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Author Topic: Attn: Sun_Helmet--I need the famous "Arquebus" quo  (Read 8511 times)
Spadaccino
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« on: June 05, 2003, 08:01:13 AM »

Rafael,

I hope all is well with you, sir.

I have been busy with various domestic matters (among other things), and have thus been absent from the DB site for some time.

Remember the big ol' FMA vs. WMA thread where you quoted from the late 16th century Spanish writer who commented on the failure of early Spanish expeditions (Magellan, Villa Lobos, etc), and said that the key to the Spanish maintaining a presence in the Philippines was the arquebus?  Could you please repost that quote, together with the author and book that it came from?  My research is (I feel) coming to a head on this topic, and that quote is a key point, in illustrating the difference between the Spanish experiences in the New World, and those in the Philippines.

I also recently managed to finally see Sir John Smythe's Certain Discourses Militarie, and some of his comments on the Spanish (specifically in regards to their conquests in the New World) are also interesting, and seem to only verify my findings on this subject.

Any help would be appreciated.

Bahala Na,

David Black Mastro
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
Anonymous
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2003, 12:07:28 PM »

David,

You should post to the Sayoc Kali forum, to get Tuhon Kayanan's attention. I will email him today as well.

Gumagalang
Guro Steve
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Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2003, 09:17:24 AM »

Francisco de Sande in his report to the Crown of Spain for the Legazpi expedition dated June 8, 1577, page 337, The Colonization and Conquest of the Philippines by Spain, VIII, "A collection of important source documents related to the Legazpi expedition of 1564..." by the Filipiniana Book Guild bound in 1965. Francisco de Sande sailed in from Acapulco, Nueva Espana and his letters were to the Crown. His accounts of the aftermath of the Chinese corsair Limahong's invasion of Manila is also good reading as it was from a first hand account. de Sande's observations are of note because it came from a perspective of one who had lived in South America, Spain and the Philippines during that time.

(CAPS are mine below as seen in the DB posts, however I went back and fixed some typos btw) :

"The Indians of this country are not simple or foolish, nor are they frightened by anything whatever. They can be dealt with ONLY BY THE ARQUEBUSE, or by the gifts of GOLD or SILVER. If they were like those of Nueva Espana, Peru, Tierra Firme, and in other explored places where the ships of Castilla may enter, sound reasoning might have some effect. But these Indians first inquire if they must be Christians, pay money, forsake their wives, and other similar things. They kill Spaniards so boldy, that WITHOUT THE ARQUEBUSES WE COULD DO NOTHING. This was the reason that Magallanes, Sayavedra, and those who came afterward from Nueva Espana were maltreated. All those who have been killed since the coming of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi received THEIR DEATH THROUGH THE LACK OF ARQUEBUSES. The Indians have thousands of lances, daggers, shields, and other pieces of armor, with which they fight so well. They have no leaders to whom they look up. THE HAVOC CAUSED BY THE ARQUEBUSE, and their own lack of honor, make them seek refuge in flight, and give obedience to our orders."
 
End quote.
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However, as I mentioned way back... the arquebus had much more to do with Conquesta than the *sword alone* as well as religion, bartering (especially tribes aligning themselves to someone who promised them advanced weapons and other riches) were all successful tactics to use against the Filipinos. I believe any essay without the emphasis on the above would be an act equal to some of the old Spanish writers own slanted worldview (not that you will do this David but others have).

The conquesta happened over a course of hundreds of years as churches were built from the center out in many villages, divide /conquer methods were embedded, and the Spanish firepower /tactics also evolved.

The success led as quickly to their downfall because it exposed Spain's own faults and maltreatment to a wider audience and to the now "educated" Filipino. Even the most assimilated minded Filipinos finally realized that Spain was only in it for Spain. That promises were never going to be kept.

Revolution on an unprecedented unified scale in the islands ensued. What Spain had always tried to keep from happening. What Conquesta was designed to defeat.

Eventually the Philippines was lost just the same, as Ferdinand Blumentritt from Austria observed in 1899 when he wrote to Jose Rizal that the Spanish deluded themselves in their writings, in their words and their actions. The Spaniards  refused to see what many foreigners (meaning other Europeans) like him saw. Blumetritt even added that :" The (Spanish) friars at least know well that their power, their rule, will surely fail with or without the will of Spain and so try by all means and with the help of pious frauds to postpone the end of their downfall."

It was ironic to read Blumetritt's description of Spain's policies as that of "global terrorism" considering it was written over a hundred years ago.


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--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
Anonymous
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2003, 08:43:33 AM »

Rafael,

Thank you so much for taking the time to repost that stuff (editorial corrections and all! Cheesy )

Francisco de Sande in his report to the Crown of Spain for the Legazpi expedition dated June 8, 1577, page 337, The Colonization and Conquest of the Philippines by Spain, VIII, "A collection of important source documents related to the Legazpi expedition of 1564..." by the Filipiniana Book Guild bound in 1965. Francisco de Sande sailed in from Acapulco, Nueva Espana and his letters were to the Crown. His accounts of the aftermath of the Chinese corsair Limahong's invasion of Manila is also good reading as it was from a first hand account. de Sande's observations are of note because it came from a perspective of one who had lived in South America, Spain and the Philippines during that time.

I would really love to read de Sande's account of Limahong's raid--Dog Gerald (now C-Heretic Dog btw-- Crafty) posted an account of that incident on MMA.tv a while back, though I don't recall if it was de Sande or not (on the balance, I think it was him).

