Wednesday, December 14, 2011


"Those who profess to favor freedom
and yet deprecate agitation

are men who want crops without 
plowing up the ground;
they want rain without thunder and
They want the ocean without
the awful roar of its waters.
This struggle may be a moral one
or it may be a physical one

or it may be both moral and physical
but it must be a struggle.
Power concedes nothing without a
It never did, and never will." – Frederick Douglass
 AmericanAbolitionistLecturerAuthor and Slave1817-1895)

" Fear history, for it respects no secrets" - Gregoria de Jesus (widow of Andres Bonifacio)

"To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful." - Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965)


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Hi All,

We native Filipinos, at the very least, all recognize Jose Rizal as a martyr-hero, given that all of us grew up learning about him, seeing his statue or other in our schools, town plazas, etc., and elevating him practically to a cult of personality by a few Filipinos. We know Rizal was at the forefront of the Propaganda Movement for Spanish reform in our homeland.  

Thanks to native ilustrados then who were generally elitist (as most of today's so-called educated and from exclusive Catholic schools like Rizal was) and the American colonizers (who at the time were discarding the anti-imperialist stance of their Founding Fathers), Rizal was made "the" national hero because of his more acceptable reformist and thus less threatening outlook (rather than a revolutionary one, i.e. Andres Bonifacio).

In comparison, we barely know much about Apolinario Mabini beyond being the "Dakilang Lumpo;" however with some inquiring effort, we can know/understand that Mabini moved beyond propaganda, to discover that he has actively engaged in revolutionary activities against the Spaniards and much more so thereafter, against the American invaders.  We natives ought to know more about him and other Filipino heroes. Hopefully, they are still being taught and learned in today's schools. Since we Filipinos think hierarchically, let us put Mabini way up there, if not higher, with Rizal (and Andres Bonifacio).

Apolinario Mabini has earned the title "Brains of the Revolution." Having been the chief adviser to General Emilio Aguinaldo during the revolutionary struggles against the Spaniards, the short-lived Republic established at Malolos and  the subsequent Philippine-American War. This latter war, which was years longer than the months-long Spanish-American War, was/is continually denigrated as an "insurrection" for almost a century and glossed over in school textbooks and popular history books in America, etc. 

Mabini was one of the few uncompromising patriots (another was General Antonio Luna, the ablest Filipino revolutionary soldier, who was assassinated). He was more than just a thorn in the ass of the duplicitous invading Americans (1898), then nascent imperial power and new colonial master of native Filipinos. 

Mabini believed that a foreign nation does not colonize another nation for purely altruistic reasons. Imagine seeing President McKinley doing his claimed hogwash -on his knees praying about what to do with the Islands- as narrated in school and military textbooks, etc.  Mabini was proven correct by our past and ongoing national/people's history. 

While imprisoned by the Americans, Mabini wrote many articles on independence, political rights, and against alternatives to political independence i.e.political autonomy proposed by some early opportunistic, pro-American collaborators (from the educated, wealthy class known as Filipino ilustrados like Pedro Paterno, Felipe Buencamino, T.H. Pardo de Tavera, etc.) Mabini believed in the importance of bravely expressing one's political beliefs

He was considered a dangerous and uncompromising insurgent who aroused enthusiasm to keep the struggle alive. When amnesty was proclaimed in June 1900, Mabini refused to take the oath of allegiance to the United States, which was the condition for release. 

Mabini was consistently opposed to other former/fellow members in the short-lived Malolos Congress who readily sold-out to the winning Americans and formed the "Partido Federal" which he labeled a "party of convenience." 

The Federalistas included such prominent/educated elite such as TH Pardo de Tavera, Cayetano Arellano, Benito Legarda, Felipe Buencamino, Tomas del Rosario, Teodoro Yangco. TH Pardo de Tavera stated that "..all the efforts of the party will be directed to the Americanization of the Filipinos and the spread of the English language... ." Many of these guys are taught in schools to be our "heroes" and our streets are named after these early quislings; subsequently emulated by many of our supposed leaders in government, military, and business, past and present. 

