Sunday, April 29, 2012

TREATY OF PARIS, 1898 -- American Subjugation of Native Filipinos and American Imperialism Begins (UPDATED)

"In order to read the destiny of a people, it is necessary to open the book of its past" - Dr. Jose P. Rizal

"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, 1837-1904

NOTES TO READERS:  Colored and/or underlined words are HTML links. Click on them to see the linked posts/articles. Forwarding this and other posts to relatives and friends, especially those in the homeland, is greatly appreciated. To share, use all social media tools: email, blog, Google+, Tumblr,Twitter,Facebook, etc. THANKS!!
Click the following underlined title/link to checkout these Essential/Primary Readings About Us Filipino Natives:

Hi All,

We who have the curiosity to explain and understand the world, love to study history. For our specific world, i.e. the history of us native Filipinos and our homeland, we look at our historians --many being foreigners then and now: Spanish and especially Americans-- much  of whose collections/narratives and judgments of facts have shaped our native outlook through their lenses. 

Thus and most important, we need to critically evaluate their judgments about what is true and what is significant. Thankfully in recent decades, we have had native historians, though much fewer, who have critically studied, written and judged our history from a native Filipino, nationalist point of view.

[In the months following the short Spanish-American War, the winds of expansionism blew strongly across the United States. There was a lot of talk about Manifest Destiny and many people suggested that America should assume its role as a world power. In Congress, legislators called for the annexation of all Spanish territories. 

Some newspapers even suggested the annexation of Spain itself. Expansionists such as Roosevelt, former President Harrison, and Captain Mahan argued for creating an American empire. Others, including Grover Cleveland, Andrew Carnegie, and Mark Twain, opposed these ideas.

In October 1898, representatives from Spain and the United States sat down in Paris to work out a treaty. President McKinley appointed a "peace commission" to represent the United States. A majority of the commission's members believed in expansionism. No native representatives from the colonies, whose fates were being decided upon, were invited to the Paris conference. 

(Click to see --> )

The Spanish delegates assumed that the United States would annex Cuba. They suggested that the United States also take over Cuba's $400 million debt. The Americans declined. After all, the war had been fought in support of Cuban independence. However, they were glad to accept Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.

The American army already controlled the city of Manila, but it had not ventured into any other areas of the Philippine Islands. After signing the treaty, President McKinley ordered the War Department to bring all the islands under military control. The people of the Philippines, he decided, were too "uncivilized" to govern themselves. 

The Filipinos were shocked. For two years they'd been fighting for their independence from Spain. Since the United States had supported rebels in Cuba and Hawaii, they expected support for their independence as well. 

Dewey wrote to his superiors and pointed out that the Filipinos seemed better prepared for self-government than the Cubans did. The War Department responded by sending more men and equipment to Manila. 

(Click to see -->,
Also --> ]

The Treaty of Paris between Spain and the United States conferred on the latter an almost untrammeled powers where us native Filipinos were concerned. It placed the islands under U.S. sovereignty. Although Article IX of the Treaty stated that.." the civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants shall be determined by the Congress..."  In practice, it was not to be so. 

As then Secretary of War Elihu Root declared: "...that the people of the islands have no right to have them treated as states, or to have them treated as the territories previously held by the U.S. have been treated; or to assert a legal right under the provisions of the U.S. which were established for the people of the United States themselves..." (from The Military and Colonial Policy of the United States: Addresses and reports by Elihu Root, Harvard University Press, 1916, p.161).

The Treaty of Paris, which ended the brief, 4-month Spanish-American War and ceded the Philippines to the United States. was signed on December 1898. Its ratification by U.S. Senate vote was set for February 6, 1899.  To observers, the McKinley  Administration did not have enough for the required 2/3-majority vote, thus placed U.S.retention of the Philippines in jeopardy.

The much longer and brutal  Philippine-American War (formerly aka Philippine Insurrection) between native Filipinos and the American interventionist forces began in the evening of February 4, 1899. The native Filipinos have the Spaniards practically surrounded in Manila when the latter secretly conferred with the Americans, agreed to make a sham battle and to surrender to the Americans. 

