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The Filipino Garibaldi
By mlq3 Posted in Daily Dose on June 12, 2009 88 Comments 13 min read
Outflanking her enemies Previous The dilemma of the good soldier Next

(above: President Aguinaldo with veterans of the Revolution at the funeral of President Roxas in 1948)

I’ve put together a little photo gallery, click on the photos or hover your mouse pointer over them for the captions.

A British writer once referred to Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy as “The Filipino Garibaldi,” and the comparison seems appropriate. The story of his life has yet to be properly written; much of it will include his long battle to assert the Magdalo version of our history.
That version asserts June 12, 1898 as Independence Day. Our choice of June 12, 1898 as Independence Day, instead of say, August 29, 1896 when Bonifacio issued a proclamation calling on the citizenry to rise up in arms (the date of the famous tearing of cedulas being mired in controversy to this day), is interesting to me.

What is it, about Bonifacio’s August 28, 1896 Proclamation, that makes it unfit as the founding document of our nationhood?

This manifesto is for all of you:

It is absolutely necessary for us to stop at the earliest possible time the nameless oppressions being perpetrated on the sons of the country who are now suffering the brutal punishment and tortures in jails, and because of this please let all the brethren know that on Saturday, the 29th of the current month, the revolution shall commence according to our agreement. For this purpose it is necessary for all towns to rise simultaneously and attack Manila at the same time. Anybody who obstructs this sacred ideal of the people will be considered a traitor and an enemy, except if he is ill or is not physically fit, in which case he shall be tried according to the regulations we have put in force.

Mount of Liberty, 28th August 1896.

Andres Bonifacio

What eventually transpired, of course, was that the professionals asserted control of the Revolution as Bonifacio’s class background and lack of success as a military leader turned the provincial worthies among his supporters into critics, then rivals.
By 1897, the Katipunan as the vehicle for the Revolution, and as its government, became increasingly unattractive to provincial leaders who may have been unsettled by the subordination of the old hierarchies to what they could’ve increasingly resented as a bunch of urban amateurs. And perhaps, the romantic belief of Bonifacio that Castilian mores ought to be purged, replacing even the concept of nationhood as Filipinas with his idea of the new polity being Katagalugan, was just too strange and smacked of the kind of leveling the provincial worthies felt was too radical.

For this reason, this song, Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan, which was really our first national anthem, is hardly remembered and indeed, had to be reconstructed by the composer long after the events of 1896-1897.

Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan – Inang Laya

Details can be found in The Bonifacio Papers:

Bonifacio mentions in his letter that he has received a copy of the Himno Nacional that Nakpil had sent. Julio Nakpil later recalled that he composed this piece — also known as the Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan — at the request of Bonifacio when they were encamped with Katipunan troops in the vicinity of Balara in November 1896. He remembered the hymn still being played in Cavite and Laguna in 1898, but as the history textbooks tell Aguinaldo then chose as the national anthem the composition by Julian Felipe originally titled the Marcha Filipina Magdalo. In 1903 Nakpil reworked his Marangal na Dalit as a tribute to Rizal under the title Salve, Patria, but the only surviving copies of the original score were destroyed in 1945 during the battle for Manila. The version of Marangal na Dalit we have today was reconstructed by Nakpil from memory when he was in his eighties. The form chosen by Nakpil, the dalit, was traditionally a sung prayer or supplication, and his hymn, as readers may hear, is very solemn, almost mournful. To lift the spirits, it is good to listen to a different piece by Nakpil that is also highly evocative of those revolutionary times, the lively pasa-doble militar entitled Pasig Pantayanin.

The victory of Aguinaldo was as much an assertion of the historic destiny and hierarchical sureties of the principalia; when he was inaugurated president in Malolos, the cane he carried was a symbol of authority dating back to the days of the cabezas de barangay, of which he’d been one, after all.

Here’s another song, Inang Laya’s version of Alerta, Katipunan! which was originally a Spanish military march. The music was adopted by the Katipuneros and new lyrics added. I’ve often wondered why this isn’t the official march of the Philippine Army.

Alerta Katipunan – Inang Laya

Anyway, so today is, officially, the 111th anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, and the culmination of our flag days. June 12 has been Flag Day since 1941. We’ve chosen June 12 because the trappings of independence were displayed on that day: formal proclamation of independence, a flag, an anthem.

Not content with a single day, in 1998 an innovation was put in place, “flag days,” beginning on May 28, the date the flag was first carried aloft in battle.


The flag, as rendered by Eric Agoncillo Ambata in an approximation of the 1898 ratio and features. You can see my June 5, 2005 entry for details on how our flag belongs to a Flag Family that includes Cuba and Puerto Rico.

