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Food History


independence took a while

The national anthem of the Republic of the Philippines is the product of a revolution; a response to the need for a patriotic revolutionary march to inspire rebel soldiers. It served its purpose, then lay fallow for almost half a century, when it was resurrected as their national hymn.

The Philippines were a Spanish colony for 350 years. In 1896, Filipino patriot Emilio Aguinaldo launched a rebellion to topple their Spanish overlords. At first, his ragtag army met with little success.

General Aguinaldo commissioned Julian Felipe, a patriot and composer, to write a marching song for his troops. Six days later, Felipe completed &

Marcha Filipino Magdalo.&

This is usually called the Philippine National March, but Magdalo was Aguinaldo&

s code name.


Land of the morning,

Child of the sun returning,

With such fervor burning,

Thee our souls adore.&

The Spanish-American War of 1898 made Aguinaldo and the United States allies. Spain ceded Guam and Puerto Rico, and we paid $20 million for the Philippine Islands. Aguinaldo assumed his country would be freed by the Americans. &

Marcha Filipino Magdalo&

was played at a ceremony when he proclaimed his country as the first independent republic in Asia.

The American government did not agree. The islands were not ready for independence. There should be a transitional period, then possible independence. After months of wrangling, in February 1899, General Aguinaldo led his troops into the field, again. This time he was fighting his former allies. His guerrilla war continued until his capture in March 1901. He swore allegience to the United States and retired from public life.

Meanwhile, the gradual emancipation of the islands continued. In 1916, our government passed the Jones Law which set a timetable for the Filipinos to elect their own legislature. In 1935, it became a commonwealth when the people voted on a constitution. They were self-governing except for major issues like foreign affairs and trade. The Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934 promised full independence in 1946. World War II intervened before that promised date.

Despite the devastation of WWII, when American and Filipino soldiers fought side by side against the Japanese invaders, the Filipinos choose to become independent on July 4, 1946. There had been serious discussions to delay independence until the ravaged country could be rebuilt. At the ceremony, &

Marcha Filipino Magdalo&

was sung in both English and Tagalog, the most common national dialect.

It is fitting that Emilio Aguinaldo, aged 77, had lived to see his dream of an independent homeland come true. He died in Manila in 1964 at the ripe old age of 95.

Adobo is the national dish of the Philippines. There are dozens of recipes. Some use chicken, some pork and often a combination. Any way you fix it, it is delicious.


— pound pork loin cut in 2 inch cubes

6 garlic cloves

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup vinegar

— teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons oil

About 1/4 cup water


Place pork in pot, add all ingredients except oil and water. Marinade for at least four hours. Add water and boil until pork is tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer garlic to skillet, fry in oil until brown. Add pork and brown. Add broth from pot, simmer for l0 minutes, then serve with fluffy white rice.