Aide of Antonio Luna: General Benito Alejandrino Natividad

Originally authored on September 19, 2015

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A military leader, governor, and judge who hailed from Jaen, Nueva Ecija, He, together with his brothers, fought in the Philippine rebellion against the Spanish authorities to avenge their father’s death, a prominent lawyer and first martyr of Nueva Ecija. He also fought in the Philippine American War and served as aide to General Antonio Luna, who courageously fought in the Central Luzon campaign. Natividad was almost killed fighting by the side of Luna suffering a serious bullet wound in the leg. The young Lieutenant Manuel Quezon was promoted to Captain just for getting him safely behind the lines by hiding Colonel Natividad in a hay stack.

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At the age of 24, Natividad was promoted to brigadier-general for this act, becoming one of the youngest generals to fight the Americans. If only he was physically fit, he would have been with General Luna during that tragic trip to Cabanatuan. He became a cripple due to his wounds and temporarily took over the command of the Ilocos provinces which was the reason why General Manuel Tinio was recalled by Aguinaldo to help in the re-organization of the forces of Nueva Ecija in 1899. Natividad remained with a few riflemen and a number of armed insurgents who guarded the whole Ilocos region at that time. This also included the guarding of 4,000 Spanish prisoners and 25 American prisoners of war scattered in those towns. Despite their huge numbers, the prisoners did not even think of rising against the General because they were treated very well and deemed El Cojo or not a man to fool with. Notwithstanding his helplessness as a result of his wounds, he took his luck with the Tinio Brigade rather than surrender himself to the enemy. However, upon the capture of Aguinaldo in Palanan, Filipino soldiers, even if they were able to thwart the Americans until 1901, were forced to give up.

When the war ended, he continued his law studies at San Juan de Letran and became a full-fledged lawyer. Eventually, he rose to become a judge. Natividad was elected governor in Nueva Ecija and served from 1910 to 1913. Governor Natividad successively served as provincial fiscal in Zambales, Tarlac, Cavite, Rizal, Samar, Albay, and Leyte. He was also promoted as judge of the Court of First Instance in Leyte, Cebu, and Davao.

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He married late at the age of 40; his wife, Amalia Inocencio was 10 years his junior. She was a native of Cavite and they had two daughters, Aurea and Amparo. He lived long enough to play golf in the 1960’s to see June 12 declared as Independence Day. Reflecting on the past, he mentioned to his daughters that he could forgive the Spaniards but never the Americans because of their cruelties and deceptions. He died in 1964 and his remains were interred in San Agustin Church in Intramuros.

* – credits to the owner/s for the pictures

Aides of Antonio Luna: Colonel Francisco Roman and Captain Jose Bernal

Originally authored on September 19, 2015

From his headquarters in Bayambang, Pangasinan, deep into establishing a guerilla base in the Mountain Province in June 4, 1899, Luna received a summon via telegram from Aguinaldo in Cabanatuan , Nueva Ecija. Immediately, Luna left accompanied by Colonel Paco Roman, the brothers Major Manuel Bernal and Captain Jose Bernal, Major Simeon Villa, Captain Eduardo Rusca and 25 cavalrymen. The following day Luna and his party arrived at the outskirts of Cabanatuan but the broken bridge threatened to delay the whole party. The impatient General left his escort and proceeded to his summons with only Colonel Roman and Captain Rusca to accompany him. At about 3:00 P.M., they arrived at the casa parroquial (convent) in Cabanatuan where the Philippine Republic was holding office.

* – credits to the owner/s for the pictures

It’s Lola Basyang’s Birthday!

Originally authored on February 11, 2019

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For many years, readers mistook the real Lola Basyang as an old woman full of ancient stories stuck in her antiquated baul, only to find out later she was a man. Lola Basyang became a generic name in Philippine society depicting an old grandmother telling stories to her grandchildren meant to teach moral lessons. It was in the pages of Liwayway Magazine, which he co-founded in 1922, where Severino Reyes’ Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang appeared and eventually became the most widely read prose feature of the magazine. Until today, the name Lola Basyang is still being used by different art forms, stage and, television shows.