(CAPS are mine below as seen in the DB posts, however I went back and fixed some typos btw) :

"The Indians of this country are not simple or foolish, nor are they frightened by anything whatever. They can be dealt with ONLY BY THE ARQUEBUSE, or by the gifts of GOLD or SILVER. If they were like those of Nueva Espana, Peru, Tierra Firme, and in other explored places where the ships of Castilla may enter, sound reasoning might have some effect. But these Indians first inquire if they must be Christians, pay money, forsake their wives, and other similar things. They kill Spaniards so boldy, that WITHOUT THE ARQUEBUSES WE COULD DO NOTHING. This was the reason that Magallanes, Sayavedra, and those who came afterward from Nueva Espana were maltreated. All those who have been killed since the coming of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi received THEIR DEATH THROUGH THE LACK OF ARQUEBUSES. The Indians have thousands of lances, daggers, shields, and other pieces of armor, with which they fight so well. They have no leaders to whom they look up. THE HAVOC CAUSED BY THE ARQUEBUSE, and their own lack of honor, make them seek refuge in flight, and give obedience to our orders."

End quote.
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However, as I mentioned way back... the arquebus had much more to do with Conquesta than the *sword alone* as well as religion, bartering (especially tribes aligning themselves to someone who promised them advanced weapons and other riches) were all successful tactics to use against the Filipinos. I believe any essay without the emphasis on the above would be an act equal to some of the old Spanish writers own slanted worldview (not that you will do this David but others have).


I definitely plan to cover the use of bartering with certain tribes to gain allies, etc.  From what I understand, this was something the Spanish Crown wanted to do anyway--they wanted to avoid military conflict with the Filipinos as much as possible, because Spanish foreign policy in the New World had come under such criticism by friars like Bartolomeo de las Casas (sp).  Heck, the conquistadores in the New World made use of local alliances too (Cortez's pact with the Tlaxcalans {sp} comes readily to mind).

My personal opinion (based soley on the evidence that I have) is that de Sande's comments regarding the necessity of the arquebus had more to do with the limited number of men that could be sent to the Philippines.  The expeditions to the New World were all very small affairs too, pitting a few hundred conquistadores (at most) against thousands of locals.  The difference ends here, however.  Perhaps early invaders like Magellan thought that the Filipinos were on the same level as the Aztecs, but that clearly wasn't the case.  The South and Central American Indians didn't have iron or steel.  The Filipinos did.  Some tribes (according to other period Spanish accounts) had poor quality weapons, but many others had good ones (as de Sande indicates).  Some groups in the Philippines even had cannons (presumably based on Chinese designs, though I have to do more research on that).  Also, a late 16th century Spanish writer commented on how the Aztecs had "no style of fencing", whereas the common talk amongst soldiers serving in the Philippines was that members of the various tribes could "fight like Moors and defend themselves like Turks" (high praise indeed).  So, to my thinking, the Spanish noticed a difference both in the technology and martial art levels of the Aztecs and Filipinos.

What this all means is that the Spaniards were able to conquer the Indians of the New World with very small bands of men, armed primarily with hand weapons (the vast majority of Cortez's army--in all his expeditions--were sword-and-buckler men).  The Spanish had many advantages over the Aztecs--the horse, steel weapons and armor, gunpowder (more limited), Indian allies, and infectious diseases (which certainly had a huge impact).  The fact that Cortez was seen by many locals as being Quetzlcoatl (sp) has been overplayed, IMHO--at least, this didn't stop the Aztecs from fighting back, and causing the "Night of Sorrows", etc.

But the case was definitely different in the Philippines.  The Spanish Empire, which was already spread thin at that point, could afford to send out only comparatively small numbers of men to the Philippines.  They were dealing with various tribal groups that were more advanced from a military/martial standpoint than the New World Indians--indeed, they were compared to the Spaniards' feared Muslim enemies in the West (Moors and Turks).  An equalizer was needed, and the arquebus filled that role.

It was all that could be done.  The late 16th century (when the colonization of the Philippines was first taken up in earnest) was actually a pretty bad time for the Spanish, worldwide.  The Rebellion in the Low Countries had started, and this severely taxed Spanish resources.  Related to that was the rising maritime power of England, who were of course allied to the Protestant Dutch.  The Spanish also had to deal with the Barbary Corsairs of North Africa, as well as the Ottoman Turks.  In the New World and elsewhere, Spanish ships fell prey to English, Dutch, and French pirates.  Well before the century was over, the Spanish Armada expedition failed, and in the following century, the Dutch gained their independence--the mighty Spanish Army of Flanders, one of the very best armies in the entire world at that time, was finally defeated.

What is also really interesting is that the Filipinos, while they had artillery, did not have hand-held firearms, prior to the Spanish colonization.  This is similar to the situation on Continental Asia at that same time--the Koreans and Chinese did have some hand-held guns, but they were markedly inferior to the European arquebuses that were then being used by wako pirates and Japanese samurai (and the Koreans especially realized the deficiency of their firearms during the Imjin War of 1592-98).

The conquesta happened over a course of hundreds of years as churches were built from the center out in many villages, divide /conquer methods were embedded, and the Spanish firepower /tactics also evolved.

The success led as quickly to their downfall because it exposed Spain's own faults and maltreatment to a wider audience and to the now "educated" Filipino. Even the most assimilated minded Filipinos finally realized that Spain was only in it for Spain. That promises were never going to be kept.


Spain often displayed a self-serving attitude in the West too.  King Philip II was rather conservative-minded, and things like the foundation of the Holy League between Spain, Venice, and the Papacy (to combat the Turks in 1570-73) might never have happened had there not been a strong-willed pope on the Throne of St Peter (in this case, it was Pius V).  

Revolution on an unprecedented unified scale in the islands ensued. What Spain had always tried to keep from happening. What Conquesta was designed to defeat.

Eventually the Philippines was lost just the same, as Ferdinand Blumentritt from Austria observed in 1899 when he wrote to Jose Rizal that the Spanish deluded themselves in their writings, in their words and their actions. The Spaniards refused to see what many foreigners (meaning other Europeans) like him saw. Blumetritt even added that :" The (Spanish) friars at least know well that their power, their rule, will surely fail with or without the will of Spain and so try by all means and with the help of pious frauds to postpone the end of their downfall."

It was ironic to read Blumetritt's description of Spain's policies as that of "global terrorism" considering it was written over a hundred years ago.


