The Mindanao Resistance Against the American Colonizers

The Mindanao Resistance Against

the American Colonizers

By Apolinario Villalobos

The Filipinos who fought the Americans were never called “rebels”, but “outlaws”, “pulahanes”, “tulisanes”, and bandits. It was an unfair reference because the Filipinos who went to the mountains and banded together to fight the aggressors just wanted freedom. This nationalistic sentiment spread as far down as Mindanao.

In March 23, 1903, a group of Filipino rebels attacked an American Constabulary station in Surigao under the command of a certain Captain Clark who was killed, and the guns taken by the attackers. Later on, 75 of the guns were taken back, with many rebels captured and tried. Those who were found to have committed the killing of Clark were hanged. This was during the time of President Theodore Roosevelt.

The Moro resistance in Lanao was led by Sajiduciman, Ampuanagua, and Datu Grande. In June 1902, Datu Tungul of Onayan attacked Camp Vicars, for which the Sultan of Binidayan was suspected to have had a hand. Despite his effort to prove his innocence, the Americans did not believe him, and in desperation, he “ran amuck” which eventually led to his death. The incident further caused hatred against the Americans so that at Maciu, Sultan Tanagan and Sultan Ganduli with about 200 followers clashed with the Americans.

As in mainland Mindanao, the Sulu Muslims were also vehemently against the Americans, harboring the same hatred that they had against the Spaniards. As a peaceful measure, the Americans used the Sultan of Sulu to fulfill their objective of subjugating his subjects. A so-called Bates Treaty was signed, although it was not binding to those who still refused to recognize them (Americans). Among these were Datu Julakanain and Datu Kalbi of Patikul who refused to join the Sultan. Eventually, due to the ineffectiveness of the treaty, it was annulled, as from 1903 to 1905, the fierce resistance of the two aforementioned datus continued. Hassan was killed finally in an encounter at Bud Bagsak. The death of Hassan inspired other nationalistic Muslims in Sulu to carry on their fight against the Americans, such as Pala and Jikiri.

In Cotabato, Datu Ali defied the Americans. He was the successor of Datu Utu, and son-in-law of Datu Piang. Unfortunately, the elder Datu Piang, instead of supporting his son-in-law, collaborated with the Americans, by providing them with all necessary information that they needed. The collaboration finally led to the killing of Datu Ali at Simpetan, in October 31, 1906, together with his 13 followers and three sons.

Following the death of Datu Ali, Datu Alamada with 300 followers and supported by thousands of adherents continued the resistance. His movements, though, were limited around Buldon and Upper Cotabato. Unfortunately again, collaboration led to the downfall of the gallant datu. The collaborators were led by Datu Inuk.

Just like in Luzon and Visayas, the history of Mindanao is tinted with heroic resistance of Muslims, though, with different culture and religion. All of these gallant rebels, however, were bound by one common cause – love of freedom!

China: from reclusive to cunningly dominant and aggressive

China: from reclusive to cunningly dominant and aggressive

By Apolinario Villalobos

When the Philippines rejected the move for the extension of the U.S. military base in the Philippines, China saw its chance to stealthily proceed with her claim of a vast area of the West Philippine Sea. The Big American Brother, grossly hated by militant Filipinos has been booted out of the Philippine soil, making the country, practically vulnerable in the face of threats from inside and out.

Still losing no hope, the Americans thought of using the yearly joint military exercises between the Philippines and their “visiting” US military forces, a move which, however, did not deter China from pursuing her massive reclamation projects in the disputed West Philippine Sea. In no time, the world has witnessed the “birth” of an island, complete with an airstrip and high-tech military structures, although, what China kept on insisting was that they were for marine research and rescue purposes. She even had the temerity of accusing, instead, the Philippines, as the one building structures on Kalayaan Island, where can be found a “village” of huts and unpaved short airstrip, and as for the “military structure”, it is actually, a hardly- floating, corroded and barnacle-covered ship.

Lately, the Americans discovered the presence of a Chinese naval ship in the waters of Alaska. All that the Americans did was throw a question into the air, as to what such ship was doing in their territory. They never ever thought that China might have been conducting surveys on how to tow into place a floating island that she is very much capable of building, and which no country can dispute, for as long as it is outside their territory. A floating island may just be huge barges with the area of several football fields overlaid with soil and planted to grass and shrubs. The Chinese have been successful in building an island in the disputed West Philippine Sea, and they proved that no nation has been courageous enough to stop them, not even the United Nations.  So, why not build more in other oceans? Such is how China conceives what a modern-day expansionism should be!