On February 11, 1861, Severino Reyes, a noted playwright, writer, dramatist, and acclaimed as one of the giants of Tagalog and Filipino Literature in the early 20th century, was born in Sta. Cruz, Manila. A well-educated man who attended several institutions of higher learning, he completed Bachelor of Philosophy at the University of Santo Tomas. Proficient in both Tagalog and Spanish with a fair knowledge of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and several Philippine dialects, Reyes could converse profoundly on religion, history, philosophy, literature, arts, and sciences.

Remembering Francisco Santiago, The Father of Kundiman

Originally authored on January 29, 2019

His name may go missing, but his songs are here to stay. Those nationalistic songs to remember him by.

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A composer, pianist, teacher, and film director. Born January 29, 1889 in Santa Maria, Bulacan to a musically inclined peasant parents. When he was seven years old, he took piano lessons from a private tutor and after three years further studying pianoforte under Blas Echegoyen, Faustino Villacorta, and Primo Calzada. He had to support himself throughout school. His most famous piece was “Anak Dalita” which he wrote in 1917 was sung before the Royal Court of Spain upon the request of King Alfonso II.

Gat Jose Rizal: In Memoriam

Originally authored on December 29, 2017

Walking to his execution ground with a peaceful and cheerful countenance, Jose Rizal, with a smile held his final look at the Ateneo de Manila, where he spent the happiest days of his life and silently bid it adieu.

The strong anger and resentment over what Rizal wrote in his Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo moved the Spanish friars to instigate his trial and execution regardless of the spirit of the season which failed to rouse compassion on the part of the Spanish government – who propagated Christianity in our country.

Mabini wrote in his memoir: “From the day Rizal understood the misfortunes of his native land and decided to rectify them, he knew the terrors of death awaited him which he bravely endured until the end – for the love of his countrymen.”

Our country is blessed for a national hero whose scholarly works, academic excellence, and writings continue to move and inspire Filipinos to fight for their rights as a people and value education as a means to obtain freedom and justice.

Let his unwavering selflessness and intense patriotism be one of the memories to reflect on during this Christmas season.

* – credits to the owner/s for the pictures

Marina Dizon-Santiago: Secretary of the Katipunan Women’s Chapter

Originally authored on August 27, 2016

All it took was a family bloodline. Marina was the daughter of Jose Dizon, an active associate of Andres Bonifacio who was one of the thirteen revolutionary martyrs of Bagumbayan. She was also the cousin of Emilio Jacinto. Having grown and honed under a family of patriots and nationalists, an inner awareness in her was sparked and had eventually led to her conviction.

Marina was born on July 18, 1875, in Trozo, Tondo. At a tender age of eight months, her mother, Roberta Bartolome died. She was raised by her aunt, the sister of her father, Josefa Dizon, mother of Emilio Jacinto. She was enrolled at a private school that was led by Maestro Timoteo Reyes and later studied at a public school under Aniceta Cabrera. Marina was a student of the arts, music, painting, and modelling. She later became an accomplished singer. More so, she was the guitarist and violinist of the Trozo Comparza Band. Initially, Marina wished to be a teacher although discouraged by her father.

 

Agueda Esteban: Point Person of the Katipuneros

Originally authored on August 28, 2015

Born from a humble family in Binondo, Manila on February 1868, Agueda enrolled and excelled in a girl’s school under the auspices of Dona Vicenta de Roxas. Marrying a katipunero, Agueda became a Filipina revolutionary who brought materials from Manila to make gunpowder and bullets which she delivered to her husband in Cavite. Her husband, Mariano Barroga of Batac, Ilocos Norte was put in charge of the revolutionaries in San Juan Del Monte, Montalban, and Marikina.