That is extremely ironic.

And interesting!

Rafael, I want to thank you once again for your input concerning these topics.  

All The Best,

David
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Spadaccino
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Posts: 87


« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2003, 08:52:44 AM »

Sheesh, I hate this login thing...

Rafael,

I wanted to add a bit to my post above, but I can't as I entered it as a "guest".

What I wanted to add was that, as far as I can ascertain, the Spanish basically saw the Filipinos on a comparable martial level to the Turks, etc.  The Spanish would never have dared to send such small numbers of men against the Turks, as they did against the New World Indians and Filipinos.  This was de Sande's point.  If the Filipinos had had arquebuses like the Turks did, then even the "arquebus strategy" wouldn't have worked--the Spanish would have had to either find totally peaceful means of colonization, or send a full-sized (ie., European sized) expedition there, which would have been monetarily impossible.

Peace,

David
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
Sun_Helmet
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Posts: 84


« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2003, 09:40:28 AM »

A well done summary David.

Last year, in those earlier posts it was my intent to shatter the myth of the islands being taken by sword with a dream team of Spanish swordsmen. As you have stated, it was neither feasible, nor even the right time period for that to happen by the time the arquebus entered the scene of warfare. By the time Conquesta was a method of tactical warfare.

In addition, the Filipinos never considered themselves one nation. They had no concept of being a unified country with various tribes allied to fight the Spaniards. So essentially, the Spaniards knew this, but the islanders did not, or cared not to be unified (if you check out Crafty's Philippine current events posts - many still don't).

Some Filipinos thought of Spain as just another enemy in the line of many enemies. Or another ally that they could fight along with to defeat their own Filipino enemies - who at that time had a greater history of antagonism. Or just another foreigner willing to trade goods like the Arabs and Northern Asians. The islands were ripe for Conquesta.

As Spain fought enemies from outside their country, Filipinos fought from within and from many accounts viewed outsiders more favorably than their rival tribes.

Spain exploited the disunity of the islands. Only when the Spaniards unified a larger contingent of Filipinos under their religion and their language (giving them a way to communicate) did they actually expose Spain's weakness... Spain was few to their many.

I believe the Filipinos never thought of themselves as the majority on the islands, their perspective was: Our tribe versus the world. It was evidenced in their numerous dialects, possibly the very nature of  hundreds of islands .. their geography limiting their concept of a larger nation. Even their appearance were mixed, their body types and tribal appearance / customs.

Years later, the accounts of Spain's downfall during the Katipunan is also  very interesting. Here we have a detailed account of guns falling to sharp steel. Spain had more soldiers by then and certainly fortified in the north. Yet, it was now too late... the Filipinos knew they had to unite and by doing so, overwhelm the Spanish forces. Spain's guns beacme their guns... little by little.

Perspective had switched by then, Spain was at odds from within and they were falling apart from the center out. It was now Spain's turn to be ripe for the picking.


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--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
guest
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2003, 11:08:18 PM »

3 other countries to consider when thinking of SE Asia, and Spain's policies therein.  Netherlands (dutch), Portugese (initially though Spain later defeats and absorbs Portugese colonial interests in the area), and Britain (remember at a certain point Britain goes as far as holding Manila for a number of years).  Colonization of the area was as much influenced by the Dutch East Indies Company's fleet, than any native opposition.  Also consider the term protectorate, versus colony, when analyzing early Spanish inroads to the area.  It is a small step from protectorate, to justify greater military/social controls, in order to further protect Spanish interests, until at a certain point relationships cease to be that of protectorate, to that of colonized.
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Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2003, 01:56:48 AM »

I would be more specific and say Manila (compared to other areas) would be the main city that would apply to Spain as the protectorate. History shows numerous battles were fought to gain access to the Luzon port city. To say the whole Philippines would falsely indicate Spain had all these other territories already secured to begin with. Nor would they necessarily be areas that other countries might covet.

From the Philippines POV they would say they were battling Spain, Spain's western enemies, other Asian invaders (Chinese, for example who also tried to take Manila) and most of all... other Filipinos.

So for some Filipino tribes ... Spain was but a convenient ally. A way to advance their tribe's self interest while lowering the chances of rival tribes threatening them. Little did they know they were eventually doing the work of the Spaniards for them.

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--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
guest
Guest
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2003, 05:39:18 AM »

Sun Helmet, you are misunderstanding the points I tried to raise.  

When using the protectorate versus colonial template when analyzing early Philippine/Spanish relationships, you are stripping away the colonial trappings that later become endemic.  In other words, exactly as you have stated above, relationships were limited military alliances (protectorate) that later allowed further Spanish inroads, particularly through the Jesuits Missionaries (the true bringers of colonialism, not the conquistador).  Colonialism, by definitition, is more than a simple military, or economic phenomena, but rather a stratified diffusion of culture leading to a change of social/cultural norms.  Meaning, colonialism doesnt occur because your army occupies X cities, but rather when your culture succeeds in suitably changing the subject people's reality into accepting you dominance as natural.  The Dutch, British, Portugese, and well all colonial powers followed similar methods to colonialism.  Also when viewing Spain's, or you can substitute whatever colonial power you wish, role in establishing a protectorate relationship with X tribe/kingdom, it is not initially (at least when told to the natives, in the initial stages of European inroads to the area) for the means of protecting them from other Europeans, but rather from other tribes/kingdoms in the area.  Things later do evolve, especially in the late 18th century, when Britain begins to take greater interest in establishing a presence in the area.  But if you read my first post, I had referenced initial Spanish inroads to the area.  Perhaps, it is the lack of paragraphs that caused you to link the two separate ideas together.
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Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2003, 11:16:42 AM »

Hi David ? (what's the username for today...heh),

Thanks for your clarifications. I believe the eventual colonial trappings and the protectorate term would apply only to the northern regions of the islands. Places like Manila where Spanish alliances were easier to maintain. Places who had Moros as common enemies were also easier to pursue.

