Chapter Four
1. To Stop the March of Empire

The news of Bonifacio's death in the hands of his own countrymen in Kabite temporarily dampened the fervor of revolution in Kalookan. Resentment against Aguinaldo ran high among the local Katipuneros, and while groups of rebels from Manila were known to have joined the victorious Kabitenos after the fiasco at San Juan, there is no record of anyone from Kalookan who went over to the Aguinaldo camp. [There is an interesting, although undocumented story that when Aguinaldo stopped to spend the night at the Kalookan convent on his way to Malolos, Bonifacio loyalists stole his favorite white horse and left it dead in the fields.] Having torn their cedulas at Balintawak, Bonifacio's men laid low in the hills of Balara until December 14, 1897, when the Pact of Biak-na-Batoo and the ensuing amnesty enabled them to rejoin their families in town.

On the night of April 30, 1898, after four months of uneasy peace, the people of Kalookan awoke to the booming of cannons from the direction of Manila Bay. From their hilltop homes, they saw across the wide expanse of Dagat-Dagatan a splendid display of fire-power from guns much more powerful than those of the Spanish Navy. The United States had declared war on Spain. Admiral George Dewey had steamed into Manila Bay to destroy the pitiful fleet of a waning colonial power - and to set up a younger, more vigorous empire.

As they watched Montojo's ships disappear into the murky waters of the Bay, the people of Kalookan little knew that the American guns would soon be trained at their own homes.

But that would be later. Meanwhile, Dewey's victory signalled the resumption of the revolution. On the heels of his new-found ally, Aguinaldo landed in Cavite from his Hongkong exile. In lightning operations his forces wrested the suburbs of Manila from the Spaniards. and on June 12, 1898, in Kawit, he declared the independence of the Islands from Spain "under the protection of the Mighty and Humanitarian North American Nation."