feb. 26, 1899

American forces occupied Cebu on February 22 and Bacolod on Negros Island on March 10.

Before the Fil-Am War broke out, General Leandro Fullon was appointed by Emilio Aguinaldo as commanding general of all Filipino forces in the Visayas. On Sept. 6, 1898 he left Cavite at the head of an expeditionary force to Panay Island.  He arrived in Pandan, Antique Province, on Sept. 21, 1898 with 140 officers and 340 men. Together with Generals Ananias Diokno (from Luzon) and Martin Delgado (from Iloilo), they led Filipino troops against Spanish forces under General Diego de los Rios.

Throughout the conflict with the Americans, Fullon urged military leaders on the island--both from Luzon and Panay-- to remain united. There was tension between the Luzon  troops and those indigenous to the Visayas. The short-lived Malolos government had feeble authority over the revolutionary movements in the Visayas and Mindanao.

The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Visayas and Mindanao, established on Nov. 17, 1898 in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo, was fuelled by federalist tendencies. These clashed with the unitary and centralized tendencies of the Malolos Congress where Tagalogs overwhelmingly outnumbered representatives from other regions.

The Visayans resented attempts by Malolos to assert its authority. The Luzon force was regarded by the Visayan revolutionaries, led by the Visayan supremo, Gen. Martin Delgado, as an ''invasion'' force.

Fullon surrendered to the Americans on March 22, 1901. After the civil government was organized, he was appointed governor of Antique on April 15, 1901, a post that he held until he died on Oct. 16, 1904. Fullon was born in Hamtik, Antique on March 13, 1873.

Ananias Diokno was born on Jan. 22, 1860 in Taal, Batangas Province. He distinguished himself against the Spaniards in the Batangas-Laguna-Tayabas zone.

On April 28, 1899 President Emilio Aguinaldo appointed him as the civil and military governor of Capiz Province. He undertook guerrilla warfare against the Americans on Panay Island.

On March 18, 1901, Capt. Peter Murray, 18th US Infantry and 1Lt. Frank C. Bolles, 6th US Infantry, with detachments, located Diokno atBarrio Dalipdan, Capiz. Diokno was wounded and captured; two of his men were killed and 3 captured.

In 1916,  the Americans offered him the directorship of the Bureau of Agriculture, but he refused. He died on Nov. 2, 1922.

Ananias Diokno was the grandfather of Jose "Pepe" Wright Diokno, famed nationalist, human rights advocate, CPA and Bar Topnother, lawyer, secretary of justice and senator, who died of cancer in 1987 at the age of 65.

Martin Teofilo Delgado (RIGHT) was born on Nov. 11, 1858 in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo, the second child of a rich and aristocratic Spanish mestizo family. He finished his early schooling at Sta. Barbara Parochial School. Later, he enrolled at the Seminario de San Vicente Ferrer in Jaro. For further studies, he enrolled at the Ateneo Municipal in Manila and obtained his diploma as a school teacher. After finishing his studies in Manila. he returned to his hometown and taught in a public school for some time.

Shortly after Commodore George Dewey had smashed the Spanish fleet at Manila Bay on May 1, 1898 and blockaded the capital, the hard-pressed Spanish colonial government  organized Filipino volunteer militia in the different regions of the Philippines. General Ricardo Monet, the Politico-Military Governor of Iloilo Province, appointed Martin Delgado as captain and commander of the 125-strong Voluntarios in Sta. Barbara.

Delgado and his men turned around and joined the revolution against Spain.

On Nov. 17, 1898, at the plaza of Santa Barbara, Delgado proclaimed the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Visayas and Mindanao. He raised the Philippine flag sent by General Emilio Aguinaldo. It was the first time that the Filipino national flag was hoisted outside of Luzon Island. When the flag reached the top of the bamboo pole, the air reverberated with cries of  Viva Filipinas! Fuera España! Viva Independencia!  The band struck up the Marcha Libertador composed by General Delgado's brother Posidio.

The provisional government was later replaced by a Politico-Military Government on Nov. 23, 1898, composed only of the Visayas, because the Visayan leaders finally preferred instead, a federal arrangement composed of --Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, as a logical substitute because of its indigenous elements.

