The Betrayals of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo

Clearly, as what this blog site implies, the author is not (and will never be) an Aguinaldo fan. It is also clear, unlike to what is being (and have been) taught in school, that Aguinaldo is after all for personal favor and not what was written in our history books. Despite his glorified image, it is undeniable that he was the person behind the deaths of the most important(if not “The”) persons in the Philippine History, as well as betrayals and the sale of our country.

That being said let us count the ways, how many times, Don Emilio Aguinaldo favored himself over our beloved country.

Philippine’s For Sale (Pact of Biak na Bato)

With the death of Katipunan’s Supreme Leader, Andres Bonifacio, the Philippine revolutionary stronghold started to lose grip, prompting Aguinaldo (and his cohorts and cabinet) to take refuge in a remote cave in the province of Bulacan, called Biak na Bato. Together with his cabinets and loyalist, they have agreed on and signed a pact selling the Philippine Revolution to the Spanish empire for 800,000 Mexican Peso, half of which will be Aguinaldo’s and the other half will be distributed to the entire party.

At that point in time, the move made some Filipinos, most specially those who are still fighting and not present in the Pact of Biak na Bato, angry and felt betrayed more overly those who are relatives of the one’s who were killed in action (I can’t fathom the way Donya Oryang (widow of Andres Bonifacio) felt during that time).

However, later on, it was refuted (by the Aguinaldo loyalist and relatives) that the move is some sort of a tactic to gather funds and ground in order to purchase firearms and recruit more revolutionaries, in relation to the second salvo of the revolution. Also, they claimed that without the Pact of Biak na Bato, the Spanish could have still went after the revolutionaries but all of it died down with the sale.

True enough, the Spanish purchased the revolution but agreed to only pay Aguinaldo in half (400,000 Mexican Pesos), and promise to pay the other half after his exile in Hong Kong. The other 400,000 Mexican Pesos was never fulfilled and Aguinaldo never had purchased additional firearms (and revolutionaries) with his money.

Balimbing Republic

In 1941, during the Japanese Regime, Aguinaldo went to the radio and appealed to the country not to take up arms against the Japanese Forces, but join them in arms instead.

Other, most specially the Anti Aguinaldo forces, saw this gesture not only as betrayal but a mere revenge after he lost the seat to the then Speaker of the House, Manuel Quezon, with the hopes of getting the presidency or at least the highest Philippine representative during the occupation. Unfortunately, after all his efforts to take the seat, it was given to Jose P. Laurel.

Supremo’s Murder (Andres Bonifacio)

He first ordered the exile of Katipunan’s founding father Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio because of treason and conspiracy to kill Emilio Aguinaldo. On his credit, Aguinlado, tried the Bonifacio brothers, with Jury and a defense lawyer.Be as it may, the Jury and the Bonifacio defense lawyer were all Aguinaldo loyalist and fellow Cavitenos (during that time regional differences were at it’s highest peak).

After the trial, he ordered for the brothers to be exiled, but later on recalled his orders and gave in to his general’s advice (pressure) to kill the Bonifacio brothers, instead, for the sake of their cause. On the wake of an offensive by the Spanish forces in Maragondon Cavite, he ordered the execution of the Andres and Procopio Bonifacio in the Maragondon mountain ranges, some called named it Mount Buntis, some Nagpatong, some Tala, but unfortunately, until now, no one is definite the exact place of execution.

With the death of Bonifacio, he made himself the Supreme Leader of Katipunan that eventually led to the first Republic of the Philippines, but the manner of how he took the seat only showed that he is more into the personal rather than the patriotic edge of the blade. To make matters worst, he treated Andres Bonifacio like a common criminal, by ordering to shoot Andres Bonifcaio at the back (which is only given to traitors, like what the Spanish government did to Jose Rizal) and by not giving him a proper burial.