I'm just making sure that one success in one region does not make it so for the whole islands. Colonial mentality flourished in areas where the Spanish troops were able to hold fort and establish their culture as you mentioned.

Over fifty percent of the country were neither held nor allied to the Spanish crown during the the hundreds of years Spain was in the islands. In fact, the greatest amount of land taken by the Spaniards was only during Legaspi's eleven years on the islands. Spain could only hold those northern territories, and for hundreds of years, made numerous futile attempts to spread out into the south.

What usually happens is that an article comes out that doesn't mention this and it leads to further misconceptions. (by now, we're all very familiar of the HACA essay's misrepresentation of this )
The casual reader does not distinguish Mindanao from Manila. So if the article implies the whole Philippines was a protectorate of the Spaniards.. it will invalidate many good points in the article to many, while confusing more readers about how far Spain got to establishing a hold on parts of the islands.

Right after the eleven years that Legaspi and his nephew had great success in the northern areas, Spain had renewed confidence in thinking the rest of the islands would fall just as swiftly. They ventured into Moroland and were repelled several times.

Vic Hurley in Swish of the Kris (available online somewhere) wrote that after these renewed attempts failed, Spain's attitude towards the Southern Philippines was more like *avoidance* .

A digression - The Moros weakness in battle :

The one weakness in Moro tactics was seige warfare. If a Spanish force could raise a fort in the outskirts of Moroland, then they would be able to hold it for a short time. The Moros found out the hard way that big guns in fortifications and firearms well entrenched are difficult to overtake with hand held weapons. The Moro's forte was HTH skirmish. To utilize their strength they would allow the enemy to make a temporary fort if the enemy was heavily armed and then cut them off with constant harassment and guerilla tactics. The Moros were not below testing out the firepower of the fort by laying a suicidal seige upon it.

The rare Spanish force who could hold a fort for a time period were eventually cut off from supplies. The personnel inside the fort had trouble venturing out of the fort once they were targeted by the Moros. Their reinforcements were unable to venture in. Eventually, all the Spanish forts  fell.

Spain was able to hold forts in the northern areas since places like Manila  were located next to the waterways. They could get ammunition to the troops. However, at the heart of Moroland, the praus made hit and run tactics a frustrating experience for the Spaniards. The Moros would hit the subjugated northern /central regions even as Spain and tribal allies were seeking to attack them in their territory.

What is interesting is that in Hurley's book, the Moros referred to the conquered northern tribes as Filipinos. Hurley referred to the South as Moros. A group of tribes who were descendants of Oceanic Malays which were a strain of the Mainland Asians that covered much of Indonesia. According to Hurley's writings they were from the same Mongoloid race which spawned the Mongols, AmerIn., and Eskimos.
There's even some fun theory of Lemuria and Mu ... (Kull anyone?).

Pseudo anthropology...perhaps.

Language sometimes hint of this common thread... I found out this weekend that a Lakota sweat lodge is called an "ini ti" . Many Tagalogs will note the term for something hot is very close, "mainit" in Visayan it is "init", although both terms are understood throughout.


Probably way more info than required....

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--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
Spadaccino
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2003, 02:44:32 PM »

Rafael,

The fellow who posted as "Guest" the last two times was NOT me.

But the info you just posted was still very cool!

Talk With You Soon,

David
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
Crafty Dog
Guest
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2003, 04:05:46 PM »

Woof Learned Ones:

  Just a humble and very tangential yip from the airport in Mexico City:

1) I have noticed certain similarities in the complex combination of attitudes and feelings toward the United States in both Mexico and the Philippines.  In that both had analogous experiences with both Spain and the US this is not surprising.

2)  Concerning the point about the Filipinos not seeing themselves as one and the military and other ramifications thereof, it seems to be that there is also an analogy to be made with the arrival of the white man in North America.  Not only was there the dynamic between the English, the French, the Spaniards and eventually the Americans, there was the matter of the Indians not seeing themself as one-- because they were not.

When the English arrived there was the Iriquois nation/confederacy and the Algonquin nation/confederacy.  In the struggle between the English and the French much use was made of this and other indigenous divisions.

(Super-tangent:  the federalism of the US Constitution was introduced by Benjamin Franklin who got the idea from the Iriquois.)

Perhaps also analogous, in the broadest sense, to the Filipiino experience of tribes being set against tribe was the expansion of America from sea to shining sea and the use of Indian against Indian.  The Crows would be a particularly clear example of this.

End of tangent, back to lurking mode.  I really dig learning from the exchanges on this and related threads.  Thank you all!

Crafty Dog
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Spadaccino
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Posts: 87


« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2003, 11:06:22 PM »

Quote from: Crafty Dog
Woof Learned Ones:

  Just a humble and very tangential yip from the airport in Mexico City:

1) I have noticed certain similarities in the complex combination of attitudes and feelings toward the United States in both Mexico and the Philippines.  In that both had analogous experiences with both Spain and the US this is not surprising.

2)  Concerning the point about the Filipinos not seeing themselves as one and the military and other ramifications thereof, it seems to be that there is also an analogy to be made with the arrival of the white man in North America.  Not only was there the dynamic between the English, the French, the Spaniards and eventually the Americans, there was the matter of the Indians not seeing themself as one-- because they were not.

When the English arrived there was the Iriquois nation/confederacy and the Algonquin nation/confederacy.  In the struggle between the English and the French much use was made of this and other indigenous divisions.

(Super-tangent:  the federalism of the US Constitution was introduced by Benjamin Franklin who got the idea from the Iriquois.)

Perhaps also analogous, in the broadest sense, to the Filipiino experience of tribes being set against tribe was the expansion of America from sea to shining sea and the use of Indian against Indian.  The Crows would be a particularly clear example of this.

End of tangent, back to lurking mode.  I really dig learning from the exchanges on this and related threads.  Thank you all!

