24th of March 1902

As to the course of events this year, nothing has improved our situation. It is true that the Captain, after seeing the boxes of canned meat delivered to us intact, gave us a supply of fresh meat thrice a week; however, after three weeks, this has been forgotten, and the same boxes were returned to us, and which until now have remained untouched in the prison’s storeroom.

We have been making do with the little that we could ask to be bought from Agaña in terms of vegetables, meat and fish, since one of the servants of our companions in Agaña is now allowed to come every day in the ambulance-car of the Government, if it does not carry numerous load. Mr. Legaspi has taken the trouble of making purchases for the prisoners and he has been doing us a lot of service. Besides, our friends from Agaña think of us once in a while and send us gifts, among whom I owe Mr. Dimayuga special favors.

In spite of all this, a lot us have upset stomachs and resort to vomitting after meals. Perhaps it is the meat and other canned goods that we have to eat, out of necessity ever since we arrived in the island. The doctor ignores this upon consultation with him. My friends, desirous of taking all possible means of relief, sent the following appeal to the Captain:

“MR. GOVERNOR: The undersigned Philippine prisoners, do respectfully entreat you:

“That you will permit them to go out of the Prison up to Agaña town, every morning at the hour you may name, under the obligation of returning on the evening at the chosen hour.

“The undersigned beg you to grant us this favor with no other purpose, apart from the promotion of their spiritual and physical health, than that of looking for a change in their food. The necessity which has forced them to take, contrary to their custom, canned foodstuffs for more than one year, has spoiled their stomach so that now after every meal, instead of feeling satisfied, they feel nauseated and about to vomit.

“While out of the Prison, the undersigned promise to behave as peacefuland honest citizens and, if necessary, to execute faithfully the conditions imposed upon their companions in Agaña, as well as any other requisite you may deem necessary.

“Herewith, please, accept the greetings and respectful compliments of your obedient servant.”

This letter was signed by all prisoners, except Messrs. Ricarte, Barruga, Villarino, Salvante and me.

30th of April 1901

Vicente Antiquera, Don Juan Mauricio’s servant, died of tuberculosis. R.I.P.

I was also nursing a fever for a couple of days and was visited by the first American doctor of Agaña, one of the first officials who visited me when we were still staying in tents.

The same doctor wanted to take our photos. Since I could not give in to his wish, fearful of exposing myself to the elements, as I was with fever then, I gave him my large picture from Manila, with the following word of thought:

“He who learns the lessons of misfortune, oh! does learn to be a man.”

I forgot to say that last March 17, due to differences between Mr. Ricarte and some of our companions, Mr. Orwig decided that we elect a President and a Vice-president. I was asked to preside over the election.

With the election over, Mr. Pio del Pilar was elected President by the majority, together with Mr. Juan Gerona, as Vice President.

13th of February 1901

The following order was issued for compliance by our group:

 

General Order No. 3

Prison’s Detachment of Asan, Guam

February 12, 1901.

The following regulations for prisoners shall be observed, subject to the approval of the Governor of the Island:

1. Meal time for prisoners, as prescribed by General Order No. 1, current series of this headquarters, shall be as follows: Breakfast — 6:30 A.M., lunch — 12:00 o’clock (noon; and dinner — 5:30 P.M.

2. The prisoners shall be allowed to write and receive correspondences from their family. Letters shall be handed over to the officer in command, for inspection before they are mailed. No correspondence that is political or public in nature shall be allowed.

3. Prisoners of good conduct may be issued passes by the officer in command, allowing not more than one fifth of the prisoners to leave the enclosed premises between 7:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. These passes do not authorize the bearer to be away for more than four hours all at the same time. Neither shall anyone be permitted to leave the premises with a pass, without being accompanied by a guard or any person authorized by the officer in command. No prisoner nor a prisoner’s servant shall be allowed to go east, that is, at a distance of more than forty yards from the Prisons’ gate. Neither shall he be permitted to go west, from the first bridge from Agaña road to Piti, nor to the south through the same road at a distance of more than one hundred yards. He shall be allowed to go north only by the seashore.

4. The enclosure (fence) is a permanent fixture and whosoever attempts to pass through the same without due authorization shall be arrested. The guards shall be instructed to use force, if necessary, or to shoot the offender, if need be.

5. The prisoners and their servants of good conduct shall be allowed to move freely within the enclosed premises from daw to 9:00 o’clock P.M.

6. The sick prisoners shall attend the corresponding bugle call at 9:30 A.M.

7. A roll call shall be done religiously, three times daily by the officer on duty, one at 6:15 A.M., another at 4:00 P.M. and the last, at 9:00 P.M.

8. The officer in command or his representative, accompanied by an interpreter, shall visit the Prisons house once a day, to look into the prisoners’ complaints and attend to their requests concerning solely their welfare and comfort.

