Memorare Manila 1945 Monument. Dedicated to the over 100,000 Civilian Filipino’s killed by Japanese Troops and American Bombing


Memorare Manila 1945 Monument Courtesy of:   The Memorare – Manila 1945 Monument commemorates the lives lost during the battle for the liberation of Manila, waged by Filipino and American forces against Imperial Japanese troops from February 3, 1945, to March 3, 1945. The monument was unveiled on February 18, 1995. It stands at the center of Intramuros, in Plaza de Sta. Isabel at the corner of General Luna and Anda Streets. It was constructed mainly through the efforts of the Memorare – Manila 1945 Foundation Inc., a private, non-profit organization founded by the civilian survivors of the Battle of Manila and their descendants. Sculpted by Peter de Guzman, the monument’s main feature is the figure of a hooded woman slumped on the ground in great despair for the lifeless child she cradles in her arms. Six suffering figures surround her, a glimpse of the great despair brought about by the gruesome massacres that were perpetrated all over the city inflicted by Imperial Japanese soldiers on civilians during the liberation of the city. The inscription on the base was penned by Nick Joaquin, National Artist for Literature: This memorial is dedicated to all those innocent victims of war, many of whom went nameless and unknown to a common grave, or never even knew a grave at all, their bodies having been consumed by fire or crushed to dust beneath the rubble of ruins. Let this monument be a gravestone for each and every one of the over 100,000 men, women, children and infants killed in Manila during its battle of liberation, Feb. 3 to March 3, 1945. We have never forgotten them. Nor shall we ever forget. May they rest in peace as part now of the sacred ground of this city: The Manila of our affection. February 18, 1995.” … [Read more...]

The Philippine-American War,1899–1902 by Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, United States Department of State


The Philippine-American War,1899–1902 from: After its defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain ceded its longstanding colony of the Philippines to the United States in the Treaty of Paris. On February 4, 1899, just two days before the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty, fighting broke out between American forces and Filipino nationalists led by Emilio Aguinaldo who sought independence rather than a change in colonial rulers. The ensuing Philippine-American War lasted three years and resulted in the death of over 4,200 American and over 20,000 Filipino combatants. As many as 200,000 Filipino civilians died from violence, famine, and disease. “Battle of Manila Bay” The decision by U.S. policymakers to annex the Philippines was not without domestic controversy. Americans who advocated annexation evinced a variety of motivations: desire for commercial opportunities in Asia, concern that the Filipinos were incapable of self-rule, and fear that if the United States did not take control of the islands, another power (such as Germany or Japan) might do so. Meanwhile, American opposition to U.S. colonial rule of the Philippines came in many forms, ranging from those who thought it morally wrong for the United States to be engaged in colonialism, to those who feared that annexation might eventually permit the non-white Filipinos to have a role in American national government. Others were wholly unconcerned about the moral or racial implications of imperialism and sought only to oppose the policies of PresidentWilliam McKinley’s administration. After the Spanish-American War, while the American public and politicians debated the annexation question, Filipino revolutionaries under Aguinaldo seized control of most of the Philippines’ main island of Luzon and proclaimed the establishment of the independent Philippine Republic. When it became clear that U.S. forces were intent on imposing American colonial control over the islands, the early clashes between the two sides in 1899 swelled into an all-out war. Americans tended to refer to the ensuing conflict as an “insurrection” rather than acknowledge the Filipinos’ contention that they were fighting to ward off a foreign invader. Emilio Aguinaldo There were two phases to the Philippine-American War. The first phase, from February to November of 1899, was dominated by Aguinaldo’s ill-fated attempts to fight a conventional war against the better-trained and equipped American troops. The second phase was marked by the Filipinos’ shift to guerrilla-style warfare. It began in November of 1899, lasted through the capture of Aguinaldo in 1901 and into the spring of 1902, by which time most organized Filipino resistance had dissipated. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed a general amnesty and declared the conflict over on July 4, 1902, although minor uprisings and insurrections against American rule periodically occurred in the years that followed. The United States entered the conflict with undeniable military advantages that included a trained fighting force, a steady supply of military equipment, and control of the archipelago’s waterways. Meanwhile, the Filipino forces were hampered by their inability to gain any kind of outside support for their cause, chronic shortages of weapons and ammunition, and complications produced by the Philippines’ geographic complexity. Under these conditions, Aguinaldo’s attempt to fight a conventional war in the first few months of the conflict proved to be a fatal mistake; the Filipino Army suffered severe losses in men and material before switching to the guerrilla tactics that might have been more effective if employed from the beginning of the conflict. President Theodore Roosevelt The war was brutal on both sides. U.S. forces at times burned villages, implemented civilian reconcentration policies, and employed torture on suspected guerrillas, while Filipino fighters also tortured captured soldiers and terrorized civilians who cooperated with American forces. Many civilians died during the conflict as a result of the fighting, cholera and malaria epidemics, and food shortages caused by several agricultural catastrophes. Even as the fighting went on, the colonial government that the United States established in the Philippines in 1900 under future President William Howard Taft launched a pacification campaign that became known as the “policy of attraction.” Designed to win over key elites and other Filipinos who did not embrace Aguinaldo’s plans for the Philippines, this policy permitted a significant degree of self-government, introduced social reforms, and implemented plans for economic development. Over time, this program gained important Filipino adherents and undermined the revolutionaries’ popular appeal, which significantly aided the United States’ military effort to win the war. In 1907, the … [Read more...]

