;When, years later, Manuel Roxas said in a speech, “I learned my ABCs at the knees of an American soldier,” he was speaking with gratitude and absolute sincerity. Thus might a Filipino of three centuries before have spoken of the missionary who had baptized him and his tribe. For if Spain had cemented its rule with the bonds of faith, now America cemented its rule with the one thing that Spain had been loath to provide en masse—education. If Filipinos could be ruled by the faith that made them subservient to the friars of the past, they could now be ruled by a glittering new faith—in the schoolteachers of the present.
Posted May 21, 2003