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WWII: The Commence of War in the Pacific

It is almost a century after the wreak of the second world war, the most deadliest in any other war in the history. It involves the 6 major continents in the world and took the lives of roughly 17 million troops and countless civilians who died because of bombings, mass murders and starvation which results into a catastrophe. These involves some countries in Europe (Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom), the Soviet Union, Japan and the most powerful ally in the world, the United States.  It is said that the conflict in the first world war created the devastating second world war because of instability and destabilized Europe and the rise of the great totalitarian leader, Adolf Hitler.

In 1940, Japan joined the Axis Power together with Germany and Italy by signing the the Tripartite Pact with an intent of being one of the strongest leader in the world and to dominate Southeast Asia. Since, the Philippine that time was under the ruling power of the United States, they felt threatened that the US would stop them in their objectives.  In December 7, 1941 (Hawaiian Time) had been marked the beginning of the war in Pacific when the Japanese troops bombarded the Pearl Harbor in Hawaii which sunk 21 ships, losses approximately 2,400 men and 188 aircraft had been completely demolished which causes Americans to be aggressive and furious and led them to join the allies in WWII. This strike in the military base of USA led to the unification of Americans that aimed to destroy their rival ally, the Axis power. This attack in the Pearl Harbor really surprised Americans because they are confident enough that the Pearl Harbor base was really safe from any harm but they are all terribly wrong. This left the whole American nation with absolute torment and agony because the memories of the first world war was still lingering with their thoughts. Several hours after the bombing in Pearl Harbor,  Japan also bombarded the Clark Air Base in the Philippines and simultaneously launched air attacks against Aparri, Baguio, Nichols Air Base, Sangley Point and Davao. To fortify Manila with entire ruination, Gen. Douglas Mc Arthur declared Manila as an Open City in 1941 but the Japanese troops did not respect this proclamation and bombed Manila on the following day. Japan’s attack in Manila was so systematic and well executed, some parts of our country was simultaneously bombed and Japanese soldiers marched toward Manila at different points. Because of this well planned assault, Gen. Douglas Mc Arthur ordered the American and Filipino Soldier to withdraw in Bataan and Corregidor.

The Japanese quickly dominated the Southeast Asia including the Philippines in 1942 however, American won into the battle called Battle of Midway which plays a big role in the history of WWII. The battle took over in the Pacific Ocean between Asia and North America and it lies 2,500 miles from Japan and considered as an important tactical location for Japan in the war. The Japanese was led by Admiral Yamamoto who also planned the attack on the Pearl Harbor while the United States were led by Admiral Nimitz and Commander Fletcher. This battle gave hope to the American and engages a big part in the Pacific War and the second world war.

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UPS, Lost Stones and a question of Time — Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

The four of us donned what protective gear we had with us and set off over the moor. It soon became evident that we should have brought Wellingtons. Stuart was the only one thus sensibly clad and my walking shoes are only waterproof until the sodden peat and pooled water rises higher than the ankle. […]

via UPS, Lost Stones and a question of Time — Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Highly Recommended!!

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Economic Issues, History, Philipppine History

Late Antiquity: A Guide to the History of Our Government

Every nations in this world has its own political system and governance which regulates peace and order of a nation. Aside from that, it is one of the significant aspect in nations-building and cannot be obliterate by anyone but can be alter or modify based on how the government functions in a particular state. There are several types of governance existing in different countries such as Democracy, Republic, Monarchy, Aristocracy, Dictatorship and Democratic Republic and they are differ based on how do they implement and inaugurate their own statues and principles and also based on their rulers or leaders. But, if we look back on the history of our past how did our ancestors established their own kind of government? Are we still using the political system that they had founded?

Before the arrival of the Spaniards here in our country, our ancestors already developed a unique political system called Barangay. The term Barangay is from the Malay word Balangay which means boat. It was an independent institution that is ruled by a leader that is often called Lakan (Luzon), Rajah (Visayas) or Datu (Mindanao) who exercised all the powers of his government. But, the power of a Datu is limited only in his community and can be only be passed to his first son with his Ynasawa–The man’s legitimate wife–his legitimate offspring and heir. If the Datu had no children, his successor will be chosen based on his wealth, courage, strength and intelligence. Each barangay also made friends with their neighboring barangays usually by trading goods and forging alliances with one another through the process called blood compact or sanduguan. It symbolizes their friendship and the diplomatic relation between two barangays. The Datu  were also the one who promulgated the written law together with the elders of the barangay while the unwritten laws were based on their customs and traditions in their community. However, armed conflicts sometimes arose if the another neighboring barangay maltreated someone from another barangay. The war between the two barangay won’t stop until one barangay had been completely usurped by the other. In this case, the losers became the slave of the victory.

These are just some of the practices that our ancestors established that had been altered during the Spanish’s reign in our country. In 1565, when our country were under the colony of Spain, they had established a centralized form of government that is composed of national and local government which manages provinces, cities and towns. The highest-ranking official is called Governor General or Gobernador Heneral which had the power to appoint and to dismiss public officials. He’s in-charge in all government offices and headed the Royal Audiencia which is the highest judicial court in the Philippines and the advisory body of Governor General. They also created some local government units–the alcaldia and the corregimiento– The alcaldia was led by the alcalde mayor which governed the provinces while the corregimiento was led by corregidor which governed the provinces which were not yet entirely under Spanish control. The alcalde mayores were also the one who represented the King and the Governor General in their respective provinces and also in-charge in collection of taxes. The Spanish divided the provinces into several towns called pueblos headed by gobernadorcillo. The gobernadorcillo had to be a Filipino (but is rarely got elected to the position) with at least 25 years of age. But, Mestizos (half-Spanish, half-Filipino) or full blooded Spaniards who were in the colony usually won the position. Every pueblo divided into barrios or barangay that is headed by the cabeza de barangay that is usually awarded to the former Datus and Rajah. The cabeza de barangay did not receive a salary but he had a several benefits such as exemption to the taxes and polo.

