February and watershed moments in Philippine history

I HAVE often wondered why and how the month of February became fortuitously the month of choice for watershed moments or turning points in Philippine history. Did Providence guide the hand of time to favor the shortest month of the year? Or was this the doing of our national leaders seeking a place in history?카지노사이트

Equally puzzling to me is why in two of the most important watershed moments in our national life, the United States government figured prominently in deciding the course of events and in shaping the transition of the Philippines to a new state of affairs.

Watershed moments

The expression “watershed moment” or “watershed” for short, refers to an event that alters the course of history. Such moments can pertain to world history, but they can also unfold on a much smaller scale, as in a nation or an institution or organization.

Watershed moments are so significant that people begin talking about the time “before” and “after” the event.

One unquestionable example is clearly 9/11 — Sept. 11, 2001. Many thoughtful people declared that “the world will never be the same again,” after the hijacked planes plowed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field on that day. The closest parallel that historical memory could quickly provide was Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

If asked to match 9/11 and Pearl Harbor in Philippine history, I would nominate March 16, 1521, the date when Ferdinand Magellan completed his immortal circumnavigation of the globe, with his discovery of the Philippine archipelago. The feat was so epic and awesome, the historian and author William Manchester proclaimed Magellan the greatest figure of the Renaissance.

Two turning points

Closer to our own day are two watershed events that stand prominently in our national memory bank, and remain to this day the object of clashing historical accounts and are colored by different perspectives and ways of veneration. These are:

  1. The Filipino-American War which broke out on Feb. 4, 1899, between the newly proclaimed Philippine Republic, and the United States of America, which sailed to Manila because of the Spanish-American war. The war lasted until July 2, 1902, when Filipino resistance finally bowed to superior arms and the US determination to establish its own empire by claiming sovereignty over the Philippines.
  2. The People Power Revolution, also known as the EDSA Revolution, which stemmed from a series of popular demonstrations and a military uprising, from Feb. 22 to 25, 1986. Styled as a sustained campaign of civil resistance against the 20-year regime of President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., the revolt caused the overthow of the Marcos government, and led to Marcos’ departure to exile in Hawaii in 1986. In his place, Corazon Aquino rose to power as the leader of a revolutionary government.

Filipinos and Americans will differ in their recollection and understanding of these events, injecting nationalist attitudes into their viewpoints. But all will concede that these events marked a dramatic change in the course of governance of the country, and its place in the international community.

Indeed, the US annexation of the Philippines in 1898 wrought a radical change also in world affairs, because on the back of our first Philippine Republic, America planted the flag of its American empire. With this epic change in US policy, the world would never be the same again, as it would soon discover in two world wars, in Korea, in Vietnam and the Middle East.

In each February date, time would divide between before and after the event.

After the Filipino-American war, many Americans would claim that the American empire had been born, to rival and surpass the empires of the European powers in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

After EDSA, people power and yellow became the badge of honor in Philippine life and culture. The country would fall into a deep sleep for the next 36 years, from which Filipinos would waken to discover another Marcos, Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., standing at the helm of their republic, as the overwhelming choice of 31 million of the national electorate in the elections of May 2022.

Filipino-American war

Filipino and American scholars generally do not agree on their interpretation of the war between the newly proclaimed and inaugurated Philippine republic, and the empire-seeking United States of America, which erupted on Feb. 4, 1899. They cannot even agree on what to call the event.바카라사이트

From the first, the US authorities insisted on calling the conflict “the Philippine insurrection against the United States.” When Captain John Roger Meigs Taylor was assigned to write the history and documentation of the conflict, he entitled the completed project, “The Philippine Insurrection Against the United States, A Compilation of Documents.”

Filipino historians and scholars on the other hand have called it the Filipino-American war. setting it alongside the Spanish-American war and Russo-Japanese war between Russia and Japan, which broke out early in the 20h century. Some Filipino historians also called it the Philippine-American war.

In a new US history of the war, Brian McAllister Linn, professor of history at Texas A & M university, titled his book, The Philippine War 1899-1902 (University Press of Kansas, 2000). He wrote in his preface:

“Nowadays, textbooks and popular histories summarize the Philippine war in a few cliches — the water cure, civilize ’em with a Krag, kill everyone over ten, reconcentration camps — all of which convey the impression of brutality and atrocities.”

In calling it the Philippine war, Linn clearly seeks to align the conflict with the nomenclature of the Vietnam war and the Korean war.

Onofreed E. Corpuz called it the Filipino-American war in his authoritative two-volume history, The Roots of the Filipino Nation (Aklahi Foundation, Quezon City, 1989).

Remarkably, in 2017, American historian and academic Stephen Kinzer published his own history of the American adventure and the war with the Filipinos, entitled The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain and the Birth of the American Empire (St. Martin’s Press Network, 2017).

Kinzer tells the story through a narration of the intense battle of imperialists and anti-imperialists in the US over the conflict in the Philippines.

Kinzer provides an intriguing answer on why the Filipino-American war erupted on Feb. 4, 1899. He belied US claims that the Filipinos had started the conflict in Manila.온라인카지노

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