Diary of Simeon Villa

March 16, 1900

By the order of the honorable president, this morning at 5 o’clock 25 soldiers, under command of officers Del Pilar and Valentin, set out for the Guilayen settlement to secure in said settlement some 20 carabaos to furnish us all meat, and likewise some salt, since for some days we have been eating neither meat nor salt, though we have never been in want of rice, which exists here in abundance.

By order of the honorable president, all the sergeants and corporals have been practicing with the heliograph since 9 o’clock this morning.

After supper, which was at 6 o’clock, the honorable president, in a conversation with B., V., and Lieutenant Carasco, told them that as soon as the independence of our country was declared he would give each one of them an amount of land equal to what he himself will take for the future of his own family, that is, he will give each one of the three Señores 13,500 acres of land as a recompense for their work; and also that these plantations will be located adjoining one another in such a manner that they will lie in the same province. In all probability they will be located in the San Jose Valley, province of Nueva Ecija, and the principal products will be coffee, cocoa, sugar, rice, and cattle.

About 8.30 Señor Carasco withdrew in order to go to sleep. When he was beginning to go to bed, Lieutenant Carasco, the adjutant, came back calling for the honorable president and crying out “A coup! Good news!” Then the honorable president and his two companions, V. and B., got up at once, struck a light and bade Lieutenant Carasco to enter. The lieutenant came and delivered to the honorable president an official report from Captain Villareal, dated 13th instant, in which he informs the honorable president that in the Pial settlement, in the jurisdiction of Abra, our forces, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Villamor, had successfully couped 200 Americans. It came about in this way: By means of their spies, the American troops in Abra got news that the Filipino forces were in quasi hiding at the Pial settlement. The United States military commander in Abra Province at once ordered 200 Americans to go to said settlement for the purpose of capturing or pursuing said insurgents. Those brave Americans started out immediately, without paying any attention to the difficulties of the mountain through which they were to pass. Night came on, and they were still a long way from Pial settlement. So they had to rest in the rice fields where night overtook them, probably intending to resume the march on the next day. But at midnight Lieutenant-Colonel Villamor’s column took advantage of the sound sleep of the Americans, closed in on them in a small circle, and then opened fire from all sides. The Americans finding themselves in the center where the Filipino balls converged, could not even fire their guns. A great panic reigned among them without their knowing what to do, many dying and others being wounded after half an hour’s firing by our troops. Only one of the Americans was saved.

By that victory our forces gained 200 guns and cartridge boxes, with a considerable number of cartridges and also a large quantity of food supplies.