Crafty Dog


And I, for one, would like to thank Guro Crafty and all the other DOG BROTHERS for having such a cool website.  Something that is both fun and educational is a very good thing!

Peace,

David Black Mastro
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2003, 07:02:18 AM »

<<But the case was definitely different in the Philippines. The Spanish Empire, which was already spread thin at that point, could afford to send out only comparatively small numbers of men to the Philippines.>>

I'd also like to add that by the end of the 1500's, Spains methods of warfare had evolved to small teams involved in covert search and destroy missions. As Restall wrote in Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest. There was even a book in 1599 titled, The Armed Forces and Description of the Indies by Bernardo de Vargas Machuca which is called, "The first manual on guerilla warfare ever written". This book was "advocating something that was already common practice among Spaniards in the Americas for a century" (Restall, pg. 32). Spain had abandoned linear formations hierachical units and permanent garrisons. Display violence was also mentioned to psych out the natives, thus supporting my earlier comments of the early introduction of arquebus fire as a method of installing intimidation and even fear.

Guro Crafty, Another thing to be considered are the thousands of Africans who came to the Americas as slaves and fought alongside the conquistadores. Much of their contribution has been ignored by the Spanish chroniclers of course. Again Restall states, " As with so much else in the evolution of the Conquest into a collage of myths (some of which David has also exposed in his mention of Cortes' status amongst the natives) subsequent historians and others consolidated this marginalization. Evidence of black roles is thus scattered and often opaque, but when the pieces are put together, it is incontrovertible".

Btw, Guro C, how much info can be gathered where you are in Mexico City about the origins of their knife systems? I have read other knife instructors here and there mention a Mexican knife fighting system. Often, it is to promote the tapes/books they are selling by downplaying FMA's contributions, as in "Filipinos are not the only ones who know the knife - so do Mexicans". Which with evolution of tactics is most likely the truth these days, but I wonder how far it goes back?

As many people do not know, the Tondo rebels during the early occupation of the Spaniards in Luzon were exiled to of all places... Mexico. Tondo is known in FMAs circles as the home of Illustrisimo and to many Filipinos as a very dangerous area... and these are the folks who weren't exiled! Subsequent galleons through hundreds of years also had many Filipinos jump ship and reside in Mexico. Intermingling and raising familes there. Some words in the Mexican dialect are rooted in old Tagalog. As David wrote, the Spaniards did not mention any blade culture prior to their arrival.


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--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
Spadaccino
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« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2003, 09:39:25 AM »

Rafael,

Is Restall's book in print, or otherwise readily available?  It sounds extremely useful.

Also, the Mexicans have a tradition of machete fighting, which appears to have Spanish origins.  I posted on this once before, and I can post it again if anyone's interested.

Peace,

David
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2003, 01:56:56 PM »

Woof All:

  Tuhon Raf wrote:

"Guro Crafty, Another thing to be considered are the thousands of Africans who came to the Americas as slaves and fought alongside the conquistadores. Much of their contribution has been ignored by the Spanish chroniclers of course. Again Restall states, " As with so much else in the evolution of the Conquest into a collage of myths (some of which David has also exposed in his mention of Cortes' status amongst the natives) subsequent historians and others consolidated this marginalization. Evidence of black roles is thus scattered and often opaque, but when the pieces are put together, it is incontrovertible".

Here we drift into waters somewhat more familiar to me-- my major at U. of PA was "International Relations" with focus on Latin America, especially Mexico.

Dredging through some 25 years of mental silt, this is how I remember things regarding the Africans, slave trade and related matters.  Slave trade to the US was relatively less important than to Latin America.  The climate and working conditions were less brutal and, forgive the technical term, domestic reproduction, especially in VA as versus the deep south, was more succcessful.  In the Carribean, i.e. under Spain, after the natives were wiped out (e.g. by diseases, inability to adapt to slave conditions) conditions were more brutal and mortality rates quite high, necesitating continuous replenishment from Africa.  I am unaware of any use of Africans/slaves in a fighting capacity.  Brazil, under Portugal, was perhaps the most brutal-- slaves were easily replaced from nearby Africa.  Again, I am unaware of any military use of slaves.  My lack of knowledge of such use in all of these cases may simply be a matter of my own ignorance.

  Black blood is spanish-speaking Latin America is pretty much limited to the Caribbean area-- although when in Peru a couple of months ago I was surprised to see occasional black-mestizo Peruvians.

"Btw, Guro C, how much info can be gathered where you are in Mexico City about the origins of their knife systems? I have read other knife instructors here and there mention a Mexican knife fighting system. Often, it is to promote the tapes/books they are selling by downplaying FMA's contributions, as in "Filipinos are not the only ones who know the knife - so do Mexicans". Which with evolution of tactics is most likely the truth these days, but I wonder how far it goes back?"

Back in the 70s and 80s I travelled quite extensively throughout the length of Mexico by motorcycle as well as studied there and even worked there one summer.  This included time with Mayan indians in Quintana Roo (which including clearing jungle with machete) and travel through the interior of Chiapas (resulting in three days in prison in San Cristobal de las Casas for a fight (2 versus 4) BTW-- a lively story!)   To be fair, it must be pointed out the era pre-dates my involvement in martial arts (indeed the SC de las C episode was the event that got me to enter into martial arts even though it had gone well enough).  That said, nothing ever came across my horizon back then or since then.  In short, I am unaware of any Mexican martial art as such.    However, one of my students has shown me some Mexican gangbanger/prison  moves such as "The Folsom Two-Step".   One might plausibly hypthesize that "Mexican knife systems" might best be studied/experienced in prison-- but this is an area where I do not have much basis for an opinion.

"As many people do not know, the Tondo rebels during the early occupation of the Spaniards in Luzon were exiled to of all places... Mexico. Tondo is known in FMAs circles as the home of Illustrisimo and to many Filipinos as a very dangerous area... and these are the folks who weren't exiled! Subsequent galleons through hundreds of years also had many Filipinos jump ship and reside in Mexico. Intermingling and raising familes there. Some words in the Mexican dialect are rooted in old Tagalog. As David wrote, the Spaniards did not mention any blade culture prior to their arrival."