The Assassination of Gen. Antonio Luna

Gen. Antonio Luna gained notoriety during the Filipino-American War right after the Filipino-Spanish war. He is known to be a hot headed and ill tempered but very disciplined and dedicated general, of whom, many are happy and sad/bitter at the same time.

Luna was Aguinaldo’s highest commanding general but had gained many foes along the line, including some other generals and advisers of Aguinaldo.

Like Andres Bonifacio, Luna was killed by Aguinaldo’s men, but unlike Bonifacio’s, Aguinaldo denied the allegation until his death. Nonetheless, even though the evidences are pointing towards the men of Aguinaldo (and himself), no single person was tried nor convicted of Luna’s death on June 1899 in Cabanatuan City.

Aguinaldo’s name came into picture when he allegedly summoned Luna to Cabanatuan City, as he will be named secretary of war only to find out his arch nemesis (and a known Aguinaldo ally) Felipe Buencamino, behind Aguinaldo’s seat.

After a verbal altercation with Buencamino, Luna angrily came down the City’s capitol building and out of the square to his two trusted aides Col. Francisco “Paco” Roman and Capt. Eduardo Rusca, when he heard a gunshot inside the compound which prompted him to go back to confront the person who fired the gun. While looking for the culprit, he was upfronted by Capt. Jalonillo (another Aguinaldo ally and fellow Caviteno and was victim of the General’s wrath when he failed on a mission ), with a bolo to the head.

After Gen. Luna (and Paco Roman) was killed, Dona Trinidad Famy Aguinaldo (Aguinaldo’s Mother), peered out of the window and uttered or asked the question “Yari na ba yan?” which was/is a two standard phrase that can be interpreted as “is it done?” or “is he dead?” adding fuel to the controversy.

Don Emilio Aguinaldo went to live and witness the emancipation of our country until his death in 1964 at the age of 94 outliving his fellow Spanish “Hero” by a margin of 60+ years (Luna died at 32, Bonifacio died at 33, Jose Rizal died at 35, Del Pilar died at 24, and so on). In addition, Gen. Aguinaldo was not shy to show the entire country of his personal ambition like what he did during the Pact of Biak na Bato and the Japanese Occupation.

Nonetheless, like the old saying goes, winners write history, reason why he was (and still is) treated as a national hero well in fact he can be tagged as a traitor and betrayer.

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Crucify Me!

For 300 years we’ve been in the shadows of the Spanish which is predominantly a Catholic country, thus giving us not just some of their ways but also their beliefs and traditions, religion wise. It is also a fact that, the then Catholic Friars and leaders were into flagellation, more overly on the sinners and unbelievers, like what Jesus went through during his passion, which leads to this article.

In our country, Pampanga is so well known to for its colorful Holy Week rights, from “Pabasa” (reading of the Passion of the Christ) to self flagellation and ultimately to Crucifixion, which is the highlight of the pilgrim.

That being said, if Hollywood have Leonardo De Caprio, Pampanga has Ruben Enaje, who had been crucified during these event 29 times, the most (or one of the most) in the country.

A construction worker/laborer by profession, Ruben Enaje had been doing the crucifixion since 1985, after surviving a terrifying fall while working on a site that. Enaje gained massive popularity when TV shows started to cover such events that eventually led international news correspondence and tourists to his act.

Although the country’s health department is against the flagellation and crucifixion, there were no instances of holding off a crucifixion since it’s conception (no recorded event) to its rising popularity in the early 70s.

The Holy Week in the Philippines is being kicked off (officially) by Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday, but the climax and highlight of the “Semana Santa” is the Black Friday, where crucifixion rites (or at least a simulated one), is being held simultaneously around the country.

In addition, Holy Week in the Philippines also signifies vacation, beaches, and long weekends as well as heavy lock downs on roads, sea and air ports.

Col. Agapito “Yntong” Bonzon, A Traitor or A Good Soldier?

