CHAPTER VI. The First Triumphs

The next day (8th May, 1898), just when we were distributing arms to the revolutionists of Kawit, in the above mentioned district a column, composed of over 270 Spanish Naval Infantry, appeared in sight. They were sent out by the Spanish General, Sr. Pena, for the purpose of seizing the said consignment of arms.

Then it was that the first engagement of the Revolution of 1898 (which may be rightly styled a continuation of the campaign of 1896-97) took place. The battle raged from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the Spaniards ran out of ammunition and surrendered, with all their arms, to the Filipino Revolutionists, who took their prisoners to Cavite. In commemoration of this glorious achievement I hoisted our national flag in presence of a great crowd, who greeted it with tremendous applause and loud, spontaneous and prolonged cheers for "Independent Philippines" and for "the generous nation" - the United States of America. Several officers and Marines from the American fleet who witnessed the ceremony evinced sympathy with the Filipino cause by joining in the natural and popular rejoicings of the people.

This glorious triumph was merely the prelude to a succession of brilliant victories, and when the 31st May came - the date fixed for general uprising of the whole of the Philippines - the people rose as one man to crush the power of Spain.

The second triumph was effected in Binakayan, at a place known as Polvorin, where the Spanish garrison consisting of about 250 men was attacked by our raw levvies and surrendered in a few hours, their stock of ammunition being completely exhausted.

I again availed myself of the opportunity to hoist our national flag and did so from an upper story of the Polvorin facing the sea, with the object of causing the sacred insignia of our Liberty and Independence to be seen fluttering in the breeze by the warships, representing all the great and civilized nations of the world, which were congregated in the harbour observing the providential evolution going on in the Philippines after upwards of three hundred years of Spanish domination.

Scarcely had another hour elapsed before another flag was seen flying over the steeple of the Church at Bakoor - which is also in full view of vessels in the harbour - being the signal of another triumph of our troops over the Spanish forces which held that town. The garrison consisted of about 300 men, who surrendered to the Revolutionary Army when their ammunition was exhausted.

And so the Revolution progressed, triumph following triumph in quick succession, evidencing the power, resolution and ability of the inhabitants of the Philippines to rid themselves of any foreign yoke and exist as an independent State, as I affirmed to Admiral Dewey and in respect of which he and several American Commanders and officers warmly congratulated me, specially mentioning the undeniable triumphs of the Philippine Army as demonstrated and proved by the great number of prisoners we brought into Cavite from all parts of Luzon.