March 22, 1901

To-day the dictator celebrates his birthday, and on this account many people have come to congratulate him.

[TRANSLATOR’S NOTE.—At this point the diary abruptly ends, Emilio Aguinaldo and his staff officers, Santiago Barcelona and Simeon A. Villa, having been captured by Brig. Gen. Frederick Funston at Palanan on March 23, 1901.—J. C. H.]

I certify that the foregoing translation, made by myself from the original Spanish, is correct.

  1. C. HIXON,
    First Lieutenant, Thirty-second Infantry, U. S. V.,
    Assistant to Officer in Charge Division of Military Information.

MANILA, P. I, June 5, 1901.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE,
DIVISION OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Manila, P. I., February 28, 1902.

A true copy of the original translation.

  1. H. VAN DEMAN,
    Captain, Twenty-first United States Infantry,
    In charge of Military information.

March 16, 1901

Having had news that the Americans will come by sea, the honorable dictator went out this morning to examine the place for a sentry station, which is situated on top of the mountain ridge, and which commands a fine view of the sea.

He also visited the place called Sabang, in order to see the fish traps he had ordered constructed there.


March 7, 1901

The honorable dictator received a letter from Señor Apolinario Mabini, dated the 22d of November, 1900, transmitting messages from the American generals, MacArthur and Bell, to the effect that our independence can not be conceded, and that the honorable dictator may retire to Manila under conditions of his having to live at the palace in Malacañang with MacArthur.

As to himself, Señor Mabini inquires of the honorable dictator whether he will have to advocate independence or autonomy, seeing that McKinley is already reelected.


January 16, 1901

At 9 a.m. an ordinary court-martial convened at headquarters to hear and determine the case of the soldier, Luis Novicio, charged with committing abuses under menace of armed force. The court was composed of the following persons: Colonel Villa, of the staff; Capt. Tomas Magsarile, prosecuting attorney; “Capt. Santos Baltazar,” counsel for accused; Second Lieut. Medina (Calisto), judge-advocate, and the following voting members: Capt. Teodoro Dayao, Capt. Miguel Santos, Maj. Nasario Alhambra, Second Lieut. Basilio Palameg.

The trial resulted in the soldier, Luis Novicio, being convicted and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.


January 1, 1901

At 8 a.m. the honorable president distributed presents, the sum amounting to $500.

At 10 a.m. there was another dance in the convent, it having been attended by all the young ladies of the town. The entertainment closed at 4 p.m.


December 31, 1900

In order to take leave of the nineteenth century and the old year and to welcome the new year and the new century, the honorable president invited to his house all the leading men of Palanan and the officers of his escort, as well as the charming lady dancers of this town.

The entertainment commenced at 7 o’clock in the evening with dances and rigadoons. About 11.30 o’clock all sat down at the table to eat supper, and when it struck 12 the band played the national air. After supper the honorable president and all the officers proposed toasts. When all this was over, dances and rigadoons commenced again and lasted till 4 o’clock in the morning, when the guests dispersed.


December 30, 1900

At 8 a.m. a solemn funeral ceremony in memory of the grand Rizal was celebrated in the church, all the field and line officers and soldiers who could be spared from duty having participated in the same, as well as the people of the town. Señor Barcelona delivered an oration touching upon the biography of the illustrious dead man.


May 17, 1900

Just as the honorable president awoke this morning at 6 o’clock he found an Igorrote of this settlement, who told him that in Sumader, a settlement distant one hour from this, there were Americans en route here. As soon as we were aware of the presence of the Americans in Balbalasan we knew that their plan was to shut us in on all sides for the purpose, perhaps, of capturing the honorable president. He, on receiving this news, at once sent a courier to Sumader to see if the Americans were already there.

The men returned at the end of an hour and told the honorable president that the Americans were eating breakfast when he left that settlement.

The honorable president thought of making resistance, but as he did not have sufficient forces for that, nearly half of our soldiers being sick, he deemed it expedient to abandon the camp. In fact, at 8 a.m. we left the settlement, following the route to Guinaang, in order to gather up some of our soldiers on duty there.

We reached the guardhouse of the first outpost at 10 a.m., and halted here to observe the movements of the enemy. At 10.30 Major Gaitmaitan arrived, having come from the trench on top of the mountain ridge facing Sumader, and said that he left Lieutenant Morales and fourteen soldiers in that trench.

At about 11.30 Lieutenant Morales arrived with his soldiers. He reported that the enemy did not reach the trench, but flanked it to the left, and had succeeded in going as far as Cuabuntot, a settlement on the other side of Labuagan, and distant from it only one hour. Being unable at this moment to further avoid the coming of the enemy, the honorable president ordered that we should continue the march for Guinaang, which we reached at 1 p.m.

This morning the honorable president did not know how to carry our sick soldiers who, on account of the seriousness of their condition, can not walk. He found no remedy except to give instructions for them to be left behind. Accordingly, he particularly charged the head man of the settlement to take good care of the soldiers who are going to remain, saying that he and all the people of his settlement will have to answer with their lives for these sick men. The honorable president delivered money to the head man of the Igorrotes to buy food for the sick soldiers, and he also gave $3 to each one of the latter. It can not be imagined how sad and desperate they are, through fear that the Igorrotes may have a “kanao” feast at their cost. But these can not follow us, because they are too weak to walk. Divine providence will protect these defenders. After eating, at 2 o’clock p.m., we left Guinaang, passing through thick woods on the mountain ridges, and going up and down among these.

At 3.30 we arrived at the Pugon settlement and kept up the march, continually descending and ascending, toward Magsilay, which we reached at 5 o’clock. Being unable to spend the night there on account of the nearness of the enemy, the honorable president gave orders for us to go on till we reached the next settlement.

We kept on. But daylight was already disappearing. We were traveling very slippery roads, and at every minute could be heard the sounds of soldiers and officers falling down. We ascended a very high mountain, several of our pack horses falling down its sides into the precipices and becoming utterly useless. In spite of the painfulness of the journey, we kept on climbing till we reached the top, everyone being exhausted, wet with perspiration, and so out of breath that he could not pronounce a single word. The top once gained, we followed the direction of the mountain ridge. Night came on, and the darkness was so intense that we were unable to recognize one another. Besides the road being very slippery, it was very narrow, crossed by thorny trees, and close to deep precipices, which appeared to be only waiting to receive some lives into their depths. But with our five senses we gave all our attention to our walking. Nevertheless, some of the pack horses became victims of the precipices.

We reached the place where we had to begin descending the mountain ridge. The road was so steep that it seemed to be vertical. Many of us taking a step had to prolong it for 50 yards—that is, we fell and rolled over and over like a ball. Thanks to the thick branches of the trees covering the mountain ridge, as they defended us from the precipices and counteracted the diversions (sic) of falling.

Nine o’clock arrived and the light of the moon enabled us to see. Though the moonlight scarcely penetrated the interior of the mountain ridge, owing to the bushes and trees, yet it was of great assistance to us.

In spite of the difficulties of the road and the great number of falls, we kept the march without halting, until at 11.30 p.m. we reached the foot of the mountain ridge, where the Cagaranan settlement is located.

We ate supper at 12 o’clock and then went to sleep. It should be noted that the greater part of our soldiers had not yet arrived, as those constituting the vanguard (sic) arrived about 3 a.m.; and also that First Lieut. Alberto Bautista left this morning for Cagayan Valley, having been specially commissioned by the honorable president to establish the Katipunan society in those regions.