The major port of Acupulco, in the state of Guerrero (Warrior!) does have a history of rebelliousness.  If memory serves, in the early 1970s a governor, son of a governor? was held and the government sent some 10,000 troops into the mountains to settle things.  Although specifics slip my mind at the moment, I do recall having heard and noticed certain things that would be consistent with the idea of Filipinos jumping ship in Acapulco and then blending in locally.


Woof,
Crafty Dog
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Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2003, 05:38:12 PM »

Yes David... the book is currently in print.

Crafty, I'd suggest checking out the same book. Good stuff. There's lots of info which support the African contributions. As you said, the slave trade was a bit different in SA. The Conquistadores would grant the slaves freedom if they distinguished themselves in battle against the natives... which became an incentive. Some of the Africans who helped are listed by the chroniclers by name.

However, much of the historical omission has to do with the way the Spanish viewed the slaves as a mere presence in their text but in the majority of cases, the Spanish made no effort to record an African's individual exploit or names. Whomever they were writing to probably cared even less.
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--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2003, 08:33:28 PM »

Quote from: Sun_Helmet
Yes David... the book is currently in print.

Crafty, I'd suggest checking out the same book. Good stuff. There's lots of info which support the African contributions. As you said, the slave trade was a bit different in SA. The Conquistadores would grant the slaves freedom if they distinguished themselves in battle against the natives... which became an incentive. Some of the Africans who helped are listed by the chroniclers by name.

However, much of the historical omission has to do with the way the Spanish viewed the slaves as a mere presence in their text but in the majority of cases, the Spanish made no effort to record an African's individual exploit or names. Whomever they were writing to probably cared even less.


Rafael,

Thanks--I'll check that book out.

BTW folks, you might find it interesting to note that the Portuguese employed African slaves in considerable numbers in their Far Eastern adventures, and they were considered among the best troops in Portuguese service there.  Author Chris Peers in the Osprey book Late Imperial Chinese Armies described them as "surprisingly loyal" (IIRC), and he also noted that, even right into the 17th century, some of them were armed as targetiers (ie., with sword and shield) and as halberdiers.

Peace,

David
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"And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable." --Sir John Smythe, 1590
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2003, 12:56:24 AM »

Woof David and Raf:

  My life is too full for the forseeable future to go read about this so I am delighted to have the two of you here to help extend my education.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
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Asongwe
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2003, 01:23:57 PM »

I saw a demonstration by an African tribe in the Bay Area just recently.  They use mostly sticks, spears, and staffs, with shields.  But the movements in which they employed these implements was very intense and almost chaotic.  I was very impressed.  I'd like to learn more of African martial arts, as well as the Native American arts, just now getting recognition.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2003, 03:56:39 PM »

Quote
Some words in the Mexican dialect are rooted in old Tagalog


Hi Raf and Crafty,

Can anyone give me examples of the above and/or refer me to a website that shows anything about this? This is very interesting.

Thank you.
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MexicanFilipinoConnection
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« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2003, 02:38:45 PM »

Mexican Footprints

By Jaime B. Veneraci?n

(Jaime B. Veneraci?n is a history professor at the University of Philippines. This article originally appeared in FILIPINAS magazine, July 1997, as part of their Centennial Notes, a literary series leading up to the 1998 Philippine Centennial.)

In the late afternoon of May 1, 1996, while on a visit on Oaxaca City in south Mexico, my wife Corazon and I were surprised to meet descendants of a Filipino. They were a group of old women and teenagers participating in the annual "maize festival" in that city.

How it happened was a mere accident. They were waiting in the plaza of the church of Sto. Domingo for the start of a procession. My wife wanted to take pictures of the beautiful girls who were dressed in colorful clothes for which southern Mexico is famous. The girls obliged. Thanking them profusely for their kindness, we asked for their addresses so we could send them copies of the pictures. One of the teenagers wrote "8 Filipinenses, Oaxaca."

"Could you have made a mistake?" my wife asked in passable Spanish. She thought Filipinenses was "Filipinas." The girls said there was no mistake, explaining to us that their district had been named after San Felipe de las Aguas, the patron of rain. But the old women sitting under the jacaranda trees (similar to our banaba and fire trees) nearby overheard the conversation and spiritedly joined in.

"So you are Filipinos. We are also Filipinos, because our great, great, grandfather was a Filipino by the name of Lorenzo Paulo." According to the women, Paulo, whom they lovingly called "nuestro patron," was a sailor in the 19th century who met their great, great-grandmother in Tijuana (near the U.S. border). As the trans-Pacific railway was being built by a British firm called Pearson and Company, Paulo sought and got employment there. He and his wife moved south and finally settled in the coastal town of Salina Cruz, in the state of Oaxaca.

"You should visit our place," one of the women told us. "You should see the monument in the town center where Lorenzo Paulo is identified as one of its founding fathers." But when told that the place was about 200 kilometers over dirt roads, we had to back out with excuses. We had to return to Mexico City the next day.

D?ja Vu

Had my research stint been longer, I would've gone to Salina Cruz. I want to know what attracted a Filipino to settle in a place so far from his own country. Was it the similarity in the way people lived or practiced their religion, and he wouldn't have missed anything at all?

Although Oaxaca is a bit higher in latitude than the Philippines, its weather approximated our tropical climate. For this reason, the planting season started at the same time as ours, and the festivities and rituals related to planting occurred at the same time. In the Philippines, processions in May, such as the alay and the nin-day evening processions called the lutrina, were the welcoming rituals for the new planting season. The alay originally came from the very ancient past when young girls, always the symbol of purity and renewal, went to the sacred caves to offer garlands of flowers to the anito or the spirits of the forefathers. Reconfigured into the Christian tradition, alay became the offering of the young for the Holy Virgin. The lutrina, the prayers uttered by farmers as they walked through barren fields, were pleadings for the first rain.

