Francis D. Millet came with the US colonizers in 1898 as a journalist embedded in the American army and wrote about what he saw in the strange country seemingly with the air of white-man superiority typical of the era. Fourteen years later, he would be among the passengers riding first-class who drowned in the sinking of the RMS Titanic that killed 1,500 people.

A visual artist-turned-journalist, Millet was in the Philippines from June to September 1898 as a war correspondent for Harper’s Weekly and London Times. He wrote of his experiences in his little-known work, “The Expedition to the Philippines,” published in 1899 and recently digitized by the US Library of Congress.

Millet’s 275-page chronicle provides glimpses of the Spanish-American War in the Philippines, the Philippine Revolution under Emilio Aguinaldo, the fledgling First Republic and the uncertainties brought about by the growing American military presence in Manila.

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A report from Jerome Aning on the observations of an American journalist who was embedded with US troops in the Philippines in 1898. My favorite part was the last few paragraphs, of which were quotes from Millet’s observation of Filipinos. Some of which remain true characteristics of Filipinos up to now.

They are extremely sensitive and nervous and have a strong sense of justice which, if once outraged, breeds in their minds a spirit of vindictiveness, which almost amounts to a madness.

Yeah, the Filipino is very sensitive about comments on his race, his country, his language(s) or even his appearance. He may make fun of these things himself when he is in the company of friends. But when a foreigner makes a comment on these things, he gets angry easily. Tama ba Pinoy?