During the early years of ruling our country, the Spanish imposed a lot of system in our country which made our native Filipinos suffer under their ruling power such as the Encomienda system, the Bandala system and Polo y Servicio. The Encomienda system was established by King Philip II and was ruled by the conquistadores in the colony. They served as the tax collector and territorial overseers however, Encomiendas was not theirs to own. As years passed, Encomienderos learned to misuse their powers and treated Filipinos abusively, as a result the King Charles V passed a decree in 1721 to abolish Encomienda. They also established a system called Bandala System that each province was assigned a quota to a particular kinds of crop and to be sold exclusively in the government. Since, the quota was strictly implemented the corrupt Spanish became a hundred times richer and Filipinos a hundred times poorer. And lastly, they established a system called Polo or Polo y Servicio, a practice of tyranny which forces Filipinos aged 16-60 years old to render a forced labor for at least 40 days. The principalia, teachers, government officials and persons of wealth are exempted. They usually worked on the construction of bridges, roads, churches and ships.

Our country really undergo a big transition from its political system that was majorly influenced by the Spaniards. From different independent institutions that was led by different rulers called Lakan, Datu and Rajah to a centralized bureaucratic government that was ruled by Governor General, Alcalde Mayor, Corregidor, Gobernadorcillo, Cabeza de Barangay etc. Nowadays, we are still using some of the implemented regulations and practices in our government that has been modified through the years which helps us to establish and to develop a better and advance political system.

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Economic Issues, History, Philipppine History

European’s Mischievous Scheme in Conquering the East

Based on many archaeologists, our forefathers had already developed a civilization right before the arrival of Spaniards here in our country. They had already established different kinds of cultures, traditions, laws and practices that influences their own way of living such as their own way of building pre-colonial houses, the different practices before marriage, their own writing system and their unique political system. Our country has also countless and different varieties of indigenous resources which lured our neighboring country to transact with them by using the barter system– a system of exchanging goods or services without using money– and to establish diplomatic relationship with them. But in spite of the stable and sturdy civilization that our ancestors had founded, how did the European conquer our country? How did the early Filipinos cope with the hamper of new ideas and interest arise during the arrival of Spanish?

Before the emerge of Renaissance period in 1400, the Islam had been continuously spreading like an epidemic in Europe which succeeded in invading several European countries. That’s why  the Europeans believed that one of their major obligation is to propagate the Christian faith and to eradicate the Muslims. The victory of Christians over Muslims took place near the city of Tours in France on October 10, 732 which inspired many Europeans to regain their lands especially the Jerusalem. Many kings had been unified and called it as the Crusades or Holy War. After the wreak of the crusade they are already able to travel in different countries in continent of Asia. The great traveler from Venice, Marco Polo had been witness the great wealth and grandeur of China which prompted the Europeans to perform an expedition to the East. Which causes Spain and Portugal to become rivalries for the recognition of being the most powerful colonial power. To settle this dispute, Pope Alexander VI issued a Papal Bull on May 3, 1493,they also signed the Treaty of Tordesillas in June 7, 1949 and Treaty of Zaragoza on April 22, 1529. While the Spain and Portugal believed that the world is divided between them, the other remaining countries in Europe such as England, France and Holland are busy with their own explorations.

In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan who was a Portuguese soldier and believed that the world is round convinced that they could be reached the East if they travel westward. He proposed his proposal with the King of Portugal Manuel I but was curtly refused and declined. Then, he went to the King of Spain Charles I and agreed with Magellan’s expedition who supported and finance his voyage to the Mollucas. He was accompanied by 5 ships the Trinidad, San Antonio, Concepcion, Santiago and Victoria and more than 200 men which started in September 20, 1519. While exploring the east, he lost his 2 ships: The Santiago, which had been wrecked during a heavy storm and the San Antonio, whose captain is Esteban Gomez, decided to leave the expedition and go back to Spain with his crew. In 1521, they reached Guam in which he called “Island of Sails” but eventually named as Landrones Island (Island of Thieves). Magellan finally reached the Philippines, he dropped his anchor in Homonhon on March 17, 1521 but he decided to leave to find more suitable place for his men. And then they found the Island of Limasawa and they met Rajah Kolambu and his brother Rajah Siagu. Magellan and Rajah Kolambu performed a blood compact as a sign of friendship and it was the first ever blood compact between our natives and a foreigner. They also performed the first ever mass ever recorded in our country on March 31.

After the death of Magellan in Mactan where he was killed by our native Lapu Lapu, only Victoria and 18 men returned to Spain on September 6, 1522. It was considered as historical because it was the first expedition which able to circulate the whole globe and proved that the world is round. After the return of Sebastian del Cano: the captain of Victoria, the Spain decided to conquer the Philippines. They sent another expeditions in the East: Loaisa (1525), Cabot (1526), Saavedra (1527), Villalobos (1542) and The Legazpi (1564) and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi is the only one who managed to successfully conquer our country.

Why the Philippines was conquered? Through largely outnumbered Spaniards who came to colonize the Philippines easily took control of our country. How did this happen? The best explanation for me is that the natives lacked unity and a centralized form of government. Although the Barangays already functioned as units of governance, each one existed independently of the other, and the powers that the Datu/Rajah/Lakan were confined only to his own barangay. No higher institution united the barangays, and the Spaniards took advantage of this situation. They used the barangays that were friendly to them to subdue the barangays that were not.

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