The photo has nothing to do with the
the high seas long before Saddam Hussein was born in 1937in the town of
Dewey’s flotilla. But what makes this 1919 picture of a destroyer relevant and interesting to Filipinos is, it provokes inquiries
to our colonial past under the
Why Rizal? Were there no deserving Americans?
When Dewey was victorious in the Battle of
Manila Bay on
May 2, 1898, it nailed down a decaying colonial empire, putting
an end to
in Asia to acquire a portion of lucrative trade and commerce of Southeast Asian markets dominated by Europeans .In short,
In the acquisition of territories, commerce,
followed the flag and
lay waiting for American goods with the
Isolationist friends, there were rallying words that are music to American ears: Manifest Destiny.
With Aguinaldo’s capture in Palanan, Isabela,
Apolinario Mabini getting exiled in
Guam, Miguel Malvar finally decided to
quit fighting as the last Filipino general to surrender, President Roosevelt proclaimed in 1902 the termination of hostilities
a state of belligerency that American historians referred to as the Philippine Insurrection. Pacification and transition to
peace and order finally settled but still Filipinos were reluctant to participate in national, provincial and local government
set up by the Americans. It took several years to entice Filipinos to the civil service until the American showed genuine
promise of preparing the citizens for self-government that highlighted when American Governor General Francis Burton Harrison
proclaimed his administration’s policy of “
The story of overseas Filipinos that we noticed
booming business lately, started when migrant workers were allowed to go
to the pineapple plantations of
masters, the Americans were much different from the Spanish. They were more interested in education and the study of politics
and government. However, while the teaching of English was “shoved” to our throats there was no complaint or protest.
It proved to the amazement and surprise for Americans that Filipinos can be “Americanized” but not American.
The excitement and fascination of working for
seems undeterred. We want to be a part of the American Dream.
In the fifties, sixties and seventies, arguably, we supplied
of our bilateral defense treaty phasing out Sangley Point in Cavite, Navy Yard in Zambales and Clark Airbase in Angeles,
Pampanga, the long waiting list of applicants can provide the US Navy Recruiting Office a 50 year supply of recruits.
The first twenty years under
and Sergio Osmena. Starting from 1904 it was a period when Filipinos were allowed to form political parties, sing their national
anthem and wave the present Philippine flag. A transition period was a condition required for the grant of independence known
as the Jones Act was passed by the US Congress 1916. Then in February 1935 the Philippine Constitution was proclaimed
followed by the Tydings McDuffie Act promising the grant of independence within ten years.
Going back to the picture, this
of the crew manning USS RIZAL were Filipinos. Returning to
scrapped for good.
The Philippine Government shouldered the
expenses for the
construction of USS RIZAL and was donated to the US Navy.
In return for the Philippine gift, the US Navy named the 1060ton destroyer after Dr. Jose Rizal. I cannot find any rationale why
the members of the Philippine Legislature appropriated such amount of money to build a ship only to be donated. Even though
the ship will bear the name of Rizal, the issue of priority is highly debatable if not questionable on the wisdom and leadership
of Quezon, Osmena, Paredes, Roxas, Quirino and other ardent nationalists?
If Rizal would have his way, he would have
money to be spent for education or for economic development.
Can we blame the action of the men of the past with the values of today? YOU BE THE JUDGE.
Sir Jose Sison Luzadas, KGOR
Education Chair, and Special Asst
More on USS Rizal and other Philippine related USN man of war.
was born only in the
He served in the US
Navy from 1919-1949 and left remarkable records in the History of the
in the US Navy..
Jay achieved several modest "firsts" as a Filipino in
Navy. A native of the Philippine Islands serving during the time (1920s, 1930s, 1940s) U.S.
when Filipinos were largely limited to service as Stewards/Mess Attendants, he is probably
the first Filipino radio operator (March 1919) in the U.S. Navy. He later graduated from
Radio School( Great Lakes), 1920-1921. He was classmate and became life long friend of radio/TV
personality, Arthur “Red” Godfrey when they attended the
Navy Radio Schoolat Great Lakes.
Among his first ship was the old wooden warship, USS HARTFORD (Admiral Farragut’s flagship
at the civil war battle of Mobile Bay, 1864)He first flew aircrew man in a Navy F5L Seaplane
of USS WRIGHT (AZ-1) at Newport, Rhode Island in August 1922 even before aircraft carrier,
USS LANGLEY (CV-1) had launched and recovered her first aircraft. From 1921-1923 he served in
coal burning battleship, USS FLORIDA (BB-30). By 1924 he was transferred to the Asiatic Fleet
where he served briefly in minelayer USS RIZAL (DM-14). (from Navy Newsletter)
USS Rizal (Destroyer # 174, DD-174; later DM-14), 1919-1931
USS Rizal, a
1060-ton Wickes class destroyer
donated to the
majority of whose crew were Filipinos,
thereafter served in the Far East, visiting ports in
Chief Warrant Officer Ereñeta is recognized as one of the oldest living veteran.
He is still in good health and events are still accurately in his 103 year mind.
Jose Rizal martyrdom gave rise to the short Philippine independence.
The Spanish rule was on the decline when Americans came to
Looming across the Manila sunset were foreign navies ready to take over declining Spanish
Empire. The German, English, Dutch, and Japanese fleets gathered on the horizon over
Manila sunset. Yes, even the Japanese but the stronger German fleet had the edge and had started minor
interference to the US Asiatic fleet. When the Royal Navy sided silently with her American
cousin, it discouraged possible German intention prompted Admiral Dewey testing the first
American venture in the
History will tell us about the sinking of the
USS Panay, 12 December 1937 but it was the continued extension of the Japanese Imperial Navy
maneuvering to dominate the Asian continent.
Panay was one of five
small, shoal-draft river gunboats that had been built about ten years
primarily for patrolling the Yangtze in order to protect American
American nationals during the Chinese civil war. They were used to
upon (and seldom hit) by irresponsible guerrilla bands of Chinese, but
21 November 1937, when Japanese forces were approaching
Grew, who remembered the
Excerpts from "History of United States Naval Operations in World War II" Volume 3: "The Rising Sun in the Pacific" (pages 16-18) by Samuel Eliot Morison
no American except Mr. Grew remembered the
Philippine Sea fired the first Tomahawk missile that
the first shot of the first