The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 192 pages of information about The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon.


What would happen if we were to grant immediate independence to the Islands?  Without having the gift of prophecy, one runs no risk in declaring that civil war would be almost unavoidable.  At least this is the belief of some well-informed Filipinos, a belief that appears to have some ground when we take into account, the great probability of a Tagalog oligarchy.  But, without going so far as to predict armed strife, it would seem that any government, not held together by some strong external power, would soon begin to break up.  Its various elements, not only differentiated from one another by speech, but physically separated, in many cases, by the seas, would tend to fall apart.  The Visayas, for example, would refuse sooner or later to acknowledge the Tagalog supremacy of Luzon.  If we proceed farther south still, what practicable bond can be found to exist between Mindanao, peopled by Mohammedans and savages, and Luzon or Panay or Negros?  The consequences of such a disruption as is here predicted must occur to everyone.  The gravest of these, gravest in that it would defeat our purpose in granting independence, would be foreign intervention.  Japan would most certainly insist on being heard.  Now, the Filipinos, as a whole, prefer our sovereignty to that of the Japanese.  England, too, would have a right to interfere for the protection of her commercial interests in the Archipelago.  It exercised this sort of right, in 1882, by seizing Egypt in behalf of civilization in general.  In the meantime, the Moros of Mindanao and Jolo would have resumed their piratical excursions to the northward, burning, killing, and carrying off slaves.  If this be questioned, then let us recollect that as recently as 1897 they carried off slaves from the Visayas, a sporadic case, probably, but giving evidence that the disease of piracy is to-day merely latent.  Given an opportunity, it will break out again.  Under independence, the large, beautiful, and fertile island of Mindanao would be left to its own devices, would be lost to civilization.  Upon this point we need have no doubt whatever.  The issue of Filipino control of Mindanao was very clearly raised, when Mr. Dickinson, the late Secretary of War, visited Mindanao in August of 1910.  Upon this occasion Mr. Dickinson, in response to a Filipino plea for immediate independence, with consequent control of the Moros, made a speech in which he declared the unwillingness of the Government to entrust to the 66,000 Filipinos living in Mindanao the government of the 350,000 Moros of this province.  At the close of this speech, four datus (chiefs), present with 2,000 of their people, and controlling the destinies of 40,000 souls, swore allegiance to the United States; and, requesting that, if the Americans ever withdrew from Mindanao, the Moros should be placed in control, firmly announced, at the same time, their intention to fight if the Americans should ever take their departure. 

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The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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