Empire of New Castille

33. Mariano and the Last Crusade (1855-1856)
33. Mariano and the Last Crusade (1855-1856)

After talking to the messenger of the Crusaders of Saigon, Emperor Andres was informed that Mariano Novales was inside Intramuros and requested a meeting with Andres.

Andres have not seen his brother for quite some time and was eager for a reunion with his brother. Mariano informed Andres that Hong Bao and his family who arrived in Cebu a few years back tried to appeal to Mariano, which Mariano rejected.

However, Andres was also informed that Mariano’s son, Alejandro, and daughter, Elena, joined the Crusade. Mariano’s son and daughter left a letter to Mariano. Alejandro was offered to be married with one of Hong Bao’s daughters, while Elena, who was an excellent physician, joined to help his brother.

Alejandro had no formal training in the military nor joined the military nor had a public education. However, Alejandro had the Novales name which can tap donations, recruits which the expedition needed. Alejandro had also excellent people’s skills. Mariano requested if he would be allowed to lead imperial troops to lift the siege in Saigon and bring home his children.

Andres had just demobilized the reserves and a large part of the army. The standing army shrank to 15,000. The rest were demobilized to the Army reserves.

Instead of using the Imperial army and navy, both Andres and Mariano funded a private expedition using their own personal money and donations. Andres believes this is a personal matter rather than the Empire’s problem. Using their combine wealth and the wealth of their family selling their own personal items, they were able to muster 3,000 troops, who were all veterans of Sino-Philippine war and enough ships for the expedition. Mariano will lead the expedition personally.


Mariano’s forces attacking Dai Nam/Vietnamese​

The Dutch have been stalling the recognition of the New Guinea purchase despite the Sultan of Tidore willing to sell their New Guinea territories to the Philippines.

The trade routes to British India passes thru Dutch influenced Sumatra. Andres, frustrated with the Dutch, focused his attention to Sumatra. Andres wants threaten the Dutch in Sumatra while securing the trade routes for the Philippines, bases near the strait to deal with piracy in Straits of Malacca. Andres demanded control of certain areas which the Dutch rejected. Andres threatened the Dutch with invasion and expulsion from the East Indies. Andres sent a Philippine Imperial Navy fleet with steam Frigates and Ship of the lines both to deal with piracy and threaten the Dutch.

The recent collaboration between France and Netherlands in Belgium was not well received in Britain. Britain wants to limit Dutch and French Expansion in Asia, and make sure the Sultanate of Aceh, which produces half to the worlds pepper, continue to trade with the British.

The British spread the news to the Dutch that 200,000 Prussian and British trained Filipinos, with more than 1000 ships invading China. That 200,000 will invade the Dutch East indies if they do not sign the deal with the Philippines. The British warned the Dutch to sign the deal with the Philippines.

Andres did not follow up on his threat of invasion in 1855 and 1856. After demobilizing his army, he was more focused on consolidating whatever gains he acquired from East Asian nations, eliminate Chincese piracy and Chinese rebels, make China prosperous and squeeze Chinese wealth. However, he kept this information to himself, while making sure the Dutch believe British exaggeration and the threat of Philippine invasion.

He also started setting up naval posts in small islands, reefs in Dong Hai (East China Sea) and Nan Hai (South China Sea) to intercept pirates and control the seas.


Cheoljong of Joseon/Kingdom of Korea​

Kingdom of Korea was setup near the status quo with the exception of Philippine and British traders, investors roaming the Kingdom. Kingdom of Korea was also encouraged to purchase British/Philippine goods.

Cheoljong ascended to the Korean throne in 1849. He was chosen by the Andong Kim clan. He was illiterate and made him easy to manipulate and control.

The Philippines let the Andong Kim clan dictate the Kingdom as long as British and Philippine interests are protected.

In Ryuku Kingdom, Satsuma daimyo, Japanese shogunate and their citizens were expelled by Philippine authorities. Qing China accepted Philippine control of Ryuku Kingdom.

The New Chinese armies along with the Qing Banner armies attacked Anqing in 1855. They were supported by a British-Philippine naval blockade of the city. Anqing which fell to Taipings in 1853, returned to Qing control with British and Philippine help in 1856.

The Qing Banner armies started reconquering Taiping strongholds along the Yangtze River. One New Chinese army was assigned to besiege Nanking in 1856. By end of the year, Qing forces retook Wuchang.

The Red Turbans tried to capture Guangzhou but the British intervened to defend Guangzhou. With the Red Turbans failing to capture the city of Guangzhou, they retreated to Guanxi Province chased by Qing Banner armies and a new Chinese army.


French, Crusaders and Mariano’s army in Dai Nam/Vietnam​

The arrival of Mariano in 1856 and his army in Saigon lifted the siege. After a couple of days, the French also arrived with 2,000 troops and 14 ships sent by Napoleon II. Napoleon II does not want to alarm the British by sending a larger army nor does France have the logistics to support a larger army in Asia.

Instead of returning home to Cebu with his children, Mariano was convinced to continue the campaign to install Hong Bao encourage by his son and the arrival of French forces. His son Alejandro promised benefits for the Philippines including favorable trade to the Philippines and basing rights to the Philippines. The allied army, Crusaders, Mariano’s army and French forces attacked north until they reach Dai Nam capital of Hue. The French tagged along and de facto recognized Mariano as the allied leader since the Filibusters/Crusader army and Mariano’s army followed Mariano. Mariano had the reputation among Crusaders of eliminating Catholic enemies with his campaign versus Moro sultanates.

During the siege of Hue, Mariano died. He was last seen alive the previous evening dining with the French but did not wake up the next day and was declared dead. There was much speculation with his death, some believed he died of old age, some overeating, some believe it was an unknown sickness, while others believe he was poisoned.

With the death of Mariano, there was no employer for the private army except located in Manila whose orders was to bring Alejandro and Elena back home safely. The Crusader loyalty went from Mariano to the French. Alejandro attempted to convince Mariano’s private army that he was now their employer. The private army was mostly Philippine veterans of the Chinese war, and very loyal to Andres. He also tried to convince the Crusaders to follow him instead as the son of Mariano.

The French made a deal with Emperor Tu Duc. Tu Duc was to cede Saigon, the island of Poulo Condor and three southern provinces (Biên Hòa, Gia Định and Định Tường) to the French. Emperor Tu Duc legalize the free practice of Catholic faith within his territory. In return, the French will hand over Hong Bao and his family to Tu Duc and the withdrawal of the allied army.

The allied armies withdrew. The Crusaders have achieved their goal of protecting Catholics in Dai nam/Vietnam. The orders who joined and funded the Crusade was allowed to stay by the French in their new colony. The French also acquired a colonial territory. Tu Duc stopped the rebellion, taken Hong Bao and his family.

The body of Mariano was recognized as valuable and dangerous by both the French and Emperor Tu Duc since Mariano was seen a hero in the Philippines nor do they want Emperor Andres invading both Dai Nam and the new French colony in Cochinchina just to retake the body. It was decided that the body should be safely taken back to Manila. Alejandro had to be dragged to the ship in chains since he refused to return to Manila nor abandon Hong Bao and his betrothed. Elena, blamed herself for his father’s death and in tears, wished to accompany his father’s body back to Manila.
I wonder how this crusade is looked on by the Catholic world. Somewhat similar to the fourth crusade?
Somewhat but with 19th century background.

The Catholic world is going to be divided, those who believe the French story and the Spanish speakers story(Crusaders and private army are mostly Spanish speakers).
34. Of Family Matters (1856)
34. Of Family Matters (1856)

With Mariano’s body in Manila, both the Emperor and the Church announced a month of mourning.

Mariano’s body can be viewed by the public at the new Manila Cathedral, Cathedral of the Archangels. He is both popular among the church authorities and the people.

However, his death has created a great divide. The French have their own version of their story. This story was dictated by the French in continental Europe. The Death of the crusader Mariano was the fault of the pagan Vietnamese who sneaked poison to kill him and stop the crusade.

The Church supported the French story. A pagan killing a Christian was more believable than a fellow Christian killing another Christian once the news reaches Manila and Rome. The Church also did not want Philippines attacking French colonial possession in South East Asia nor was the Church happy about the current ruler of the Philippines.

The veterans had a different story to tell, of French dining before Mariano’s death.