Later on he was transferred with his family to Tangos, Cavite. Agueda and her husband constantly traveled to secure materials for ammunition which remained undetected by the authorities until the Truce of Biak-na-Bato. During the American occupation, she was the courier between her husband in Manila and General Artemio Ricarte in Cavite. Agueda was entrusted with secret papers on war strategies and planned attacks on Spanish detachments. Being a woman, she was never suspected of involvement in revolutionary activities, until July 1900, the authorities discovered grenades in her house in Calle Anda which consequently led to the arrest of Agueda, her husband, and General Ricarte.

Teodoro Asedillo: A Nameless Hero

Originally authored on August 22, 2015

One whose heroism was almost never heard of was the bravery of Teodoro Asedillo. He was a normal school teacher who taught using Filipino as medium of teaching to awaken the hearts and minds of the young children. The colonial American era prohibited the use of Filipino in schools and only English was allowed. For insubordination, Asedillo was fired from teaching. He then served as a police chief but was also driven out at the change of administration.

Left with no option, he joined a revolutionary movement called Katipunan ng mga Anak Pawis sa Pilipinas (KAP), a group of peasants who strove to push their rights against abusive laws imposed by the American government. The aftermath of Filipino-American war consigned Filipino revolutionaries as enemies of the state, insurrecto, insurgent, rebel. A made-up plan for Americans to exterminate a place where revolutionaries hid and execute the revolutionaries.

Heritage in Remembrance: Hermano Pule

Originally authored on July 22, 2015

One hundred forty-three years hence, we give honor to a forgotten hero whose martyrdom came three decades ahead of the execution of the Filipino priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora who sparked the revolutionary ideals of Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio. Apolinario de la Cruz, known as Hermano Pule, hailed from Lucban, Tayabas (now Quezon Province). He was born in July 22, 1814, exactly two-hundred one years ago.

Gliceria Marella Villavicencio: Ang Anghel Ng Himagsikan

Originally authored on August 18, 2016

Whenever a tour is scheduled in Taal, Batangas, the visit to Ka Eryang’s historical house is a never miss. It is the home and sanctuary of the Philippine Revolution. It is more popularly known today as the “wedding gift house”, a gift by her husband Eulalio Villavicencio, a wealthy ship owner.

An illustrious Filipina, Gliceria Marella was born in Taal on May 13, 1852 from an affluent family Vicente Marella and Gertrudis Legaspi. At the age of 12, she attended the Sta. Catalina in Intramuros but had to stop when her elder sister died and she had to continue the responsibility of managing the family estate.

Four years before the Philippine-Spanish war erupted in January 1892, Eulalio went to Hongkong and delivered P18,000, from the family’s personal funds, to Dr. Jose Rizal to finance his subversive propaganda movements against Spain. In gratitude, Rizal sent an ivory dagger, as a keepsake to Dona Gliceria and propaganda pamphlets. Eulalio helped in disseminating leaflets and copies of La Solidaridad. It did not go unnoticed and the suspicious Spaniards accused Eulalio of being a filibuster for inciting rebellion. He was imprisoned in the Old Bilibid Prison in Manila when his association with the revolutionary movement was validated.

Dr. Maximo Viola: Ang Tagapagligtas Ng Noli

Originally authored on August 30, 2015

“A friend in need is a friend indeed!” The original manuscript of Rizal’s first novel, Noli Me Tangere could not have seen the light of day due to financial constraint if not for the timely assistance of Viola. He funded the first 2,000 copies for publication. In deep gratitude, Rizal gave him the last galley proofs and the first published copy wherein it was written: “To my dear friend, Maximo Viola, the first to read and appreciate my work. Jose Rizal March 29, 1887, Berlin.

Born in Barrio Sta. Rita, San Miguel, Bulacan, he was an only child of Isabel Sison of Malabon and Pedro Viola of San Miguel. After his early education in his hometown, he finished a degree in Colegio de San Juan de Letran and sailed to Spain to study Medicine in University of Barcelona where he met other Filipino students, notably Jose Rizal with whom he developed a close friendship. He finished his doctoral degree in 1886 and before returning to the Philippines, together with Rizal, they toured Germany, Hungary, Austria, and Switzerland where he met Ferdinand Blumentritt, a foreigner friend and supporter of Rizal.