Olivier van Noort and other early Spanish-Dutch conflicts in the Philippines

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Although Spain ruled the Philippines much of the time until 1898, the Spanish had to fight other powers. Dutch fleets attacked Manila several times between 1600 to 1647.

Pursuing their quest for alternative trade routes to Asia, the Dutch reached the Philippines and sought to dominate the commercial sea trade in Southeast Asia. Being at war with Spain, they engaged in privateering activities. They harassed the coasts of Manila Bay and its environs, and preyed on sampans and junks from China and Japan in an attempt to cut off Spanish trade with East Asia.

The first Dutch squadron to reach the Philippines was led by Olivier van Noort. Olivier van Noort was born in 1558 in Utrecht. He left Rotterdam on July 2, 1598 with four ships and a plan to attack Spanish possessions in the Pacific and to trade with China and the Spice Islands during the Eighty Years’…

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What do you know about the Holy Cross of Alitagtag?

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After the eruption of Taal Volcano, I have been seeing more news about the faith of the Batangueños, the people of Batangas. I’m from Alitagtag and the most revered patron saint of our town is the Mahal na Poong Santa Cruz, (The Holy Cross). It has been the belief of the people of our town that the Holy Cross will keep them safe. It has been proven over and over throughout the centuries. The Taal Volcano Eruption of Jan. 12, 2020 is one of them. Here is the Holy Cross in a procession on Jan. 16 through town in thanksgiving for her protection of the people of Alitagtag.

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The Holy Cross in procession on Alitagtag street on Jan. 16, 2020. Photo Credit – Facebook by Invencion De La Sta. Cruz, Alitagtag, Batangas

Five years after the establishment of the mission of Bauan, a giant cross made of anubing

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Taal Volcano spews ashes over Manila and its neighboring towns

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Photo Credit: Facebook by Herbert A. Ellovido

I did not even know that Tall Volcano is erupting today until my friend GPCox of Pacific Paratrooper told me. Thanks GP. Please pray for all those affected by its fury.

I then took a look at the news and this is what I found.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-volcano-taal/small-but-dangerous-volcano-spews-ash-over-philippine-capital-idUSKBN1ZB07K

I called my brother and he checked back home. My cousin who lives in Bauan which is a little further than my hometown got a dusting. They heard a rumbling thunder then tremors. Alitagtag where Mom used to live is just across the lake. I thank God Mom is not around to experience this. Residents of Taal are being evacuated but the mayor said the visibility is not good so drivers are driving very slow. I believe most affected are north of the volcano which includes Metro Manila where the wind is shifting north- northeast. Alitagtag is…

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The Sinking of San Diego on Dec. 14, 1600 and the Discovery of its Wreck

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An Illustration of the sinking of the Spanish flagship San Diego after a battle with the Dutch ship Eendracht in Manila Bay in 1600

The San Diego was formerly known as San Antonio, a trading ship built in Cebu under the supervision of European boat-builders. It was docked at the port of Cavite to undergo reconditioning and repair but at the end of October 1600, Don Antonio de Morga, Vice-Governor General of the Philippines, ordered it converted into a warship and renamed it San Diego.

People in Manila knew that the Dutch were planning to invade the Philippine waters at that time. In response to it, Manila immediately set about preparing its defense. Simultaneously, it took measures to fortify the Capital and Cavite, its port and arsenal, and armed several ships to pursue the enemy.

Morga commanded the operation. The Spanish fleet set sail on December 12, 1600…

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What’s prominent in a Filipino home?

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Have you been to a Filipino home? What was the first thing you noticed?

Most Filipinos have religious statues of saints in their homes. That can range from a statue of Santo Niño or a statue of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes or Our Lady of Fatima. Also you might see a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sadly to say, my home is probably the exception to the rule. Don’t get me wrong. I was brought up in a very religious upbringing. My parents were very religious to the point of having a private chapel at our home but my husband is not religious.

It happened this way. In the late ‘80s, my father decided to buy a piece of property across from our home. Then he built a small church for the people in our small community. A priest came down on Monday night and…

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Mi Ultimo Adios by Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero

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First stanza of “Mi Ultimo Adiós”, by Jose Rizal, written before his execution on December 30, 1896. The poem was untitled, but this is the most common name it is known by.

“Mi último adiós” (English; “My Last Farewell”) is a poem written by Dr. José Rizal before his execution by firing squad on December 30, 1896. His martyrdom ignited the Filipino fervor to revolt against the Spaniards.

While Rizal was traveling on his way to Spain, he was captured in the boat where he was sailing, and upon arrival in Barcelona, he was sent back to the Philippines. Although he had no connections with the Katipunan who led an insurrection against Spain, he was arrested for sedition by the military. On his arrival in Manila, Rizal was imprisoned at Fort Santiago. When he appeared in the military court, he was sentenced to be executed by firing squad in Bagumbayan.

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Christmas in the Philippines

Maligayang Pasko sa lahat!

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Parols at the Philippine Embassy in NYC
Photo Credit: Flicker by Gigi_NYC

In the Philippines, the formal Christmas celebrations start on Dec. 16 when people go to the first of nine pre-dawn or early morning masses culminating on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. It is called Simbang Gabi in Filipino, also called Misas de Gallo. It’s always the day I start decorating the house for Christmas. It is also my Mom’s birthday. I missed my call to her on Dec. 16 this year. Rest in peace, Mom, I miss you. Christmas celebrations continue to January 6, the Feast of the Three Kings, making the Philippines the country that celebrate the longest Christmas season – 22 days.

Christmas customs in the Philippines are a mixture of native, Spanish, Chinese and American elements. The result is uniquely Filipino. In the olden days, when only one rice crop was sown, Christmas coincided with…

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