The Empire of the Philippines, which is considered the leading Spanish speaking nation in the world, with Mexican development more focused internally and focused with their army facing the United States and Spain’s economic woes with constant internal strife. News and stories of the veterans of Mariano with the support of British propaganda, that it was French betrayal and poison during dining with French that killed him. Stories were written about him from Mexico and South America as martyr for the Hispanic and Catholic cause only to be backstabbed in the name of French colonial ambition.

Emperor Andres wanted to take revenge but wanted to do so with minimal losses and that would benefit the state. France was too far, and too big to attack. Instead, he enlisted the help of his British friends by winning thru a stroke of pen instead of the fires of war.

However, at this side of the world, Philippines had more forces and power to pressure the French.

The Vietnam Crusade, as it was called, revealed a new colonial power within region, the French. Although the French have been present in Asia for quite some time, the French never really controlled a large piece of land in South East Asia until now. This puts the defense of Manila from another European power by intercepting invading fleet from Straits of Malacca or Singapore to Nan Hai/South China Sea.

The French also complicated Andres dealing with Netherlands. France supported the Dutch control of Sumatra. The French do not want both sides of Straits of Malacca too friendly to the British. The French wanted more friendly territories going towards their South east Asian colony.


Pope Pius IX supporting the French version of Mariano Novales’ death

Emperor Andres wanted to bury Mariano near Manila but Mariano’s children and the people of Cebu wanted his body buried in their Island.

Emperor granted the request and will send Mariano’s body to Cebu, in return, Elena was to serve as a military doctor. The military viewed Elena’s experience in battlefield conditions as valuable despite the circumstance how it happened.

Emperor Andres was still figuring out what to do with his nephew, Alejandro, who is currently locked up by Gurkha Guards in Intramuros Palace complex. If the Emperor frees him, he might leave and cause trouble again which may a start a war again with Vietnam or worse, France.

There was a mob in Cebu wanted Alejandro hanged for leading their beloved Mariano to death if not sent to prison labor camp. The people blamed Alejandro for taking their hero away from them. To the people, Mariano was the protector of Cebu and Visayas, scourge of the Moros. The justification of sending one of the Novales’ children to labor prison camps had basis but that was Andres’ son committing crimes against the law of the empire.

Not knowing Andres’ decision nor the request of his husband Mariano, Alejandro’s mother appealed to spare his life instead. His decision was not influenced by the mother but rather from Mariano himself. Before Mariano left for Vietnam, he wanted Andres to give Alejandro immunity in case of his demise

Emperor Andres will send Alejandro back to Cebu. However, for the meantime, Alejandro will remain in Manila until the mob in Cebu demanding Alejandro’s punishment dies down.

Having no local laws violated by Alejandro, Parliament refused to interfere nor comment citing Alejandro as part of the imperial family, domestic issue among the Novales.

However, Parliament debated what to do with filibusters, to prevent any future Alejandro cases wherein Filipino citizens were starting wars privately without the consent of the government making it illegal to filibuster.


Rail in Cebu

Mariano had an extensive estate to distribute. Mariano owned a large house in Cebu City and Manila, he owned several shares in private companies in Manila and Cebu. Despite land reforms in Luzon and Cebu, Mariano owned a total of 100 square kilometers of land in Cebu and Bohol Islands, accumulated after the land reforms. These properties were either purchased by Mariano or confiscated from Spanish loyalists during independence, and local traitors deemed by Andres. His land in Cebu is well developed containing the coal mines or premium locations in the island of Cebu. Since Mariano was the one in charge of implementing infrastructure and business in Cebu, most of the development happened inside or adjacent to his land. He also owns 400 square kilometers of land in Northern Mindanao acquired during his conquest. His estate in Norther Mindanao contains farm estates that export crops to either Luzon or outside the empire.

Mariano had 4 children, 3 daughters and 2 sons. He was quite the opposite of Andres who had multiple consorts but never married. Mariano regularly attended the Church, practiced Catholicism, had married a daughter of one of the British owners of the rail company in Cebu. All of his daughters had red hair and green eyes taken from their mother. While both sons had more similar features with Mariano.

The Philippine Parliament interfered with the Mariano’s estate inheritance. They posthumously gave Mariano Ducal title, Duke of Cebu, which can be inherited. Diego, the eldest child of Mariano, will inherit the title. 50 square kilometers of land in Cebu Island owned by Mariano will remain with Duke Diego. Andres approved both Parliamentary motions.

In the reading of Mariano’s will in Manila, the wife, all of Mariano’s children and the emperor were present. The large urban house in Cebu will be given to the wife of Mariano. The urban house in Manila will be given to the children. All Company shares owned by Mariano, the 50 square kilometers land in Bohol, will be given equally divided among the wife and the children. The 400 square kilometers of Northern Mindanao land will be donated to Mariano’s workers, loyal staff, military personnel in Norther Mindanao.


Andres was viewing the new palace construction at Plaza mayor, looking where the Manila Cathedral, Palace of Governor General, City of Hall Manila used to be. He hired British engineers and architects to make sure the palace had everything needed for Alfred’s reign. Emperor Andres started reading a letter from Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, about Alfred:

“He has a great inclination for natural history and mechanics and all that belongs to it. We gave him an Engineering officer as instructor, hoping to interest him in this branch, but his love for the Blue Jackets always turned up again, and always with greater force. “
35. East Indies Conference 1857
35. East Indies Conference 1857

The Dutch were particularly terrified after receiving news that Empire of the Philippines winning a war versus China, defeating a very large Chinese army, capturing Beijing and their emperor. Diplomats from the French Empire, Kingdom of Netherlands, Portugal, Britain and Philippines were present in Paris to craft an agreement on the division of East Indies. Napoleon II was particularly eager to host the conference due to his own interest in South East Asia.

Initially, The French and Dutch were very aggressive on their negotiation knowing that the British were embroiled with an Indian rebellion. French and Dutch bluffed their position and capacity to enforce their holdings in East Indies. By 1857, both the French and Dutch could possibly send 10,000 troops each in the region fighting an outdated medieval Asian military without a modern navy. The Philippines have proven they can logistically send tens of thousands of troops to Beijing, equipped and trained like Europeans. Tianjin to Manila was roughly the same distance as Manila to Singapore. While the French and Dutch reinforcements would be challenged by the Royal Navy in French/Dutch journey of more than 16,000 kilometers. Although still smaller than the French Navy, the Philippine Navy by this time was already larger and had more newer ships than the Dutch Navy. Most of the Philippine Navy was concentrated in South East Asia while the French and Dutch navies were spread around the world.


Sepoy Mutiny in India

The Dutch and French believed the representatives from the Philippines had two options expand west- Riau islands, Sultanate of Siak to be turned over to their sphere of influence or control; expand south to gain Celebes, Moluccas, and New Guinea. The French did not want Philippines to control Riau or Siak and preferred to focus east to New Guinea. The Dutch did not want Philippines expanding towards their East Indies colony. Dutch east indies control was primarily consolidated in Java with control in Moluccas. There were few holdouts in Celebes and parts of Sumatra. Dutch retaining control of both Sumatra and Moluccas was ideal but considered by the Dutch as prelude to war especially since Britain got a reliable partner that may go to war in behalf of Britain.

Moluccas was already devalued due to the British transplanting several of trees during the Napoleonic war when the British took the islands from the Dutch colony but returned Moluccas after the war. The profitable part of the Dutch Indies was Java. After that long drawn out Javan rebellion, the Dutch have imposed the Cultivation system in their colony. This required natives requiring a portion of agricultural production devoted to export crops or if they did not have land, work for government plantations for more than 60 days. The Dutch also issued a new copper coinage which less than half the value. This new coinage was made to pay the cultivators. This made the Dutch survive bankruptcy. However, this resulted famine in many areas due to little food crops being grown replaced by export crops.

The French did not want Philippines and Britain controlling both side of Straits of Malacca towards their new Cochinchina colony. The Dutch wants to gain full control of Sumatra and remove Philippine expansion towards southward to their colonies in Moluccas.

The British wants to secure Aceh pepper trade while also punishing the Dutch for collaborating with the French during the Belgian invasion while the British resources were tied fighting Russia.

Although the French blocked any Philippine control in Riau islands, nor will the British leave control and influence of Riau and Siak to the Dutch or the French, a compromise was met with promises made to the Philippines. Riau-Linga Sultanate and Siak Sultanate will be released from Dutch influence and protection. They will act be an independent buffer nation between Aceh Sultanate, British Malaya and Dutch Sumatra.

The Dutch will not be allowed to expand further north in Sumatra. Sultanate of Aceh will be protected by the British and the Philippines.

