General Jacob H. Smith's order "KILL EVERY ONE OVER TEN"
was quoted in the New York Journal cartoon on May 5, 1902.
A vulture replaces usual bald eagle above the U.S. shield.
The bottom caption exclaimed, "Criminals Because They Were
Born Ten Years Before We Took the Philippines".
War Key to Fil-Am Understanding
Any significant, comprehensive, or serious discussion of Filipinos in the United States can not be complete, (at the very least prefaced) without an essential understanding of the U.S.-Philippines War. The modern Filipino experience or predicament or situation in the United States must be anchored in solid, basic fundamental knowledge of the U.S.-Philippines War that officially started in 1899. Otherwise, it would be like talking about the United States as a nation without talking about the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War For Independence. The understanding of this war is vital to any in-depth discussion of Filipinos in the United States since, because official relations, records, and attitudes began to be developed and formulated at this time. Ramifications of these perceptions apply to this day. Many of the racial slurs inflicted upon the Filipinos in the U.S. during the hate crimes of the 1920's to 40's originated in this war. Names like "goo-goos", "gook", "monkey", "brown niggers", etc., were part of the campaign and vocabulary used by American troops in the Philippines. Many of the American soldiers were veterans of the wars against Native Americans that were fought just years earlier in the United States, (some were still being fought) so all they (the U.S. soldiers) had to do was transfer that psychological and sociological hatred to another people of color and enemy at hand—the Filipinos.
It must also be remembered that the Filipinos fought their War For Independence against two World Powers—Spain and the United States. It was no small feat. Though short-lived, The Philippines became the first permanent Republic in the histoiry of Asia.
Women Warriors for the Philippines
Women's role in the Philippine Revolution against Spain and the United States was crucial. They hid documents and weapons under their clothes. They organized, managed gatherings and "parties" to camouflage secret meetings of the revolutionaries. They were transporters, messengers, protectors, feeders, and executives. They also served as inspirations to many. Many women were warriors and dynamite smugglers who fell in battle and other assignments with the best of men.
Atrocities and Mass Death
Unspeakable but documented atrocities were committed by the Americans during the Filipino American War, There were orders to kill everyone over ten years old. Commands in the spirit of "the more you kill and burn, the more you will please me" were widespread. Uses of torture such as the "water cure" were common. Cordoning off and zoning off the population resulted in mass starvation and separated families. There were about 4,000 Americans killed in this war. No one knows for sure how many Filipinos died. The Americans claim 400,000. The real figures, according to more reliable sources, is close to 2,000,000. One out of every five Filipinos died in this war, women and children included.
Many say that this war was actually the first Vietnam.
German officers present in the Philippines at this time took notes of such American tactics as "concentrating" and "zoning in" citizens and used them later on in their country. Hitler and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt employed many of these techniques during World War II. History knows them today as Concentration Camps.
Only Philippines Fought Back
By the time the Treaty of Paris was ratified, the United States had acquired all the following territories: Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Only the Philippines rose in arms as a people and fought the United States for their independence.
Eskrimadors Weapon: Martial Arts
The practioners of the martial arts in the Philippines are called Eskrimadors, and though they were called this Spanish appellation, the martial arts they practiced were ancient and had been used by Indonesians and Malaysians and Borneans long before the Spaniards ever set foot on their native shores. When a sector of the population of Native Filipinas, the dissident leaders, were exiled in those Galleon ships that plied the Pacific prolificly between the years 1565 to 1815, from Manila to Acapulco, that also meant that those leaders' martial arts would go world-wide, so to speak. They (The Spanish) would capture and imprison dissident community leaders and exile them into the far away land of their other colony across the Pacific, New Spain or Mexico. One thing those community leaders brought with them was their art of fighting, their martial art. Many of the Community leaders knew of the secret art of the warrior and that would be one thing they would have brought with them, and that to be a community leader one would have proven onself in battle, most likely.
The Katipunan and the Philippine Revolutionary Army were taught by some of the best Eskrimadors of the land at the time, legendary in stature. It is a fact that Eskrimadors fought the Spanish and the Americans, and that after the American's seizure of the Philippines at the turn of the twentieth century, some of those Eskrimadors like many of their countrymen and women, found their way into the United States. Most stayed and worked and started a new life, all the while practicing and honing their skills as martial artists, in Hawaii and California and Washington mostly but eventually virtually all over the United States. And it is in these places that the Filipino martial arts, secretly at first, found a spawning ground, until now, that it has almost blossomed into notoriety, mushroomed into fame, so to speak. The names for these martial arts are usually given as Kali, (the mother ancient art). Escrima or Eskrima, and Arnis de Mano. In the beginning of the Second World War, The first and second Infantry Laging Una and Sulong had many brilliant Eskrimadors, and they taught some of their techniques to non-Filipinos, and they in turn taught it to others.
To trace these Eskrimadors' coming to the Americas is truly to trace a very unique event, truly Filipino American in development. For this marks the beginning of the internationaling of the Filipno Martial Arts, the globalization of it, so to speak. They built a home base here in the United States, and determined to leave the legacy of the fighting arts and spirit of the Filipino people. It was the art used, centuries ago, to drive the first foreign western invader( Lapu-lapu's killing of Magellan) away from native shores. Traditionally and historically, it has been an art that always stood for family and community—justice and resistance to foreign invaders.
Filipinos Who Fought On, Unconquered
This war is also peculiar as far as to when the ending of the war actually was. According to some U.S.Americans, (the U.S.Americans themselves have several dates on the end of the war,) it ended in July of 1902, some say in September of the same year. Some declared it when Aguinaldo was captured in Palanan, Isabela in March of 1901. Yet some more say that Aguinaldo's proclamation (issued in captivity) to the people to lay down their arms was the official ending of the U.S.American's war. But the Filipino's war for their independence was a lot longer. Some groups of people (revolutionaries, but libeled by the U.S. occupying regime as "bandits") fought into the teens of the new century. Theirs is a story yet to be fully told. The Muslims in the south were still fighting in the twenties and some up to the thirtiies!
Many think that the U.S.Americans conquered the Filipinos and ruled them for fifty years. Some say up to until the toppling of the Marcos regime in the mid-nineteen eighties. Some say up until the removal of the U.S. bases in the early nineteen nineties. And that the Spaniards conquered and ruled the Philippines for 330 years. But that commentary can only apply to the Christianized, lowland Filipinos. These two colonizers conquered actually only part of the Philippines; they subjugated only some Filipinos, not all. The indigenous Filipinos, like the Ifugaos and the Negritos, along with the Muslim Filipinos were not defeated. Unlike their Christian, lowland brothers and sisters, these Filipinos were never vanquished by any foreign invader.