Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 5

Alyanna Angelina M. Cabral Prof.

Michael Franz Ang

2012-65902

BOOK REVIEW

CAPTURE OF MANILA: The Glorious History of August The Thirteenth, 1898

This book was written by Lieutenant Colonel I. E. F. y S while the data of the
Capture of Manila came from Colonel Julian M. Garcia. This work was translated by
Pacita Guevara Fernandez. The book started off with the translator stating the author is
not a writer himself and begged for the reader’s indulgence despite the book’s lack of
organization. Afterwards, the author claimed that they are just simple revolutionaries
who are insignificant compared to those powerful people who can send others to jail.
Despite of their insignificance and lack of writing skills, they nevertheless exerted efforts
into writing this book with good judgement and heart.

The author’s aim into writing this book is to give glory to those forgotten
revolutionaries who fought in the Capture of Manila on August 13 th of 1898. This was
done by providing accurate and first-hand narration of what happened in the country
during the Capture of Manila. Moreover, this work challenges the prevailing American
perceptions of the said battle.

The book first elaborated different aspects of the Philippines’s struggles during
the 1896-1898 periods. He discussed the qualities of a good general, and presented
Generalissimo Emilio Aguinaldo and General Pio del Pilar as perfect examples. He also
discussed about the revolutionaries’ ignorance, which according to him should not be
looked down upon. Aside from that, the author claimed that America bought nothing
from Spain in the Treaty of Paris (1898). Next, he appealed to the Americans and stated
different reasons why Filipinos should be granted independence. Following this, he went
on discussing the evil acts of powerful nations against weaker nations and claimed that
there is a need of an international tribunal that will punish the criminal acts of powerful
nations. Lastly, the author argued that there is also good in the evil acts of the
Americans and Spaniards. He also argued that Spainiards are more unjust than the
Americans.

On the latter part, the author narrated the facts about the preparation for the
August 13th Capture of Manila, the happenings on the beginning of the attack, the
revolutionaries’ protection of lives despite the cruelty of wars, and lastly, the order of
retreat by Gen. Aguinaldo.

As for my reaction to this work by our honorable revolutionaries of yesterday, I


relayed my observations about the author’s style of writing and his religiosity. I also
elaborated the connections that I was able to form between this work and the current
events.

Firstly, I find it ironic how the author of this book said that his work lacks literary
elegance since he is not a writer himself. This is because I think that most of the
passages here are embellished with flowery words. The author also used many
metaphors and personifications. One example of a personification is the passage where
he stated that the revolutionaries form the union, “the links of a chain” and “the
collections of fibers that form the rigging of power”. On the other hand, an example of
metaphor is the passage where he likened the Filipinos during the Spanish colonization
to patients depleted of economic resources. However, despite the fact that I find some
literary skills in the author, I do agree to the translator’s statement that this work lacks
organization.

I also observed that the author, since he lived in the Spanish era, gives so much
glory to God. He stated that it is only God who knows about all things. From this, it can
be said that the author is a determinist since his actions, together with those of the other
revolutionaries, are caused by God’s will. Under Determinism is the Divine Command
Theory which states that an action is good if it is commanded by God. In this
perspective, it can be said that the revolutionaries did actions that were just because
those were commanded by God. They fought against the Spaniards despite their lack of
military equipment, theories, and practices because it was God’s will. Another example
is how the revolutionaries’ respect the lives of people despite war. Again, they act justly
since God commands them to do so.

Moreover, in relation with the Divine Command Theory, the author believes that
America and Spain, which are equally Christian nations, should also act justly, as
commanded by God. In this respect, according to the author, both America and Spain
have committed a violation when they signed the Treaty of Paris. Both nations violated
the God’s sixth Commandment which is “Thou shalt not covet.” As the author said, the
rightful ownership of the Philippines only belongs to the Filipinos. Therefore, America
and Spain can be said to have committed a criminal act because of the illegitimate
transaction that occurred between them. Regarding this, the author said that there is a
need for an international tribunal. This can be attributed to International Politics,
specifically in the accountability of Non-State Actors (NSAs). An example of this is the
Mamasapano incident. It is said that Oplan Exodus is a part of US’s War on Terror.
However, it is difficult to hold US accountable of this crime. One factor behind this is the
different perceptions of people on the said incident. Some people think the Moros are at
fault while others think that the government is at fault. Aside from that, mainstream
media plays a role. As we can see, the US government is concealed in mainstream
media regarding this issue.

In relation to that, the author thinks that Christianity is the good that the Filipinos
got from the evil acts of Spaniards before. They were able to attack against trained and
equipped Spanish soldiers because they believe in God’s guidance.

Aside from Christianity, the evil acts of Spaniards also taught the Filipinos to
seek for freedom. The Filipinos of yesterday were also able to get something good
despite the evil acts of the Americans before. According to the author, Filipinos
experienced more freedom and independence under the Americans compared to the
Spaniards. I find this in contrast with what I learned from my PI 100 subject, which was
that Americans are far crueler compared to the Spaniards. With this, it can be said that
in the period of our history dominated by the Americans, Americans were either put in
the spotlight or in the darkness when it comes to the history presented in published
works. If the published works about the August 13 th 1898 promotes the Americans as
heroes, in the accounts of American colonization, the cruel acts of Americans against
the Filipinos were nowhere to be found. Again, Americans are concealed of their evil
acts.

I would definitely recommend this book to be read by Filipinos in order for them
to realize how pitiful our forefathers were when they were suffering under the Spaniards
and when the Americans unfairly took credit of Filipino revolutionaries’ sacrifices during
the war of August 13th of 1898. Another reason is that this book promotes Filipino pride
as seen from how revolutionaries effectively used their innate judgements despite
ignorance of military knowledge. However, considering the technicalities, I would warn
the readers that this book may be difficult to be understood at first because in some
parts, there were too many metaphors used in a single paragraph. This confuses me
because it makes my mind move away from the central idea of the paragraph.
Regardless of that, generally, I strongly recommend this book to be read by all Filipinos
because, aside from the fact that it exposes the true heroes of the war of August 13 th of
1898, this work reinforces empathy, as well as pride, for our revolutionaries during the
Capture of Manila.
REFERENCES

Fernandez, P. G. (2002). Capture of manila: The glorious history of august the


thirteenth, 1898. (I. E. F. y S, Trans.). Quezon City: Toyota Foundation. (Original
work published 1898)