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Andres Bonifacio Emilio Jacinto

Antonio Luna Gregorio del Pilar

Apolinario Mabini Jose Protacio Rizal

Emilio Aguinaldo Marcelo H. del Pilar

Andres Bonifacio

       Andres Bonifacio was born to Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina de Castro, a Spanish mestiza, in a shack in Tondo, Manila on November 30, 1863.

       He started his early education in the school of Guillermo Osmeña of Cebu. He reached only primary school. At the age of 14, his father and mother died, forcing him to quit his studies and to look after his younger brothers and sisters. As a means of support, he had them help him make wooden canes and paper fans, which he sold in the streets.

       Having learned how to read and write, he became a clerk messenger of Fleeming and Company, a business firm dealing with rattan, tar, and other articles of trade. Because of his industry he was promoted as agent. But his earning were still not sufficient to support the orphans. He moved to Fressell and Company as an agent. He showed determination and industry in his job. He supplemented his low education through reading and self-study. Among the books he read were Rizal's novels, the lives of presidents, Victor Hugo's Le Miserables, the ruins of Palmyra, and the French Revolution. Those books prodded his spirit of rebellion and gave him impulse to organize the Katipunan.

       This organization spread rapidly in 1894 in many parts of the Philippines. He felt that he was about ready to lead a successful revolt in May 1896. However, before he could act, the Katipunan was discovered by the authorities. More than 1,000 Katipuneros assembled with him at Pugad Lawin, Caloocan, on August 23, 1896 and tore their cedulas. Since the time the Katipunan was discovered, they evaded arrest, won uncertain victories and incurred severe defeats. This prompted the Magdiwang faction to invite Bonifacio to Cavite to settle their differences and remain united.

       An assembly was called at Tejeros, Cavite. Bonifacio presided the conference to establish the Republic of the Philippines. In the election, Emilio Aguinaldo was elected President, Mariano Trias, Vice-President and Bonifacio as Secretary of the Interior. Daniel Tirona questioned Bonifacio's qualifications, and Bonifacio was offended. Evoking his authority as the supreme head of the Katipunan, he declared the proceedings void. Bonifacio moved to Naic, Cavite and started to form his own government and army. Meantime, the advancing troops of Spanish General Camilo de Polavia threatened to capture Cavite. Aguinaldo ordered Gen Pio del Pilar and Noriel who were being given new higher positions to leave the Bonifacio camp and go back to their duties.

       Bonifacio with his family and men left Naic for Indang. On his return from Montalban, Aguinaldo sent men to arrest him, but Bonifacio resisted arrest and was wounded. He faced a trial for acts inimical to the existence of the new government and was given the death sentence by a military tribunal.

       Aguinaldo's men executed him in the mountains of Maragondon, Cavite on May 10, 1897.

       The Great Plebeian, Andres Bonifacio, completed only what we call grade four. But Bonifacio was far from being uneducated. In the bodega of the foreign firm where he worked as a storekeeper, Bonifacio put up a small library along with Emilio Jacinto and Pio Valenzuela. Jacinto owned all the law books while Valenzuela, a physician, owned all the medical books. The Supremo's collection, however, were more impressive -- Noli Me Tangere. El Filibusterismo, Religion Within the Reach of All, The Bible, Les Miserables, Wandering Jew, Lives of the Presidents of the United States, Two Volumes of the History of the French Revolution, International Law, Civil Code, Penal Code,several volumes of La Solidaridad, and novels and works of other noted authors.

       Bonifacio, who got insulted during the Tejeros Convention for his lack of diploma, was fluent enough in Spanish to translate Jose Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios in Tagalog. He also wrote the head-stirring poem, Pagibig sa Tinubuang Lupa, and most probably, was well-versed in French and English.

Antonio Luna

       He was born in Urbiztondo Street, Binondo, Manila on October 29, 1856 to Don Joaquin Luna and Doña Laureana Novicio, both from prominent families of Badoc, Ilocos Norte. He entered the Ateneo de Manila where he began to take interest in literature and chemistry. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1881. At the University of Santo Tomas, he won first prize for his composition “Dos Cuerpos Fundamentales de Quimica,” on the occasion of the elevation of Fr. Ceferino Gonzales to the Cardinalate. At the invitation of his brother, Juan, he left for Europe. He got a Licentiate in Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona. The Central University of Madrid conferred him his Doctor of Pharmacy in 1890.

       In Spain he wrote El Hematozoario Paludismo, acclaimed by leading bacteriologist in Europe as thorough and exhaustive scientific work. Using the pen name Taga Ilog, he published in the La Solidaridad “Impresiones” a satirical observation of Spanish customs and idiosyncracies. After completing his studies, he toured Europe and came in contact with prominent bacteriologist. In 1894, he returned to the Philippines where he wrote less but was more vocal in advocating that the Philippines be made a province of Spain with the Filipinos enjoying the rights and privileges of Spanish citizens. He was not sympathetic to the Katipunan but advocated liberalism which caused his imprisonment in Madrid. After his release, he left for Belgium where he studied the art of military strategy under General Leman.