U.S. WAR CRIMES IN THE PHILIPPINES, (1898-1899). By World Future Fund

 U.S. WAR CRIMES IN THE PHILIPPINES Courtesy of: .   The U.S. occupation of the Philippine Islands came about as a result of military operations against the Spanish Empire during the Spanish-American war of 1898-99.  The seizure of the Philippines by the United States, however, was not unplanned.  American eyes had been set on the Philippines since before the outbreak of war.  To many prominent Americans, establishing a colony in the Philippines was a logical extension of the nation's "manifest destiny" to play a leading role on the world stage.  An expanded American presence in Asia was also thought to have significant commercial advantages for the nation, since American companies could then participate directly in large Asian markets. For all the alleged advantages to possessing the Philippines, no thought was given to whether or not native Filipinos would welcome American as opposed to Spanish rule.  The Filipinos were of course never informed of American intentions to stay in the Philippines.  This turned out to be a serious error.  By 1898 Filipinos had already shed a considerable amount of blood since rising up in 1896 to free themselves from Spanish domination.  They would not take kindly to a change in colonial administration from Spain to the United States. The First Philippine Republic and the End of Spanish Rule On May 1, 1898, an American fleet under Dewey sailed into Manila harbor and quickly destroyed a small force of Spanish ships anchored there.  Plans for Dewey to commence offensive operations against the Spanish in the Philippines had originated several months before, in February, when Assistant Secretary for the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt, had cabled Dewey to say "Your duty will be to see that the Spanish squadron does not leave the Asiatic coast ... start offensive operations in Philippine Islands."[1] Because a considerable number of Spanish troops remained stationed throughout the Philippines, including a large force in Manila itself, American diplomats urged resistance leader Emilio Aguinaldo to return to the Philippines from exile in Hong Kong.  Before journeying to his homeland, Aguinaldo, who was overjoyed at the American declaration of war on Spain, cabled resistance members the following message, which clearly expresses his belief that the Americans had come to liberate his people: "Divine Providence is about to place independence within our reach.  The Americans, not from mercenary motives, but for the sake of humanity and the lamentations of so many persecuted people have considered it opportune to extend their protecting mantle to our beloved country. ... At the present moment an American squadron is preparing to sail to the Philippines. The Americans will attack by sea and prevent any re-enforcements coming from Spain. ... We insurgents must attack by land. ... There where you see the American flag flying, assemble in number; they are our redeemers!"[2] Aguinaldo sent another message several days later expressing the same confidence in American altruism: "Filipinos, the great nation, North America, cradle of liberty and friendly on that account to the liberty of our people ... has come to manifest a protection ... which is disinterested towards us, considering us with sufficient civilization to govern by ourselves this our unhappy land."[3] Energized by the seemingly fortunate turn of events, the Filipinos immediately went on the offensive.  Within weeks Aguinaldo's insurgents had pushed the Spanish back to Manila.  Fighting would continue for another two months, until American forces arrived in enough numbers to complete the defeat of Spanish troops holed up in Manila.  Aguinaldo and his men were ecstatic with their victory and on June 12, 1898 they proclaimed Filipino independence.  The First Philippine Republic had been founded. What the Americans Promised the Filipinos The declaration of a Philippine Republic should not have come as a shock to the Americans.  No American military commander or politician had formally promised the Filipinos independence after the end of fighting, but this is not the impression that motivated Emilio Aguinaldo and his men.  Statements made by several of the participants in these events suggest that by supporting the armed resistance of Filipinos to the Spanish, the United States was de facto guaranteeing the Filipinos their independence.  For example, American Consul Wildman in Hong Kong wrote at the time, "the United States undertook this war [against Spain] for the sole purpose of relieving the Cubans from the cruelties under which they were suffering and not for the love of conquests or the hope of gain.  They are actuated by precisely the same feelings for the Filipinos."[4]  Admiral Dewey emphasized that during the liberation of the islands the Filipinos had cooperated directly … [Read more...]