Is he a traitor, like most of the men behind the death of Supremo Andres Bonifacio, or a very loyal soldier to his superiors that is willing to take every bullet in the name of camaraderie and respect to his commanding officer?

You’d be the Judge.

For those who are unaware who he is, Col. Agapito Bonzon or more popularly known as Col. Yntong, was the arresting officer of Andres Bonifacio in Limbon Cavite on April 28, 1897 , and based on his reports to General Emilio Aguinaldo, he had no recourse but to fight fire with fire, as Bonifacio turned hostile towards him (and his arresting team), when the Supremo learned that he is up for an arrest because of sedition and treason.

He even called Bonifacio his brother and said that he didn’t want to hurt him but he had no choice but to retaliate. After the dust settled, Andres Bonifacio was shot (in the arm) and stabbed in the neck (some claimed that it was Col. Yntong but some also say Col. Ignacio Pawa who had a bronze statue in Cavite). The wounds received by the Katipunan’s Supreme leader made him immovable and immobile and was carried through a hamock into his trial in Maragondon which eventually led to his death sentence together with his brother Procopio.

This was his side, however, there are always two sides of the coin, and according to the accounts of Andres Bonifacio’s widow Gregoria De Jesus or Ka Oryang to many, Col. Yntong’s claims were far from what really happened.

Ka Oryang said that Col. Yntong and his men were cordially welcomed by the Supremo in his house and even asked them to join him for breakfast and gave them packs of cigarettes when Col. Yntong left the Supremo’s dwelling, the day before his arrest.

The next day, the once peaceful Col. Yntong came back but, this time a different beast, he shouted profanities to the Supremo and called him “Walang Hiya“, maybe to urge Katipunan’s Supreme leader to retaliate and project him as a hot headed man, but Bonifacio came back peacefully and said that he had not done anything wrong to anyone in the organization.

However, as he was speaking, a shot was fired that eventually triggered a gun fight between the two factions. After the battle, Andres Bonifacio was fatally wounded, his brother Procopio was beaten senseless and another brother Ciriaco was gunned down. In addition, it was also accounted that Ka Oryang was sexually abused, but this is another story to tell.

It is really hard to tell or brand Col. Yntong as a traitor because of his actions against one of the, if not the most, important person in our history. On the other side of the fence, it is also hard to discredit his action as a regular soldier following an order from his superior(s).

Is it not Aguinaldo who had ordered Col. Yntong to come strong and throw garbs toward the Supremo hoping for the latter to draw his gun first?And is it not Aguinaldo who had ordered Col. Yntong to capture Bonifacio (and his men) dead (because of the stab wound in the neck and a second blow that was thwarted by a loyal Bonifacio man who offered himself to be stabbed instead of the Supremo).

You’d be the judge.

Philippine’s Evolution (Educational System)

Long before the Spaniards came to conquer our island, education has been there, but not sophisticated as it was today.

Chieftains or head(s) of the community are the sole responsible for the education of the entire village. They teach basic communication (writing and speaking) as well as the use of their weapons on hunting and wars.

When the Spaniards came, they introduced the proper form of education which was mostly headed and led by religious leaders (University of Santo Tomas – the oldest university in Asia) such as friars or cardinals.

However, the schools that they have opened were exclusive only for Spanish and Half bloods or mestizos, thus making Jose Rizal an illustrado and well educated man and Andres Bonifacio a self thought and educated common people.

When Uncle Sam came into the picture, they opened schools and universities to everybody and made English the primary tool in educating the country, which made them different to the Spaniards who made Spanish exclusive to them and to the half bloods.

The American’s education system is one, if not the, most important thing that they brought here during their regime that is why we are the hub of contact centers in the entire planet.

However, as good as it may, it created confusion to everyone (up until now) because we are incepted and educated, through their books, of snows, pancakes, winters, springs, falls, Santa Claus, etc. which is nonexistent in our country.

