Sangil: Not only in the Philippines

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WHAT had happened and what is happening in the United States of America an to the Americans always keep us interested. It is because we have a long history that binds us, particularly us who had them as neighbors for many long years, until their sudden departure in June 1991 due to Mt. Pinatubo's eruption. My adult life was spent dealing with them as a reporter having the former Clark Air Force Base as part of my beat. (I was correspondent of Daily Star, moved to Daily Express and then hired as correspondent by Dik Pascual who was editor-in-chief of Philippine Daily Inquirer. I also helped in putting to bed the The Voice newsweekly and wrote a regular column. So much for that).

Nine out of 10 Filipinos have a relative living in the US, either as an immigrant or are now citizens there. My late Coyang Ben lived with the family in Rancho Sta. Margarita in Orange County. His two daughters, Carol, an auditor and Jane, an engineer are now comfortably settled there and are now American citizens. My youngest sister Myrna is an American citizen too and is still in New York City. She is comfortable living in New York but so lonely and longing to make visit to spend Christmas with us.

Just to refresh the memory of senior citizens and for the benefit of the millennials. It was in August 1898 when Admiral George Dewey with his fleet engaged the Spanish armada, which is now in the history books and described it as the Battle of Manila Bay. It didn't take long for the Americans to subdue the Spaniards. So the Spanish government said: "You only won Manila, and if you want the whole archipelago you have to pay us." So the American government in agreement paid $20 million and this was contained in the Treaty of Paris.

If you happen to visit Clark Freeport, drop by at the museum and slices of history of how the American cavalry started their journey before the turn of the century from Manila on their way to dig gold in the mountainous province of Benguet. It was the enormous gold deposit why the Americans agreed in the first place to pay the Spaniards $20 million. They got the better end of the bargain, so to speak. They made a stopover in Culiat town (now Angeles City) and encamped there meanwhile. One of the horses of the cavalry, as the story unfolded, went astray. And when it was found it was near barrio Sapangbato wherein around was an abundance of lemon grass which was used as fodder for their horses. So they moved their camp there and named it Fort Stotsenberg. The cavalry stayed there permanently, until the aviation era dawned and remained the camp to Clark Air Force Base. So it can be said it was the fault of that sh-t horse why we became neighbors to the American GIs.

A part of that cavalry proceeded to the north for the gold. An engineer by

the name of Kennon carved a mountain road which zigzagged to the top. (When you make a trip to Baguio City visit Mines View Park and below was where the heavy diggings for gold happened.

Now back to what happened to the recent presidential elections which pitted President Donald Trump, a Republican vs former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat. Biden was declared winner after polling more than the needed 270 electoral college votes. He will become the US 46th president. But wait, President Trump is not conceding, according to his lawyer Rudely Guillani, former New York City mayor. They accused the Democratic Campaign of cheating. Trump will not leave the White House. "Nadaya daw." Parang sa Pilipinas. Lahat na natatalo nadadaya. So it seems the Americans are learning from the Philippines election style. Now it can be said, it is not "Only in the Philippines."


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