The Proclamation of Independence in Kawit on June 12, 1898 stated the symbolism of the flag:

And lastly, it was results unanimously that this Nation, already free and independent as of this day, must used the same flag which up to now is being used, whose designed and colored are found described in the attached drawing, the white triangle signifying the distinctive emblem of the famous Society of the “Katipunan” which by means of its blood compact inspired the masses to rise in revolution; the three stars, signifying the three principal Islands of these Archipelago – Luzon, Mindanao, and Panay where the revolutionary movement started; the sun representing the gigantic step made by the son of the country along the path of Progress and Civilization; the eight rays, signifying the eight provinces – Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Laguna, and Batangas – which declares themselves in a state of war as soon as the first revolt was initiated; and the colors of Blue, Red, and White, commemorating the flag of the United States of America, as a manifestation of our profound gratitude towards this Great Nation for its disinterested protection which it lent us and continues lending us.

Considering all the debates concerning the original colors and design of the flag, it’s a pity that the “attached drawing” has never been found (details on the debates, etc. can be found in my Flags of the World article on the Philippine flag).

Apolinario Mabini in La Revolucion Filipina was of the opinion the proclamation of independence was premature, and the document read in Kawit, defective:

…I realized also that the proclamation of independence which was being made that day was premature and imprudent because the Americans were concealing their true designs while we were making ours manifest. I foresaw, of course, that because of this want of caution the American commanders and forces would be on guard against the revolutionists, and the United States consuls on the China coast would sabotage the purchase of arms for the revolution. However, unable to prevent the proclamation because I had arrived too late to do so, I kept my peace and set myself to studying in detail the measures most urgently called for in the existing situation.

After the capitulation of Manila, the Philippine Government moved from Bacoor, Cavite, to Malolos, Bulacan, where the newly created Congress held its first session. The first results of this assembly’s deliberations were the ratification of the proclamation of independence prematurely made in Kawit, and the decision to draft a constitution for the establishment of a Philippine Republic.

I haven’t located a copy of the September 29, 1898 ratification of the proclamation of independence, but it would surely make for interesting reading, compared to the Proclamation made at Kawit.

Aguinaldo wrote his own True History of the Philippine Revolution to rebut Mabini. There’s two sections concerning the flag:

In conformity with my orders issued on the 1st of September, all Philippine vessels hoisted the national flag, the Marines of the Filipino flotilla being the first to execute that order. Our little flotilla consisted of some eight Spanish steam launches (which had been captured) and five vessels of greater dimensions, namely, the Taaleño, Baldyan, Taal, Bulucan, and Purisima Concepcion. These vessels were presented to the Philippine Government by their native owners and were converted by us, at our Arsenal, into gunboats, 8 and 9 centimetre guns, taken from the sunken Spanish warships, being mounted on board.

Ah! what a beautiful, inspiring joyous sight that flag was fluttering in the breeze from the topmasts of our vessels, side by side, as it were, with the ensigns of other and greater nations, among whose mighty warships our little cruisers passed to and fro dipping their colours, the ensign of Liberty and Independence! With what reverence and adoration it was viewed as it suddenly rose in its stately loneliness crowning our victories, and, as it were, smiling approvingly upon the undisciplined Philippine Army in the moment of its triumphs over the regular forces of the Spanish Government! One’s heart swells and throbs again with the emotions of extreme delight; the soul is filled with pride, and the goal of patriotism seems well-nigh reached in the midst of such a magnificent spectacle!

At the end of June I called on Admiral Dewey, who, after complimenting me on the rapid triumphs of the Philippine Revolution, told me he had been asked by the German and French Admirals why he allowed the Filipinos to display on their vessels a flag that was not recognized. Admiral Dewey said his reply to the French and German Admirals was – with his knowledge and consent the Filipinos used that flag, and, apart from this, he was of opinion that in view of the courage and steadfastness of purpose displayed in the war against the Spaniards the Filipinos deserved the right to use their flag.

I thereupon expressed to the Admiral my unbounded gratitude for such unequivocal protection, and on returning to the shore immediately ordered the Philippine flotilla to convey troops to the other provinces of Luzon and to the Southern islands, to wage war against the Spaniards who garrisoned them.

And this one, about Commodore Dewey:

The Dictatorial Government decided that the proclamation of Independence should take place on the 12th June, the ceremony in connection therewith to be held in the town of Kawit. With this object in view I sent a Commission to inform the Admiral of the arrangement and invite him to be present on the occasion of the formal proclamation of Independence, a ceremony which was solemnly and impressively conducted. The Admiral sent his Secretary to excuse him from taking part in the proceedings, stating the day fixed for the ceremony was mail day…

During that month (July) Admiral Dewey accompanied by General Anderson visited Cavite, and after the usual exchange of courtesies he said- “You have had ocular demonstration and confirmation of all I have told you and promised you. How pretty your flag is! It has a triangle, and is something like the Cubans’. Will you give me one as a memento when I go back home?”