       In 1898, he surveyed the Manila-Dagupan terrain for possible defense perimeter against the American troops. In 1899, he was appointed Chief of War Operations with the rank of Brigadier General. After the fall of La Loma on February 5,1899, he saw the urgency of reorganizing the army. A military academy was created at Malolos to train officers for field command. Officers of the 1896 revolution were recruited. A Red Cross chapter was also organized. To impose discipline among the officers and men, those who failed to follow military orders were disarmed, and in some instances, summarily executed for instance, the members of Cauit Cattalyon under the command of Col. Pedro Janolino were disarmed for refusing to attack during the battle of Caloocan. Due to his exacting disciplinary measures, he created enemies among the military and civilian officials, especially those close to Aguinaldo. Matters were exacerbated when he with held the troops requested by Aguinaldo, claiming these were needed in the front lines.

       After the fall of Marilao, Bulacan on March 29, 1899, he was crushed not only by the defeat but by the lack of discipline among the Filipino troops. He tendered his resignation but Aguinaldo did not accept. He continues to fight in the fields of Pampanga, Tarlac and Pangasinan against the Americans.

       On June 4, 1899, he received a telegram from Aguinaldo ordering him to go to Cabanatuan for a conference. He arrived at the Cabanatuan Catholic Church Convent only to learn that Aguinaldo had left for Pampanga. Greatly provoked, he uttered insults at the President and berated the guards who were the same men he disarmed after the battle of Caloocan. When going down the stairs of the headquarters, the assassins riddles him with bullets and he was stabbed. After he was buried in the churchyard, Aguinaldo took command of the troops and relieved Luna’s officers and men of their duties in the field.


       Apolinario Mabini was born of Talaga,Tanauan,Batangas on July 23, 1864. The second son of Inocencio Mabini and Dionisia Maranan.

       Mabini obtained his early education from his grandfather and hid mother, who taught him the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic later, he enrolled in the primary school of Simplicio Avelino supporting himself by working a muchacho. During his third year in high school, Mabini won first prize. a silver medal and a diploma of honor for the course in Universal History, in a competition for scholarship conducted by the college of San Juan de Letran in Manila. He was able to obtain a new teaching position in the school of Sebatian Virrey.

       In March 1887, desirous of continuing his studies, Mabini took and passed the required examination at the University os Santo Tomas,obtaining the degree of Bachelor Of Arts completed the course in 1894. In the examination for Licentiate in Jurisprudence om March 2,1894, he obtained the grade of 'excellent '. He became a copyist in the court of first Instance of Manila.

       It was in January 1896 that he contracted a severe fever which resulted in his permanent paralysis. His physical condition prevented him fir taking a more active part in revolutionary movement. Despite of his physical condition , Mabini played a prominent part in the second period of revolution. He planned the revolutionary government and acted as the Prime Minister of Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo. He occupied the constitutional de la Republica Filipina was one of the models of the Malolos constitution. His works earned revolutionary congress elected him chief justice of the supreme court.

       Mabini was captured by the American's in December 1899. He was released from prison on October 3,1900. He lived in a small nipa house in Manila where he barely supported himself writing a political articles. (El Simil de Alejandro) prompted the Americans to exile him to the island of Guam. After August 1901, because of his refusal to sign the required oath of allegiance to the U.S. after 17 months, he was convinced of the sincerity of American's good intension's in his country, he agreed to take the required oath.

       Mabini died of cholera in Manila on May 13, 1903 at the age of 39.

       Aporlinario Mabini was called the "Sublime Paralytic ," having been paralyzed by a fatal illness which struck his lower limps in 1894. A lawyer by profession, his earlier political exposure was through the revived La Liga Filipina, the organization established by Jose Rizal in 1892. Not withstanding his physical handicap, Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo recognized his brilliance and named him his chief adviser. His thinking shaped the constitutional and political basis of the Philippine Republic, thus earning him the title the "Brains of the Revolution."

Emilio Aguinaldo

       Gen. Emilio is the country’s first and at 29 became the youngest President of the Republic of the Philippines. Born on March 22, 1869 in Kawit, Cavite to Chinese and Filipino parents, Aguinaldo headed Filipino troops in their ferocious battles with the Spanish fleets. In 1882, Aguinaldo joined Katipunan, an organization which aims to disarm the Spanish forces and seize the alias Magdalo.