The maize festival in Oaxaca City looked very similar to our own lutrina. For instance, the procession didn't start while the sun was still up, but the moment it got dark, and when flashed of lightning forboded rain, the young girls and the old women lined up for their procession, and some danced to music from a band. It seemed to be the moment they had been waiting for. They seemed unmindful of being drenched with rain; in fact, they were happy, perhaps because God answered their prayers.

Any adventurer of Paulo's kind would've stayed in Oaxaca for this and other reasons. Unlike his own Philippines, which was suffering from colonial rule, independent Mexico of the 19th century had begun large-scale commercial developments. Railways crisscrossing the vast desert plains and mountains were being constructed. There were also political instabilities of failures of law and order. Oaxaca was always at the center of political action in the 19th century, with two of its most important political personalities becoming national leaders--the revered Benito Juarez and the detested dictator, Porfirio Diaz. Adventurers like Paulo would've relished the opportunities such an unstable society offered to immigrants like him.

The Subversive

While Paulo's heirs couldn't say if he was ever politically involved in the tumultous birth of Mexico as a nation, it was a possibility. There was a Filipino who did participate, and his name was Ramon Fabie.

When Fr. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla started the Mexican War of Independence against Spain on Sept. 16, 1810, he had Fabie as a lieutenant. Belonging to a wealthy family in Manila (the Fabie state was in Paco), Fabie had been in Guanajuato, then the center of gold and silver mining, since age 16 to study mining engineering. At age 25, he got entangled with the political activities of Fr. Hidalgo, who wanted to make Guanajuato his revolutionary capital.

The conquest of Guanajuato by Fr. Hidalgo's revolutionary army was bloody. The Spanish defenders, seen as exploiters of the obreros in the mines, were dealt with severely. Those who exacted revenge or recently emerged from years of hard work in the deep tunnels of the mines committed a lot of killings. For about two months, Hidalgo's victorious army declared the city "independent." Then tragedy struck. The Spanish loyalist forces counterattacked and, in an even bloodier manner, gave the defenders no quarter. Ramon Fabie survived the siege but was captured. Together with several others, he was hanged.

Dangerous Deportees

That decade-long war of independence in Mexico led to events that influenced political developments in the Philippines. For one thing, several revolutionaries captured by the government were deported to the Philippines. Distributed in varios presidios or military fortifications, they brought the news of developments back home. The many reports of local functionaries expressed concern about the negative influence these new arrivals brought to their respective communities. What made the local officials really worried was the unusual stature of these deportees. One of them, by the name of Epigmenio Gonzalez, was a close confidante of Fr. Hidalgo in the initial meetings of revolutionaries at Queretaro, near Mexico City. Many of the major personalities of the revolution, including Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende and Juan Aldama, met in Gonzalez' store and restaurant, in the guise of a literary circle. Gonzalez' major contribution to the movement was the writing of "Aurora Queretana," perhaps of the Mexican people's earliest declarations of independence from Spain. "Aurora" referred to the eastern morning star whose risings was symbolic of the coming new age. The authorities deemed it subversive not only because of the metaphors it contained, but also because of its mention of "amor a la patria" or "love of country(Mexico)" at a time when the people were expected to be just Spain's loyal subjects.

For such activities, nothing short of death was the penalty meted by the local government. Fortunately for Gonzalez, his brother Emeterio and about 40 others, the central government in Madrid committed their penalty to a destierro perpetuo or deportation, to the Philippines. For more than 25 years many exiles persevered in various presidios, until Mexican independence allowed them to return to Mexico. Some, such as Emeterio, died in the Philippines. But Epigmenio and the others were fortunate to go back to a country now freed from colonial rule.

Ever grateful to their heroic contributions, the Mexican government gave them monthly pensions as veterans and heroes for as long as they lived. In the centennial of independence at the turn of the century, the government built a commemorative monument in Mexico City, in which were inscribed their names and that of all other major figures of the War of Independence of 1810..

Creole Revolt

Meanwhile in the Philippines, a year after Mexico declared itself independent in 1821, a mutiny of Creoles or criollos (Mexican-born Spanish) broke out. It was led by Andres Novales, Luis Rodriguez Varela and the Bayot brothers. What triggered the revolt was the order of the colonial government to disarm the Creole solders. The order suggested that the loyalty of the soldiers was in doubt after Mexico declared its independence from Spain. But the Creole officers thought this was just a ruse to prevent them from getting promoted. They feared being displaced from their jobs by recently arrived troops from Spain.

For several days in June 1822, the revolt was a success. The rebels took over the residence of the governor-general in Manila as well as public offices and strategic forts in the other parts of the archipelago. However, the government mustered loyalist Pampango troops from various presidios for a decisive counterattack. Now outnumbered by local troops, the Creole rebels surrendered. Some were executed outright, while most were sent back to Mexico the following year aboard the galleon "Flor del Mar."

What made this revolt politically significant for Filipinos was its demonstration of Spanish military weakness. It also called to public attention the personalities behind the uprising as well as their writings, which previously circulated only among the elite. One of its leaders, Luis Rodriguez Varela, had written a tract called "Proclama Historial" in which he referred to himself as "el conde Filipino."

The tract implied that Rodriguez Varela was commited to the King of Spain, who was deposed by the French as a result of Napoleon Bonaparte's expansionism, but it also agitated for some reforms that would be needed in order to secure the loyalty of the subjects in the Philippines. Varela also attacked the corruption in the local government.

Perhaps for the first time, a political statement used the term "Filipino" as a national identification. Previously, in the late 17th and 18th centuries, "Filipino" had been used by woodcut engraver Nicolas Bagay. The famous maps of Fr. Murillo Velarde and other religious drawings were signed by Bagay as "por Nicolas Bagay el indio filipino." But, as pointed out by historians, since indio was a generic term referring to all subjects of Spain, another qualification to indicate geographic origin had to be used for those indios from the Philippines. In the case of Varela, however, his assertion of being a Filipino already carried the notion of nationality as propagated by the French Revolution of 1789.