Building an island is no different from reclaiming fringing coastal areas that would eventually extend the territory of a country. Many countries are doing this. Coastal reclamation is a discreet extension that a nation can do to expand its territory. Expansion may accommodate an airport or provide more area for an existing wharf or conglomerate of business districts. Practically, many countries are doing this, which would eventually change maritime maps, and the face of the earth.

Manila reclaimed a big portion of the Manila Bay which is now being developed into a “Dream City”.  But before that, and during the time of Marcos, a big portion of the bay has been reclaimed to accommodate the whims of Imelda – the Hotel Sofitel (formerly, Philippine Plaza Hotel), Folk Arts Theater, Philippine International Convention Center, Film Center, Cultural Center of the Philippines and many other structures to support the country’s tourism industry. But China has gone further when she has embarked into a bold maritime colonization, as she squint her eyes to survey the vast bodies of oceans for her taking!

On economy, China has flooded the world with her cheap products churned out by factories that are alive with cheap labor. This phenomenon has practically devastated the local production of third world countries which could not stand against the almost give-away prices of China products. She has also been lenient in granting loans to allied countries which eventually, she now has a fatal economic stranglehold. She even spearheaded the founding of a bank akin to the UN-supported international banks that extend loans to member countries. Include here the standing loans that tied even powerful countries to this once reclusive country behind the Bamboo Curtain.  The wise moves of China virtually made her in control of the whole world!

Today, China is feigning a downhill trend of her economy, which of course, pulled down along, countries that have become dependent on her. This phenomenon includes the Philippines that now suffer from the weakening of her peso.

China is not a fool to reveal “how much” she is really worth. No nation ever knows the volume of her gold bullions and total reserves. What China may be showing the world, and which she can afford to devalue could be just an insignificant portion of her wealth, which may still be comparably even better than any powerful nation. China knows that the longer she maintains the downhill economic trend, the more harm that it can do to the world, and the better for her to tighten her stranglehold.

Meanwhile, China knows that not even the United Nations can force her to dismantle what had been constructed in the Spratleys. If the UN or the United States, for that matter, with her “Manifest Destiny”, had been contemplating on this decision for the sake of the rest of nations that use the disputed maritime highway, they should have demanded for the stoppage of reclamations long time ago, as they were not discreetly carried on, anyway. The goings on were not kept from the world’s scrutiny. The progress has been monitored via the internet, and which even elicited blogs of anticipation and wonderment from different parts of the world. To save face, the United States has been maintaining a stance, as if ready to strike, but for those in the know, it is more like of a shadow boxing, than one that can land a painful punch.

China cunningly employed a little sacrifice in the beginning, when she offered cheap labor to ensnare the world manufacturers into her fold, then she made the world economically dependent on her by being lax on her loans and flooding the world with cheap basic commodities, peddled influence to break the cohesiveness of Southeast Asian nations that now cannot stand as one against her on the crucial issue of the West Philippine Sea which she is considering as launching ground for her other ventures in other parts of the world. And, finally,

manipulated the world economic trend by devaluing her currency.

So what else can China do? Perhaps, show more vintage world maps of islands with Chinese names! China might even show a map of California with Chinese name!

China and the World

China and the World

By Apolinario Villalobos

While China has tricked the US in the latter’s ploys in Asia, it has gone way ahead of Russia in territorial expansion. While the US uses its “big brother” approach, China uses cheap labor as the main factor in becoming an economic giant which made practically the whole world dependent on its cheap and fake products. No wonder why no country, even the United Nations, ever made an attempt to slap China with some kind of an embargo or boycott, which has been the practice to punish other countries, despite its unbecoming actions, particularly,  its reclamations at the West Philippine Sea.

While the US has not done anything yet, as regards territorial expansion, Russia uses force and has been successful in the Ukraine region, and China on the other hand, uses its “resourcefulness” by building fake islands to legally extend its territories, as well as, money to win the confidence of economically-ailing nations.

