Saturday, November 05, 2005


“The HISTORY of an oppressed people is hidden in the lies and the agreed myth of its conquerors.” - Meridel Le Sueur, American writer, 1900-1996

"The chief business of America is business" - President Calvin Coolidge, 1925 NOTES:
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Primary Blog Posts/Readings for my fellow, Native (Malay/Indio) Filipinos-in-the-Philippines

What We Filipinos Should Know: In 1902, the San Francisco Argonaut, a weekly magazine, stated baldly the purposes of the United States regarding the Philippine islands. The magazine was responding to criticism of American soldiers, for their numerous and flagrant atrocities committed against the Filipinos.

Fast forward....And our homeland is supposedly the model for occupied Iraq per George W. Bush in his speech to the Philippine Congress during his short 8-hour visit to the Philippines on October 18,2003. What we witnessed thereafter were the abuses in the Abu Ghaib and Guantanamo Prisons, etc. History oftentimes repeats itself, when lessons are not learned.

The glorification of the Anglo-Saxon race and its superiority to all others was the theme of several songs written in 1898. A sampler follows the article.

"If it is commercialism to want the possession of a strategic point [Philippines] giving the American people an opportunity to maintain a foothold in the markets of that great Eastern country [China], for God's sake let us have commercialism." --Senator Mark Hanna



There have been too much hypocrisy about this Philippine business –too much snivel—too much cant. Let us all be frank.WE DO NOT WANT THE FILIPINOS.WE WANT THE PHILIPPINES.

All of our troubles in this annexation matter have been caused by the presence in the Philippine Islands of the Filipinos. Were it not for them, the Treaty of Paris would have been an excellent thing; the purchase of the archipelago for twenty million dollars would have been cheap. The islands are enormously rich; they abound in dense forests of valuable hardwood timber; they contain mines of the precious metals; their fertile lands will produce immense crops of sugar cane, rice and tobacco. Touched by the wands of American enterprise, fertilized with American capital, these islands would speedily become richer than Golconda was of old.

But unfortunately, they are infested by Filipinos. There are many millions of them there, and it is to be feared that their extinction will be slow. Still, every man who believes in developing the islands must admit that it can not be done successfully while the Filipinos are there. They are indolent. They raise only enough food to live in; they don’t care to make money; and they occupy land which may be utilized to much better advantage by Americans. Therefore, the more of them killed the better.

It seems harsh. But they must yield before the superior race, and the American syndicate. How shortsighted, then to check the army in its warfare upon these savages; particularly when the army is merely carrying out its orders and the duly expressed wishes of the American people, as shown through their elections and their representatives.

Doubtless, many of the excellent gentlemen now in Congress would repudiate these sentiments as brutal. But we are only saying what they are doing. We believe in stripping all hypocritical verbiage from national declarations, and telling the truth simply and boldly. We repeat – the American people, after thought and deliberation, have shown their wisdom, THEY DO NOT WANT THE FILIPINOS, THEY WANT THE PHILIPPINES.

It is no one party, no one class, that is responsible for our Philippine policy. It is the people of the United States. The Democratic Party shares equally the responsibility with the Republican Party. The Democratic Party voted for the war with Spain. Had it opposed the fifty-million arms appropriation, the war could not have taken place. The Democrats advocated the purchase of the Philippines. 

For a time, the confirmation of the Philippine treaty was in doubt. It was the personal lobbying of William J. Bryan with the Democratic senators which led to the confirmation of the Philippine purchase, and which also led to the present bloody war. Mr. Bryan said at the time that he advocated the confirmation of the treaty in order to put “the Republicans into a hole.” He has certainly put his country into a hole. Is he proud of his work?

We are all responsible. You, reader, are responsible. If you are a republican, your party has made this action part of its national policy. If you are a democrat, your party, by its vote in the House of Representatives, made the war possible, and by its vote in the Senate turned the scales for the purchase of the Philippines. But if we the people of the United States are responsible for the Philippine Campaign, the American army is not. The army is only seventy thousand out of seventy million. The army did not ask to go there. It was sent. It has fought for four years under tropic suns and torrential rains, in pestilential jungles and miasmatic swamps, patiently bearing the burdens placed upon it by the home country, and with few laurels to be gained as a result of hard and dangerous duty.

Nearly every general officer returning from the Philippines has returned to either a wrecked reputation, newspaper odium, or public depreciation. Look at Merritt, Otis, Merriam, MacArthur, and Funston. The best treatment that any of them has received is not to be abused. And yet, with these melancholy examples before them our army toils on uncomplainingly doing its duty.The army did not bring on the war. We civilians did it.

The army is only doing our bidding as faithful servants of their country. And now that they have shown a perfectly human tendency to fight the devil with fire, we must not repudiate their actions, for their actions are our own. They are receiving the fire of the enemy from the front. It is shameful that there should be a fire upon them from the rear.