Nation as a Notion

How this distinction was understood by brown, native Filipinos may only be extrapolated from the concepts and phrases that circulated in literature and documents at that time. Contemporaneous with Varela's "Proclama Historial" was Francisco (Balagtas) Baltazar's "Florante at Laura," which, though written in the Spanish corrido genre, didn't tell the usual religious story. Instead, it spoke of a hero, Florante, who was a deposed ruler of a faraway kingdom of Albania. The pretender to the throne exploited the people, took away Florante's sweetheart, Laura, and had Florante tied to a tree in the forest where he could be devoured by lions. Florante was saved by a Moro prince who, just like him, was a victim of schemers and pretenders. The Christian and the Moro then found themselves together in the struggle to recover their respective kingdoms.

Francisco Baltazar referred to the lost kingdom as "ang bayan kong sawi," roughly, "my unfortunate bayan," a bayan exploited by pretenders and colonizers and which should be defended by Christian and Moro brothers-in-arms. And used here, "bayan" already presaged the concept of a nation, a construct presupposing the existence of other nations. The knowledge that there already existed certain places such as Albania made it valid for one to have a "bayan" of one's own.

In other words, at the time of the Creole revolt, there already circulated in the Philippines words and concepts, even viewpoints, about the need to unite various ethnic groups into one "bayan." Later, this would materialize in the writings of Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto as "Inang Bayan" (Motherland) who would be defended against all odds by her "mga anak ng bayan" (children of the nation).

The seeds of national community had begun to sprout in this period between 1800 and 1840, when these formulations of cultural and geographic identity began to be understood by the people.

International Solidarity

The revolutionary government of Mexico had anticipated some of these developments, if we go by its secret memorandum recognizing the importance of maintaining a bond with the Philippines. It said:

"Now that we Mexicans have fortunately obtained our independence by revolution against Spanish rule, it is our solemn duty to help the less fortunate countries... especially in the Philippines, with whom our country has had the most intimate relations during the last two centuries and a half. We should send secret agents... with a message to their inhabitants to rise in revolution against Spain and that we shall give them financial and military assistance to win their freedom.

"... In the eventuality of the separation of the Philippines from Spain we must take utmost efforts to revive the former Acapulco-Manila trade which had been one of the contributory factors to Mexico's economic prosperity. As revived, this trade shall not be a government monopoly, as Spain made it, but shall be a free enterprise which all merchants are welcome to be engaged in. The restrictive measures that Spain previously imposed must all be abolished.

"... Should the Philippines succeed in gaining her independence from Spain, we must felicitate her warmly and form an alliance of amity and commerce with her as a sister nation. Moreover, we must resume the intimate Mexico-Philippine relations, as they were during the halcyon days of Acapulco-Manila trade."


Secret agents were sent to the Philippines, but they weren't insightful enough to make contact with local revolutionaries. This was still more than 50 years before the Katipunan. While there were murmurings and unrest, the language and tenor of these secret movements would be completely incomprehensible to a foreign agent. Returning to Mexico to render their reports, they were filled with disappointment. But Bishop Antonio Juaquin Perez of Puebla, a member of the Supreme Junta, advised them not to be disheartened and, in these prophetic words, told them:

"Never mind. In God's own time, the Filipinos will rise in arms against Spain and win their independence like our people. Then, and only then, shall we be able to resume our ties with the Philippines."
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haumana2000
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« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2003, 01:15:24 PM »

myself being of a mixed heritage to include Filipino, hispanic, and french tahitian, I thought it very witty of Manny Pacquiao to add at the end of the television broadcast of his last fight against Marco Barrera

"Now That I have won, I am not only the best asian fighter in the world, but the best latin fighter as well"  
Cool, witty, and hella funny!
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Sun_Helmet
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« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2005, 12:52:49 PM »

Research into European ARMS (meaning the use of pike and fireARMS) were crucial to my understanding of the Spanish conquest. There's still much to be done to bust the myth of 'sword versus sword' ONLY exchanges between Spanish and Filipinos implied in articles such as this one:

http://www.thehaca.com/essays/firstexp.htm

The author writes about European superiority over Asians in their development and usage of ARMS, but then swiftly segues specifically about his study in RAPIERS and CUT/THRUST swordsmanship. A study that is worthwhile and of true merit. However, prefacing your article on European superiority of ARMS over Asian weapons, and then ignoring the actual ARMS (firearms) which were superior to Asian weaponry is a HUGE omission!

There's also no mention of the other methods of Conquest (example: religion, trade, aliances), but most importantly the omission of the use of the pike in SUPPORT of FIREARMS as huge contributors to the Spanish success in the Philippines is a disservice to maintaining historical accuracy. The author omits that a study of the methods of Divide and Conquer, the Volley use of the Arquebus, formations of Pike and Shot, are all crucial elements in understanding the European 'superior' methods of Asian Conquest.

An unfortunate omission such as this inevitably perpetuates a FALSE myth of Spanish Conquistadores' superiority in ARMS, to specifically indicate their use of the sword.

Simply put, a school devoted to the use of European pike and shot formations would quickly widen the eyes of European sword enthusiasts who may unknowingly overemphasize the use of the sword and dagger over the TRUE superior European ARMS used during the period of Spanish Philippine Conquest... the FIREARM.

The article displays a well done description of the author's new found enthusiasm for European swordsmanship, however imagine if the omission included the sword's importance in battle? Would we idly sit back and read articles devoted to ONLY the use of the dagger and shield symbolizing the SUPERIOR arms of Europe without questioning it's historical validity?

It would seem that simply stating the study of European swordsmanship and its merits would be enough without including this bit about European superiority in ARMs, especially if the author shies away from revealing which these superior weapons actually were....

--Rafael--
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--Rafael--
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '
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