9. The prisoners and their servants shall be required to bathe at least twice a week and to be neatly dressed at all times.

10. The prisoners and their servants shall assist in the preparation of food, in setting the table, in assisting during mealtime, in washing the dishes and performing the general task of policing within the prisons’ premises.

11. It shall be the right of prisoners to appeal in writing to the Governor of the Island all matters internal or external, through the Commanding Officer of the Detachment, who shall file the appeal with all pertinent details as he understands them.

12. A copy of these regulations shall be translated to Spanish and read to the prisoners, after which it should be posted at a conspicuous place within the premises.

Mayor H.B. Orwig, commanding officer of the establishment, issued the preceding order. At the same time, he appointed Artemio Ricarte president of the prisoners, whose duty was to ensure compliance with the said order.

We were also informed that our being incommunicado was due to a petition by the natives of the Islands, who were aware of all types of abuses committed by the natives against the Filipinos imprisoned during the Spanish administratiob. We are more likely to believe this and we thank Mayor Orwig for his promise to defend us against the aggression of the natives, even at the risk of losing his life.

1st of February 1901

Today, they boarded 11 deportees from Ilocos Norte on our ship. They embarked on the Marine ship Solace, which they say, is sailing for the United States. These men are the following: Roberto Salvante, Marcelo Quintos, Jaime Morales, Pancrasio Palting, Gabino Domingo, León Flores, Florencio Castro, Inocente Cayetano, Pedro Hernando, Pancrasio Adiarte and Faustino Adiarte.

With this last batch of deportees, there are now 57 of us, including the servants. This is not to count an Ilocano relative of Ricarte, Antonio Bruno, who came as our cook with a salary of 30 Mexican pesos.

Tuesday, 15 January 1901

At 11:00 a.m. we boarded Rosecrans that was anchored at Manila Bay. The prisoners on board were the following:

Artemio Ricarte, Pio del Pilar, Maximino Hizon, Mariano Llanera, Francisco de los Santos, Macario de Ocampo, Esteban Consortes, Lucas Camerino, Julián Gerona, Pedro Cobarrubias, Mariano Barruga, Hermógenes Plata, Cornelio Riquiestas, Fabián Villaruel, Juan Leandro Villarino, José Mata, Igmidio de Jesús, Alipio Tecson, Apolinario Mabini, Pablo Ocampo, Maximino Trías, Simón Tecson, Lucino Almeida, Pío Varicán and Anastacio Carmona. All in all, there were 25 of us, excluding the 9 accompanying assistants of the prisoners. Among them were my brother, Prudencio Mabini, Mr. Ocampo’s brother-in-law (Pablo), Mr. Rivera and a young son of Francisco de los Santos.

We boarded at about noon. Since there was no lunch prepared for us on the boat, we had to wait for dinner, as it was already late in the afternoon.

Nevertheless, I believe a number of us did not feel hungry then, for we were more overcome by our emotions that day.

February 4th, 1899

It was a beautiful day, Saturday, February 4, 1899.[1] There was peace and happiness everywhere in Malolos because on this day the (peace) Commissioners were to read before Congress the results of the conferences held with the American emissaries of McKinley to reach an agreement between the two nations. Happiness, because the Filipino nation had high hopes that at the end of the conference an agreement favorable to the aspirations of our people would be reached.

In the afternoon, Congress began its session; a numerous public invaded the temple of laws to listen to the outcome of the conferences. Almost all the representatives were at their posts. The session began. Gracio Gonzaga, Secretary of Fomento, representing our government, read the results of the conferences held with the American envoys headed by Schurman,[2] and the Filipinos headed by Florentino Torres.

It was clear that the envoys of the Imperialist Party were not invested with the powers needed to pass any resolution; thus, messages were telegraphed to the McKinley cabinet. In short, nothing was accomplished during the conferences except wasting our time and dampening the spirit of our people.

Coincidence, fatality, Machiavellian stratagem, or concerted action between the American Army and their envoys—the truth is that on that same day, Saturday, February 4, the last groups of soldiers sent by McKinley disembarked at the plains of Santa Mesa with their cannons facing San Juan del Monte, where the advance forces of the Filipinos were stationed. On that day, the talks were terminated without coming to any agreement. Our fears did not take long to come to a head.

The evening was quiet with a silver moon shining; Malolos was happy; a dance was being held in the house of Mrs. Concha del Rosario, widow of Mapúa. Gen. Artemio Ricarte and Col. Luciano San Miguel, commanders of the Santa Ana line in Manila, were paying homage to Terpsichore. While Malolos was in deep slumber without any suspicion of an unrest, between midnight and 1 o’clock in the morning, an unusual noise woke the unsuspecting inhabitants. The cry of “War” reverberated everywhere. The hostilities had begun!