I replied that I was fully satisfied with his word of honour and of the needlessness of having our agreement in documentary form. As to the flag he wanted, he could have one whenever he wished.

The Admiral continued: Documents are useless when there is no sense of honour on one side, as was the case in respect of the compact with the Spaniards, who failed to act up to what had been written and signed. Have faith in my word, and I assure you that the United States will recognize the independence of the country. But I recommend you to keep a good deal of what we have said and agreed secret at present. I further request you to have patience if any of our soldiers insult any Filipinos, for being Volunteers they are as yet undisciplined.

I replied that I would bear in mind all his advice regarding cautiousness, and that with respect to the misconduct of the soldiers orders had already been issued enjoining forbearance, and I passed the same remarks to the Admiral about unpleasantness possibly arising through lack of discipline of our own forces.

The flag was banned by the Americans from 1907-1919. From 1919 to 1941, Flag Day was on October 30. See How our flag flew again by Joe Quirino.


The stampita above was part of a series sold to raise funds for the Independence Missions from 1919-1933, particularly after a court case decided public funds could not be appropriated for the purpose of lobbying for independence. It shows how the mythical face on the sun was already passing from popular use, although the 7:8 ratio and non-equilateral triangle of the 1898 design were still current in the 1920s and early 1930s.


At the inauguration of the Commonwealth on November 15, 1935, the giant Philippine flag, made of Japanese silk, was a gift from General Artemio Ricarte, who was still in exile in Japan, as he’d refused to recognize the American conquest. His gift of the Philippine flag was a token of solidarity with his countrymen as they embarked on full autonomy, the penultimate step to independence.


The flag after the 1936 reforms that standardized its component parts and other features. To summarize the main differences, the old ratio of 7:8 was changed to 1:2 and the triangle was made an equilateral one, and the rays of the sun regularized and the mythical face, dropped.

Our flag is unique as it is reversed in times of war; this has happened twice. From 1898-1901 when the First Republic was at war with the United States; and from 1941 to 1945 when we were at war with Japan. The poster above, commissioned by the Commonwealth government-in-exile, is also interesting because it confirms the use of Cuban blue for the flag.

When Aguinaldo participated in the first commemoration of June 12 as flag day, in 1941, he did so as a public act of endorsement and acceptance of the 1936 changes. During the Japanese Occupation, to distinguish the de facto Puppet Republic from the de jure Commonwealth, an effort was made to revive the 1898 design but it did not catch on.

Daily Dose Emilio Aguinaldo Philippine Revolution Philippines Quezoniana

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  1. What eventually transpired, of course, was that the professionals asserted control of the Revolution as Bonifacio’s class background and lack of success as a military leader turned the provincial worthies among his supporters into critics, then rivals.
    By 1897, the Katipunan as the vehicle for the Revolution, and as its government, became increasingly unattractive to provincial leaders who may have been unsettled by the subordination of the old hierarchies to what they could’ve increasingly resented as a bunch of urban amateurs. And perhaps, the romantic belief of Bonifacio that Castilian mores ought to be purged, replacing even the concept of nationhood as Filipinas with his idea of the new polity being Katagalugan, was just too strange and smacked of the kind of leveling the provincial worthies felt was too radical.

    I have always wondered why Andres Bonifacio was killed (Aguinaldo’s orders?)
    So even in those days, we had splintered opposition each driven by their own agendas, biases, notions of self-worth and elitism was already present?
    If Bonifacio’s brand of patriotism was the one adopted, would things be different today? Would we be like Japan?

  2. ramrod, speculation’s difficult, but every revolution has its factions and everyone participating brings to the table their own world-views. the elimination of bonifacio was justified by the aguinaldistas as a matter of self-preservation for the revolution because they believed he had proven himself incapable of mustering the leadership required for a protogovernment and not just a secret society.

  3. Awesome pictures, Manolo! I was wondering about Photo #16. Is that what is now the National Museum? I didn’t know there was that arch there before. I wonder why it’s no longer there. Bombed?

    Anyway, I think that Fighting Filipinos poster is great, no? I featured it once at my site. It was painted by Manuel Rey Isip.

  4. wow.. talk about all those heroes i read in textbooks in one place.. i mean it must be so euphoric even to be infront of them.. yet they still look so human..

  5. manolo.. do you have anything on aguinaldo saying or mentioning anything about bonifacio..

  6. gerry, yes, that’s the legislative building. that was a temporary arch, plywood and canvas i think. that was supposed to be the location of the arch of the commonwealth, later, the arch of the republic, the plaster model (two versions, i think) by guillermo tolentino still exist, one in the pasig city museum and the other in some bank’s collection.

  7. Bonifacio’s ideas were the makings of a true revolution. A total regime change. Economics, political and cultural.

    His absolute idealism did him in.