       Aguinaldo and his group won many battles against the Spaniards. They’ve conquered the Spanish guardia civil in Kawit, Cavite and directed the capture of the nearby town of Imus. His greatest conquest was the Battle of Binakayan on Nov. 10, 1896, when he vanquished the corps under the command of Gov. General Ramon Blanco.

       On March 22, 1897, Aguinaldo was selected as President of the revolutionary government. However, this open-armed government did not last that long and was stopped in December 1897 when he signed the agreement on Biac-na-Bato. The treaty was to give the country substantial financial reward from Spain and a promise of liberal reform, a seat in the Spanish parliament and full civil rights for the Filipinos. After the pact, Aguinaldo agreed to leave the country and stay in exile.

       While in Hong Kong, Aguinaldo talked with the American consulate and Commodore Dewey to help him return to the Philippines. In return, he proposed to assist the Americans in their war with Spain. He returns to the country on May 19, 1898. Upon Aguinaldo’s come back, he declared separation of the country from Spain and proclaimed independence on June 12, 1898. An impermanent republic was made and he became its president. By the merit of Treaty of Paris signed on December 10, 1898, the Philippines were handed to the United States by Spain.

       On the eve of February 4, 1899, the tension between the Americans and Filipinos arise and the American-Filipino war breaks loose. During the fight, Filipino soldiers are out-numbered by the Americans. Aguinaldo and his men are forced to retreat and went up to the Northern boundaries of the country. The war came to an end when he was captured in his hide-out at Palanan, Isabela. Aguinaldo surrendered and took his oath of loyalty to the United States on April 1, 1901 and was granted a pension and retired to private life.

       In 1935 when the Commonwealth government was created, Aguinaldo run for presidency but lost to Manuel Quezon. After loosing he went back again to his private life and re-surfaced during the Japanese era in 1941. He was used as a tool by the Japanese to lure American soldiers to surrender. Towards the end of the war, Aguinaldo was detained because of his alleged alliance to the Japanese and was held captive in the Bilibid prison for several months until he was released by president amnesty.

       In 1950 President Quirino appointed him as a member of the Council State. Soon after, Aguinaldo dedicated his time and attention to veteran soldier’s interest and welfare, the promotion of nationalism and democracy in the Philippines and the development of the relationship between the Philippines and the United States.

       Emilio Aguinaldo died on February 6, 1964 in Quezon City at the age of 95. He was buried behind his mansion in Kawit, Cavite.

Emilio Jacinto

       Emilio Jacinto was born on December 15,1875 in Trozo, Manila.His parents were Mariano Jacinto and Josefa Dizon. His father died early, a situation that forced her mother to work as a midwife in order to support his studies. Because of hard life he was forced to live with her uncle, Don Jose Dizon. He was enrolled at the San Juan de Letran College; then he transferred to the University of Santo Tomas where he took up law.

       At the start of the Phillippine Revolution in the year 1896, Emilio gave up his studies and joined the Katipunan. The bad experiences he had with his Spanish classmates, his readings about the Spanish injustices, and the sufferings pf the Filipino people made a mark in his heart, leading him to go against the will of his loved ones and become a katipunero.

       At the age of 19, he became one of the ablest leaders of Katipunan. He served as an adviser, secretary, and fiscal to Bonifacio. He also supervised the manufacture of gunpowder.

       His intelligence was of great use to the Katipunan. He was reffered to as the "Brain of the Katipunan". He wrote the "Kartilla" the primer of the Katipunan where rules and regulations are contained. He edited the Katipunan's newspaper "Ang Kalayaan". A poet, Emilio's greatest poem was A La Patria, inspired by Rizals' My Ultimo Adios. It was signed "Dimas-Ilaw", his pen name. He was known in the Katipunan as Pingkian.

       In February 1898, he fought the Spanish cazadores (riflemen) in Maimpis, Magdalena, Laguna. During this combat, he was wounded in the thigh and was taken to the Catholic church of Magdalena, where he was mercilessly dumped on the brickpaved platform of the stairway with his bleeding wound unattended. He was taken to the church of Santa Cruz where a Spanish surgeon kindly ministered to his wound, produced a pass from his pocket which identified him as Florentine Reyes. This saved his life. The truth was that the pass really belonged to a Filipino spy named Florentine Reyes whom Jacinto captured in Pasig some weeks before the battle in Maimpis. He took the pass and kept it in his pocket so that in case he should fall to the hands of the enemy, he could identify himself as a spy in the service of Spain.

       From his hideout, he wrote Apolinario Mabini in Malolos to express his plan to continue his law studies in the newly established Literary University of the Philippines. Mabini was happy to receive his letter and speedily consulted Aguinaldo about this plan. Aguinaldo welcomed Jacinto's coming to Malolos because of his remarkable intelligence. Mabini wrote him, saying that Aguinaldo approved of his request and that the last day of enrolment in the University was December 1, 1898.

