The Philippine Independence and the Start of the Philippine-American War

After the declaration of the Philippine Independence by Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite, it was too late for the Filipinos to learn the true intention of the Americans – that is to colonize the country and use it for its own welfare.

Cuba was also one of the country that was under the Spanish rule. And just like the Philippines, the Cuban people also wanted to be free. And because the Americans wanted to secure their own interest over Cuba, they helped in fighting for its country’s freedom. The government of Spain did not like this American move, thus, they had declared a war against America.

On April 21, 1898, the Naval Fleet of America in the Asian region arrived in Hong Kong under the leadership of Commodore George Dewey. He was mandated to went to the Philippines to fight the Spanish colonization in the country. On that same day, Emilio Aguinaldo, Gregorio del Pilar, and J.M. Leyba arrived  in Singapore.

Upon knowing this, Commodore Dewey sent a telegram to E. Spencer Pratt, the consul of America in Singapore to encourage Aguinaldo to return to the Philippines and continue their revolution against the Spain.

On May 01, 1898, Dewey’s Fleet arrived in Manila Bay without the knowledge of the Spanish government. And in the dawn of the same day, the battle begins between Dewey and Spanish forces. It started at 5:41AM and ended at 12:30PM. The Spanish forces lost the battle.

On May 19,1898, Aguinaldo went back to the Philippines with the assumption that America do not want to occupy the country and that they only wanted to help the Philippines achieve its independence. Aguinaldo collaborated with Dewey and ask the Filipino revolutionaries to help the Americans against Spain.

The Revolutionary Government was founded with the help of Apolinario Mabini, which was known today as the “Brains of the Revolution”. The aim of this government is to have the Philippine Independence until other countries identify it as such.

Even though the Spanish was not totally beaten in the whole country, Aguinaldo announced the independence of the Philippine on June 12, 1898 in Kawit, Cavite. The Philippine Flag was raised for the first time (who was made by Marcela Agoncillo), while the Himno Marcha Nacional was played. The patriotic song was composed by Julian Felipe, afterwhich the lyrics was made by Jose Palma and becomes the Philippine National Anthem.

The Filipinos helped the Americans to fought against the Spanish rule in order to be ousted in the country. Most of the country was now under the Filipino revolutionaries. But Dewey and General Merritt held a secret meeting with the Spanish Governor General Fermin Jaudenes. The Spanish government and the Americans had come to a decision to have a mock battle to which the Americans will be the victor and that Spain was lost. They also decided that the Filipinos will not be included in the battle and that they will not be allowed to come in Manila.

On August 13, 1898, the “mock battle” happens and by the end of the day, the Spanish government surrenders the whole Philippine to the Americans. When the Filipino revolutionaries wanted to come to Manila, they were warned by General Greene and was not allowed. If they will force themselves to come, they will be fired at by the Americans. This incident started the first Filipino-American misunderstanding. And within several days, the forces of the Americans landed in the Philippine soil drastically multiply in numbers and their forces getting stronger.

Author’s note: Another compiling story and history of my motherland and its citizens.


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