The Spanish-American War and
the American Colonization
The American battleship, USS Maine, exploded and sank under mysterious
circumstances in a harbor at Havana, Cuba on February 15, 1898. The incident
which resulted in the death of 260 American servicemen further strained the
relationship between America and Spain which was already deteriorating over
Cuba's bid for independence.
Pantaleon Villegas, also known as Leon Kirat, led the uprising against the
Spaniards in Cebu in April 2, 1898. The uprising was suppressed after a week
of fighting with the arrival of Spanish reinforcements from Iloilo and Manila.
Leon Kilat continued his fight through guerrilla warfare.
On April 25, 1898 America declared war on Spain. Theodore Roosevelt, the
Secretary of the Navy, ordered Commodore George Dewey, commander of the
U.S. Asiatic fleet, to attack the Spanish fleet in the Philippine. Dewey fought and
defeated the Spanish fleet under General Patrocinio Montojo in the Battle of
Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. This was a turning point in Spanish-American war
that eventually led to American colonization of the Philippines.
General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine Independence from Spanish
rule in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898. During the event, Marcha Nacional
Filipina, which what would become the National Anthem composed by Julian
Felipe, was played by the band of San Francisco de Malabon and the Philippine
national flag was hoisted in public.
Bates Treaty Agreement. August 20, 1898. Signed in Mindanao between US
Representative John C. Bates and the Filipino Muslim leaders Rajah Muda,
Datu Calbi, Datu Joakanain and the Sulu Sultan, the agreement signified
noninvolvement of the Muslims in the Filipino-American War.
Revolutionary forces under General Juan Anacleto Araneta proclaimed the
Republic of Negros in November 5, 1898.
The revolutionists led by General Martin Delgado waved the Filipino flag and
established a revolutionary government in Iloilo, in what is known as the "Cry of
Santa Barbara", on November 17, 1898.
The Treaty of Paris was signed on December 10, 1898. This was signed between
the United States and Spain ceding Spanish colonies, including the Philippines, to
America. The Americans received the right to colonize the Philippines after
paying Spain $20 million.
General Antonio Luna and his aide Colonel Paco Roman were assassinated
by fellow revolutionists in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, on June 5, 1899. This
event was one of the great tragedies of the Philippine Revolution.
La Independencia newspaper published Jose Palma’s poem. September 3,
1899. The poem became the lyrics for the Marcha Nacional Filipina of Julian
Felipe, thereby completing a national anthem for the Philippines.
On September 22, 1943, the Commonwealth government adopted the flag and
the anthem as national symbols.
Presbyterian Missionaries arrived on April 21, 1899. They were the first group of
Protestant missionaries to arrive and established missions in the Philippines.
They established the first Protestant University in the Philippines, the Silliman
University, on August 1901.
General Gregorio del Pilar died in action on December 2, 1899 while defending
Tirad Pass from Americans soldiers in what is known as the Battle of Tirad
About 180 Filipinos attacked 72 American soldiers and killed many of them on
September 28, 1890 in what is known as the Balangiga Massacre. The
Americans retaliated by killing every Filipino who refused to surrender and were
capable of carrying arms, including 10-year-old boys.