(“A San Francisco Weekly Defends the Army”, in The American Spirit –United States History as Seen by Contemporaries, Volume II, ed. Thomas A. Bailey,(Boston, D.C. Heath & Co. 1963 & 1968)


- A Soldiers' Song (1898)
(Tune: "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching")

In the days of dopey dreams -- happy, peaceful Philippines,When the bolomen were busy all night long.When ladrones would steal and lie, and Americanos die,Then you hear the soldiers sing this evening song:

Damn, Damn, Damn the Filipinos!
Cross-eyed kakiac ladrones!
Underneath the starry flag,
civilize 'em with a Krag*,
And return us to our own beloved homes!

Social customs there were few,
ladies all would smoke and chew,
And the men did things the padres said were wrong.
They did things that weren't nice, but the padres cut no ice,
So you heard the soldiers sing this evening song:

Underneath a nipa thatch,
where the lazy chickens scratch,
only refuge after hiking all day long
When I lay me down and slept, slimy lizards o'er me crept,
Then you heard the soldiers sing this evening song:


(* Krag is slang for the Krag-Jensen rifles, an extremely powerful weapon used by the US Army in the Philippines. - Bert)

"The glory of the United States is business" - Wendell L. Willkie, 1936

“Colonies do not cease to be colonies because they are independent” – Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister (1804-1881)

“Nations whose NATIONALISM is destroyed are subject to ruin.” - Colonel Muhammar Qaddafi, 1942-, Libyan Political and Military Leader

"We shall be better and braver and less helpless if we think that we ought to enquire, than we should have been if we indulged in the idle fancy that there was no knowing and no use in seeking to know what we do not know..." - SOCRATES
"Upang maitindig natin ang bantayog ng ating lipunan, kailangang radikal nating baguhin hindi lamang ang ating mga institusyon kundi maging ang ating pag-iisip at pamumuhay. Kailangan ang rebolusyon, hindi lamang sa panlabas, kundi lalo na sa panloob!" --Apolinario Mabini La Revolucion Filipina (1898)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info. US intentions vis-a-vis the Philippines have been obvious for more than a century, and yet fewer and fewer Filipinos want to see the Truth.

Para yata tayong nagtutulog-tulugan o nagbubulag-bulagan. If there's a sickness that killing us little by little, it's our colonial mentality and that canine devotion to the U.S. The Truth is
there - for all to see.

-Addi Batica

Bert M. Drona said...

Hi Adelbert,

You're welcomed!

I apppreciate what you are saying but unfortunately, many of those who see and maybe understand do not care.

And the majority, who are impoverished and busy with their day-to-day survival, thus are ignorant and can not be blamed.

This majority need to be reached by those who few who understand and truly care about "what's going on".

It's an extremely difficult and unguaranteed task. But unless the majority are informed, and attain understanding; there will be no unity and no force for radical change.

Anonymous said...

Bert -

Most of us are still victims of the illness called "immediacy", meaning to say, responding only to the immediate, rather than long-term needs or concerns. So it is, given these hard times, that the many would respond only to the demands of the next meal, etc.

In terms of reaching out and spreading the message that,indeed, the Philippines is in a mess that will sink unless all of us act - again, it's the "survival mindset" that prevails.

Many of us were brought up in a family or community culture of survival,unable now to see the difference between "Living" and "Surviving". Some of us rather idealistic ones have tried to reach out to Fil-Am communities, only to find that the majority are stricken with "immigrantitis" -with trying to make it here, with trying to fulfill that so-called "American Dream", with putting in more work hours just so we could chase the dream and also share a slice of that Dream with our parents, siblings, relatives back home via balikbayan boxes and Western Union remittances.

And since most of us are overloaded with work in this process of chasing the "Dream", whatever time is left is used
to "relax" and "free up" the mind -lumpia and tinikling gatherings
such as inductions, Valentine's Day Balls, weddings, baptisms, and in the absence of these larger events - mahjong sessions or short trips to Vegas or Disneyworld.

These activities afford us an opportunity to escape from the trials and tribulations of life here abroad. And the primary
contradictions of the country or society? Well,it's someone else's responsibility, so we say - "Not mine. Naghahanap-buhay lang ako."

True,perhaps one way to reverse the cycle in the Philippines and
finally crack the so-c alled "Tyranny of the Economic" is to do bottom-up development,to empower people economically at the very grassroots level.

The only problem is, in the Philippines, everything s "relative"- we tend to support a venture only if the beneficiary is a relative. And so, we continue addressing these "relative" needs, remitting here and there in the hopes that the recipient would re-invest their remittances and become economically self-sufficient.

Some of us have been shipping goods and making remittances for 20, 30 years- and yet, the "need" is still there.

Development and economic empowerment,whether it's
top-down or bottom-up - is virtually difficult if not impossible unless there's a change in the culture, in the mindset.

However, as if we were a people so jinxed - we keep doing the same things over and over again, expecting a different result.

True,there are oppressors, imperialists, aggressors and exploiters.

But then again, as we approach December 30th, it's worthwhile remembering José Rizál, No hay tiranos donde no hay sclavos. "There are no tyrants where there are no slaves."

When all is said and done,our liberation as a people and as a nation is still in our hands. As I've been saying over and over again,we have the power to decide, we have the power to change course, we have to the power to chart our own destiny.

What are we in power for?

Adelbert Batica