National Geographic : 1899 Feb
MANILA AND THE PHILIPPINES their rule was autocratic and absolute-an iron regime not only for the natives but for every government official who might have dared to cross the ways of the priestly lords. Since the days when the pious Spanish discoverer, holding in one hand the sword and in the other the cross, took posses sion of these islands, 300 long years ago, has lasted this terrible misrule over this unfortunate people. But at last the reaction against that incredibly anachronistic administration took place. A highly gifted young Tagale, educated in Europe and having great poetical talent, was able by his songs and poems to excite his countrymen against the Spanish rule, and when some years ago that man was arrested by the government and shot, without trial, on the Luneta in Manila, the Filipinos began their first in surrection against the hated priest-government. Terrible atrocities were committed at that time on both sides, and there was hard fighting, too ; but at last the Spanish govern ment succeeded in overcoming the more open resistance. But the fire was not extinguished. A secret society, the " Katipuna," spread its membership over the whole island of Luzon, prepar ing another surprise! The murdered poet had acquired the fame of a national hero and martyr, and mysterious tales were told in all the Tagale villages that he lived still in the moun tains in the interior, to come down at the right moment to take the leadership of his people in the great fight for independence. And then the second insurrection began. The terrible scenes of cruelty were repeated, but again without any decisive result. A sort of armistice was arranged at the end of 1897 between the young Tagale leader, Aguinaldo, and the Spaniards, and this continued until the beginning of the recent American-Spanish war and the glorious battle of Cavite. Strange tales, indeed, these time-blackened government build ings in Intra Muros can tell. They know many things about a flourishing Japanese colony that existed two hundred years ago in Manila town. Thirty thousand industrious Japanese once filled the streets of the old city, and the best regiments of the Spanish government in those olden times were composed of Japanese warriors, but the narrow-mindedness and intolerance of the Spanish rulers drove out the followers of Buddha. The Japanese warriors, the Samurais, and the industrious and able workmen left this unfriendly and inhospitable country at the same time, and that long sleep began which was to end at last with the thunder of Admiral Dewey's guns.