With British support, Portugal will retain the whole Timor island, Flores Island. Sumba Island will be ceded to the Portuguese. All Dutch possession east of Sumba will transfer from the Dutch to the Portuguese. All islands south of Ambon would be transferred to Portuguese control or influence, Tanimbar Islands, Aru Islands.

Sultanate Tidore and Sultanate of Gowa will remain independent.

In return for giving up Riau and Siak, the Philippines asked zero tariffs in French and Dutch markets; the French ceding Mayotte or Reunion island to the Philippines.


The Philippines have learned since 1852 when they initiated purchase of New Guinea. Their experience on the Chinese invasion have taught them that trade concessions are more advantageous than territorial expansion. If there was any territorial expansion, a sensible port, small island or coaling station was acceptable. Or in the case of Formosa, known to have an economy that can support territorial expansion. In the case of the undeveloped parts of East indies, Philippines would rather let the Dutch or any nation develop them while Philippines trade with them. It would be too costly and will take a long time for the Philippines if they were the ones to develop New Guinea from scratch. Dutch and French representatives were unaware of this change of desire.

Parallel to the conference in Paris, Philippine diplomats were negotiating with Spain.

Philippines wanted to acquired Fernando Po island from Spain to be made as a coaling station to Europe. Spain has been continuously embroiled in civil strife and badly needed the coin which Philippines was willing to offer.

By the end of the conference, after much haggling, proposals and counterproposals, the Dutch, French and Philippines had to give up to gain something.

The French will sell Mayotte Island to the Philippines. The French choice of Mayotte island was due to the Mayotte sugar plantations were less than stellar compared to island of Reunion. This will be viewed by Emperor Andres as a victory over the French gaining French holdings.

Claims in Moluccas Islands, Celebes island and purchase of New Guinea were “given up” by the Philippines in order to get a trade advantage.

Dutch East Indies and French colony of Cochinchina will agree to zero tariffs and no quotas but not in the Dutch nor French metropolis nor other colonies. Philippine products and merchants can enter either colony while Filipino merchants can buy from the Dutch and French colony in South East Asia without any tariffs nor quotas.

By the end of the same year, Spain sold Fernando Po Island (Bioko Island) to the Philippines.
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36. Overseas Philippines (1855-1858)
36. Overseas Philippines (1855-1858)

The Conference of 1857 and pact with Spain included new two African islands for the Philippines.

Mayotte island and Fernando Po island’s slaves that were not freed were emancipated. Slaves especially the people from the jungles of Africa were more in demand than the Europeans for Philippine labor. This should not be mistaken the more populous and easier to access Chinese or Indian labor force which are more resistant to tropical diseases than Europeans. But Africans, those who came from the Jungles of Africa, were more favorable migrants than Europeans especially as farm laborers due to better resistance to tropical diseases based on Philippine experience.

Sugar plantations were abandoned in Mayotte island in favor of producing vanilla, coffee, copra, sisal, vetiver, citronella, sandalwood and ylang-ylang. Fernando Po island cash crops were also developed like cocoa. However, Philippine authorities required fishery and farming of basic food consumption to produced using modern farming techniques and equipment. The priority was to keep the populace well fed and alive, with cash crops supplementing funds coming from Manila and needs of the local populace.


Ylang Ylang in Mayotte​

The favoring of African, Chinese or Indian labor did not stop hiring European professionals for the benefit of the Philippines nor runaway females, or females who had the coin to travel and migrate to the Philippines. European females heard of the right to vote, with the same rights as male in the Philippines. The Island of Fernando Po, or the port Santa Isabel (OTL Malabo) was the first port of entry coming from Europe among Europeans. Although the Philippines stopped encouraging mass migration of Europeans due to experience of tropical diseases, Philippine authorities did not stop privately funded migration to the Philippines.

Both islands were treated as an extension of the Metropolis of the Philippines and was not given autonomy like the Borneans or the Formosans. Philippine Andresian style education was imposed, requirements for military service enforced, regular free medical checkups. Philippines understood the country’s smaller manpower than any great or minor power. The country valued each life, especially those that are loyal, productive and obedient citizens. The military education of Africans in Fernando Po or Mayotte, just like in the Philippines, resulted in free food for children (the pupils farmed themselves as part of the curriculum) which was welcomed by African (now Filipino) children.

There was no African segregation in these territories like in the Anglo-American countries nor discrimination of caste treated by Spain among her colonies. But there was mockery among new migrant children like Europeans and Africans among Andresians Filipinos ranging from bad smell due to not bathing daily, or if known to take regular siestas teased as lazy. These mockeries continue until these new migrants adapted to Philippine Andresian culture or heard by the teacher who will punish mockers with caning/rattan sticks in either their buttocks, hands or feet; for undisciplined conduct/mouth.

Common crimes and vagrants will result being thrown into workhouses in Manila or prison labor camps across the empire. Rules were strictly enforced, Time even more so. African workers who got used to Spanish siestas during workhours were initially beaten with rattan when caught skipping work, or expelled from work which resulted into vagrancy (vagrants ends up in prison labor camps). Harsh punishments were given for small mistakes, with little to no slack given to any citizen. The Africans living in Philippine territory also had to learn self-responsibility learned by Andresian Filipinos in school. Civic duties instilled among new Filipinos like cleaning the surroundings, being sure on time for class or work, service in the military, making sure to pay timely and accurate taxes. Even daily bathing was taught in schools as part of Philippine culture and habit.

Forced removals of shacks, huts or cabins in government land were common. People were relocated into government approved buildings that had better sanitation, engineered built public housing ranging from houses made out of wood or pombaline buildings.

Jeju Island besides being a port and coaling station was encouraged to farm those that were not found in Luzon or any part of Tropical Philippines or Borneo. Olives, Olive oil, grapes and wine were some crops grown in the island due to the demand of Philippine Andresian elites. Jeju Island just like Mayotte and Fernando Po island was directly managed by the imperial bureaucracy rather than given autonomy.

Coloane Island, Zhousan island, and Dalian were maintained primarily as a naval base and coaling station that is within striking distance of major Chinese Cities and ports. Dalian in the North near Tianjin and Beijing. Zhousan Island near Ningbo and Shanghai, Yangtze River to Nanking. Coloane near Macau, opposite of Hong Kong Island that is near Guangzhou.


Filipino School in Fernando Po Island​

After the Crimean war, the Russians after hearing the loss of China to the Philippines accompanied by multiple internal rebellions, Russian Governor General of the Far East Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky camped tens of thousands of troops on the Chinese border preparing to devoid Treaty of Nerchinsk and expand Russian borders south of Amur River.

Muravyov, back in 1855, already sent 3,000 Russian soldiers and settlers down Amur River. The Chinese protested and could do nothing due to recent loss to the Philippines and was tied down by the Taiping Rebellion.

By 1858, there were still stragglers and supporters left with the Taiping rebellion. However, the rebellion was nearly crushed as British and Philippine support came in along with the New Chinese army backing up Eight Banners and Green Standard army.

The Qing sent 100,000 of their banner armies and 20,000 New Chinese army expel the Russians inside Chinese border and counter the tens of thousands of troops on the Chinese-Russian border.

The Russians, both soldiers and settlers, inside Chinese borders retreated or killed by the Chinese armies.

When both the main Russian army and the Chinese armies met, there was a sense confidence among the Russian initially knowing they had just beaten the British and Ottomans in the last war, the Chinese losing to a minor power like the Philippines.

But, after several skirmishes, fighting the New Chinese armies was more difficult than expected since the Chinese had better discipline, better and longer weapons (rifles and artillery) [1]. The maneuverability and tactics of these Chinese are more similar to the Prussians as some Russians note.

The end of the Qing-Russian war in 1858 mauled the Russian army underestimating the Chinese strength and capability.

The Russians sued for peace. Both the British and Philippines, as the only nations with diplomats allowed in Beijing during this time, advised the Chinese to demand a large reparation in coin from the Russians. The British advised such to weaken Russian power in the Far East. Philippines wanted Chinese to have the cash to rebuild their economy to be able to pay Philippines and to earn more good tidings from China. The Russians also had to give up their claims and possessions in the whole Amur basin/Outer Manchuria, Sakhalin island which Qing China considers a tributary.