       Unfortunately, Jacinto was unable to proceed to Malolos, for he returned to Laguna upon the urgent appeal of the fighting patriots of the province who wanted him as their leader. Jacinto established his secret headquarters in the hills of Majayjay. There he contacted the malignant malaria which caused his death on April 6, 1899. He was only 24 years old.

Gregorio del Pilar

       Gen Gregorio del Pilar was the nephew of the great propagandist Marcelo H. del Pilar. At an early age, he received booklets from his uncle in Madrid, written by reformists like Rizal, Lopez Jaena.

       Gen. del Pilar was one of the brilliant generals during the revolution, first under the Supremo Andres Bonifacio and later under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.

       During the Philippine-American was, Gen. Pio del Pilar was tasked to cover the retreat of Aguinaldo at Tirad Pass

       On December 2, 1899, he died fighting the Americans at Tirad Pass.

       When he was killed at Tirad Pass, del Pilar's body was left by the roadside for two days until its odor forced some Igorots to cover it with dirt. On his diary, which Major March found, Del Pilar had written:

       The General (Aguinaldo) has given me the pick of all the men that can be spared and ordered me to defend the Pass. I realize what a terrible task has been given me. And yet, I felt that this is the most glorious moment of my life. What I do is done for my beloved country. No sacrifice can be too great.

Jose Protacio Rizal

       Jose Protacio Rizal, the national hero, was born in Calamba, Laguna on June 19, 1861 to Francisco Mercado Rizal and Teodora Alonso. He was the seventh child in a family of 11 children (2 boys and 9 girls). His education began at home with his mother and at the age of nine, he was sent to study in Biñan, Laguna. Rizal went on to Ateneo Municipal de Manila and finished Bachelor of Arts with highes honours on March 23, 1876 at the University of Santo Tomas.

       Rizal studied medicine. He then went to Europe and finished medicine and philosophy at the Central University of Madrid in 1885. He took up graduate studies in France. Rizal became a linguist and learnt Greek and Latin. During his time in Europe, He wrote Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Rebel), which told of the oppression by Spanish colonial rule.

       Rizal returned to the Philippines in June 1892. He founded La Liga Filipina, a forum for Filipinos to express their hopes for feedom from Spanish rule. His writings and La Liga Filipina were banned. Rizal was arrested as a revolutionary and imprisoned in Fort Santiago on July 6,1892. On July 14 he was exiled to Dapitan. He stayed there for four years, treating the sick, opened up a school and tried to make the place beautiful and safe. In order to escape his exile, Rizal volunteered to serve as a doctor for the Spanish forces with the breakout of the Cuban revolution for independence.

       Rizal was arrested while in transit to Cuba and sent back to the Philippines. Again, he was jailed in Fort Santiago and on December 26,1896, the Spanish authorities tried him and found Rizal guilty of inciting rebellion and sedition. Rizal was executed by a firing squad on December 30,1896 at Bagumbayan (now Luneta) at the age of 35. On the eve of his execution, Rizal wrote his most famous poem, Mi Ultimo Adios (My Last Farewell).

Marcelo H. Del Pilar

       Marcelo H. del Pilar started school in the College of Mr. Jose Flores. He transferred to the College of San Jose in Manila. He finished law in 1880. Marcelo H. del Pilar was more popularly known as Plaridel. Multi-talented Plaridel played the violin, the piano and the flute. He was good in fencing. He used to sing in serenades and played beautiful pieces on the violin during Flores de Mayo.

       He later married his cousin Marciana del Pilar in 1878. They had seven children.

       Plaridel established the Diariong Tagalog in 1882 to publish observations and criticisms on how the Spanish government in the Philippines was run.

       Pedro Serrano Laktaw helped him in publishing "Dasalan at Tuksuhan" and the "Pasyong Dapat Ipa-alab ng Puso ng Taong Bayan".

       In Spain, he and Graciano Lopez-Jaena published the "La Solidaridad" which was the organ which contained their desires in improving the Philippine Government. He succeeded Lopez-Jaena as editor of the La Solidaridad.

       He died a poor man on July 4, 1896 in Barcelona, Spain.

       Marcelo H. del Pilar's reputation as a propagandist was already established before an order for his arrest forced him to flee the country in 1880. Gifted with the common touch, he found ready audiences in the cockpits, the plazas, and the corner tiendas of his native Bulacan. Unlike Rizal who wrote his novels in Spanish, a fact which cut him off from most Filipinos who did not know the language, del Pilar wrote his propaganda pamphlets in simple Tagalog -- lucid, direct and forceful. His parodies of the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Apostle's Creed, the Ten Commandments and the catechism published in pamphlets which simulated the format and size of the novenas were highly effective propaganda.

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