The American command claimed that the Filipinos initiated the fighting, but there was little doubt that the American themselves started the war and as much later was admitted by the American commanders. (Subsequent generations of us native Filipinos to the present were schooled/learned this lie from the official American history books we used). 

That the outbreak of the Philippine-American War was carefully orchestrated to influence the outcome of the Treaty vote in the Senate seems almost beyond question. The big news of the fighting and the false information as to its instigation was wired to Washington and its dramatic effect persuaded the Senate to ratify the treaty. ( A proposal to grant the Philippines an early independence, similar to that given to Cuba's, was defeated by a margin of one vote. The tie-breaking vote to deny early independence was cast by McKinley's Vice President, VP Garret A. Hobart .)

I am reminded of the later Gulf of Tonkin Incident  (1964) that was a lie fabricated  by the Lyndon Johnson Administration to gain Congressional support for the expansion of the American (intervention) War from South Vietnam to North Vietnam.

- Bert  4/26/2012

(Update Reference link: point and click to read -->   The Philippine-American War (The First Vietnam)


Commissioners from the United States and Spain met in Paris on October 1, 1898 to produce a treaty that would bring an end to the war after six months of hostilities. 

The American peace commission consisted of William R. Day, Sen. Cushman K. Davis, Sen. William P. Frye, Sen. George Gray, and the Honorable Whitelaw Reid. The Spanish commission was headed by Don Eugenio Montero Rios, the President of the senate. Jules Cambon, a French diplomat, also negotiated on Spain's behalf. 

The American commissioners negotiated in a hostile atmosphere because all Europe, except England, was sympathetic to the Spanish side.

Although the Conference discussed Cuba and debt questions, the major conflict concerned the situation of the PhilippinesAdmiral Dewey's victory had come as a great surprise and it marked the entrance of the United States into the Pacific. 

Spanish commissioners argued that Manila had surrendered after the armistice and therefore the Philippines could not be demanded as a war conquest, but they eventually yielded because they had no other choice, and the U.S. ultimately paid Spain 20 million dollars for possession of the Philippines

The islands of Puerto Rico and Guam were also placed under American control, and Spain relinquished its claim to Cuba. The treaty was signed on December 10, 1898


Treaty of Peace Between the United States and Spain; December 10, 1898 (COMPLETE TEXT)

The United States of America and Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, in the name of her august son Don Alfonso XIII, desiring to end the state of war now existing between the two countries, have for that purpose appointed as plenipotentiaries:

The President of the United States, William R. Day, Cushman K. Davis, William P. Frye, George Gray, and Whitelaw Reid, citizens of the United States;

And Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain,

Don Eugenio Montero Rios, president of the senate, Don Buenaventura de Abarzuza, senator of the Kingdom and ex-minister of the Crown; Don Jose de Garnica, deputy of the Cortes and associate justice of the supreme court; Don Wenceslao Ramirez de Villa-Urrutia, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Brussels, and Don Rafael Cerero, general of division;

Who, having assembled in Paris, and having exchanged their full powers, which were found to be in due and proper form, have, after discussion of the matters before them, agreed upon the following articles:

Article I.

Spain relinquishes all claim of sovereignty over and title to Cuba.And as the island is, upon its evacuation by Spain, to be occupied by the United States, the United States will, so long as such occupation shall last, assume and discharge the obligations that may under international law result from the fact of its occupation, for the protection of life and property.

Article II.

Spain cedes to the United States the island of Porto Rico and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and the island of Guam in the Marianas or Ladrones.

Article III.

Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands, and comprehending the islands lying within the following line:

A line running from west to east along or near the twentieth parallel of north latitude, and through the middle of the navigable channel of Bachi, from the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) to the one hundred and twenty-seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence along the one hundred and twenty seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the parallel of four degrees and forty five minutes (4 [degree symbol] 45']) north latitude, thence along the parallel of four degrees and forty five minutes (4 [degree symbol] 45') north latitude to its intersection with the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty five minutes (119 [degree symbol] 35') east of Greenwich, thence along the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty five minutes (119 [degree symbol] 35') east of Greenwich to the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes (7 [degree symbol] 40') north, thence along the parallel of latitude of seven degrees and forty minutes (7 [degree symbol] 40') north to its intersection with the one hundred and sixteenth (116th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence by a direct line to the intersection of the tenth (10th) degree parallel of north latitude with the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, and thence along the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the point of beginning.

The United States will pay to Spain the sum of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) within three months after the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty.

Article IV.

The United States will, for the term of ten years from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, admit Spanish ships and merchandise to the ports of the Philippine Islands on the same terms as ships and merchandise of the United States.

Article V.

The United States will, upon the signature of the present treaty, send back to Spain, at its own cost, the Spanish soldiers taken as prisoners of war on the capture of Manila by the American forces. The arms of the soldiers in question shall be restored to them.

Spain will, upon the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, proceed to evacuate the Philippines, as well as the island of Guam, on terms similar to those agreed upon by the Commissioners appointed to arrange for the evacuation of Porto Rico and other islands in the West Indies, under the Protocol of August 12, 1898, which is to continue in force till its provisions are completely executed.

The time within which the evacuation of the Philippine Islands and Guam shall be completed shall be fixed by the two Governments. Stands of colors, uncaptured war vessels, small arms, guns of all calibres, with their carriages and accessories, powder, ammunition, livestock, and materials and supplies of all kinds, belonging to the land and naval forces of Spain in the Philippines and Guam, remain the property of Spain. 

Pieces of heavy ordnance, exclusive of field artillery, in the fortifications and coast defences, shall remain in their emplacements for the term of six months, to be reckoned from the exchange of ratifications of the treaty; and the United States may, in the meantime, purchase such material from Spain, if a satisfactory agreement between the two Governments on the subject shall be reached.

Article VI.

Spain will, upon the signature of the present treaty, release all prisoners of war, and all persons detained or imprisoned for political offences, in connection with the insurrections in Cuba and the Philippines and the war with the United States.

Reciprocally, the United States will release all persons made prisoners of war by the American forces, and will undertake to obtain the release of all Spanish prisoners in the hands of the insurgents in Cuba and the Philippines.

The Government of the United States will at its own cost return to Spain and the Government of Spain will at its own cost return to the United States, Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines, according to the situation of their respective homes, prisoners released or caused to be released by them, respectively, under this article.

Article VII.

The United States and Spain mutually relinquish all claims for indemnity, national and individual, of every kind, of either Government, or of its citizens or subjects, against the other Government, that may have arisen since the beginning of the late insurrection in Cuba and prior to the exchange of ratifications of the present treaty, including all claims for indemnity for the cost of the war.

The United States will adjudicate and settle the claims of its citizens against Spain relinquished in this article.

Article VIII.

In conformity with the provisions of Articles I, II, and III of this treaty, Spain relinquishes in Cuba, and cedes in Porto Rico and other islands in the West Indies, in the island of Guam, and in the Philippine Archipelago, all the buildings, wharves, barracks, forts, structures, public highways and other immovable property which, in conformity with law, belong to the public domain, and as such belong to the Crown of Spain.

And it is hereby declared that the relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, to which the preceding paragraph refers, can not in any respect impair the property or rights which by law belong to the peaceful possession of property of all kinds, of provinces, municipalities, public or private establishments, ecclesiastical or civic bodies, or any other associations having legal capacity to acquire and possess property in the aforesaid territories renounced or ceded, or of private individuals, of whatsoever nationality such individuals may be.

The aforesaid relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, includes all documents exclusively referring to the sovereignty relinquished or ceded that may exist in the archives of the Peninsula. Where any document in such archives only in part relates to said sovereignty, a copy of such part will be furnished whenever it shall be requested. Like rules shall be reciprocally observed in favor of Spain in respect of documents in the archives of the islands above referred to.

In the aforesaid relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, are also included such rights as the Crown of Spain and its authorities possess in respect of the official archives and records, executive as well as judicial, in the islands above referred to, which relate to said islands or the rights and property of their inhabitants. Such archives and records shall be carefully preserved, and private persons shall without distinction have the right to require, in accordance with law, authenticated copies of the contracts, wills and other instruments forming part of notorial protocols or files, or which may be contained in the executive or judicial archives, be the latter in Spain or in the islands aforesaid.

Article IX.

Spanish subjects, natives of the Peninsula, residing in the territory over which Spain by the present treaty relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty, may remain in such territory or may remove therefrom, retaining in either event all their rights of property, including the right to sell or dispose of such property or of its proceeds; and they shall also have the right to carry on their industry, commerce and professions, being subject in respect thereof to such laws as are applicable to other foreigners. In case they remain in the territory they may preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain by making, before a court of record, within a year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, a declaration of their decision to preserve such allegiance; in default of which declaration they shall be held to have renounced it and to have adopted the nationality of the territory in which they may reside.

The civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of the territories hereby ceded to the United States shall be determined by the Congress.

Article X.

The inhabitants of the territories over which Spain relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty shall be secured in the free exercise of their religion.

Article XI.

The Spaniards residing in the territories over which Spain by this treaty cedes or relinquishes her sovereignty shall be subject in matters civil as well as criminal to the jurisdiction of the courts of the country wherein they reside, pursuant to the ordinary laws governing the same; and they shall have the right to appear before such courts, and to pursue the same course as citizens of the country to which the courts belong.

Article XII.

Judicial proceedings pending at the time of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty in the territories over which Spain relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty shall be determined according to the following rules:

1. Judgments rendered either in civil suits between private individuals, or in criminal matters, before the date mentioned, and with respect to which there is no recourse or right of review under the Spanish law, shall be deemed to be final, and shall be executed in due form by competent authority in the territory within which such judgments should be carried out.

2. Civil suits between private individuals which may on the date mentioned be undetermined shall be prosecuted to judgment before the court in which they may then be pending or in the court that may be substituted therefor.

3. Criminal actions pending on the date mentioned before the Supreme Court of Spain against citizens of the territory which by this treaty ceases to be Spanish shall continue under its jurisdiction until final judgment; but, such judgment having been rendered, the execution thereof shall be committed to the competent authority of the place in which the case arose.

Article XIII.

The rights of property secured by copyrights and patents acquired by Spaniards in the Island of Cuba and in Porto Rico, the Philippines and other ceded territories, at the time of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, shall continue to be respected. Spanish scientific, literary and artistic works, not subversive of public order in the territories in question, shall continue to be admitted free of duty into such territories, for the period of ten years, to be reckoned from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty.

Article XIV.

Spain will have the power to establish consular officers in the ports and places of the territories, the sovereignty over which has been either relinquished or ceded by the present treaty.

Article XV.

The Government of each country will, for the term of ten years, accord to the merchant vessels of the other country the same treatment in respect of all port charges, including entrance and clearance dues, light dues, and tonnage duties, as it accords to its own merchant vessels, not engaged in the coastwise trade.

Article XVI.

It is understood that any obligations assumed in this treaty by the United States with respect to Cuba are limited to the time of its occupancy thereof; but it will upon termination of such occupancy, advise any Government established in the island to assume the same obligations.

Article XVII.

The present treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and by Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain; and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington within six months from the date hereof, or earlier if possible.

In faith whereof, we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed this treaty and have hereunto affixed our seals.

Done in duplicate at Paris, the tenth day of December, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight.