Green – Russian Empire
Purple – Qing China
Orange – Joseon Korea (Philippine Protectorate)
Light Yellow – Tokugawa Japan
Aqua – Chinese tributary of Sakhalin

Red – Philippines/ Port Novales (OTL Lushunkou District/ Port Arthur)

With the advent of steamships, the need for coaling stations became a reality for Philippines. Before the transfer of the Naval squadron to Lima, Philippines have been negotiating with Gran Colombia to sell Galagapos islands to the Philippines. By 1858, both nations agreed on the sale.

Galagapos Islands will be a great coaling station both for Philippine merchant ships and naval base for Philippine Imperial Naval Squadron due to its near geographic center between Acapulco and Lima, the major trading ports for buying American goods by Philippine merchants.

[1] Due to Russia winning ATL Crimean War, there was no Russian military reforms like OTL nor abolition serfdom and still had a Russian serf-army.
The Andresano teachers must be quite sus considering its distance from the metropole. Even if there's the ideology of race and religion-blind dignity, I'm personally certain that ugliness would still have happened especially considering the open harshness and even violence that the Andresano work ethic encourages. It may not necessarily be awful priests and nuns in exile (especially considering the Confucian-influenced, almost Singaporean bureaucracy, or so I trust), and adults of all races may have better chance of being integrated than Native Americans ever had in North America, but it would still have resulted to some dead children.

On the flip side, that is also a possibility even in the Metropole. *shudders*

Of course, that also guaranteed them a seat come the Scramble for Africa.
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The Andresano teachers must be quite sus considering its distance from the metropole. Even if there's the ideology of race and religion-blind dignity, I'm personally certain that ugliness would still have happened especially considering the open harshness and even violence that the Andresano work ethic encourages. It may not necessarily be awful priests and nuns in exile (especially considering the Confucian-influenced, almost Singaporean bureaucracy, or so I trust), and adults of all races may have better chance of being integrated than Native Americans ever had in North America, but it would have still resulted to some dead children.

On the flip side, that is also a possibility even in the Metropole. *shudders*

Of course, that also guaranteed them a seat come the Scramble for Africa.
Yes, everyone is treated equally. There would be children with bruises. Punishment is usually the hands, bottocks, or feet. Death would lead to jailtime, decapitation, prison labor camps which Andresians will avoid. Human life is instilled valuable to Andresian culture due to lack of population relative to great powers. Hence, even the military philosophy and doctrine is to preserve human life as much as possible. Teachers have double function, besides a teacher functions as a drill instructor. The goal is to have a functioning soldier - able to walk, run, carry a gun, aim and fire a gun. So anything that will damage that student into a soldier, the teacher will be punished by authorities.

Even British and American contemporaries physically punish students, pupils and school during this time period.

Bruises or even sexual abuse may occur due to lack of any laws during this time period nor is there any culture instilled those are not allowed. Even in militaries today sexual abuse happens to females despite the modernity of culture and laws. Here in the Andresians, however, it may happen both ways wherein a female adult teacher will do it to a male child student.
37. Imperial Scrooge (1825-1859)
37. Imperial Scrooge (1825-1859)

A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens, published in 1843, is how critics described Emperor Andres in 1859.


Emperor Andres “Scrooge” as described by critics

Just like Ebenezer Scrooge, Emperor Andres Novales, according to the critics, hoarded so much wealth for the Philippines. Despite this, the emperor welcomes diplomats in his sleeping robes, that his palace is rotten fit for a street peasant.

Philippines adopted the gold standard early on, two years after independence upon the return of Count Varela, with the Bank of Luzon founded as the central bank of the empire based on the Bank of England. Bank of Luzon is the sole issuer of the legal tender of the empire. British pound is the main reserve currency of the Empire of the Philippines.

The Imperial Mint of the Philippines minted both gold, silver and bronze/copper coins. Gold for the main currency, the Philippine Aureus. Silver was also minted patterned after the weight and finesse of Spanish real. The silver minted by Bank of Luzon, the Philippine peso (trade dollar), used to trade with China, East Asia and East Indies. Bronze/Copper coins were patterned after the British Penny and used internally by the Philippines.

Philippines barely used their gold bars and coins. Most of the trade conducted in East Asia and Latin American were done using silver. Only if the British demanded it or if a technology that the empire wanted demanded by the United States and France that gold was even parted with. Even then, trading with the British most of time resulted in using British Pound bank notes instead of Philippine Aureus bank notes, gold coins or gold bars. Sometimes even, the United States and Europeans accepted Philippine peso silver or any trade dollar silver acquired by the Philippines.


Japanese Gold Coin

According to critics, Andres hoarded gold that he was termed by some as Emperor Scrooge. The Old madman from Intramuros had lost his nerve that he went from a blood thirsty conqueror to a greedy miser. Accumulating Gold or natural resources had some basis.

The Philippines took advantage of the Japanese exchange rates between silver and gold. The exchange rate of gold to silver in Japan were different from international rates. International exchange rates were 1 Gold coin for 15 Silver coins. 1 Philippine peso silver coin or any trade dollar silver coin can be exchanged for 3 Japanese silver coin (Tempo Ichibugin coins). Trade dollar silver coins were minted by several nations patterned after Spanish real/ Spanish dollar (Mexico, Philippines, Spain, etc.). 4 Japanese silver coins can be exchanged for 1 Tempo Koban/Ryo gold coin (Japanese gold coin).

Foreign entities, especially the Philippine government, took advantage of this by exchanging their silver with Japanese silver coin, then exchanging Japanese silver coin for Japanese gold. The Philippines with lots of silver at hand acquired thru trade with Latin America or heavy mining inside their empire abused this flaw in the Japanese system. In 1859, Philippines acquired 3 million Japanese gold coin or roughly around 50 tons of gold, exchanged for 12,000,000 trade dollars/silver coins instead of 45,000,000 silver coins for the same amount of gold coins using international rates. Filipinos collectively gained more than 300% profit by abusing the Japanese exchange rates.

This was abused further when 1 Japanese gold coin was exchanged outside Japan for 4 silver trade dollars. Then, Filipinos went back to Japan to exchange their trade dollars in Japan starting the cycle all over again.

The Bakufu, Tokugawa shogunate, responded by debasing their gold content of its coins by two thirds. Japanese historians blamed Emperor Andres for the cause of the financial crisis in Japan leading to a Japanese civil war a decade later. Although this happened during Andres’ reign, it was Philippine Trade Company who decided to abuse the Japanese system flaw. Philippine Trade Company happens to be owned by the Philippine government.

This happened across East Asia wherein Philippines invested and took advantage of local market flaws ranging from parity trade rights of colonial masters in Dutch East Indies and French Cochinchina wherein manufactured goods of the Philippines outcompeted Dutch of French goods due to proximity or flaws like in the Japanese system. Market collapses and depression in East asian countries were also taken advantage wherein the Philippine East Indies company bought at low prices and sold later on to gain profit.

The profits taken were either put back to these kinds of trade investments to make another cycle of profit; some allocated to complement the Philippine budget in infrastructure like state owned Telegraphic lines, railroads; some profits were bought and stocked as gold reserves; or used to buy British currency as a reserve currency.


Indian Mutineers executed by the British thru blowing of the gun

The Qing, having defeated the Russians and Taiping rebellion, decided to disband the New Chinese army, which was equipped, trained and led by Chinese-Filipinos using Filipino made weapons. The New Chinese army’s loyalty was questionable at best. The army which had been directly led by Filipinos but had no loyalty to the Qing nor was directly reporting to the Qing. The Qing did not want any army loyal to Philippine officers that may threaten Beijing or the emperor again. The weapons of the New Chinese Army - gunpowder, artillery and rifles were transferred to the Eight Banners.

The British have quelled the rebellion in India with the end of East India company rule in India. British rule in India was reorganized as the British Raj.

The death of King Ferdinand II of Two Sicilies in 1859 led to the ascension of Francis II as king. Napoleon II’s influence in the Papal Confederation and the attempts of the Papal Confederation and Napoleon II were noticed by the British.

Francis II’s father, Ferdinand II had a falling out with the British back in the 1840s with the disruption of British most favored nation states, Sulphur trade dominance in Sicily.

Francis II negotiated issues with the Swiss Guard. Prime Minister of Francis II, Carlo Filangieri, convinced Francis II constitution, which the King agreed.

In order to stave off any attempts by Napoleon II to unify the Italian Peninsula with the Papal Confederation, Francis II and Carlo Filangieri, offered to restore trading dominance of the British in Sicily in exchange for support.
Ok I have to say, the Philippines in this timeline are the most based dudes ever basically playing modern stock traders while everyone else tries to catch up, probably building up to the most impressive reserves relative to size and economy in the world.

