AN old sound-bite from President Ramos goes something like, “the British ruled us for just two years . . . it may have been better if they had stayed longer.” Indeed, for two years from 1762-1764, the British had a Governor General in Manila to look after Manila and Cavite, which they had taken as a result of the Seven Years’ War, a conflagration involving most of the world’s major powers at the time (Spain being one), sparked off by yet one of the many disputes between Britain and France over their respective North American colonies. But then as a result of some political horse trading in 1764, the Spanish from New Spain (Mexico) came back again to rule for another 134 years.

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