When the Japanese Imperial Army marched in, for a short duration, they have maintained the American education system, but required nihonggo as a subject as what they did to Saipan and Singapore during the WWII, which showed their love for Japan.

Of course through course of time our education system evolved from era to era.

During our grandparents, they have Latin subjects, which are heavily influenced by the Spaniards and their religion. My folks had Spanish and when it was my time English, History, Science, and Math were the most important subjects.

Today, as it is continually evolving, young students have visual arts, robotics, programming, and other modern trends, which are dictated mostly by technology.

Sadly, in today’s education system, History and Mother tongue had taken a backseat to give way to the more appropriate and advanced curriculums, which I heavily disagree on.

It is very vital for our education system to push more for, correct and accurate, history so our younger generations would know and appreciate the heroism of our forefathers and in turn, our younger generation will develop their sense of nationalism and love for the country, reason being this website has been created.

On This Day In Philippine History. March 17, 1521.

On March 17, 1521 Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and 150 of his crew, landed on the shores of the Philippine Archipelago, they are the first European explorer to set foot in our country.

Through the help of his Malayan interpreter Enrique (of Malacca), he befriended a high Cebu chieftain, Rajah Humabon his wife Ara Amihan, whom later on were converted into Christianity, making them the earliest Christian convert in the Philippines.

In addition, not only the first Filipino Christians, Rajah Humabon and Ara Amihan were also the first owners of the, now tourist attractions in Cebu, the Santo Nino de Cebu and the Magellan’s Cross. These two artifacts were Magellan’s gift to them when they decided to convert into Christianity.

It is well known that Lapu-Lapu killed Magellan, a couple of months after landing and converting the community of Rajah Humabon into Christianity, however, it was not specified in our history books that it was Rajah Humabon who led Magellan to the fierce chieftain of Mactan Lapu-Lapu, with a personal interest against the Philippine’s first hero.

According to accounts, Rajah Humabon and Ara Amihan convinced Magellan to confront Lapu-Lapu because of an outstanding feud between the two chieftains. It is also rumored that the main reason why Rajah Humabon accepted Magellan with open arms and converted his entire town into Christianity is to convince the Portuguese explorer to join him in arms against the Mactan chieftain.

on April 27, of the same year, with a small attack group, Ferdinand Magellan sailed into Mactan to confront Lapu-Lapu, in retaliation of his rejection into conversion, but was struck fatally with a bamboo spear from Lapu-Lapu and his crew.

Emilio Aguinaldo’s Confession

Emilio Aguinaldo is well-known and popular to be the first president of the Philippine Republic, but, like Ferdinand Marcos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he is also one of the most controversial president we had.

Among all the controversies surrounded the Cavite General, the most standout was his involvement in the killing of Supremo Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio, because of treason. It lingered for the longest time who had them killed until a letter surfaced, with his signature, in 1948, claiming and acknowledging the brain behind the Bonifacio killing.

The day before his birthday in 1948, a letter went public which is something like a series of exchanges between him and Mariano Noriel and Pio del Pilar, his war Generals, regarding his orders for the fate of the Bonifacio brothers.

The letter initially goes:

Kung ibig po ninyong magpatuloy ang kapanatagan ng pamahalaang mapanghimagsik, at kung ibig ninyong mabuhay pa tayo, ay inyo pong bawiin ang iginawad na indukto sa magkapatid na iyan.”

(Translation: “If you want to go on with peace of mind for the entire revolution and want as well for us to live (as an organization), please reconsider your decree on the Bonifacio brothers.)

For the benefit of the few, Aguinaldo initially ordered the Bonifacio brothers to be exiled or deported.

He then answered with his signature with these:

“Dahil dito’y aking binawi at inutos ko kay Heneral Noriel na ipatupad ang kahatulan ng Consejo de Guerra, na barilin ang magkapatid, alang-alang sa kapanatagan ng bayan.”