The ASEAN is obviously helpless in counteracting the moves of China, with most members even blatantly showing their once covert image as allies. There is no hope for the Philippines on the other hand as regards the West Philippine Sea, as even if the United Nations shall decide on its favor, there is a question on how the decision shall be implemented. China is a member of the Security Council of the UN, together with the USA, France and Russia. While the US is obviously helpless even in checking the ongoing reclamations in the West Philippine Sea, France is helplessly silent on the woeful issues that are now befalling third-world member countries, and Russia is clearly on China’s side because it is also doing what the latter is doing, aside from their obvious close relationship to date due to their common objectives. That is the sad picture of the United Nations which China could have perceived a few years after the WWII!

China has already made its presence in the African continent strongly felt with its various investments disguised as “aids”. The nearby Mediterranean could be the next target, thanks to the economic downfall of Greece which China could be regarding as a timely opportunity for their entry into the Mediterranean region. If Greece will eventually get out of the European Union, it will be on its own, but how can it be possible without help from outside, unless drastic moves by the government shall be made such as declaring a Martial Law to enforce stringent measures on spending? The issue on Greece is money. If the Greeks would like to recover from their misfortune, there are so many things that they should sacrifice, so that they will be left with a difficult choice – give up luxurious life under a Martial Law? Or, still enjoy the same life under a “caretaker country” such as China through its “aids”. There is no way for the US to get into the picture because it is also indebted to China.

China could have foreseen the problem of the world which is centered on money that is why it has initiated the organization of AIIB which gained many members in so short a time after the launching. If the image of the United Nations as a reliable organization of nations continues to slide, the World Bank would definitely follow suit. There is no problem with the UN as it has been seen as a helpless organization anyway, so it can just melt away. Besides, the world is seemingly being apportioned today, either three-way or two- way: three-way among the USA, China and Russia, or just two-way between Russia and China. It will be a goodbye to the “manifest destiny” of America as fighter for democracy…and a welcome to the “economic destiny” of China!

Is the world nearing the epoch of “world confederacy”?… in which all nations shall be federated under a permanent leader while left as they are with their own cultural identity?…in which only one monetary token shall be used?…in which two or three universal languages shall be used?…in which the ideology shall be the “hybrid communism”?

It’s Only Now that the Hovering High-Tech Sattelites Discover the Runway Project of China in West Philippine Sea?…tell that to the Marines!

It’s Only Now that the Hovering High-Tech Satellites
Discover the Runway Project of China in West Philippine Sea?
…tell that to the Marines!
by Apolinario Villalobos

It is irritating to read “revealing” and “explosive” news about the “discovery” of the runway being built by the Chinese in the West Philippine Sea. And, of all things, they learned about it from the shots of the satellites in the sky. What hypocrisy! Those satellites are hovering up there 24/7 and captured images are being monitored, and to think that the Chinese have been flaunting their reclamation projects for years! Are the lenses of the satellites’ cameras selective?

Conflicting statements of the Americans are coming out on the defense issue of the Philippines. It shows the ambivalent treatment of the trust given by Filipinos to their white big brothers. Even the United Nations sat on the complaint filed by the Philippines. What will they do now that the reclamation projects that glaringly indicate a military base of the Chinese to protect their claim in the West Philippine Sea is almost finished? The Chinese are not fools to dismantle those structures to comply with whatever pronouncements the United Nations will have just in case it favors the Philippines which is just a dream! It should be noted that China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council…need I say more on this aspect? China has been adamantly vocal about their refusal to resolve the issue with the mediation of UN. Period.

Those “Balikatan Exercises” with the United States Armed Forces are just for show. If the United States has been effective in scaring off the Chinese, the latter should have stopped their reclamation projects long time ago yet. In another situation which God forbids should happen, just in case there will be altercation between the Chinese and Americans, in “defense” of the Philippines, it will not last for days. A few guided missiles from China is enough to obliterate structures and Filipinos from the face of the earth! And, the big brothers, the Americans can just say, “we did our best…now let us talk peace”…..that will be the happiest moment for the Chinese and the Americans, as the archipelago will then be sliced into portions like cake!

Show of power without regard to the mediating authority of the United Nations is being done in Europe now resulting to invasion of helpless countries. What will prevent the same thing to happen in Asia? With the extended sovereignty that China is building via their reclamation projects, what organization or what other powerful country will tell them that the Philippines is not within their territory? And, the Chinese can easily quote now the UN’s Law of the Sea which in the eyes of the exploited nations is becoming inutile…useless!

I fear the day when stories about a lost race somewhere in the Pacific will be told to the coming generations of earthlings….just like the stories about, “Paradise Lost” and the “Bermuda Triangle”. Only this time, the islands will still be there….