Unwittingly, our generations of native Filipinos are/were conditioned and grew up with a reverence for such traitors to our homeland.  And subtly worst, our generations of so-called leaders in government, military, and business perennially exhibit a beholden, mendicant, and kiss-ass behavior towards foreigners: Spaniards, Americans, Japanese, et al. then and now. Throw in the Chinese at the expense of the common good for native Malay Filipinos.

The U.S. Army under Major General Arthur MacArthur (Gen. Douglas MacArthur's dad) implemented more stringent means to facilitate the so-called ”pacification campaign" by deporting ranked revolutionists and their intellectual/nationalist sympathizers. The Army considered Mabini as one of the latter prominent people who encouraged the continuation of the revolutionary struggle, via guerrilla warfare.  It, therefore, had Mabini shipped to Guam. 

MacArthur wrote to the U.S. Senate that: "Mabini deported as most active agitator persistently and defiantly refusing amnesty and maintaining an extensive correspondence with insurgents in the field while living in Manila under protection of the United States, also for offensive statements in recent proclamation enforcing laws of war. His deportation is absolutely essential."

On July 4, 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt offered another amnesty after he proclaimed that the insurrection (Philippine-American War) was over. Mabini and Gen, Artemio Ricarte refused again to take the oath of allegiance. So the two were not released and remained in exile in Guam. 

U.S. Secretary of War Elihu Root stated in a letter to Pres. Roosevelt that: " prevent the great body of ignorant natives from being led again into the horrors of insurrection and civil war, should prevail over any sentimental consideration over this one individual (Mabini)...." 

Governor-General William H. Taft (later U.S. President Taft) wrote in 1903: "Mabini has been a consistent opponent of American sovereignty and a persistent inspirer of rebellion and insurrection. he was for a very long time the chief adviser of Aguinaldo. He has manifested much skill and cunning in his appeal to the people of the Philippine islands against the American Government and may be said to be the most prominent irreconcilable among the Filipinos. 

If he were allowed to come to Manila he would form a nucleus for all the discontented elements which he would be certain to encourage in every form of plot and conspiracy against the existing government. Nothing he writes, nothing he says, but contains unjust insinuations against the American Government and its good faith...What he desires is to be brought to Manila, because he thinks that even if imprisoned here he will form a point of concentration for the rapidly diminishing number of irreconcilables in these Islands.

I think it would be unwise to allow him to come unless he is willing in advance, by his oath of allegiance, to agree not to plot against this Government.." 

In February 1903, Mabini was formally notified that he was not a prisoner and can leave Guam to go anywhere but not land in the Philippines without taking the oath of allegiance. He could not bear dying elsewhere and so he took the oath. He died on May 13,1903  less than three months since his return from exile.

Below documents are U.S. Army deportation orders issued during the Philippine-American War, which I stumbled upon while doing a Goggle Search about Mabini.

- Bert

Reference: The excellent (analytical), well-researched book: "MABINI and the PHILIPPINE REVOLUTION" by the late U.P. Prof. Cesar Adib Majul (1960).



Manila, P. I., January 7, 1901
General Orders
No. 4.

In pursuance of authority obtained from the War Department by cable under date December 27, 1900, the following named persons, whose overt acts have clearly revealed them as in aid of, or in sympathy with, the insurrection and the irregular guerrilla warfare by which it is being maintained, and whose continued residence in these islands is, in every essential regard, inimical to the pacification thereof, will be deported at the earliest practicable date to the Island of Guam, there to be held under surveillance or in actual custody, as circumstances may require, during the further progress of hostilities and until such time as the
restoration of normal peace conditions in the Philippines has resulted in a public declaration of the termination of such hostilities:

General Officers: Artemio Ricarte, Pio del Pilar, Maximo Hizon, Mariano Llanera, Francisco de los Santos.

Colonels: Macario de Ocampo, Esteban Consortes, Lucas Camerino, Julian Gerona.

Lieutenant Colonels: Pedro Cubarrubias, Mariano Barruga, Hermogenes Plata, Cornelio Requestis.

Major: Fabian Villaruel.

Subordinate insurgent officers: Juan Leandro Villarino, Jose Mata, Ygmidio deJesus, Alipio Tecson.