    You can do that only with a superior armed force and total victory. In those days physical purging was allowed.

    That is what makes a revolution in today’s historical period almost impossible.

    We have now become a hybrid mixed up culture as a result hitching our wagon to whoever is willing to lend us money.

    We are proud mendicants and rationalize our dependency with fantasy economics, politics and culture. It is easier to live the truth in a fantasy world rather than solve the far more complex problems.

  8. I think Ramrod raises an important point. The schism between Aguinaldo and Bonifacio does seem to me to reflect a national predilection for fractiousness or as he puts it a people “driven by their own agendas [and] biases.” An inability to form lasting associations seems to be a defining feature of Philippine public life. We can see this in the shifting sands of the political party structures of course, but also in the more trivial area of national sports bodies. Take the Philippine Olympic Committee, which has two ongoing disputes which group should represent a minority sport (equestrianism and wushu) which almost led to the Philippines not taking part in the First Asian Youth Games. This is absolutely typical; there is hardly a sports body in the country that has not been riven by a personal feud over the past 10 years.

    It is true as Manolo says that “every revolution has its factions” but if we look at one of the most well-known revolutionary rivalries, Lenin and Trotsky, these two very Bolshevik different leaders managed to rub along somehow from their first meeting in London in 1902 until Lenin’s death 22 years later. Compare this with Aguinaldo and Bonifacio who met in about 1895 – within 2 years Aguinaldo had signed Bonifacio’s death sentence.

    One of the objectives of studying history is to discern trends that may lead us to establishing some general truths and I find the schism between the Katipuneros very telling.

  9. yes, Trotsky and lenin rubbed along well, as they were the number one and number two guys of the Bolshevics, but that revolution had the Menshevics for a faction.

    Trotsky was not able to run away from Stalin.

    Yeah Two years is such a short alliance.
    Aguinaldo also had issues with mabini if I am not mistaken.


    I have a question.
    If the marangal na dagit ng katagalugan became our national anthem, would that not be an issue to the rest of the country?
    (the regionalism factor)
    They might not want katagalugan to represent the whole nation.
    oh, we are really so divided.

  10. pardon my mixture of lower and upper case.i will do it a thatll in the lower case.

    i read a comment somewhere that even after july 4,1776 the american revolution still continued.(for another few more years)
    i double checked and it is an accurate claim.

    so even during an on going revolution,one can proclaim independence.
    given those parameters the day of “cry of pugad lawin can be qualified as our independence day.

    given the qualifiers above of proclamations of independence, a flag and an anthem that could make it a claim.
    it is already complicated as it is, don’t want to add to the problems of our historians.

  11. It’s not hard to understand Filipinos Ramrod and Torn.

    Think of them as you would the Irish-a people would no nobility. You can’t compare us with Japanese and the Brits-peoples with Kings (or Queens for that matter). It’s easy to galvanize people when they are sheep who look up to that one sheep herder. But the bloody Irish-even now the IRA are killing each other.

    When nobody is King, everybody tries to be king.

  12. And the peoples in this islands will never agree to respect leadership coz were not used to following orders from a King or Queen, because there never was a single King or Queen who ruled all the peoples in these islands.

    Which is why Bonifacio dreamed up his Republic of Katagalugan. It’s also why Gloria invented and bestows the civilian honors of the Order of Lakandula – a Kapampangan chief. It’s the same reason she will seek the protection of the Pampanga bailiwick when her term ends in 2010. See, we Kapampangans hate the Tagalog’s guts, even if we have strong historical ties with them. They railroaded the national language initiative in the 1930’s to impose their language on the whole Philippines. That and they chose to revolt against the Spanish, our close allies (by us I mean the Kapampangans).

    Lots of Filipinos are pissed of the Tagalogs because of the national language thingy. The Cebuanos especially are pissed of the power that Tagalogs and other people from Luzon have on national political life. They want more say in it (they have the numbers population wise) but they’re being discriminated. They can do with petty gestures, like when GMA chose to be inaugurated in Cebu. But to have the national capital relocated in a place other than Katagalugan (with the supreme court or executive or legislative branch moved to the south)? Forget about it!

    It is for the same reason the Muslims hate the Cebuanos. The Cebuanos stole a lot of Muslim territory.

    I guess we only all can only agree when it comes to hating the Filipino Chinese. I don’t care how rich they get, they’ll never gonna get respect. Why? Because we just hate their guts.

    I guess the only peoples who gets some respect around this town are the descendants of Spanish Mestizos-the Ayalas and Zobels. It’s a throw back to when the Spanish crown ruled all the peoples in these islands-the closest that we’ve ever come to having a King to worship.