With the merger on Dec. 2, 1898 of the Independent Republic of Negros and the Cantonal Government of Bohol (established in August-1898); the Panay government that included Romblon (part of Capiz), based in Iloilo was renamed Federal Republic of the Visayas, patterned after the U.S. Federal and Cantonal government of the Swiss Confederation.

On April 28, 1899 President Emilio Aguinaldo abolished the Federal Republic and appointed Delgado as the civil and military governor of  Iloilo Province under the central Philippine government. He waged guerrilla warfare against the Americans on Panay Island. 

He surrendered in Jaro, Iloilo on Feb. 2, 1901.

General Martin Delgado (SEATED, CENTER) as Governor of Iloilo Province.  Photo was taken in 1903.

The San Francisco Call, issue of April 12, 1901, Page 2.

On April 11, 1901, the Americans appointed Delgado as the first governor of Iloilo Province effective May 1st; he served until 1904.

He became Mayor of Sta. Barbara.  Delgado died in Culion island on Nov. 12, 1918.

April  2006:  Iloilo Governor Niel D. Tupas, Sr., greets General Martin Delgado's immediate kin, Leticia Delgado and Martin Delgado III, during ceremonies honoring Iloilo's past governors  At extreme right is Iloilo First Lady Myrna Causing Tupas

Teresa "Nay Isa" Magbanua y Ferraris, "Visayan Joan of Arc", was born in Pototan, Iloilo on Oct. 13, 1868. She studied at the Colegio de San Jose in Jaro, Iloilo; in 1885, she was sent to Manila and enrolled atColegio de Santa Rosa and then at Colegio de Santa Catalina to train as a teacher. She was a classmate of Dona Aurora Aragon, later the first lady of President Manuel Quezon of the Commonwealth. Teresa (RIGHT, in old age) finally obtained a teacher's certificate from the Colegio de Dona Cecilia in 1894. She taught at several schools in the province of Panay. When she married Alejandro Baldero, a rich landowner from Sara, Iloilo, she gave up her teaching career to work on the farm. While on the farm, she learned the rough ways of farm life, learning how to ride a horse and fire a pistol. By then however, the Philippine revolution had started and two of her brothers had become officers in the revolutionary army.

Teresa joined the revolutionary forces at the age of 28. In the battlefield, she bravely led men soldiers. Her unit won the battle of Sap-ong near Sara, Iloilo. The commander of the Revolutionary foces in the Visayas, General Martin Teofilo Delgado, commended her bravery and military abilities and entrusted her leadership in many military encounters throughout Panay island. Nay Isa fought the Americans in the Battle of Iloilo City on Feb. 11, 1899. No official record exists that proves Aguinaldo had promoted Magbanua to the rank of general. But her troops considered and addressed her as such. After the fall of the Filipinos' regional headquarters in Sta. Barbara, Magbanua shifted to guerrilla tactics. Her brother Elias died at age 19 from the bullet of a Filipino guide working with the Americans. In 1900, she disbanded her unit and surrendered.

Nay Isa remained childless and was widowed shortly after the outbreak of the war with the Japanese. Teresa sold all her property in Iloilo to help finance the guerrilla forces. She migrated to Mindanao and lived with her sister, Maria, in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur. Here she would die in August 1947 at the age of 78, with the rare distinction of having fought all of her country's colonizers.

Iloilo in the late 1890's

Iloilo, 1898: Calle Real (now J.M. Basa St.)

Iloilo:  Street scenes, 1899.

Iloilo, Feb. 11, 1899: Original caption: "The house on the left side of the street remains intact after the American invasion of Iloilo; the house on the right was not as lucky."

American soldiers on Panay Island, 1899.

Iloilo: Americans lined up for mess at their headquarters kitchen. Photo taken in 1899.

Iloilo:  The cathedral of the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Our Lady of the Candles) as it looked in 1899; built in 1864, it was destroyed by an earthquake in  1948 and rebuilt in 1956.

Cebu town in the late 1890's

Chinese shoemakers in Cebu. Photo was taken in 1899.

1900: Cebu Provincial Capitol Building

1900: The Parian (Chinese) district, Cebu town (became a City in 1937)

1900: A street in Cebu town (became a City in 1937)



No comments: