Monday, July 4, 1898

An Anniversary

At 8 o’clock, the flag is hoisted. It is the independence day anniversary of the United States. A hundred and twenty years ago, these people did not constitute a nation. Three hundred years before that, they were, literally speaking, as distant from humanity as our planet is from Uranus or Saturn. And here they are grabbing the last stronghold of Spain, the Spain which brought them into existence. What must the ghosts of Magellan, Columbus, Charles V and Isabela think of this situation?

Meanwhile, on land, it appears that the Tagals are furious at the Americans and blame them for having dispatched black troops to the Philippines. The Tagal feels humiliated for being regarded in the same light as the Negro and is quite aware that to the Yankee there is no difference. Aguinaldo himself must sooner or later make a choice: either relieve himself of the Americans or submit to them. Admiral Dewey’s game is well hidden; he will not put his cards on the table until the end of the month, when all the advantages will be on his side –the 15,000 men and additional ammunition. And even then, bringing the Tagals into submission will not be as easy as he thinks.

An Englishman who knows the Filipinos well made the following observation: “America has not conquered the Philippines yet, and will occupy the country only with the help and goodwill of its people.” The occupation of Manila does not imply that they have taken possession of the Philippines, in much the same way that possession of New York would not signify the possession of the whole American empire. It is my firm belief that without the consent of the natives, neither the United States nor any other power can hope to become the master of the Philippines with less than 200,000 men, whatever one may want to believe. And yet, I have to admire the Spanish infantrymen for their courage, endurance, and patience even when subjected to hunger and lack of comfort. In a country like the Philippines, a soldier must have the agility of a mountain goat to be on equal footing with these natives.

“. . . The only possible solution to the Philippine problem is an independent government under the protection of the United States. This is my recommendation to General Aguinaldo and his countrymen.”


Saturday, July 2, 1898

The Spanish Battle Zone

The calesa is fast approaching Paco. It is now rather late. I tell the terrified coachman who conducts me to hurry. Finally, with some encouragement —“Sigue, sigue, hombre, pronto!”— here we are. . . at the outpost before the Paco Bridge. Groups of sailors and light infrantrymen are behind straw barricades; communication men are all around and in ravines; at the junction where numerous roads cross the plains, some sentries…

At the bridge, I caught sight of a naval officer on horseback. He was wearing a white cap, white jacket, blue trousers, seaman’s boots, and had a sabre. . . It is Don Juan de la C____ himself, former captain of a vessel and now coronel of the navy. I got down and approached him.He recognized me, and we shook hands. He greeted me warmly, in a very Spanish way. It always give me pleasure to talk to this man from Aragon in his language. He is surrounded by officers from different branches –the artillery, the light infantry and the navy. This man before me is definitely the valiant Don Juan de la C_____, with the straightforward look of an honest man whose eyes are lively and happy even when he is angry. An old seasoned Mediterranean seafarer, he is a man of steel, like the remarkable sailors from Cadiz to Trebizonde who have ventured to the Indies and the Americas on unworthy open boats.

–Ha! says he. A strange sight to see a sailor on horseback!

–Yes, it is an old habit we have whenever we are on land. What is new?

–Here we are surrounded by our enemy. We are preventing their entry. They cannot pass through.

Don Juan de la C____ introduces me to the general of N_____ division who graciously welcomed me. There is hardly any doubt that the Spaniards, everything considered, prefer us French to the others. We discussed the ensuing war. The general has a high regard for our battleships, although he does not seem to be familiar with all of them.

–These Americans have certainly put us in a fix, he declares. Ah! If only we had a ship like the Bruix. . .!

Everyone agreed with him and started airing their complaints, which I listened to with some embarrassment. When people constantly express discontent, it is an indication of a sick society. These simple people will be very disappointed if all their hope rests on the indefinite arrival of the Camara squadron. They have such incredible faith! Someone insisted that this naval force is arriving with a reinforcement of 11,000 men. They have gone mad!

–If only we had some torpedoes, carajo!

It is obvious they deplore having no torpedoes.

The general allowed me to accomapnt Coronel de la C_____ up to the Santa Ana outpost. As I left, the general gave me a strong handshake. Two marine officers attracted my attention by their friendliness. One of them was identified as the son of Cadarso, the captain of the ship who died in the battle of Cavite. I told him that I had met his mother the day before, shook his hand, and offered him my condolences. He seemed deeply touched.

The coronel and I moved on to Santa Ana by car. On the way, sailors in small groups of reinforcement were everywhere.

–Well, Monsieur, you are always happy, in spite of everything, always in a good mood. That is what I like about you. . .

–How else should I react? I am prepared to die with a contented heart. That is how it should be.

–If everyone were like you, you would not be in this predicament. Permit me to tell you this without flattery.

–Yes, it is bad, really bad. The enemy line is extended. They are more numerous than we are, and these Yankee pigs feed them gold and arms. . . It is war. I know that . . . But, carajo! I am disgusted by the dispersal of my men: 20 here, 30 there, Carajo! It is useless.

Constantly, all along the way, soldiers saluted, rectified their positions, and waited for orders. He saluted and good-naturedly said:

Face the enemy, hombre! Come on, keep awake.

A small trench on the plain with 40 men guards some sort of bastion which is 10 meters long on one side and raised with sacks filled with earth. There is a small corridor which serves as an entrance. In the center is a protected tent where some cannonballs are kept. A stocky infantry captain, looking bored, requested information on the latest developments. A reinforcement of sailors arrived, headed by an ensign. Don Jan de la C____ looked at the sailors and interrogated them. He immediately commanded them to bring in the cartridges.

–Shoot sparingly. Aim well, just as you did in Cebu! Do I have any of my sailors from the Austria here? he asked.

–Yes, sir, me!, someone replied.

–Ah! You! And why are you here?

–I was wounded, sent to the hospital, and then assigned to this regiment.

–You were wounded? Where?

–Here, in my leg, and here, in the shoulder.

–What is your name?

–Ramon Romero.

–Good. And the rest of you, my sons, if they come. . .

–If they come, they cried joyfully, we will fight them.

Darkness fell rapidly and heavily. It was getting quite late. The car jolted through bumpy roads. Beyond Paco, the coronel hailed a sailor who was on kitchen duty.

–I am going to let you taste the stew. . . Eh, hombre, bring a bit of the stew. Hurry. . . We are in a hurry. . . Good, do not fill up the plate. . . Here.

The sailor extended the tin plate filled with meat and kidney beans, a rather palatable dish, which we both enjoyed.

–The men are pleased to see us enjoying their dinner, I note, like on board the ship; it always gives them pleasure.

We left hurriedly. Don J. de la C____ invited me to return soon. He promised to escort me wherever I wish.

–Thank you. I shall come back in two or three days.

–Whenever you wish.

And laughingly:

–However, I cannot promise you that I shall be alive.

–I wish you good luck. Let’s go! Good night.

–A thousand thanks. See you soon.


Friday, July 1, 1898

Bad News

Last night, at 4 o’clock, the sight of smoke immediately signalled the speedy entry into the Manila Bay of the Baltimore and the Charleston, escorting three enormous liners, two of which have four masts and must be the San Francisco-Yokohama lines. Here is the first American expedition with at least 300 or 400 men. It is all humbug. The situation is not yet lost if the Spaniards give the Tagals the autonomy they want. Then both can throw these troops into the sea and reverse this naval victory into a disaster. But the Spaniards will not do it. Moreover the Tagals, who have been repeatedly cheated, have absolutely no confidence in them. They demand genuine proof of sincerity (like the total expulsion of the religious orders to China or Europe, which they want actually executed).

The Reuters dispatches of the week define the situation:

June 23. –A third expedition leaves San Francisco on the 27th for Manila;

June 24. –It is announced at the Cortes that the Camara squadron will return to Manila;

June 26. –The Cadiz Fleet has been seen off Port Said;

June 27. –The Camara squadron consists of two battleships, two cruisers, two big torpedo ships, and five transport ships, with 4,000 men. The Egyptian government refuses to provide coal to the Camara squadron;

June 28. –The third expedition. Four transport ships with 4,000 men have left San Francisco for Manila;

June 29. –General Merritt hastily leaves San Francisco for Manila.

When the fighting begins, there will be clashes everywhere. It is uncertain whether Camara has sufficient coal or not. England seems to be behind Egypt’s unwillingness to furnish it. It should be noted that the Americans were able to secure coal in Hongkong. Undeniably, the morale of the sailors depends on this indispensable item. May Camara make haste and defy the enemy! He can be here in 20 days, descend upon the Americans at dawn, and could easily surprise them before they have time to retaliate.

Britain’s pride and jealousy are evident. Ever since they were informed of the German naval forces anchored at the bat, the English have doubled their fleet. They cannot accept the fact that the Germans have surpassed them. On June 25, after the arrival of the cruiser Iphigenie, the cruiser Plover arrived, followed by five other gunboats. Two days later, the Quee came, followed by six others. This is the British position: when the need arises, they have four or six different battleships ready. Their naval units have an excellent system which gives them the discretion to anchor anywhere in the world as the need arises, thus giving the impression of a force more superior than it actually is.

On the 28th of June, the flag was raised in honor of Her British Majesty. The is the third celebration or the birthday of Queen Victoria, her accession to the throne, and her coronation. In the final analysis, these rituals are grossly exaggerated. All the pomp and decorum over these ceremonies should be revised. Nonetheless, this universal compulsion to be merry is a good excuse for “some drinks,” “some champagne,” “some dry,” and a “little more whisky and soda.”

 


Tuesday, 21 June, 1898

The Insurgents Make Progress

In my view, Aguinaldo would already be in Manila if Admiral Dewey had not closed the doors on him. And undoubtedly, the Americans are not too pleased with the natives’ continuing approaches towards the capital.

The insurgents are seen regularly on the beaches from Cavite to Manila, and have attempted an underground attack in Pasay, Santa Ana, and Paco. On the 10th of this month, they had grouped themselves into an extended semicircle. When the insurgents encircled the city from north to south, at least six kilometers from the wall, the Spaniards were forced to block their approach at Santa Ana. The Spaniards, too weak to mount a serious offensive at any point within the circle, remained on the defensive. They worked assiduously on the trenches, the embankments, and the small fortresses. Today, they worked 5,000 meters from the enemy line. The Spaniards’ intention to give the illusion of an efficient defense proved unsuccessful due to the lack of artillery and men, both of which were too dispersed. They have established 14 small forts. The troops, spread out in the trenches, are ready to move towards the Walled City if Governor General Agustin persists in fighting. What is he waiting for? Apparently, a squadron to help his forces. Maybe he is thinking of joining the insurgents?

And yet, this could be the best approach to take. The insurgents are no longer in doubt about the American sentiment towards them. The Americans do not wish to see them enter Manila. It was not Aguinaldo’s idea to subjugate the city by famine, but rather Admiral Dewey’s. At this point, Aguinaldo procrastinates because of the shame he might have to bear if he were held responsible for the massacre of the Spanish population.

Since the middle of the month, there has hardly been any fighting, except for occasional shootings at night. A substantial amount of ammunition is being used by both sides without result. The Americans continue their surveillance with floodlights. Occasionally, one of their warships ventures forth and is subjected to the night inspection of the foreign divisions. On land there is some artillery fired during the day. However, threats of famine are not sufficient to disturb the enthusiasm of the Filipino troops. It is evident that Manila will eventually fall; the insurgents are aware of their strength and have a nervous desire to use it. At the outpost, those who are detained are posing a problem. Armed with knives and axes to face the cannons, they throw themselves fanatically on the Spaniards. Now that they have guns, they are very eager to go to battle.

Deeply discouraged, the Spaniards are themselves faltering, feeling that the situation is desperate. These old leaders, who are disgustingly lax, have neither character nor strength. They are incapable of following through any idea. Their only strategy, if it can be called that, is essentially one of delaying tactics to gain time. Their despair springs from their lack of defense against the wave of insurgents, but from time to time they sacrifice small groups of men to show that they have a line of defense, which actually does not exist. Extremely courageous soldiers die bravely for the most senseless reasons, and behind their heroic deeds one only finds frightened generals. And in the end, a silence prevails over everything. The officers who are expressly forbidden to say anything to the press give a standard reply. “Nothing new.” However, this situation is becoming extremely complicated, making it difficult to discern the facts from the falsehoods. Everyone fears that the revelation of the truth would show their underhanded tactics and their savage appetite, which spares no one.

In spite of the usual daily routine, the city displays the strangest moral aspect. Outwardly, the people have not changed overnight. The Tagals still remain domestics or coachmen, engrossed in everyday life, and yet, they are insurgents. No one has any illusions on that matter, to the point where a Tagal offering a drink to a Spaniard could, should the occasion arise, strike him down that very night with the same hand. And then there are the Tagals who may be incapable of committing murder, but would welcome the insurgents with open arms at the appropriate moment. All this is evident in every face and is confided secretly among friends. An air of foreboding hangs eerily in the pleasing yet cruel ambiance of this city, where laughter is heard as it experiences pain.


Monday, 20 June, 1898

This morning, as part of the team, I visited the Kaiser. I was received on the gangway by a tall, young, blond and extremely pleasant officer who spoke to me in such good French that I did not dare utter a word in German.

I asked him if he knew what was going on.

–No, said he. However, yesterday the Americans stated that a Spanish squadron had been spotted in the Indian Ocean, presumably on its way here to assist the Philippines.

–That is necessary, I said.

–Yes, he replied, perhaps.

–And where are the American troops? In Japan?

–We have no idea. They themselves have no news.

As I left him, he sarcastically added, “Oh! this war. . .!,” with the smile of someone not really taking the subject seriously.

This afternoon, the commandant of the Kaiser —a young, well built, bearded man with wide shoulders– came on on board. These Germans cannot be reproached for their appearance. One of their main objectives seems to be to befriend us.

At 4:45, another German cruiser, the Prinz-Wilhelm, dropped anchor. Now there are five German ships in the bay of Manila: Kaiserin-Agusta, Kaiser, Irene, Prinz-Wilhelm, Cormoran, all forming a solid defense. On the French side, it is the Bayard, the only wooden ship with 24 short cannons and rotting hull, its topgallant mast waving in the midst of these steel vessels.

Life in Manila is becoming increasingly disagreeable. Fresh food is becoming rare. Foodstuff here is double the price. With the departure of the Chinese there are no more shopkeepers. There are no more delicacies for the beautiful Spanish women, but they remain cheerful in spite of the present situation. It takes very little to amuse them, these Spanish women. The men are more sober.


Tuesday, June 14, 1898

The Germans

The day before yesterday at noon, the German admiral was acknowledged in Corregidor. The Americans saluted him. The Kaiserin-Agusta dropped anchor at 13H30 after a 21-gun salute. Other ships are expected to follow her. Meanwhile, Prince Heinrich is landing in China where he can make his presence felt. During this time, neither the French nor the Russians are succesful in diverting the attention of the German vice-admiral from the China Sea, where a great rivalry exists. The Germans are sending their ships here. There is no clear order of hierarchy since anyone can give the necessary orders today or tomorrow, depending on the situation. And if the situation becomes increasingly complicated, someone else takes over as spokesman.

The weather is horrible. A typhoon must be brewing somewhere. Continuous hurricanes and incessant heavy rains. However, the atmospheric depression is supposed to be far away from Manila and there is no danger.

For the past week, the most positive fact is the presence in the bay of ships bearing the insurgents’ flag — blue, red and stars in one corner. These ships continue to and fro between the bay and Cavite to the north of the bay. These small steamships carry Filipino soldiers. If one is to believe an eyewitness, one of these ships accosted the Immortality on Friday. I can swear that none of our helmsmen saw the encounter, but who am I to doubt its credibility? If this is so, and if the insurgents are in touch with both the English and the Americans, how can Spain remain neutral? In the final analysis, I regret the fact that France does not want to initiate the recognition of the flag of the Republic of the Philippines, which the other countries refuse to acknowledge.

The Kaiser dropped anchor in the bay on the 18th. The Cormoran is on a reconnaisance mission in Mariveles and will enter the bay tonight. The Kaiser  is using its floodlights to exchange signals with Kaiserin-Agusta. These maneuvers, like most other German ventures, are being carried out with great precision. Evidently they know what they want and are doing what they want.


Thursday, June 9, 1898

On Land

This morning saw the beginning of the exodus of Spanish women aboard French, English, and German ships.

It is said that the Americans are holding back the insurgents while Aguinaldo bides his time until the end of the month, not realizing it will be too late. The Union’s troops will have arrived by then, and will have the upper hand.

The city is covered with smoke from fires everywhere, with Caloocan and Malabon in the hands of the insurgents. The noose is tightening around Manila. The last of the Chinese are ready to leave. The Yuen-Sang will transport them to Hongkong. The city looks dismal as the people depart.

The horrors of war are becoming apparent to me. I admire strength and action. Nothing, not even ideas, interests me the way battles do. But tonight I bear witness to these corpses laid to waste by blind, bloody violence. What have these poor Galicians, Andalucians, and lively Sevillians done to be disfigured and bloodied? They are beginning to decay, their eyes half-closed, covered with flies, their mouths hideously open in an attempt to emit a last cry, their hands mangled. They are 20 year-old boys who were thrown 3,000 leagues from their birthplace into the arms of a solitary death without the comfort of a wife or mother.


Tuesday, 7 June, 1898

Skirmishes

Fighting has been going on in the environs of Manila almost daily since the 31st of May. The attacks resume at nightfall. A rather serious battle was fought at the mouth of the river in Cavite. At the start of this affair, the Tagals had been defecting. A few Americans had been seen leading the insurgents, some of whom were among the wounded. The Spaniards, furious about the defection of the natives, had made the most defiant sit on the ground and they were shot at close range.

Martial law is declared. There are patrols on the streets, and guards are doubled at the bridge points. There are a few speedy executions without trial. The Spaniards in Manila are very uneasy. Their fear of a Filipino offensive is greater than that of the bombing of the squadron. The atmosphere in the city is tense. The Tagals are not threatening the merchants, bankers and businessmen who are all foreigners. However, the Spaniards form a great colony of officials, including the religious and the soldiers, all fearful for their lives, in the event of an outbreak of a revolt in the capital while the insurrectionists mount an assault from outside. Aguinaldo could have benefitted from this bold coup de force if Admiral Dewey had not officially prevented him from doing so.

Manila is no longer recognizable as the city it used to be. Escolta is sad, almost desolate. The Chinese have fled, the shops are closed, and there are no more strollers, no more buyers, no coquettish ladies or idle chattering to provide entertainment for the enterprising Cantonese. There are no more quarrels or singing. The mandolins, the guitars, and the piercing off-key voices of the Tagals are no longer heard. One only hears soldiers and officers talking in groups. The general feeling is that there will soon be joint action by the squadron and the insurgents. In the event of a massacre, self-defense has taken precedence over the defense of the city.

The women, the religious sisters, and the monks have lost their composure. The consulates are besieged by the nationals who demand that they be given protection. They are annoyed that the consul is not in Manila at a time like this. More so because M. de B_____ is the doyen of the diplomatic corps and seems to have a great deal of credibility, while his subordinate is incapable of taking over the assigned duties. The fact that the district where the consulate is located has been completely deserted by the Spaniards has also created great anxiety among the French.

The insurgents could be mounting their attack in the east in order to surprise the city from the north, according to the ship’s doctor after indentifying their bullets which he had extracted from the wounded Spaniards.

Last Thursday, the battle in the Bacoor area lasted 10 hours. A small number of Americans was guarding the Divisoria bridge. The Spaniards, proud of themselves for their defense in Zapote, report six dead and 33 wounded as a result of several nights of fighting.

We have received a piece of news which surprises no one. The Yankees are allegedly very unhappy with their allies, the insurgents, so each side is becoming more isolated in the confusion.  It is even said that Admiral Dewey had Aguinaldo put in chains, convinced that the entire province of Cavite was supporting his cause. There is no doubt that it is an absurd tale. Admiral Dewey is too well informed to fall into his enemies’ schemes, do what they want him to do and what they would not hesitate to do if they were in his place. Everything indicates that while the Spaniards lack leadership, the Americans are prudent and firm.

The French Sisters of Charity came on board the Sotolongo, which was chartered to provide refuge. The poor women had to endure the rough seas. A few Irish nuns spoke of wanting to reach Singapore or Hongkong in order to place themselves under the Queen’s protection. I find it distasteful that no consideration was given the plight of these Catholic nuns. France does herself a disservice if she does not show herself the leader of nations.

On Sunday night, the flames of a fire were visible north of Manila. Each week there is a fire somewhere. The cause of these fires is always uncertain. Whether they be accidental or criminal, the Spaniards always see the involvement of the hand of the enemy.

The insurgents are closer to Manila. The consuls are asking the captains of the ships to proceed with the embarkation of their nationals. I went by car to see the Spanish troops in the suburbs of Malate and Paco. The streets were crawling with soldiers. There were small checkpoints at frequent intervals. In Malate we were refused passage: “Per orden general, no se puede pasar de paisano,” a light infantry lieutenant told me. There was no need to insist. I thought it would be imprudent to continue. We could clearly hear the insurgents’ gunfire in Pasay. Before leaving, I spoke to a sergeant-major of the 6th Artillery. He was complacent, and spoke frankly without exaggerating.

–How many Spanish troops are there in all?

–Eight or nine thousand men, including the military.

–Can they be depended on?

–They are our enemies. They defect at the first gun fired.

–And the others?

–It is said that they number 30,000. They have gold and are well armed. Look, these are the Remingtons taken from them.

–And here, how many soldiers?

–Two thousand. Light infantry and artillery.

–How many cannons?

–In all, 12 pieces of 80 millimeters — good cannons, too.

I leave at this point. All the men I see look very discouraged. My car follows the landau of a division general — a small man, old, dry, with a parrot nose, and a dry voice, who is carrying out reconnaisance from the Paco bridge to La Concordia. He is accompanied by a staff officer. They are dressed in drill and wear straw hats…

At La Concordia are some light infantry and seamen. They are under the command of a lieutenant. An 80mm cannon is leveled on the road.

We have just come to an agreement with the German consul to take a large number of Spanish refugees, women and children, on board the steamship. The Japanese have refused to shoulder the responsibility. The Germans claim to have two steamships, whereas we have only one.

The Darmstadt, which leaves tomorrow for Shanghai, is carrying high-ranking Spaniards. The Germans are acting generously to show that they are not against the Americans. Seeing their behavior in the bay, one would swear that tomorrow they would try to stop the fighting.

The English are navigating around the American squadron. The French are toeing the German line. I find this rather difficult to understand, but it is even more difficult to accept.

Almost every night, two or three of us meet on the boulevard to discuss the misfortunes of Spain, presently the object not only of our contempt but also our admiration. Our friend, the doctor, is bewildered by the Spaniards’ nonchalance and pleasure derived from their defeat, acknowledging that all is lost.

There is talk of a possible truce as the Belgian consul leads the negotiations with Aguinaldo, who entered the city disguised. Aguinaldo’s conditions remains the same: expulsion of the religious orders, secularization of the ecclesiastics, and autonomy. Whatever the conditions may be, the Spaniards should accept them, if they are intelligent and have good political sense. But they prefer vengeance to the most noble of interests. Spain would rather deliver the Filipinos to the United States rather than recognize them as a nation born of her colonization. In spite of high-sounding words, the narrow-mindedness of the Spaniards is evident.


Thursday, 2 June, 1898

Aguinaldo in Manila

Aguinaldo has not lost time. Within a few days he has established a revolutionary government in Cavite and has assumed a dictatorship. The supporters of the Revolution are those who led the armed revolt last year. These people have assiduously prepared the Republic on the basis of the insurrection. The province of Cavite was, and remains, their fiefdom. The insurgents and their dictator show that their political belief is quite Latin. The struggle of Bolivar, the Peruvians and Mexicans against Spain must have been similar to this insurrection.

The American squadron is in no position to attack Manila. It has exhausted its ammunition and is waiting for new supplies. If the Americans were to bombard Manila, this could benefit the insurgents, as long as Admiral Dewey has insufficient troops to occupy the capital. Thus, they are dealing with the Filipinos very tactfully, since they cannot do otherwise. Also, they will try to restrain the movements of their allies rather than push them to action. Asiatic cunning is not evident in Aguinaldo. He appears to have implicit faith in the ability of the Americans to bring independence to his country, which shows his limited knowledge of history. One must hold on to what one has, and if this is not done from the start, one eventually loses one’s rights to his possessions. As long as the American soldiers have not landed, Aguinaldo remains master of the situation. With the arrival here of each American regiment from San Francisco, the threats to the young Republic increase. Aguinaldo proclaimed the Republic on the 24th of May in Cavite, eight days ago.

Since then, the dictator has sent messages and appeals to the Filipino people dispersed everywhere. This was how Aguinaldo entered Manila three nights ago. His proclamations were secretly delivered to the consuls and foreigners. Aguinaldo, speaking in the name of the Revolution, declared that the Filipinos want a republic. Once free, their intention is to elect a president and two chambers. They want to eliminate both the clergy and the religious orders at all cost. Aguinaldo has promised security to everyone, and guarantees respect for the goods and persons of all foreign colonies in the Philippines. The Chinese themselves will not suffer any hardship. On the other hand, every Filipino who has betrayed his country by acting as a spy or emissary for the Spaniards will be treated as traitor to the fatherland.

The provinces around Manila are all in a state of rebellion, which is gaining momentum. For the past two days there has been constant cannon fire. The reply of the Spaniards on land is: “They are nothing but insignificant pockets of fighting.” But the Tagal who works as a coachman or domestic in a foreigner’s household is fully aware that Aguinaldo’s troops have killed a large number of Spaniards. There is not a single Tagal who is not spreading this news with secret and profound joy. There is a deep-rooted hatred which surfaces when Tagals say, “Large numbers of Spaniards have been killed.” If Aguinaldo has, or pretends to have, such confidence in the Americans, this is not shared by the Tagals. Actually, they are neither for the United States nor the Spaniards. They hope to use one against the other. There is proof that the Americans are using the same strategy.

In their manifestos and their proclamations, as well as their gatherings, it is remarkable that the Filipino leaders are haunted by the French Revolution. Added to this is a religious undertone which recalls the American independence. Whether one likes it or not, these Indians are talking of a republic, of liberty, equality, fraternity, of a natural law reminiscent of western concepts. All revolutions resemble each other, based on the vindication of an idea and of human dignity. It says a great deal for the Filipinos that this sublime symbol is recognized.