  13. You go to a place like Cordillera and they don’t give a fuck about historical issues like what is the proper date of Philippines independence or who killed who during the revolution of this and that. As far as they’re concerned, their not part of the Philippines. In their minds they were never conquered by Spain. They see the Filipinos as just an inconvenience to their little hammock up in the clouds. We go there and build malls and golfing country clubs and mine their gold and fuck up their rivers with tailings. And what do they get for it? Nothing. Most of the mining profits go to the Chinese tycoons. We built this big dam that silted their river just so we can secure the power supply of Luzon. I don’t fucking blame them. If I was an Igorot I’d be pissed off too.

  14. And I hear the Scots are gonna break ties with you Brits because of the disproportionate share of oil profits from the North Sea. It’s easier to imagine a separate Republic of Scotland apart from Great Britain than there would be a Federal Republic of the Philippines. This is because with Westerners, treaties, wars, and alliances are treated with impunity. We either disagree and fight or unite. Loser in war gets the booty and everybody respects the outcome. With Filipinos, you probably realize by now that they’re sore losers (“ayaw magpatalo”). Which is why we’ll be in this perpetual state of limbo where we’re neither united nor independent from each other. We’ll just be…same old disjointed Philippines!

  15. torn, if fractuousness is the innate tendency, so is the tendency to form super-combines so long as the one aspiring to be paramount leader is seen to be daring, and crowns that daring with success, it bolsters the paramountcy until or unless some sign of the withdrawal of the mandate of heaven takes place.

  16. So what you’re saying Manolo is people unite with a good leader and scatter with a bad one.

    I think you could revisit the colorum/nativist movements at the end of 19th century (read Nick Joaquin) to gain more insight as to why westernized elites and ilustrados resented Bonifacio.

    There was some undercurrent of purging of all things western and going back to nativist roots during Bonifacio’s time and even after that (Sakay, the Pangasinan colorums) as Ramrod has mentioned. I’m more inclined to believe this explanation than some general trend of “fractiousness”.

    Circumstances now are different. Nativism is all but dead except to small pockets of tribes, Igorots, and Moros. Our fractiousness today can be explained by different phenomena.

  17. We have now become a hybrid mixed up culture as a result hitching our wagon to whoever is willing to lend us money.

    but who let the dog out in the first place? Yes , the debt of the nation is our third world war that does not kill people. It is a war against our REAL freedom. It is a bomb that landed on us softly.

    It is easier to live the truth in a fantasy world rather than solve the far more complex problems.

    Certainly, the “elites” of various Third World countries have zealously held in one’s arms “Western values”. But at what price? Monopoly and Protectionism of their own kind.

  18. Mark Twain says history doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes.

    Is it correct thus, to assume that the political elite will always be the ones in control of the Philippines, judging by what we’ve seen in history?

  19. Our Independence Day came nad went without much fanfare, I expected more tradition, more celebration, more pride. Even this day of all days is mired in controversy. We are still in a quandary as to our real identity…then again who cares?
    If we’re really empowered as a people we just pick out a date we want and decide its our day, celebrate wantonly, enrich it as a tradition with stories of gallantry and heroism, and revive our nationalistic pride!
    I know this ConAss issue is a divisive one, but why fear it and frighten the people in the process? Why not just embrace it, let it play out its course, and see for ourselves if these public officials are really intent on extending their terms? What harm could it possibly do, we’ve gone through a lot already, whats a few more? We are going out of our minds for something that is possible to happen?
    Lets look at it this way, our congress,for one has become that powerful that it is possible to move in one direction already? Then our leaders have evolved out of the “divided” directionless, partisan politics already? Is it actually possible to sit back, listen to the “current” leaders and just let them do their jobs, give our support as constituents to our national government and forget about partisan politics for a while? When election comes, then let all hell break loose again.
    Do we really believe that Gloria and her administration if left to do their job in peace will drive this country to the ground? Do we really believe that all those congressmen are not serving their constituents well? But are they very popular in their respective districts? Does being allied closely to the admnistration give them access to funds for providing their constituents well? What of the others who continue to oppose the duly constituted leadership, how have they justified their lack of performance, hoe can they perform, they don’t have or not taking pork barrel for their respective projects? So its justified, no performance due to no pork barrel access because it is immoral?
    The best leaders are those who can provide for their people well, and these are those who are allied closely to the administration – how can we win against this? The people will vote for them again and again and again.
    What if we stop all this noise and hysteria first and let everybody do their job first? Lets relax a bit from listening to perennial oppositionists…
    Lets see if Gloria will really drive the Philippines to the ground…

  20. Agreed ramrod on all points, except your view on independence. I don’t see the point in celebrating it. It’s a form of masochism, reliving the centuries humiliating colonization once a year.

    Many countries around the world were conquered, rebelled and gained freedom. China was carved up. USA was a British colony. Japan by USA. But these countries don’t have independence days.

