The Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh is blasting a photo caption in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette it says distorts Filipino history. The caption referred to the the death of Col. Alexander Leroy Hawkins “during the Philippine insurrection of 1899.”
In a letter to the newspaper, Jaime Abola, President of the Filipino American Association, wrote “for many first-generation Filipino Americans, especially the more recent arrivals, the reference to an insurrection in the Philippines would come as a surprise since Filipino history books refer to that period (and we believe rightfully so) as the Philippine-American War.” Abola says the War is a critical moment in the Philippine’s struggle to gain independence from the United States.
“To refer to this event as an insurrection is to diminish, as all colonial governments are wont to do, the historical struggle of a people for its independence. The struggle continued until the United States agreed to give the Philippines its independence on July 4, 1946. Today, Many Filipinos recognize and are thankful for the many American contributions to Filipino life and history, but the memory of the Philippine-American War, the death of hundreds of thousands and the suspension of the Filipino quest for independence will not be forgotten.”