[Seal] William R. Day 
[Seal] Cushman K. Davis 
[Seal] William P. Frye 
[Seal] Geo. Gray[Seal] Whitelaw Reid 
[Seal] Eugenio Montero Rios 
[Seal] B. de Abarzuza[Seal] J. de Garnica 
[Seal] W. R. de Villa Urrutia 
[Seal] Rafael Cerero

A Treaty of Peace Between the United States and Spain, U.S. Congress, 55th Cong., Senate Doc. No. 62, Part 1 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899), 5-11.


"I left these shores, at Vancouver, a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific. It seemed tiresome and tame for it to content itself with the Rockies. Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? And I thought it would be a real good thing to do. 

I said to myself, here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.

But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the Treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.

We have also pledged the power of this country to maintain and protect the abominable system established in the Philippines by the Friars.

It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land."

-- Mark Twain, An Anti-Imperialist, New York Herald [New York, 10/15/1900] 



  1. Keep on spreading the truth about us, brod Bert. The truth is the best weapon we have in our effort to become the free nation we want to be. You are doing a great job.

    Thanks for mentioning one of the best Filipina writer Pura Santillan Castrence.

    [Pura Santillan-Castrence (March 24, 1905 — January 15, 2007) was a Filipino writer and diplomat. Of Filipino women writers, she was among the first to gain prominence writing in the English language.

    She was named a Chevalier de L├ęgion d'honneur by the French government. - Wikipedia.]

    Thanks for this post.

    - Ogie
  2. Very interesting. Thanks very much Bert and Merry Christmas! - Ed

    Other related Posts:

    "We have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population.... Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction.... We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."

    George Kennan, U.S. State Department memo, 1948

    NOTE; 'Crucible of Empire" - a PBS Documentary on the Spanish-American War  (111 minutes)

    PLEASE DONATE CORE SUBJECT BOOKS TO OUR HOMELAND (i.e. your hometown public schools, alma mater, etc.). Those books that you and/or your children do not need or want; or buy books from your local library during its cheap Book Sales. Also, cargo/door-to-door shipment is best.  It is a small sacrifice.  [clean up your closets or garage - donate books.THANKS!]

    I consider the following previous posts and the RECTO READER are essential about our homeland and us native, Malay Filipinos; and are therefore always presented in each new post. Click each to open/read.
    2. WHAT IS NATIONALISM [Filipino Nationalism]?
    3. Our Colonial Mentality and Its Roots 
    4. The Miseducation of the Filipino (Formation of our Americanized Mind)
    5. Jose Rizal - Reformist or Revolutionary?
    6. The Purpose of Our Past, Why Study (Our) History?
    7. Studying and Rethinking Our Philippine History
    8. Globalization (Neoliberalism) – The Road to Perdition in Our Homeland
    9. Resisting Globalization (WTO Agreements)
    10. Virtues of De-Globalization
    11. Our Filipino Kind of Religion
    12. Our Filipino Christianity and Our God-concept
    13. When Our Religion Becomes Evil
    THE RECTO READER is presented in several postings. Click each to open/read:

    NOTE: Recto's cited cases, examples or issues were of his time, of course; but realities in our homeland in the present and the foreseeable future are/expectedly much, much worse. Though I am tempted to update them with current issues, it's best to leave them as they are since Recto's paradigms about our much deepened national predicament still ring relevant, valid and true. In short, Recto saw the forest and never got lost in the trees.- Bert