    I’d like to keep it as a public holiday though. Just don’t celebrate it with fanfare. It’s embarrassing.

  21. to SoP: Independence Day USA — July 4 … great day for fireworks display in New York City, WashingtonDC, Philadelphia, Madison Wisconsin, Chicago, Dallas… and many small towns in USA.

  22. SoP,
    We have to celebrate our independence day, it marks the day we became a country, a people, who can stand on their own two feet. It marks the day we liberated ourselves from years of humiliation, of occupation by a foreign entity. Its like a rite of passage, for us men its like the first time we had sex, mine was exactly at 21, but I’m hearing the younger generation are starting even at 18, earlier? I’m probably too old already…

  23. Rite of passage? It’s more like you we were bullied from kindergarten to grade 6, getting a wedgie and our lunch money stolen everyday, and we started to fight the bully on the last day of grade school, only to find out the bully’s already transferring to another school for his secondary education.

    Would you celebrate that?

  24. School bullies don’t require heroes, blood spilling, ultimate displays of courage, dying for something, etc. Its like the times you go beyond your limitations in mental and physical strength to achieve something. If you’re going to equate it with bullies, its when you finally got the balls (after hiding years of karate and judo) to just do a feint jab to his face, kick his knee in position and smash it with a good heel stomp. When his father comes after you the day after, you allow him to take a swing (with proper motivation like pi) duck, grab his knees, hug them to your chest, reap his inner right leg just above the ankle, and fall quickly and heavily forward, taking care to plant an elbow to his nose at the point of landing. Of course, your parents get to see the principal the day after, and you may get suspended or even kicked out of school but its the day you became a man. To me, until the time we fought for something, spilled blood (self and others) at least one time, you’re never complete as a man, just a mouse pretending to be one. And I really like celebrating that day, its a tradition I passed on to my sons, hopefully to my grandchildren as well. bully bashing is fun, if you know how…

  25. Independence Day is not so much about the different countries that trampled on our dignity as a people, but our ability to rise above our subjugated status and fight, to break free of what really is enslaving us, our own fear, our own feelings of inadequacy, to finally actualize our potentials, and become who we are destined to be – free men.

  26. I don’t know about you guys, but we already celebrate independence in our own way. Every April 27, we celebrate the battle of Mactan, when Lapu-Lapu beheaded the Spanish conquistador Magellan.

    Actions speak louder than words.

  27. But for now, we will celebrate on Wednesday June 17 LAKERS’ 15th victory as the NBA champion with a parade of yellow and purple from Staples Center to the Coliseum. Sweet!

  28. Mr. Manolo, I don’t know if Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo is the “Filipino Garibaldi,” but I see him more as the Gloria Arroyo prototype. Why so? Because Aguinaldo’s also exceedingly good at grabbing power and eliminating opposition, as seen when he had the Supremo Andres Bonifacio and later, Gen. Antonio Luna, executed.

    That argument that Bonifacio had to be eliminated in order to preserve the Republic does not hold water, not even air, in the light of Aguinaldo’s second notorious order of execution on Gen. Antonio Luna, “the most brilliant military tactician during the Philippine-American War.” In the context of the similar murderous execution of the very-effective-in-battle Gen. Luna, it is shown that Aguinaldo had Bonifacio killed simply because the Supremo and his principles stood in the former and his elite company’s ambitions to rule motherland.

    Julio Nakpil reveals how cold-blooded Aguinaldo is, based on his mother’s reaction to the murder of Gen. Luna:
    When General A. Luna was dastardly assassinated on the stairs of the Convent of Kabanatuan and already fallen on the ground, the mother of Emilio Aguinaldo looked out the window and asked: “Ano, humihinga pa ba?” (Is he still breathing?)

    The Spanish soldier-prisoners who witnessed this iniquitous assassination said: “We admired the valor and intrepidity of General Luna who, tormented with shots and already fallen to the ground, could still shout: “Cowardly Cavitenios !”

  29. Jesusa, don’t take too seriously Quezon’s delusional attempts to create a “proper” national hero, a national language (of his step grandfather’s making), and generally any attempts to so-called cohesion as one “Filipino peoples”. He’s a historical revisionist of the worst kind. It’s good to read his long-winded ramblings and innumerable hyperlinks within them to get a feel at the pulse of the Filipino interwebitube community. But don’t imbibe it (don’t trust anything is a good advise). He’s basically a Tagalog with a Tagalista agenda masked in nationalism. He may not know this himself, but he’s a practitioner. Him and Randy David (oh how we’ve lost a Kapampangan brother to the dark side!) are brainwashed.

    To understand your real identity, ignore the real propaganda of the last 100 years. A propaganda that started with Westernized natives (Rizal, del Pilar, Jaena, etc.). Your real national identity is your ethno-linguistic identity. It was rich with culture and traditions and has survived thousands of years more than this premature 100 year old oppressive Philippine identity will.