Funny that the chinese went back to their own thing and disbanded the New Army, wont come back to bite them in the eyes no sir.

Loved the update Namayan, keep them coming.
Ok I have to say, the Philippines in this timeline are the most based dudes ever basically playing modern stock traders while everyone else tries to catch up, probably building up to the most impressive reserves relative to size and economy in the world.
My hunch is that once the old Mestizo croaks, the government will take a beeline over the hoard and use it as pork for countless projects, inflation be damned like, holy fuck, the economy can't even keep up with all those monies! Well, I can't expect much from Victorians, after all. This is actually discussed with Sarthaka's Qing TL; I even hypothesized that Heshen thought of hoarding all those Tael's and properties to himself because the Qing back then didn't have the technical know-how to invest in the development of its industry. Even then, it would just have inflated everything in the economy, which would still have been solved by increasing the specie without much mind in reforms.

I also expected 2005 Iraq with the disbandment of all those armies. I wonder what has Namayan come up with in that scenario, even if it can be easily said that the Qing ITTL is a little bit confident and stronger this time.
Ok I have to say, the Philippines in this timeline are the most based dudes ever basically playing modern stock traders while everyone else tries to catch up, probably building up to the most impressive reserves relative to size and economy in the world.

Funny that the chinese went back to their own thing and disbanded the New Army, wont come back to bite them in the eyes no sir.

Loved the update Namayan, keep them coming.

My hunch is that once the old Mestizo croaks, the government will take a beeline over the hoard and use it as pork for countless projects, inflation be damned like, holy fuck, the economy can't even keep up with all those monies! Well, I can't expect much from Victorians, after all. This is actually discussed with Sarthaka's Qing TL; I even hypothesized that Heshen thought of hoarding all those Tael's and properties to himself because the Qing back then didn't have the technical know-how to invest in the development of its industry. Even then, it would just have inflated everything in the economy, which would still have been solved by increasing the specie without much mind in reforms.

I also expected 2005 Iraq with the disbandment of all those armies. I wonder what has Namayan come up with in that scenario, even if it can be easily said that the Qing ITTL is a little bit confident and stronger this time.

The Japanese system flaw and the modern Chinese army disbanding both happened in OTL, although different circumstance.

In OTL the Japanese gold was abused by foreigners hoarding around 70 tons of gold by 1860 Vs Philippines 50 tons in 1859 . Philippines simply got a larger piece of the pie earlier ATL.

The New Chinese army version in OTL is Ever Victorious army which disbanded eventually(1861-64). OTL Second Opium war happened between 1856 to 1860 but the foreigners got less compensation than ATL. Taipings also were beaten earlier this timeline.

The Qings are getting an earlier breather despite being beaten down earlier with harsher terms to pay. On the background they have an earlier Self-Strengthening movement(1855 instead of 1861) which I will discuss later once someone tries to creep again on China.

Several things are about to blow up outside China, so focus of next updates will be outside China.
38. Realm Divide (1850-1863)
38. Realm Divide (1850-1863)

The United States slavery issue was left unsettled since the framing of the Constitution. The division among free and slave states have never been more profound. The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, southern states fearing Lincoln presidency will result to the end of slavery, cotton states secede from the Union in March 1861.


U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, 1861

Napoleon II wished the revival of French-American alliance since 1855. With the gradual urbanization of France and industrialization helped by the acquired Rhine territories and parts of Belgium, France started complementing French agriculture by buying American grain and products. Slowly under Napoleon II’s rain, British capital in the United States was replaced by French capital and investments. French as an export market started to compete with British market as the destination of U.S. products.

French influence in the Americas did not stop in the United States with moves on courting and investing Gran Colombia. The plan was to bypass British influence in Latin America by investing a canal in Gran Colombia partnered with the United States.

British capital in the Americas slowly moved to Canada or to their ally Mexico. Mexico which lacked the geographic advantage of having rivers to navigate goods, like the United States, relied on railroads invested by the British. Despite having less railroads than the United States, Mexico had more rail tracks than Confederacy.

At the beginning of the Civil war, the United States had a population of roughly 19 million. The Confederate States of America had 8 million. The Mexican republic numbered around 13 million. Mexico has been competing with the United States on attracting European migrants. The Mexican literacy rates, improved much like the rest of former Spanish American colonies, were at 30% far below the United States. The manufacturing capability of Mexico, slightly better than the Confederacy, is still no match for the United States.

The Confederacy was hoping for international help from the British and France. The hope for foreign intervention increased when the U.S. navy captured Confederate envoys from a British Royal Mail steamer, RMS Trent.

Britain heavily protested the U.S. boarding of a neutral ship which provoked outraged in Britain. The British started preparing for war and requested Mexico to do the same. Philippines declared its neutrality and opted out of the British request as the war was expected to be a land war and limited to the Atlantic.


On June 3, 1863 around 31 minutes past seven in the evening, a strong earthquake rocked Manila. Houses and buildings that did not comply to the building code suffered the most damage or worse totally collapsed with people inside dead. The Cathedral of the Archangel was heavily damaged and the archbishop of Manila killed with falling debris.

Late next morning Emperor Andres was found dead in his bed. Doctors say he died peacefully and of natural causes. Doctors noted his body was already cold and stiff. His sleeping quarters and the building he slept at was checked for damage. The building had minimal damage due to earthquake.


When news of the death emperor reached the rest of empire, all the Visayan governors outside Cebu and Bohol met in Iloilo in June 10 and declared their independence from Manila forming a republic.

When the Taiping Rebellion began in China, Andres approved Civil service suggestion on increase taxation to fund his expedition rather than incurring external debt. The Civil Service patterned the taxation after the British taxation during the Napoleonic wars. Taxes were raised reached around 15% of the GDP. This includes Land and assessed taxes, stamps, excise, customs and income tax.

After the Sino-Philippine war, taxes were not brought back to pre-1850s level. This caused dissatisfaction among Visayans, thinking it was a temporary increase. The Visayan governors did collect the additional taxes but did not send it to Manila nor was it used to improve lives of their locality. This further increased dissatisfaction among the Visayans. The Visayan governors agitated the population further by choosing which information were spread by town criers by blaming bad news to the Andres and the Empire while stating the local governors did all they can for the benefit of their citizens.

After 40 years of independence, instead of improving, the Visayan adult literacy rates went down by 5%. This limited the talent pool for civil service, who can run for member of parliament. This created an imbalance in the Imperial Parliament wherein it is dominated by Luzon and Cebu representatives.

The land reform pushed by Andres in 1825 was not successful in the Visayan Confederacy. Church lands forced to sell the government intended for the farmers were instead bought out by the landed elite, ranging from former Insulares, Mestizo or Principalia. The people Emperor Andres assigned to distribute these lands were also landed elite. The sale to the landed elite got away by giving Imperial auditors false documents that church lands were sold to poor farmers. Positions of governor and mayor revolved around very few families and all of them rich landed elite. This caused power and wealth to concentrate on very few people in the Confederacy. Andres and Mariano did not even bother to visit these other islands except for Mariano’s short stint in Norther Mindanao during the war with the Moro Sultanates.

The ordinary people of Visayas supported the secession, blamed Imperial Manila for high taxations and unequal representations. They were told that Imperial Manila was pocketing the money from Visayas and used for the development of Luzon and Cebu. This angered the Visayans even more. The people also blamed Andres and the Imperial government for the failed land reform program in their respective islands which the local landed elite encouraged.

The Visayan Confederacy representatives tried to convince Duke Diego Novales to become interim president but the duke rejected. Visayans then tried to convince Alejandro Novales, to capture Cebu and join the confederacy from his estate in Bohol. Instead, Alejandro, along with his supporters in Cebu and Bohol, took Cebu Imperial police and loyalists by surprise, entering Cebu in disguise. They captured key areas. Instead of joining the Visayans, Alejandro declared himself Emperor. Alejandro deemed Alfred unworthy protestant and a foreigner while considered the Visayans concept of republicanism, chaotic anarchists and unacceptable. The Bishop of Cebu, knowing Alfred as a protestant supported Alejandro, crowning Alejandro as Emperor of the Philippines.