    1. THE FILIPINO MIND blog contains 532 published postings you can view, as of December 12, 2012. 
    2. The postings are oftentimes long and a few readers have claimed being "burnt out."  My apologies. The selected topics are not for entertainment but to stimulate deep, serious thoughts per my MISSION Statement and hopefully to rock our boat of  ignorance, apathy, complacency and hopefully lead to active citizenship.
    3. All comments are welcomed for posting at the bottom window. Comments sent by email will also be posted verbatim. However, ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL BE IGNORED.
    4. Visit my other website, click --> SCRIBD/TheFilipinoMind, or the SCRIB FEED at the sidebar, or type it on GOOGLE Search to read or download ebooks and PDFs of essays I have uploaded.  Statistics for my associated website:SCRIBD/theFilipinoMind : ALL FREE AND DOWNLOADABLE: 123 documents, 207,458 reads
    5. Some postings and other relevant events are now featured in Google+BMD_FacebookBMD_Twitter and BMD_Google Buzz and Google+.
    6. Translate to your own language. Go to the sidebar and Click on GOOGLE TRANSLATOR (56 languages - copy and paste sentences, paragraphs and whole articles, Google translates a whole posting in seconds, including to Filipino!!).
    7. Forwarding the posts to relatives and friends, ESPECIALLY in the homeland, is greatly appreciated. Use emails, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc. THANK YOU !!!
    8. Songs on Filipino nationalism: please reflect on the lyrics (messages) as well as the beautiful renditions. Other Filipino Music links at blog sidebar.  Click each to play.:

    "In order to read the destiny of a people, it is necessary to open the book of its past" - Dr. Jose P. Rizal


Anonymous said...

Filipino nationalist miscontrue history's phases of democracy and self independence. We filipinos always condem and curse the Americans for making us a US colony or territory during the early half of the 1900 century. After the Spanish regime came the American government forcing us to be a colony simply because the country is framented and has no government other than that set by the Spaniards. We have to go into phases to run to several decades to rebuild our nation. Filipinos has to be educated, pensionados send to American Universities and the infrastructure and system of government has to be build. Many Filipino nationalist revolted with a number of their leaders were uneducated & illiterate but knows only how to fight for independence but not qualified to run a peaceful system of government. Only a few were capable to really lead a country. If the filipinos took over the government right after the Spanish regime certainly it will be a nightmare - no defined system, no procedures, no standard rules, no metholody, no approach, etc. I can relate now to what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan making it longer to stabilized. Filipinos should be thankful to the Americans for bringing democracy. It is the filipino leaders, attitudes and mental culture that ruins our country. Compare the Philippines today as compared to the Philippines ran by the Americans and I am sure we all will agree that the olden days are better than today. I am longing to see the young filipinos fighting for a better Philippines going against their current government rather than continuously digging the past and misinterpreting the true phases of democracy, independence and self reliance. It is just sad that perhaps the Americans left earlier than we really need because of the self-centered interest of local filipino leaders to be able to take advantage of the many impoverish filipinos who's right and vote can be bought out of their hardship.


Ramon A. del Gallego said...

There was no way the Americans could have annexed the Philippines as part of their territory. As you have said in your write-up, "When the U.S. Congress the pro-annexationist faction held a clear majority, but were one or two votes shy of the 2/3 majority requirement." What brought the annexation was the fighting that occurred in February 4, 1899 between the Filipino and American troops that angered some US senators who were against annexation.

There is no use to hark on the past. In spite of the imperialistic intentions of the Americans to annex the Philippines, they could not convince the Senate to go with their line.

Cuba got the Americans to recognize her independence because they gave the Americans a free hand to settle her row with Spain, something that our local leaders were too suspicious to do.

What Filipino leaders could have done is to desist from attacking American forces and instead use diplomatic means to convince them to recognize Philippine independence. This is what the Cubans did and they got their independence without any fight with the Americans.

This is not the fault of Filipino leaders. Aguinaldo was only 26 years old when he became the President of our country. Although he was a good President, he simply did not have enough experience to lead the country successfully. Eventually Quezon grabbed the leadership of our country from Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo run for President in the 1936 elections but lost heavily to Quezon.

What we can do is to stop rattling about the past. There is an old adage, "Everybody complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it."

It appears that we are unable to just forget about the past and concentrate our energies in solving all our present problems. We like to blame Marcos for all the ills of our country although he is resting in peace in his grave. The question is what we can do constructively to solve our problems. We will never get to solve our problems if we will keep blaming the dead for it.

Bert M. Drona said...


Thanks for your input.

I have commented in previous postings about the substance of your comments; overall, I sort of put them in a 12/05/2005 posting which I hope you will checkout:

I just do not want to repeat them.

