One letter, which was later republished in the New York World, gives an indication of what the Filipinos were up against. It bears reproduction in its entirety:
It was on the 27th of December, the anniversary of my birth, and I shall never forget the scenes I witnessed that day. As we approached the town the word passed along the line that there would be no prisoners taken. It meant we were to shoot every living thing in sight-man woman or child.
The first shot was fired by the then 1st Sergeant of our company. His target was a mere boy, who was coming down the mountain path into town astride of a carabao. The boy was not struck by the bullet, but that was not the Sergeant’s fault. The little Filipino boy slid from the back of his carabao and fled in terror up the mountain side. Half a dozen shots were fired after him.
The shooting now had attracted the villagers, who came out of their homes in alarm, wondering what it all meant. They offered no offense, did not display a weapon, made no hostile movement whatsoever, but they were ruthlessly shot down in cold blood, men, women and children. The poor natives huddled together or fled in terror. Many were pursued and killed on the spot. Two old men, bearing a white flag and clasping hands like two brothers, approached the lines. Their hair was white. Tbey fairly tottered, they were so feeble under the weight of years. To my horror and that of the other men in the command, the order was given to fire and the two old men were shot down in their tracks. We entered the village. A man who had been on a sickbed appeared at the doorway of his home. He received a bullet in the abdomen and fell dead in the doorway. Dum dum bullets were used in the massacre, but we were not told the name of the bullets. We didn’t have to be told. We knew what they were. In another part of the village a mother with a babe at her breast and two young children at her side pleaded for mercy. She feared to leave her home which had just been fired-accidentally, I believe. She faced the flames with her children, and not a hand was raised to save her or the little ones. They perished miserably. It was sure death if she left the house-it was sure death if she remained. She feared the American soldiers, however, worse than the devouring flames.
And ya, I’m definitely dedicating this week to posting things about the Philippine-American War and the U.S. colonial period in the Philippines and all the atrocities U.S. soldiers and the government did to us. All in “God’s name of saving the “n*gger, barbaric, savages” as what they called us and uplifting us from ourselves.”
Because damn it, not many people know about, not even Filipin@’s themselves because the history books in the Philippines, the majority of them are STILL books written by and used by Americans and those that came here to “teach” during the colonial period. Many of them haven’t been updated and is information written by our colonizers.
So all this week will be history week on Pinoy-Culture all based on the Philippine-American War, U.S. colonialism and imperialism in the Philippines, and the atrocities during their colonial rule from the burning of homes and villages, to shooting every Filipin@, man, woman, and child in sight, to torture methods such as the water cure torture, to the concentration camps that if you were seen outside of it you were immediately shot dead. To where they wanted to come with a plan to kill every Filipin@ in sight to the point of killing half the population and in the words of General Shafter in January 1900, “My plan, would be to disarm the natives of the Philipine Islands, even if we have to kill half of them to do it.” Hell even McArthur, an imperialist himself, admitted that the Filipin@’s hated the Americans and that it would take at least ten years of fighting against us in order to finally subdue us into submission.
So yes. It’s time for a history lesson.