Duke Diego who was in his Cebu estate retreated to Fort San Pedro, thinking it was a foreign invasion or the Visayans. When Duke Diego found out it was his brother’s troops, he tried to negotiate with his brother. However, Alejandro demanded Duke Diego to accept him as emperor. Duke Diego rejected the offer, stating his oath of allegiance to Alfred and Andres during his ascension after the death of their father Mariano. After a day, the loyalist garrison in Fort San Pedro decided that Duke Diego should retreat to Manila due to Fort San Pedro ill prepared for a siege and short in supplies with less than 50 troops defending the fort without naval support versus a trained armed force led by Alejandro. It was decided to go hiding in one of the mountains in Cebu Island. Duke Diego still had supporters in Cebu. Under the cover of darkness, the duke, several members of the Cebu civil service and the loyalist garrison escaped Fort San Pedro.

With both Mariano Novales’ sons rejecting the interim presidency, Hermenegildo Araneta was voted by his governor peers as president of the Visayan Confederacy. The confederacy had the loyalty of the local garrison, local populace and easily took docked naval ships ranging from Iloilo to Zamboanga.

Sulu Sultanate, who wanted to retake Basilan ever since the invasion of Mariano Novales, believed it was the ripe time with the death of Emperor Andres, the declaration of independence of the Visayans and Alejandro taking Cebu. Sulu Sultanate invaded Basilan Island.

Lanao, Maguindanao Sultanates started attacking western Northern Mindanao provinces in order to retake lands they lost. The Pagan Carolians are attacking Filipino settlers inside their lands. In order to stop this continuous flow of illegal settlers, Carolians were convinced by the Moro Sultanates to attack and burn towns in North Eastern Mindanao.


Red – Loyalists, Empire of the Philippines
Orange – Visayan Confederacy
Grey – Alejandro’s Empire
Yellow - Sulu Sultanate
Green – Confederation of Lanao Sultanates
Lime – Maguindanao sultanate
Purple – Confederation of Carolians
Well it happened a civil war started thanks to the events happening a few chapters ago. I would guest this would eventually happened thanks to Family matter, Disgruntle population especially in areas with the least development , and policies that are poorly implemented. 1 question is which power support which as I would imagine the British fully supporting the Loyalist while France or another great power supporting the Confederacy .
And now I wonder: why did Alejandro not express his intentions to succeed him clearly while the old man was still alive. I mean, with the haphazard nature of the Novales monarchy, it makes sense, but then ITTL historians must have also asked the same question.
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Well it happened a civil war started thanks to the events happening a few chapters ago. I would guest this would eventually happened thanks to Family matter, Disgruntle population especially in areas with the least development , and policies that are poorly implemented. 1 question is which power support which as I would imagine the British fully supporting the Loyalist while France or another great power supporting the Confederacy .

For France, this will be answered next update since they are part of it next update both in the U.S. Civil war and how France will deal Philippine civil war. I plan to post it before Nov 30 (Nov 29) Singapore time, around Nov 28 in Western Hemisphere. Holiday in the Philippines November 30 so there is an update during the Philippine holiday.

And now I wonder: why did Alejandro make his willingness to succeed him clearly while the old man was still alive. I mean, with the haphazard nature of the Novales monarchy, it makes sense, but then ITTL historians must have also asked the same question.

Several updates ago, the civil service and the military did not accept any of the Novales children due to their lack of merit in civil service and military experience nor even went to public schools(military training). This led to events for choosing Alfred as successor due to the Philippine military fearing the British(a coup by the Philippine military will be less likely). Even if Andres tried to, Andres knows the military will remove Alejandro or Diego or even Andres' illegitimate children after Andres was gone. Andres needed the loyalty or respect of the military for the successor which he cannot get that among the Novales' children.
39. Long Live the Emperor! (1861-1863)
39. Long Live the Emperor! (1861-1863)

The British threat of war was a potential problem for the United States as it may be a repeat of North American war with United States losing. However, the French have promised to aid the United States in case a war with Britain. Supporters in the U.S. Congress were calling for the renewal of the Franco-American alliance.

The diplomatic crisis ended in 1862, when both Britain and Mexico backed down, after French arbitration released the Confederate envoys from United States custody.

While still in crisis with Britain in December 1861, New York stock exchange fell across the board with suspension of trade eminent. The Philippine Trade Company started buying selected cheap stock prices in New York Stock exchange which they were hoping to have a high chance of recovery.


New York Stock Market, 1861​

During the first year of the civil war, there were shortages in the United States due the U.S. army exhausting immediately weapon and gunpowder supplies. The British, French and other European nations were willing to supply these short-term shortages in the United States.

After the diplomatic crisis, called Trent Affair, the prospect of another war disappointed Mexican ambitions and interest to further divide their nemesis, the United States. After recognizing the Confederacy, the Mexicans were lobbying for the recognition of the Confederate States of America (C.S.A).

France and the Philippines did not recognize the C.S.A. The British also did not recognize the C.S.A. However, the British supplied the C.S.A. British weaponry from rifles to ships being built in Britain that was used by the C.S.A.

The United States with its larger navy easily took Confederate islands Cuba and Hispaniola.

By 1863, a new Franco-American treaty of alliance was approved by the U.S. Congress and signed by both nations. The treaty will be reviewed every five years. Britain was wary of the treaty but was not prepared to fight a highly secured France. France was friendly with all of her neighbors. The Dutch navy will most likely side with the French and U.S. Navy in an event of war. The German confederation and the Austrians were friendly to Napoleon II and would not attack France. Papal confederation is under Napoleon II’s control. Spain was not in a position to fight a continental war with France nor does the Spanish want to. Russia’s interest is currently aligned with the French and cannot be relied upon to attack France.

With the help of France both men and material, the United States Civil war ended in 1864.


Prince Alfred, 1863​

In August of 1863, the Philippine naval fleet arrived in London along with Gurkha Guards and Amazonian Guards. They were duty bound to escort back their sovereign back to Manila. The fleet was composed of 4 screw frigates and 1 Ironclad, HMS Cebu, along with the Royal steamer.

France’s first Ironclad Gloire sparked a new race for battleship. However, this meant every nation had to start from scratch. This gave opportunity for the Philippines to be at parity with the great powers at the start tapping her competitive advantage of shipbuilding to use. The Philippines had its own program started, focusing on long-range, ocean-going ships that can ram other ships. HMS Cebu is the first of her class commissioned in 1862. Cebu class ironclads is iron hulled and it had an armor 4 .5 to 5.5 inches of wrought iron backed up by 18 inches of tropical wood. The armor covers the whole length of the ship with the ends covered with 4.5 inches of armor and the machinery and battery covered with 5.5 inches of armor. The quality of the manufacturing of the wrought iron was the same as the British plate. The Cebu class weighed more than 7,700 tons with a compliment crew of more than 500. The ship is capable of more than 12 knots using steam while using only the sails, the ship was capable of 11 knots during sea trials. It had a range of 5,700 kilometers cruising at 10 knots.

Copper sheathing below the waterline was installed to protect from corrosive effects of salt water and biological fouling. It is armed with 40 smoothbore muzzle-loading 68 pounders. Her guns were 9 feet above the waterline observed by the Royal Navy when she docked in Britain. The Cebu class is fitted with a purpose-built ram with ram bow, the bow being plated with 4.5 inches armor. The ship class also have a balanced rudder installed wherein eight men could apply full helm in 27 seconds compared to HMS warrior could only replicate this in 90 seconds. It is a broadside ironclad just like HMS Warrior but was shorter than HMS Warrior with a length of 340 feet at the waterline, with the beam at 58 feet and draught at 27 feet. The habitability was better than British contemporary ironclads expecting the assignment on mostly hotter, tropical areas. It was designed to have good ventilation with very tall living spaces. Even the engine was designed for ventilation keeping the temperature equal or below 42 degrees Celsius.


HMS Cebu​

Prince Alfred was still in the middle of his three-month cruise in the Scottish coast. After that, his plans were to enter the university in November. His plans were cut short with the death of Andres.

Upon his return to London, the Philippine delegation brought the Imperial Regalia. Andres made one for Alfred fitted when Alfred became an adult. The Imperial Crown was made of a golden frame. It has multiple golden mounts for gemstones, diamonds and pearls mined from Borneo and other parts of the empire. The Crown was fitted with a Tyrian purple cap. The Imperial mantle is Tyrian purple color silk cape embroidered in gold(goldwork). The Imperial Scepter was short and made of gold - adorned with diamonds, gemstones with a Golden Sealion (head of a Lion and body of a dolphin) on top. The ceremonial sword was made of out steel, 38 inches long 7 inches wide at the handle, blunt edges and squared. The scabbard was made of gold and encrusted with diamonds and gemstones. The Hilt Guard was very comfortable, ergonomic in design. The pummel was also made out of gold.

