1898: Our Last Men in the Philippines
In 1898, Spain sends a military squad to the town of Baler, the Philippines, to protect one of the last colonies of the Spanish Empire, to prevent rebellious natives from recovering their ancient territories. Lead by Captain Enrique de las Morenas and Lieutenant Cerezo, proud military men, the soldiers are stalked at night by the rebels, and are forced to seek refuge in the church run by Fray Carmelo, Baler's priest. Turning the church into a military fort, the unrelenting heat and malaria starts to sweep across the men. After the Captain's death by a disease called beriberi, Cerezo steps in as the new leader of the squad, faced with a constant power struggle with Jimeno, a soldier from the previous squad annihilated by the rebels. Becoming more and more paranoid and obsessive with the victory and the glory of the Spanish Empire, the rebels close to Cerezo explain that Spain has already sold the Philippine Islands to the United States, ceding all the colonies of the Spanish Empire, and that the war is over. But Cerezo does not believe in the newspapers given by the rebels and is still obsessed to win at all cost. He makes a last stand in the church with his men, prolonging the battle for several months where one of the soldiers, Carlos, falling victim to opium use, searches a way to end the conflict, suspecting that all is lost, and wanting to prevent the death of his comrades.