    This was what Bonifacio was fighting for. He was not fighting for an artificial Filipino entity that would swallow up all the other ethno-linguistic groups. He kept his Tagalog identity and was immensely proud of it. His attempts to free of the shackles of Westernized barbarism was not a sly attempt to suppress the other ethno-linguistic groups. Rather, he wanted those other ethno-linguistic groups to rise with them, and preserve the goodwill and common human decency that the groups kept with each other. See, we don’t need a “Filipino identity” to live peacefully and harmoniously with each other. We can keep our ethno-linguistic identities and still be a Republic. It starts by breaking down the oppression between our groups. The dominance of the Tagalistas on imposing their language, their local Tagalog history masked as national history (Aguinaldo, Bonifacio, Rizal) is where we should start.

    Are you with me sister?

  30. The point I’m making, SoP, is that Bonifacio and the other revolutionaries of the period only envisioned Taga-log or Tagalog to be the native-derived name of the country, and not the regionalistic bias that others construe “Tagalog” to be.

    The Philippines, as an archipelago, naturally has many river systems, right? Tagalog was only meant to be a geographically fitting name/description of the country–much better than adopting the King-Philip-inspired “Filipinas,” Pilipinas or Philippines.

  31. Why ilog? Why not sug (river for Tausug’s), pampang (for Pampangos), danao (lake for Maranao’s)?

    Why stick to bodies of water? Why not call it – Pugo (earth for Ifugaos).

    I think it’s because Bonifacio didn’t envision a Tagalog republic larger than Katagalugan.

  32. Jimmy, don’t you think it’s not only a stretch but non sequitur your conclusion of Bonifacio’s vision is, being based merely on his selection of “Tagalog”?

    FYI, Bonifacio didn’t originate that “tagalog” choice name for our country–even one of Aguinaldo’s key men defended the use of Tagalog during the revolution against Spain. So should we say now that Aguinaldo’s camp had a narrow vision then?

    Why not “pampang.” If you didn’t know what that word exactly means, that’s sort of a shore for a body of water. If you use that word, then you’re delimiting the scope of the nation to the land or territory covered. Similarly, if you use earth, given our archipelagic geology, you’ll end up with disconnected people.

    If you use riverine or Taga-ilog/Tagalog, as Bonifacio and other revolutionaries preferred, then you’re closer to connecting our entire people because rivers connect to larger bodies of water. Ergo, Bonifacio had a national vision of revolution and countryhood.

  33. @Jimmy, to address why not “sug,” which is Tausug for river: why not use “river” in the hundreds of other dialects in the country? Ain’t that preposterous to ask?

    Bonifacio who spoke Tagalog (and Spanish), and not a Tausug happened to lead the revolution. If he were a Tausug who chose his dialect’s translation of riverine, you’d probably be asking a similar question, only with “tagalog” instead of “sug” in the sentence or whatever your dialect is. Just got to somewhere, and our people can always make suggestions later. At any rate, Tagalog must be better than the colonial-king-inspired “Philippines.”

    And to others who are seemingly predisposed to belittling Bonifacio without arming themselves with facts, let me quote from the US Library of Congress which recorded the national scope of the Katipunan:

    On July 7, he founded the Katipunan, a secret society open to both peasants and the middle class that employed Masonic rituals to impart an air of sacred mystery. It insinuated itself into the community by setting up mutual aid societies and education for the poor. By 1896, the Katipunan had over 30,000 members and functioned at the national, provincial, and municipal levels.

  34. “…revisit the colorum/nativist movements at the end of 19th century (read Nick Joaquin) to gain more insight as to why westernized elites and ilustrados resented Bonifacio.

    There was some undercurrent of purging of all things western and going back to nativist roots during Bonifacio’s time…”

    Good point. I’m with you on this, SoP (sister?)

  35. Jesusa Bernardo, I can sense your struggle to convince those outside Luzon on your Tagalog theory.

    Regardless the intention of Andres Bonifacio on the use of Tagalog, the prevailing usage is regionalistic in nature as mainly the lingo. The ongoing effort to impose it natiowide through school curriculum is just superficial. Students outside Manila are back to their own dialect after school.

  36. Jesusa on, “At any rate, Tagalog must be better than the colonial-king-inspired “Philippines.”

    Cosmetic change is nonsense. We still be called Filipinos anywhere in the world and the place where we came from as Philippines.

  37. dOdOng, I don’t think you understand me at all. What struggle to convince those outside Luzon? Your outright dismissal of my thesis shows your colonial embrace of our colonial culture, based on your seemingly unthinking, if not unpatriotic, wholehearted embrace of the term “Philippines.”