Alfred had to give up his rights and privileges in the British Royalty. He also had to give up the line to British throne after his brother Bertie.

His brother Bertie, future Edward VII, was just married to Princess Alexandra of Denmark early this year. Queen Victoria, was looking for possible brides for Affie, Alfred. Their sister, Vicky wife of Prince Frederick of Prussia, was keen that Alfred should be given a chance to consider Alexandra’s sister, Dagmar. But the Queen disliked the idea of two brothers marrying two sisters.

The first coronation of Alfred, his mother, Queen Victoria, crowns him Emperor of the Philippines. A symbolic move that the British made it looked like the Emperor of the Philippines was subordinate to the Monarch of Britain.

Then, both monarchs had to resolve negotiations started during Andres’ reign by the Philippine diplomatic service. Philippines wanted to buy Socotra from Mahra Sultanate which was blocked by Britain. Socotra Island purchase goal was to position Philippines with a coaling near the Red sea. The British will only agree upon ascension of Alfred with certain conditions. The most important condition was sale or lease to another country or private entity of Socotra will not be allowed unless with the consent of the British government.

The next leg of journey of Alfred was to Rome, Papal Confederation. The Philippine government tried to negotiate with the papacy to give Andres the right to appoint or remove bishops hoping they can be convinced with enough “donations”. The Papacy rejected, of course, due to the history of Andres treating the Catholic Church. But the Papacy was willing to give this on the condition during the reign of Alfred and if Alfred converts to Catholicism.

The Pope’s goal was to keep Philippines or at least the emperor’s religion as Catholic. With the Philippines too far to impose Papal power, and judging by experience with how Andres and most his military, Catholics, treated the Catholic clergy, the Pope can only imagine how a protestant monarch will move the Filipinos away from Catholic faith. It was ideal to convert the Philippine Monarch to Catholicism than forever lose the Philippines to Protestants, the Church of England. Centralization of Papal power in the Philippines was next to impossible and was sidelined for appeasement and keeping Philippines Catholic.

Upon hearing Emperor Alfred coming to Rome, Napoleon II raced to Rome. It may be the only chance that the Emperor of the Philippines will be under his influence, within his reach and gain some concessions. Former Emperor Andres was too far to pressure while Alfred visiting Rome meant that this will give Napoleon II an opportunity, if not the only opportunity, to insert French influence and French agents inside the Philippine Imperial Court.

After the conversion of Alfred to Roman Catholicism, his coronation with the Pope was delayed along the promised of right to appoint and remove local bishops. Napoleon II’s influence made sure to block Alfred’s coronation and Philippine requests.

Napoleon II demanded the Philippines to give up trade concessions he gave in Indochina and support French status as most favored nation in China equal to Britain and the Philippines.


St Peter’s Basilica​

Napoleon II gave another proposal. He wanted to bring the whole Vietnamese Empire under French influence and make sure Philippines does not interfere nor invade whatever the French will do in Dai Nam. In addition, Napoleon II lays out his plan for royal engagement. He wants Alfred to marry his eldest daughter. However, Napoleon II’s daughter is still 8 years old. This would mean Napoleon II’s daughter, Marie Sofie, will be sent only to the Philippines once she reaches the age of 15. French marriageable age for females during this time was 15, while for Philippines it was 14. Initially, Emperor Alfred disagreed to such proposal. She was too young, nor has Alfred seen her nor her image.

The Pope and Napoleon II were willing to craft a treaty that will recognize Alfred not only the right to appoint and remove bishops within his empire, but to control Catholic Church assets within his empire, make the local clergy swear allegiance to Philippine monarch, naming Alfred Emperor of all the Indies, full condemnation and non-recognition of Visayan Confederation and Alejandro’s Empire. Assuming Alfred accepts Napoleon II’s proposal.

The offer had precedence. Napoleon II enjoys the same privilege with the Catholic Church which was signed by his father, Napoleon I, with the Papacy back in 1801.

Philippine contingent advised Alfred to accept the deal of marriage, to make it easier to control the Church in the Philippines and to remove all claims of Alejandro and all of Alejandro’s clergy supporters. Giving up Chinese trade advantage and the trade concession in French Indochina was too big a blow. Giving the French a free hand in Indochina was acceptable, even favorable, due to the low tariffs and low quotas given to the Philippines during East Indies Conference. Any expansion of the French colony would benefit Philippines greatly.

After a week of consideration, Emperor Alfred agrees to the marriage proposal.

Alfred of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, son of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was crowned as Emperor of the Philippines and the Indies by the Pope.
40. Nations in Flames (1840-1864)
40. Nations in Flames (1863-1864)

In 1863, United States President Abraham Lincoln had declared the emancipation of slaves. The French intervened and distracted in the U.S. civil war. With all their main backers distracted with their own wars, the differences in Gran Colombia caused an impasse causing their own civil war. To prevent the dissolution of Gran Colombia during her foundation, several autonomous states from the different regions were formed. This was then governed by the Congress of Gran Colombia. The current government of Gran Colombia became more centralist contrary to the wishes of the states wanting more autonomy. Regional sentiments had sprung up against the federal government. Sensing the opportunity to eliminate their competitor for a canal, Mexico increased border patrols with their southern neighbor. This eventually led to skirmish and war with Mexico. With their ambitions in helping the Confederacy stifled, Mexico declared war on Gran Colombia invading Panama.

United States, France and the Philippines gave their formal protest against the invasion.


The Visayan confederacy of around 2 million people had mostly an agriculture economy with limited manufacturing. Of the 2 million population of the Visayan Confederacy, very few had Andresian public training and military training. Almost all the educated went to private schools. The Visayans have 100,000 militia with very few professional soldiers spread around their multiple islands.

Its notable manufacturing capability were the legacy private shipyards capable of building sailing ships or hand craft items, with little to no capability to manufacture small arms using machines. Most of the manufacturing of the empire is centered around Cebu or Luzon with the Visayan GDP contributing only 10% of the empire.

The Visayans, united in hatred for Manila and love for their independence, were content to remain within their islands. Each former governor formed their owned fiefdoms, imposing their own set of rules. Iloilo as capital and the Visayan president were merely symbolic. The Visayans did not attack the empire nor had to capability to attack the empire. Problems of one island were not seen as problem of another island not unless their island was affected by that problem. Mindoro island who had little revival of Moro raids, did not send aid with what is happening in Northern Mindanao. However, Northern Mindanao and Panay Island, who both were experiencing Moro raids, aided one another.

Visayans had taken over the ships of Imperial navy meant to patrol seas in Sulu. But they had killed the sailors of the imperial navy. The Moros emboldened with the disruption of Imperial naval patrols started raiding again. With the empire’s fleet for patrols captured by Visayans, the Visayans had to take over patrolling Sulu Seas. The ships the Visayans captured were the familiar the old sailing ships with several wooden screw sloops meant to patrol Sulu Sea for pirates. They even captured 1 Imperial galleon with 120 guns of 32 pounders.

It is not the only problem they faced. When they were under Manila, Manila sent funds to build the local programs from schools to roads while the Visayans sent taxes. However, Imperial Manila sent more money to these islands than Visayans sent taxes to Manila. The landed elite had to fund their own islands. No one was willing to lend money to the Visayans.

What the Visayans have are immense amount of cash crops. However, their main buyer was Luzon who then sold it to different parts of the world. The British and the French even Alejandro refused to recognize the Visayan Confederacy or even buy goods from them. Nor can the Visayans sell north to China or the Americas. The Imperial navy patrol those areas and still controls Luzon all the islands in South China Sea, Pacific islands. The Dutch were willing to buy their crops but at a lower rate. The Imperial navy was not patrolling the way to Java thru Celebes. However, that route is plague with Moro Pirates. The Visayan traders were willing to take the risk of the Southern route due to Visayan ships still outgunning the Moro ships.

Alejandro, with a smaller land area and smaller population than the Visayans, had the resources of Cebu. He controlled the highest quality coal mines within Visayas and Luzon, modern factories, extensive railroad network, modern shipyards, a highly educated populace. He has more professional soldiers and trained reserves than the whole Visayan Confederacy despite half of Cebu still loyal to Manila, along with his brother Duke Diego. What he lacked are metals to manufacture goods. Unlike Luzon which had the option to import coal even from outside the empire, Cebu highly relied on Luzon’s or Borneo metals. Nor does Alejandro have the ability to break the Imperial blockade for trade to acquire metals from outside the empire. Thus, he invaded and captured North Eastern Mindanao controlled by one of the fiefdoms of the Visayan confederacy, Surigao - gold mines, iron mines and Subbituminous coal.

