The Art Of War By Antonio Trillanes IV

Ever read Sun Tzu’s six stratagems? If China has Sun Tzu then the Philippines has Antonio Trillanes IV to teach the Art of War. The so-called master of the Art of War has given an example to why the Philippines is sadly at a slump with almost everything. So how does his six stratagems differ from Sun Tzu’s. I’m just writing this for a joke and please don’t look for a book called “The Art of War” written by Trillanes. Note that this humor post is just there to make fun of the fact that he’s really book smart but not street smart as a soldier. For that, I decided to make my own version of his Art of War for the sake of laughs and learning.

First stratagem – Every battle must be fought as much as possible. He who fights every battle regardless of win and loss is the most skilled. He who wins the battle without fighting is a coward.

This is quite in contrast to what Sun said that it’s not he who wins a hundred battles that’s the most skilled. rather it’s he who wins a battle without fighting is the most skilled. Has he even heard that you must avoid combat as much as possible and only fight when you are cornered?

Second stratagem – Attack both the strengths and the weaknesses. 

This is the exact opposite of what Sun wrote to avoid strengths and attack the weaknesses. In short, know your enemy’s weak points. Unfortunately, Trillanes’ mutinies directed the whole government head-on. Would have he first chosen to exploit the weakness of the Philippine Army then maybe he would have won.

Third stratagem – Don’t bother knowing yourself and your enemy and assume victory is at hand.

This is the fatal mistake that he did. Would have he first known the strengths and weaknesses of his troops as well as the government – he would have probably planned everything first. He would have probably planned a covert approach to first take down the defenses. Unfortunately, he was caught unprepared when he did his two major mutinies.

Fourth stratagem – Rely on rustics and always be unprepared. After all you are going to win.

Sun always discouraged the use of rustics or crude methods. He also called being unprepared to be a great crime for a soldier. Unfortunately, Trillanes’ methods were always using crude methods and being unprepared. The result was that he ended up in hiding in two failed mutinies.

Fifth stratagem – Using alliances and strategic control points 

Trillanes could have considered having allies first and having strategic control points. For example, he could have actually found more people in the military who would join his mutiny before launching it or do an inside job. Instead, he ignored having important alliances and strategic control points. He could have chosen to seize control from within than without in order to win.


As said, the Art of War manual is not exclusive to the Chinese to win. Any race or nationality can practice it. You can think about the Battle of Yuldong where Filipino soldiers beat Communist Chinese soldiers in South Korea. They knew they were outnumbered with just 900 Filipino soldiers. Would have they decided to ignore Sun’s basic stratagems – they would have lost. But they decided to follow proper military strategy which led to their victory in South Korea. The same can be true today – the Philippines can defeat China using Sun’s Art of War.

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