In My Own Words - Ron Centeno

a collection of thoughts and sentiments...in my own words

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8/06/2009

"Remember the Aquinos"

Written by Ron Centeno

History would tell us that Texas was previously part of Mexico. With its huge size and a handful of inhabitants, the Mexican authorities invited the Americans to settle the area. Led by Stephen Austin, by 1830, more than 20,000 white Americans had been drawn to the fertile, cotton-growing plains, bringing with them some 2,000 slaves. In no time, they outnumbered the Mexicans in the territory, and in 1834, Austin asked the authorities in Mexico City to allow Texas to separate from Mexico as a prelude to statehood. In turn, Austin was arrested and jailed. By 1836, President Santa Anna of Mexico announced a unified constitution for all Mexican territories, including Texas.

Undeterred, the Americans in Texas decided to secede. With an army of 6,000, Santa Anna marched against what he viewed as the treasonous Texans. With a force of 3,000, Santa Anna reached San Antonio, held by 187 men under the command of Colonel W. B. Travis. The defenders took a defensive stand behind the walls of a mission called the Alamo. For ten days, this small band of Texans fought their way out to their very last breaths until overrun by the overwhelming forces of Santa Anna. The American defenders who survived the final onslaught were then executed. Their corpses were soaked in oil and then set on fire. Only three Americans came out of the Alamo alive; a soldier’s wife named Susanna Dickenson, her fifteenth-month-old baby, and Travis’s slave named Joe. They were freed by Santa Anna on foot to deliver the warning to Sam Houston, commander of the Texas army, that, they, too, would suffer the same fate if they continued to resist.

As if the massacre in Alamo were not enough, the forces of Santa Anna were all the more emboldened and duplicated their previous slaughter in the town of Goliad by setting hundreds of Texans ablaze.

En route to their third exploit against the defending Texans, Santa Anna and his forces found themselves in San Jacinto in April 1836. The overbearing and now self-assured Santa Anna, granted his troops a siesta. With “Remember the Alamo” as their rallying cry, the vastly outnumbered Texans swept into the lines and killed hundreds of Mexicans and led to the subsequent capture of Santa Anna. The battle was over in eighteen minutes.

Soon, the Texans ratified their constitution and Houston was made president of the republic. They then petitioned for annexation into the United States. On December 29,1845, the U. S. Congress approved the petition and President James K. Polk signed the “Joint Resolution for the Admission of the State of Texas into the Union.” Texas became the 28th state.

This brief history of “Remember the Alamo” must be a lesson learned not unique to the Americans but equally apt in the context of us Filipinos.

For over a hundred years now, Rizal, Bonifacio, Aguinaldo, to name a few, stood to their ground to confront the barrel of the guns so that their people that would come after them would experience liberty from the abusive conquestadores.

Fastforward, while the conquestadores have long been gone, our hard-earned liberty was taken into custody by no less than our very own, however, dictatorial Marcos regime. Benigno Aquino, like Rizal, he was fearless to serve time in jail, much less to suffer the same fate of dying from a bullet. Ninoy’s death became the spring board for democracy, however, when his wife thrown herself into the ring of politics where Marcos was the obvious heavyweight. But Marcos was nothing less than Santa Anna of Mexico who became self-assured and declared a snap election in 1986 to warrant his delusion of being a leader to his subservient people. When Marcos’s miscalculation became apparent, his last remaining option was to use the barrel of the guns. Met by the beads of rosary, however, his guns gone shy. Three years after her husband Ninoy Aquino kissed the ground in blood, Cory Aquino sealed her victory and restored liberty for all of us to enjoy.

Now that the two Aquinos are no longer with us, but in spirit, the question is what if liberty would again be denied to us? Who would stand to his or her ground when the barrel of a gun is aimed among us? When, God forbid, this has to come, “Remember the Aquinos”, to be our rallying cry as next to none.

18 Your Thoughts/Comments Here::

Mokong™ said...

Farewell to the one and only Mother of Philippine Democracy...Farewell to Pres. Cory Aquino...

I am Xprosaic said...

Naapreciate ko ang pagintro mo ng "short" american history as way of relating their story to our... one way or another... This cater readers of yours to fully understand why Filipinos grieve that way when Cory Aquino died... salamat...

Dinah J. said...

Hi! 3M kumusta ka na? I really cried...Tita Cory will always live in our hearts.

James T. said...

Good writing. You have a lot of potential.

gillboard said...

Now that the two Aquinos are no longer with us, but in spirit, the question is what if liberty would again be denied to us?

-I doubt that this'll happen again... matatalino na ang mga Pinoy ngayon... specially the youth!!!

The Pope said...

Nawa'y sa huling sulyap natin sa pagpanaw ng ating Inan ng Demokrasya ay ipagpatuloy natin at ng mga kabataan ang pagpapahalaga sa iniwang alala ng demokrasyang kanyang ipinaglaban at iniwan sa atin upang pangalagaan.

Napanuod ko yang Alamo, salamat sa pagbabahagi at pakikiisa.

john said...

Cory and Ninoy may no longer be with us but their spirit lives on in each and everyone of us if each of us will be corys and ninoys the flame of Democracy will continue to light our beloved country...

Jason said...

This is a great site that you have here. I have a debate site myself and I would like to exchange links with you. We need to stick together. Let me know. Jason

John Tedder said...

I did not know that Santa Anna set the bodies of those killed at the Alamo on fire. I did not know that he did the same thing at Goliad, Texas.
Thanks for teaching some American history to an American!

Philippine Jobs said...

Ninoy and Cory Aquino have made great contributions to our country. Let's just hope their children especially the public figures Kris and Noynoy would follow their footsteps.

Makoy said...

its been a long time since i dropped here. anyway, i linked you in snapshots.makoyskie.com i hope you can link me back as well. musta na?

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Ruthi said...

I was an Edsa Rev baby... oh well I was not really a baby when it happenned nor having a baby [lol] but I practically lived in Mendiola that time because I was doing my thesis and almost thought that I would not have a descent graduation from College when the revolution happened. In other words... I survived all the Edsa Revolutions 1,2,3 and so far those where just additional pages in history book. Good thing I am no longer teaching history because I don't know how to sugar coat Filipino values in terms of leadership. Seems that all the sacrifices of our heroes are now in vain. But if there is one thing that never change... the HOPE in every Filipino's HEART.

Francis R. Barbour said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the history lesson! You write very well.

japonbill said...

The "MENDIOLA MASSACRE" and the "lUISITA MASSACRE" Those poor "SUGARCANE FARMERS"

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