The loss of Cebu coal, due to Alejandro’s rebellion, for Luzon meant coal was in short supply or at least good quality coal within Luzon and Visayas.

Luzon had already discovered abundant coal and mined the coal in Cagayan Valley, North Eastern Luzon. However, the coal was of low quality, Lignite.

The Philippine Imperial navy which was setting up naval stations in small islands around the empire, had setup in Caluya archipelago west of Panay Island in 1840. This led eventually to discovery of coal in one of the islands- Semirara island, which had a bit more acceptable Subbituminous coal. Loyalists still control this coal mining island.

These newer coal mines were not as good as Cebu coal which was Bituminous coal. This forced to ramp up coal mining in Formosa especially in the fields near Keelung and Tamsui which had the same quality coal as in Cebu, Bituminous Coal.


An image expressing the Expel the Barbarians sentiment

There was an anti-foreign sentiment in Japan. The Sonnō jōi (Revere the Emperor, expel the barbarians) was a slogan and rallying cry among in Japan during this time period. This was compounded by the Japanese emperor, Emperor Komei, issuing an edict in March 1863 to expel the barbarians. Emperor Andres promised to support the British and put troops in Japan. Andres planned to tap army reserves and force harsh concessions to Japan similar to China. However, the Philippine Civil war coincided with British military action in Japan along with the death of Andres. This limited Philippine help with a few ships available in Japanese waters for the campaigns against the Choshu domain. The Philippine military was prepared for war, just not the war they were expecting.
41. Spain’s Revival (1837-1864)
41. Spain’s Revival (1837-1864)

The first attack committed by Imperial loyalists versus the Visayan Confederacy was to retake Mindoro Island and Marinduque island. It is nearer to Manila and Cavite. Securing those islands creates a safer route going to Semirara coal mines.


Bornean authorities display their captured cannons from Kraton of Martapura (Sultanate of Banjar)

Borneans had different sentiments compared to the Visayans or Alejandro. The Bornean governors were chosen by Andres from the civil service in Luzon compared to Visayas, one of the local landed elites was recommended to Andres.

Borneo provinces were profitable and valuable to the empire. Coal was even discovered in Philippine protectorate Brunei in 1837, sparked the interest of finding more coal in Borneo. Railroads existed around or near mines going to towns or cities. The total railway length within Borneo in 1863 was 200 kilometers and the Borneans made sure to use that money allotted by Manila for Railroads. The Visayans who had the same amount allotted by Manila had no railroad. Most of the Philippine migrants of Borneo also came from Luzon, which made Borneo more an extension of Luzon.

Borneo had a literacy rate of 30%, far higher than Visayans. Roads, schools and hospitals were still being built. Roads were needed to make it easier for local militia to fight and occupy Dayak and sultanate-controlled areas. Schools and Churches were valuable to convert the local populace as Imperial citizens.

Unlike the peasants in Visayas, Dayaks and Malays were educated by either the Borneo public schools or Catholic run Catechism schools. This gave Dayaks and Malays a chance to move up the social ladder especially if they convert to Catholic. However, Borneo authorities let the locals choose their religion individually if they will retain their pagan and Islamic religion. These new assimilated populaces will be exempted from forced labor or given farm lands allocated to them by the government or if converted to Catholic lands were given by the Catholic Orders. Borneo Imperial authorities and Catholic orders made sure locals have this ability to improve social standing to encourage assimilation among the local populace.

Migrants from Luzon were encouraged to man the mines and farms of Borneo. Even the Kongsi Republics accepted Philippine Imperial authority especially after the result of Sino-Philippine war. There were still those who resisted the empire, and tried to kill settlers slowly creeping their lands ranging from Pagans, Muslims and even disgruntled Chinese. Borneo countered this with their own military actions, sometimes resulting in massacres to those who refuse to accept imperial control. Filipinos ranging from Filipinos of Chinese descent from Luzon or assimilated Borneo Chinese, assimilated Pagan Dayaks, Muslims from Luzon and assimilated Malay Muslims were even tapped for the Borneo Militia.

“The empire in Luzon is much like the British in Australia on how they treated aborigines and the Americans on how they treated their native Indians. The Americans preferred segregation by herding their natives into Indian reservations. The empire occupied all the lands and forced indigenous cultures into becoming Novales’ version of a Filipino with the other option being death, from the mountains of Cordilleras to the jungles of Borneo and Mindanao. The empire called it progress, civilizing savages, the end of head hunting and slavery.”

- A History of Borneo by Nico Joaquin published in 1950

Borneo authorities have been eyeing Northern Borneo for quite some time. But the empire had signed a peace treaty with Sultanate of Sulu. When Sulu attacked Basilan, Borneo militia and Order of St. Joseph invaded North Borneo and, in their eyes, “liberating” the Pagan Dayaks in North Borneo from Sultanate control.


Red – Loyalists, Empire of the Philippines
Orange – Visayan Confederacy
Grey – Alejandro’s Empire
Yellow - Sulu Sultanate
Green – Confederation of Lanao Sultanates
Lime – Maguindanao sultanate
Purple – Confederation of Carolians

On August 1863, an incident took place in one of the haciendas in Lambayeque, Andean Union wherein Spanish residents fought local citizens ending with two Spanish citizens dead and four locals injured.

Spain demanded an apology and reparations for her affected Spanish nationals. The Union believes it is an internal police matter.

Spain sent a representative in March 1864 bearing the title Royal Commissary. It was a deliberate insult to the Union due to the commissary as a colonial function rather than as coequal independent nations. The Spanish representative demanded reparations which the Union rejected due to the insult.

The next month, a Spanish fleet seized the Andean Union’s Chincha Islands with 400 marines, raising the Spanish flag. Spain also blockaded Andean Union ports disrupting trade.

The island gives Andean Union significant revenue due to the Guano trade. Guano, excrement of seabirds or bats, is a highly effective fertilizer that Andean Union processes to export. While blockading the ports, stops the Union’s trade revenue with the rest of the world, including those who earn thru silver and metal trade. Spain believes the Andean Union’s lack of military capability to counter Spain’s gunboat diplomacy.


Spanish sailors occupy Chincha Islands

Spain’s actions were also timely. The United States was still finishing her civil war. The Mexico and Gran Colombia were fighting their own war. Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay were all fighting their own separate war. The Philippines was also in the middle of her own civil war. The Philippine navy had reassigned the newer ships expecting a war in Japan. Thus, leaving the Philippine East Pacific squadron with obsolete ships.

The Philippine East Pacific Naval Squadron did try to interfere. Tensions between the Philippine squadron and Spanish fleet quickly increased leading to a battle. One Philippine Sloop was sunk and several ships damaged. The Spanish fleet had newer ships compared to the Philippine squadron. The Philippine Squadron, humiliated, limped back to their naval base in Galapagos.

The military actions of Spain in her former Spanish colony roused the anti-Spanish sentiments across South America. Nations in South America were worried that Spain is trying to reestablish her empire.

The United States, unable to impose Monroe doctrine, sent a formal protest.

Once the news reached Manila, members of parliament who earns thru the Lima Trade or have ties with businessmen who profits thru the Lima Trade, demanded for war. It was rejected by the majority due to the ongoing rebellion and naval commitments with Britain in Japan. Nor would the war proceed lacking Alfred’s approval. The parliament instead approves the request of the Navy to increase naval spending with more ocean-going ironclads ordered to replace the older wooden naval ships and aim to build more ironclads than the total number of Spain’s oceangoing ships including ships Spain ordered from Britain and France. Proponents of the measure to declare war on Spain instead went to the public, thru newspapers and town criers, spreading information that Spain wishes to conquer her former colonies, including the Philippines, trying to cause panic and fervor for war.
Interesting development so far. Still questions the natives of Borneo are doing quite well in spite of some setback ,still is there going to be some sort of massive revolution at some point in the future as I would imagine that the rise of nationalism , socialism, reform and self determination later on in the 19th century would certainly increase the desire of independence or at least greater autonomy from the home country especially with a literacy rate far higher than Visayans, I'm just saying that unless if there are already taught of this thoroughly or maybe grant them some autonomy early on I would predict some kind of revolution in the 19th or 20th century . Also how different is Spain ,you mention earlier in this timeline that Spain mostly remains the same but are there any changes Spain as of late or I'm just very dumbfounded .