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300 The Movie, Battle of Thermopylae and the Battle of Tirad Pass in History
I've been reading some blogs reviewing the movie, 300,by Warner Brothers for its riveting action scenes, cinematography et al. I'm a big fan of epics and historical movies but I have yet to see 300 due to my uberbusy schedule these past few months.
300 is about a historic battle set in Greece where 300 Spartans defended a very narrow pass, Thermopylae, for days againsts the ravaging war machine of the Persian Empire of Xerxes I against the Greek army of 300 plus allied Thebans and Thespians.
It was only after Ephialtes, a Malian, betrayed the Greeks by showing the Persian army a trail leading behind the lines of the Greek army.King Leonidas and most of the Spartan army with him perished.
Wheneever I read something about this historic battle, I also remember, being a Filipino, a battle whose story is very similar to that of Thermopylae: The Battle of Tirad Pass.
During the Philippine-American War (that most Americans still call incorrectly as Philippine Insurrection against the United States), Gen Aguinaldo gave orders to Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar to watch his back (rear guard) while trying to escape pursuing American troups.
For hours, the 60 hand-picked Filipino troups held off the advancing American force of 500 until a Filipino, Januario Galut, led the Americans to a trail that led behind the Filipino lines. Most defenders died including the young general.
General del Pilar was stripped of everything including his shoes and left unburied by the American marauders.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Thermopylae, the Greeks won decisive victories against the Persians and lost their ambition of expansion of their empire; after Tirad Pass and succeeding battles resulting in the conquest of the Philippines, the United States of America, where all men are (said to be) created equal became an empire!
Note:I wasn't able to visit Tirad Pass (Pasong Tirad) in November 2005 when I visited Sagada with Ferdz as well as the near (relatively yet so hard to reach) Kiangan town where Gen. Yamashita surrendered to the Americans at the end of WW2) maily due to an urgent need to come home. A fellow traveller/history enthusiast friend of ours, however, was able to inspect the site and again remarked how biased the history reports of the Americans were.
There are two sides to every story: their side and the truth! :)
I watched "300" at Loew's Imax Theatre and it was great. If you can watch it also at Imax theatre, pls. do. Someone commented that there is a big difference. But the movie itself if fantastic. Of course I am a little biased because the Spartan story about the Thermopalye was one of my favorites when we were taking this subject in history's "Modern Times and the Living Past." I read that the movie location was just in a building and they just kept changing the scenery background. It doesn't matter because the movie itself looks realistic.
And yes, the story is like General Del Pilar and the Tirad Pass where a traitor gave the secret way around.