Governor General primo de Rivera’s success in
the battlefield of Cavite over Aguinaldo’s forces could
have been ended the Revolution. Some Filipinos, in
fact continued to engage the Spanish forces and
established a temporary government like the
Makabulos “Republic” in Tarlac. Even before the
Filipinos could recover from the battles of 1896.
General Emilio Aguinaldo, as the recognized leader of
the Filipinos in exile in Hongkong and at home. But
the United States misled Aguinaldo to believe that the
Americans came as an ally of the Filipinos in their
fight to end the Spanish rule in the country.
Governor General Primo de Rivera’s success in stopping the
bloodshed was highly praised in Spain. When armed
hostilities occured in mid-February 1898, many Spaniards
blamed the Filipinos for violating the Truce og Biak-na-Bato. It
sent General Basilio Augustin as a Governor General to
succeed Primo de Rivera. He wanted to continue as a
governor so that he could make plans for the future. Primo De
Rivera knew the Philippines very well because he had served
previously as governor of the country from 1880-1883. The
newly-appointed Governor General Augustine had never
been To the philippines and did not know the problems
confronting the country. But the new Spanish General
Augustine arrived in manila and the following day primo de
rivera turned over the reins of government to him.
The relationship between Spain and the Unitedwas
becoming sour. The Cuban revolution had won the sympathy
of the Americans. Some Influential Americans, like Theodore
Roosevelt, wanted war with Spain so that the American navy
could expand. It was who conceived the idea of takng Manila
in case war with Spain would declare. On February 25, 1898,
Roosevelt told Dewey to make Hongkong which was very near
to Manila, as his base of operations. Spain did not imagine a
war with the United States, because the United States was
starting to develop into a rich and powerful country. These
conflict were very expensive for Spain and were draining its
resources . On February 15,1898, the American battleship
USS Maine exploded at Havana Harbor in Cuba. More than
200 sailors and officers died.
Dewey ordered his fleet to sail for Manila Bay. Quietly,
his fleet entered the bay in the early morning hours of May 1,
1898. The Spanish batteries in corregidor were too late in
detecting the passage of the fleet. The Spanish squadron,
commanded by Admiral Patricio Montojo, was waiting near
Sangley Point, Cavite. Standing in the bridge of the Flagship
USS Olympia, Dewey estimated the distancebetween two
fleets.the signal for firing was given and the guns of all the
Americans ship burst with fire . The Battle of Manila Bay was
one sided. The Spaniards hoisted a white in Cavite as a sign of
surrender. Most American thought it was a part of China. It
was said that the whole Americans nation was heard opening
geography books to locate the Philippines on the map.
It was early April of 1898 when rumors had already
reached Manila that war between Spain and the U.S
was to be declared any time. They felt that in case of
war, it would be a good opportunity fir the Filipinos to
oust the Spaniards from the Philippines. Aguinaldo
did not want the money to be divided because he was
thinking of using it to buy arms and ammunition with
which to fight the Spaniards. To avoid scandal,
Aguinaldo was adviced by Felipe Agoncillo to leave
Hongkong. This was the strategy of the Spanish
Embassy. But with the departure of Aguinaldo for
Singapore, Artacho’s court suit did not materialize.
Aguinaldo with companions arrived in Singapore
on April 23, 1898. this was surprised visit because
Aguinaldo came to Singapore incognito and he
thought, nobody knew about his arrival. The
Philippines was very far from the United States, so
how could the U.S have any interest in colonizing the
Philippines? In other words, Pratt assured Aguinaldo
that the U.S had no intention of making Philippines a
colony. Aguinaldo then agreed to return to the
Philippines to renew a hostilities againts the
Spaniards. Pratt made all the arrangements for
Aguinaldo’s return to Hongkong.
On April 26, 1898, Aguinaldo and his
companions sailed for Hongkong. Dewey had already
left for Manila when Aguinaldo arrived in British
colony. Wildman later told Aguinaldo to established a
dictatorial government in the Philippines so that he
could easily take steps to continue the revolution
againts Spain. Having beenwon over by Wildman’s
Frankness, Aguinaldo entrusted him to purchase rifles
and ammunition to be used by the Filipino army. For
this purpose, he gave Wildman the sum of 50,000
Later he gave Wildman 67,000 pesos was never
When Dewey won the battle of Manila Bay and
news about it reached all parts of the world, the
Filipinos patriots in Hongkong met to discuss the steps
to be taken to take over the Philippines. When
Aguinaldo arrived at the meeting place, everybody
embraced him. He told the Hongkong Junta about his
interview with Pratt and Wildman. Aguinaldo told to
the Junta that the situation in the Philippines was very
serious and sought their opinions over the matter.
There was an exchange of point of view and the Junta
unanimously decided that Aguinaldo should return to
the Philippines. He would lead the Filipinos once
more againts the Spaniards.
Aguinaldo accepted the Junta’s decision,
for he had faith and confidence in it’s members.
On May 17, 1898, Aguinaldo boarded the
American revenue cutter McCulloch, which was
bound for Manila. Immediately, he was
transferred to Dewey’s flagship, the Olympia.
Dewey assured him that the U.S did not need
colonies. Dewey would later deny having made
any promise to Aguinaldo and that his relations
the Filipino leader was purely personal, not
When Aguinaldo had finished disembarking the
war equipment which were purchased in
Hongkong, the Filipino rebels came to pay him a
visit. These Proclamations urged the people to
rise in arms once more and to continue the
struggle againts the Spanish oppressors. On
May 21, Aguinaldo issued a proclamation saying
that “ Everything appears favorable for attaining
independence... I urge that we strive to unite
our efforts , and let us fire our hearts with the
idea of vindicating our country. Many nations
are on our side.”
The defeat of Spanish Fleet discouraged
the Spanish officials in the city. Added to
this was the further desertion of many
Filipino soldiers from the Spanish armed
forces. He appointed prominent Spanish
mestizos to the consultative Assembly for
the purpose of winning over to the Spanish
side all the wealthy and influential Filipinos
and thus, make it Appear that he had
welfare of the Filipinos at heart
Dewey did not besiege the city because
he did not have enough forces to do it.
They landed in Paranaque and
encamped south of Pasay. But Dewey
thought that he could make the
Spaniards surrender without a fight.
Jaudanes believed that the Spanish
position was very weak, but he could
not surrender without losing face .
August 13, 1898. the day was dreary; there
was a down pour because the rainy season
had arrived. On the other hand,
Aguinaldo’s generals suspected that the
Americans were not being faithful to them.
Why were Americans soldier’s positioned
to enter the battle? When the firing
Started, the Filipino soldiers advanced.
General Merritt ordered General Francis V.
Greene to stop the Filipinos.
At 5 o’clock in the afternoo of August
13, the Spanish governor general
agreed to sign the surrender
document. In line wuth the terms of
surrender, the Spaniards including the
Filipino volunteers under the payroll of
the Spanish Army inside the City , to
agreed to admit defeat.
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