Unfortunately, most Filipinos have little or no access to the authentic history and fresh information on US aggression, exploitation and racism in the Philippines. I am one of the fortunate few who live and interact with a large community of Filipinos and progressive Filipino-American organizations, and have started to study the Philippines without the veil of the culture of the oppressor.
The following section of this paper will review the US invasion and occupation of the Philippines and the resulting waves of migration of Filipino workers and professionals to this country. It will explore, not only the socio-economic results, but also the cultural impact of US direct and indirect rule on the Filipino people's collective memories and consciousness.
Just before the end of the 19th century, America declared war on Spain. This was its first armed bid to make its presence felt in the Asia-Pacific Region. In reality the Spanish-American war was not so much a war as the scripted transfer of the Philippines and Cuba to the US, without loss of American or Spanish lives. The "war" ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, in which the Philippines was sold by Spain to the US for the grand total of $20 million, or $2 per head for 10 million Filipinos. Although some groups such as the Anti-Imperialist League objected to the annexation, the winners of the debate were the pro-annexation groups that wanted cheap Filipino sugar, copra (dried coconut) and other raw materials, cheap farm labor for pineapple and sugar plantations in Hawaii and farms in the US, plus a jumping point to the potentially enormously profitable Chinese market (Magdoff and Foster).
After defeating the Spanish colonial government, Filipinos were forced to wage another war, this time against the US invading forces. This time it was not the "moro-moro" or mock fight of the Spanish-American war. This time it was a vicious racist war that resulted in the death of "at least 1.4 million Filipinos" from the actual fighting and from war-related starvation and disease (San Juan). Fourteen percent of the total Filipino population died in just three years (1899-1902). Although the Filipino-American War was considered over by 1902, Filipino resistance continued up to 1907 and even longer in some areas. The remaining resistance groups and their leaders such as Macario Sakay were branded and hanged as ladrones (thieves) and criminals. Under US rule, Filipino heroes became criminals while collaborators became heroes. If you visit the Philippines, you will see, as I did, streets and bridges named after American presidents and generals such as Taft and Wilson and after states such as Florida and New York, but not one named after Sakay, the forgotten hero who wrote these words (quoted in Pepe's Blog) before he was executed:
"Death comes to all of us sooner or later, so I will face the Lord Almighty calmly. But I want to tell you that we were not bandits and robbers, as the Americans have accused us, but members of the revolutionary force that