We woke up at 1 o’clock and went to the Central Postal Station, where we met the Honorable President of the Philippine Republic issuing orders. All the prominent members of the government were also there: Gen. Ricarte, Col. San Miguel, [Teodoro] Sandico, and others.

About 3 o’clock, Gen. Ricarte and Col. San Miguel boarded a train for Sta. Ana; Moreno and I accompanied them. At 5 a.m. we reached the station at Caloocan and continued on foot to Maypajo. Before reaching it, Ricarte and San Miguel separated from our group and took the road to La Loma; Moreno and I proceeded to the trenches at Maypajo and reached them at 5:30 a.m. Here we learned of the impossibility of reaching Manila; Moreno has been appointed chief of the volunteers from Manila.

After a while some soldiers from detachments in Solis arrived informing us that they were leaving because they had no longer any cartridges. I left Moreno at 6 o’clock to be in Caloocan with the intention of establishing an emergency field hospital while waiting for the military health unit to take some action. A few steps away sounds of guns and cannons rent the air while shots whistled by, instilling in me the fear that the end was near. During intervals, I made my way and reached unscathed the municipal building where I intended to attend to the wounded. I had hardly gone upstairs when I saw a warship in the bay opposite the building. I left for the railroad station; but barely twenty meters away a grenade fell. I entered the station and saw a wounded man, but as I did not have anything with me to help him, and knowing the impossibility of requesting medicines from Malabon, I departed and took the train for Malolos.

When I arrived home, Choling[3] told me that I was a coward because I had abandoned the fighting. I explained to her that I had come to get bandages and medicines because there were none there. I went to the drug store and requested everything needed for first aid. When I inquired for the cost, the pharmacist refused to collect. At 1 in the afternoon of the 5th, after lunch, I returned to Caloocan bringing my surgery satchel. I found [Antonio] Luna, José, [Leon Ma.] Guerrero and [Anastacio] Francisco, Inspector General of Military Health.

At 4 p.m. a stretcher arrived bringing [José] Torres Bugallon, Major of the General Staff, with a broken right thigh; he was very pale, looking almost bloodless owing to profuse hemorrhage. He stretched his hand upon seeing me, relating at the same time how he had been wounded.

He said, “I was leading the troops when I felt I was wounded, but continued marching about fifty meters farther; then I fell. I felt I was being dragged and then I lapsed into unconsciousness. I did not know anything more until I found myself here today. Bitter and endless fighting continued on both sides.” I asked him to stop talking and he kept silent.

Luna and I applied first aid to him then he was transferred to the Lolomboy Hospital at Bocaue. He died, however, on the way. The body was taken to Malolos, where it was buried. I was left in Bocaue, where I intended to establish a hospital; but with the presence of De Jesus and Cordero of the medical corps, I proceeded to Meycauayan, where I spent the night. On the following day, I stayed in the Polo station to attend to the wounded. On the third day, seeing that the medical staff of the military unit had taken complete control of the situation, I returned to Malolos.

[1] Manuscript carries year of 1900.

[2]Jacob Gould Schurman.

[3]Consuelo de Santos, youngest daughter of Marcelino de Santos; Barcelona married her on July 6, 1901.

Miércoles 1 de Junio 1898

Han cesado el viento y la lluvia pero queda el cielo nublado. Desde el mediodía hasta la noche se oye grande estruendo de cañonazos y descargas cerradas en el Zapote. Son de nuestras tropas que refuerzan la línea mientras se está librando otro combate en el interior de la provincia (…). Nuestra artillería compuesta de 372 soldados no ha tenido en toda la tarde una sola baja, gracias a Dios. La de los insurrectos y tropas del interior son desconocidos.

The wind and the rain have ceased, but the sky remains cloudy. From noon till night, one hears the loud roar of cannons and rapid firing in Zapote. They are from our troops reinforcing the line while fighting is going on in the interior of the province. Here it is said, but God knows if it is true, Mariano Trias, Ricarte, and Riego de Dios behave honorably in their respective zones of San Francisco del Monte, Imus, and Santa Cruz. The commander of Santa Ana, Pio del Pilar has also gone to Zapote. Our artillery composed of 372 soldiers, has not suffered all afternoon a single casualty, thank God. Those of the insurgents and troops in the interior are unaccounted for.

Thursday, May 26, 1898

The respective commanders of Imus, Santa Cruz, and San Francisco de Malabon, Ricarte, Riego de Dios, and Mariano Trias, continue firm in their defense of Spain. Only in Bacoor are there sufficient men ready to swear for Aguinaldo. Frs. Clos and Algue have spoken to two of them, urging them to desist from their evil intention, and to surrender to the government 200 or 300 rifles they took from the arsenal when our troops abandoned it and which they keep hiding. In the end they promised to do so.