(Translation: “Because of this, I retracted and ordered Gen. Noriel to enforce the judgement of Consejo de Guerra, to shot the Bonifacio brothers, for the sake of our organization’s order and stability.)

However, although the letter bears the acknowledgement, it depicts that he is just giving in on the recommendations of his trusted men for the sake of their cause and the country.

With this confession or letter, is it safe to say that Aguinaldo was a weak and fickle minded leader or a very strong and strategical leader, projecting a weak image, in order for him to easily go through the defenses of everyone in his staff without difficulty or hindrance.

Aside from the Bonifacio controversy, he is also under the microscope for two other controversies namely the Pact of the Biak na Bato wherein he sold the Philippines for 800, 000 Mexican Pesos and the execution of the fierce General Antonio Luna in Cabanatuan City, in which he behemothly denied until his last breath (these two controversies will be published soon, separately).

True or False. Philippine Historical Inaccuracies

Any history, around the world, has its own inaccuracies and baseless hand me down information, after all it is written by human from his/her recollection, and often time, our memories fails us with regards to the details of an account. Now, the sad part was, these “so called” facts were written down and handed down, as information, to younger generations which is now hard to unlearn most especially it if stemmed out of proportions.

Luckily, there are some historians who opted to correct inaccuracies for the benefit of the future generations and the country as well. To be right, is to do the things correctly the first time you do it, and if you didn’t had the chance to do it the first time, if the opportunity presents itself, then do and correct it.

Take for instance the case of the great Apolnario Mabini, who was for the longest time was rumored to have suffered from a then dreaded disease Syphillis, reason why he was paralyzed from waist down. That was the reason believed from 1896, until it was proven wrong in 1980 when a group of doctors performed an autopsy, and determine that Mabini suffered from polio, which is the most logical reason why he was paralytic until his death in 1903.

Historian Ambeth R. Ocampo said that the Syphilis rumor was a dirty tactic of Aguinaldo’s cabinet to take him out because Mabini is no longer getting well with the other cabinet members of Aguinaldo’s government.

Another inaccurate account of history was Andres Bonifacio’s image, in popular culture, Bonifacio is a camisa de chino clad-bolo wielding-hot headed-uneducated-poor hero. This has what our history books and teachers have told us for the longest time. But, in reality, these characteristics are far from the true Supremo.

The only fact that was given to us by the textbooks and professors is that he and his siblings were orphans, but Bonifacio was a self taught reader, and in fact his favorite book was Le Miserables and had penned several poems and short stories.

In addition, he was also presented as a camisa-de chino or massa styled common man, but it was proven not true where historians uncovered that he is in fact a big fan of formal attires.

With regards to his weapon of choice, unlike what has been incepted publicy, he is a big fan and owner of a pistol, which is very appropriate considering his rank as the Supreme leader of Katipunan.However, you cannot take out the fact that majority of the Katipuneros’ weapons are bolos considering the circumstances at that time, where firepowered weapons are very hard to acquire.

He was also seen as a hot headed leader but in reality the only time he lost his head is when he drew a pistol to a man who called him an uneducated man in the popular Tejeros Convention, but he was talked out of it, which only showed how level headed he was. It was also pointed out that our history could have been different (or at least Bonifacio’s or Aguinaldo’s) if Bonifacio had not been degraded because he was more than willing to hand the highest seat to Aguinaldo, peacefully.

Bonifacio’s death also has its inconsistencies when it was formerly written that he and his brother, Procopio, received bullets in their heads as they were executed, as per order Aguinaldo’s orders, only to be discredited by Aguinaldo’s men saying that Andres and his brother was hacked to death in order for them to save bullets.

Another inaccurate information that was recently handed down to our students was included on a book for grade 5 students wherein it says persistent rainstorms and floods led Ferdinand Marco declare Martial Law in 1972. However, on my own opinion, this is pure negligence and guess work or maybe, the authors and editors of the book are either lazy or a die hard loyalist.

Who knows.