By Borderline
299 days ago

Our last men in Philippines

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This article is to commemorate the Spanish army and the Filipino people who died during the siege of Baler.

For 11 month, a contingent from the Spanish colonial troops formed by 50 man and leaded by Enrique las Morenas, Saturnino Martin-Cerezo, Juan Alonso Zayas and the doctor Rogelio Vigil, resisted in the fortified church in the town of Baler (Philippines) against the Filipino army leaded by the Filipino commanders Teodorico Novicio Luna,
Cirilo Gomez, Calixto Villacorta, Antonio Santos, Simon Tecson and Nemesio Bartolome.

This happened during the hispano-american war, which ended in 1898 with the cession of Philippines, Cuba and Puerto Rico to USA. However, the Spanish contingent was isolated in the church of Baler and kept fighting the Filipino troops for a year.

This garrison arrived as a replacement after the previous small garrison was executed by the Filipino revolution.

The Spanish were left without supplies due to the surrendering and in a humid space their contracted beriberi, a fatal disease which took a lot of lives, including the one of Comandante Enrique Las Morenas. The Filipino offered them few war suspensions and truces, and even brought Spanish diplomats and commanders to tell them that Spain had lost the war, but they thought it was a trick and Saturnino Martin didn't give up at all and forced the soldiers to keep fighting after almost a year of the ending of the war. Saturnino Martin surrendered the Spanish garrison when he read on a newspaper that a friend of his had gained a position in Malaga, where his friend always wanted to be. That made him realise that the newspaper couldn't be fake as he was the only person who knew his friend's desire to move to the garrison of Malaga.

In June 1899 the Spanish garrison of Baler surrendered and the Filipino government made them depart with guard of honor and allowed them to carry weapons as a sign of friendship after 500 years of colonisation.

Today, the 2nd of June is celebrated as the day of the Friendship between Spain and Philippines.

The total cost of lives of that siege was of 700 on the Filipino side, and 19 on the Spanish Empire side. 15 died of disease, 2 died in combat, 2 executed.

As sign of friendship between both countries, Spanish were allowed to keep living in Philippines and vice versa. Unfortunately more than 49.000 Spaniard civilians in Philippines were executed by the Japanese army during the Japanese invasion of Philippines during the II World War.


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Smokey2017 Interesting article
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Lucia5 Super
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TammyWhite Good article
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