    Changing the country’s name from something so blatantly and insultingly colonial as “Philippines,” after King Philip II under whose reign we were conquered is no mere “cosmetic change.” Gee. If you not even have the sense to assume an endemic name, non-colonial name, what more your orientation and mindset?

    As for your comment “Students outside Manila are back to their own dialect after school,” what is the problem with that? I certainly don’t have any problem with that, and neither did Bonifacio and some other heroes? Why Tagalog (“Taga-ilog” or “riverine”) was chosen is, again because it is so appropriate to our country geologically.

    Why our overall culture is rich and beautiful owes to the diversity of our ethnic cultures. Anyone broad-minded enough can see that. And don’t think for a moment that I have a bias for Tagalog because, fyi, my dad’s from Mindanao and what they speak there is as beautiful-sounding as Tagalog to my ears.

    Don’t put regionalistic bias where it does not exist. Belittling Bonifacio and his choice name of Tagalog for motherland (again,translation: Taga-ilog or riverine) is nothing but propaganda disseminated by those who wish to put down a true patriotic hero that the Supremo is and instead, embrace the elite-powered and murderous kind like Aguinaldo.

  38. @dOdOng, the teaching of “Tagalog,” should be written as “Filipino” because what they teach–trust me as a Tagala-speaking gal–is so, so superficial in terms of the scope of vocabulary: in fact, it should really be termed Anglicized Taglish or something because they are hardly translating into the base Tagalog many English words but just changing the spelling into Tagalog.

    Also, kindly separate my Tagalog vs. Philippines thesis from the issue of the teaching of Filipino because that’s outside really outside my thesis.

    @karl garcia, thanks for the quote. Refer to my paragraph 4 of my 6:35 am post.

  39. Jesusa- what colonial culture are you talking about that you yourself have not embraced? Needless to say your own blog is in colonial tongue. The only people in the Philippines who may have no colonial influence are the indigenous group living in the disappearing mountains. History is already written. But since you are in mission to get rid of colonial culture, maybe you can elaborate to over 90 million Filipinos how that it works than just fiddling with names.

  40. “#Jesusa Bernardo on Tue, 16th Jun 2009 2:29 pm
    Bonifacio who spoke Tagalog (and Spanish), and not a Tausug happened to lead the revolution.”

    That’s because a lot of these Muslim tribes have NEVER been colonized by the Spaniards. And most of that were colonized, treaties were only signed around 1870’s, almost 350 years after Tagalogs were subjugated.

    In my book, their ethnic groups deserve some recognition, not the least in the name of the Philippines. THEY NEVER LED THE REVOLUTION BECAUSE THEY NEVER WERE CONQUERED IN THE FIRST PLACE.

  41. @dOdOng:
    You’re right about history already being written, and so is our most unpure hybrid bloodline, and our practically default education language. And yes, my blog is in English, but I can well translate them in Tagalog (masasabi ko namang hindi ako higit sa malansang isda). Can’t do much about it because writing in English (and translating into Tagalog) is my bread and butter.

    So sad that we were colonized by those Americans and we were taught their language, alienated from our own; moreover, Filipino society tends to look up to those learned and well-versed in English over Tagalog and the dialects. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything to help preserve what’s left, and even try to look back to what’s recoverable of our native multi-ethnic identity.

    & I’m in no mission to completely get rid of colonial culture. Hey, we’re in the era of globalization, which does present some advantages. What I wish is for us to assert our native roots, value MORE our pre-colonial identity and tongue, and inculcate nationalism & patriotic unity amidst diversity so the youth could at least be truly proud of who we are.

  42. @dOdOng, Something as symbolic as the name of a country is hardly “Fiddling with names”. Philippines is a colonial name–insulting for any entity serious enough in asserting its own and tired of looking up to its colonial masters’ as superior in race, culture and intellect.

  43. @SoP, Yes, most Muslims were never colonized. Laudable thing for the whole nation, having some native tribes unyoked by those Spaniards and Americans. That those brave and militant tribes deserve recognition of sorts is also very much in my book–something I’ve believed way back in my early education days.

    Still, they’re part of one archipelago unless we’re willing to have it dismembered territory-wise. They and the rest of this nation’s population deserve a country name that is not colonial. Even a number of states of the US derived their names from the aboriginal Indians–can’t our people do better and deserve more?

    As for the Tausug/Muslim thing, I can argue that they should have actually led the revolution and helped freed their neighbors because they were so militant and battle-effective–but they didn’t. Bonifacio did, and as you wisely said, “he wanted those other ethno-linguistic groups to rise with them, and preserve the goodwill….”

    This nationalistic but diversity-encompassing vision is probably what led him and the others to adopt the name “Tagalog” (Taga-ilog) for our country. He was as much aware of our ethnic diversity as the striking common geographic feature of the archipelago from north to south, east to west–which is its being riverine.