For one, it tells you why I keep on ranting about our so-called "special-relations" with the USA, which was/has/is a one-sided relationship, us native Filipinos getting the shaft.

I do not try to change the mind/thinking of the already convinced though.

- Bert

Bert M. Drona said...


Thanks for your comments.

FIRST, I suggest that you also check out my 12/05/2005 posting mentioned in preceding commentator. It deals with "blaming America (and by extension other foreigners to the present)."

SECOND, regarding Cuba: Article XVI stipulated that the US will not assert full sovereignty but just for the time of occupancy (10 years) because of congressional pledge to grant speedy independence (Teller Amendment issued at the start of the Spanish-American War).

THIRD, The same U.S.Congress voted down a similar pledge proposed for the Philippines and Theodore Roosevelt, who succeeded the assassinated McKinley, refused to set a deadline for Filipino independence.

FOURTH, Again re Cuba: to ensure no other foreign or European power mess with Cuba, the Platt Amendment was imposed by the U.S. for incorporation in the Cuban Constitution despite Cuban opposition. The U.S. intervened again in 1906 to 1909.

I will expand on this issues in another posting.

FIFTH, I would add that some of us native Filipinos, supposedly more westernized, tend to adopt this attitude "let's move on." I say we can do that on some other personal or even non-personal issues, but in terms of our perennial, national predicament; if we do not critically/seriously study and understand our past, our history, we can not move on.

If we do not know who we are, what we are, why we are, what made us what we are; where can we move on to? If we do not really seek to know our past, including the hidden ones (as much of our known history has been written by the victors), we shall commit the same mistake again as we have been doing, repeatedly, all over, once more, ad infinitum. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

As we love to quote Rizal re knowing our past...well, we hopefully all heard about that.

SIXTH, re Marcos. I do not see why talking about the Marcos dictatorship is seen as bad-mouthing or disrespecting the dead. His regime and his cohorts began/catalyzed the precipitous decline of our homeland in terms of: the national economy, sovereignty and patrimony, social justice, human rights against especially the poor (and its supporters), massive and overt corruption in the military and public institutions, executive/judicial and congress; etc, ad nauseam. And all these continued in perpetuity under all his successors: Cora Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Erap Estrada, Gloria Arroyo, and Cora's son, Benigno Aquino,III.

SEVENTH, Truly,IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS. Prayers have not/do not/will not cut it too.

- Bert

Anonymous said...

Okey, guys.. i will post also my opinions regarding what our history told.. base on some book that i have read.. that the american colonize us.. but in fact there is no such evidence or written in the treaty of Paris that Philippines will be colonize by Americans, or colony of american.. When the american came to the Philippines.. 5 reasons only: Spanish-American War, New Lands, American Base, The Policy of Manifest Destiny and the Filipino Invitation..

In the policy of Manifest Destiny, contained the following which are to Civilize us, to educate, to train and for democracy.. no stated in the policy that for a colonization.

In the treaty of Paris by 1898. was an agreement made in 1898 that resulted in the Spanish Empire's surrendering control of Cuba and ceding Puerto Rico, parts of the Spanish West Indies, the island of Guam, and the Philippines to the United States. The cession of the Philippines involved a payment of $20 million from the United States to the Spanish Empire.

then the agreement was about surrender the control of Spain to the United States and the US paid amounting $20 million.

president McKinley, told some US senators 1 that we would not give them back to spain - that would be cowardly and dishonorable; 2. that we could not turn them over to france or germany - our commercial rivals in the orient - that would be bad business and discretable; 3. That we could not leave them to themselves - they were unfit for self-government - and worse that Spain was; 4 that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and, Gods grace, do the very best we could by them.

meaning to say, we uplift by American for us to grow, educate, civilize and to have our independence and for our democracy.. remember, Democracy is the Americans greatest legacy that given by our nation. on the other hand, Americans did not colonize us. thanks u

this is my opinion