Civil officials, insurgent agents, sympathizers, and agitators: Apolinario Mabini, Pablo Ocampo, Maximino Trias, Simon Tecson, Fio Varican, Anastasio Carmona, Mariano Sevilla. Manuel E. Roxas.

Bv Command of Major General MacArthur:
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers,
Chief of Staff.


Headquarters Division of the Philippines.
Manila, P. I., January 14, 1901.
Special Order No. 13

I. Lucino Almeida, a native, tried before a military commission which convened at San Fernando de la Union, Luzon, P. I., pursuant to paragraph 2, Special Orders, No. 42, series of 1900, Headquarters Department of Northern Luzon, whose sentence as promulgated in General Orders, No. 6, current series, these headquarters, was commuted to deportation to the Island of Guam, the prisoner there to remain during the continuance of the insurrection, will be sent there to the Transport Rosecrans and will be turned over to Major Henry B. Orwig, 37th Infantry, U. S. Volunteers. The quartermaster's department will furnish the necessary transportation, and the subsistence department will arrange for his subsistence while en route.

Bv Command of Major General MacArthur:
Assistant Adjutant General.


Manila, P. I., January 15, 1901.
General Orders, No. 10.

In pursuance of authority obtained from the War Department by cable under date of December 27, 1900, the following named persons, whose overt acts have clearly revealed them as in aid of, or in sympathy with, the insurrection and the irregular guerrilla warfare by which it is being maintained, and whose continued residence in these islands is, in every essential regard, inimical to the pacification thereof, will be delivered to Major Henry B. Oricig, 37th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers, onboard the Transport Rosecrans, for deportation to the Island of Guam, there to be held under surveillance or in actual custody, as circumstances may require, during the further progress of hostilities and until such time as the restoration of normal peace conditions in the Philippines has resulted in a public declaration of the termination of such hostilities:

Insurgent agents, organizers, sympathizers, correspondents, collectors and officials: Silvestre Legaspi, Juan Mauricio, Doroteo Espino, Bartolome de la Rosa, Norberto Dimayuga, Jose Buenaventura and Antonio Prisco Reyes.

By Command of Major General MacArthur:
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers,
Chief of Staff.


Manila, P. I., January 22, 1901.
General Orders.
No. 12.

In pursuance of authority obtained from the War Department by cable under date of December 27, 1900, the following named insurgent prisoners, who were sent from the Province of Ilocos Norte, insurgent abettors, sympathizers, and agitators, who belong to the Katipunan Society and took the oath of allegiance to the Americans for the purpose of facilitating revolutionary operations and agitation, and whose continued residence in these islands is, in every essential regard, inimical to the pacification thereof, will be delivered by the Provost Marshal General on board the U. S. N. Ship Solace for deportation to the Island of Guam, to be delivered to the Governor of that island and to be held under surveillance or in actual custody, as circumstances may require, during the further progress of hostilities and until such time as the restoration of normal peace conditions in the Philippines has resulted in a public declaration of the termination of such hostilities:

Roberto Salvante, Marcelo Ouintos, Paneraeio Palting, Jayme Morales, Gavino Domingo, Leon Flores, Florencio Castro, Pedro Erando, Inocente Cayetano, Pancracio Adiarte and Faustino Adiarte.

By Command of Major General MacArthur:
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers
Chief of Staff.

(University of Toronto, Canada archives)

"A revolution is the violent means utilized by a people, in the employment of their right of sovereignty which properly belongs to them, to destroy a duly constituted government, substituting for it another in more consonance with reason and justice."
 -- Apolinario Mabini (La Revolucion Filipina, Volume 1)

"Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot coexist in the same man or in the same society" - Ayn Rand, 1961

PLEASE DONATE CORE SUBJECT BOOKS TO OUR HOMELAND (i.e. your hometown public schools, Alma Mater, etc.). Those books that you and/or your children do not need or want; or buy books from your local library during its cheap Book Sales. Also, cargo/door-to-door shipment is best.  It is a small sacrifice.  [clean up your closets or garage - donate books.THANKS!]


Anonymous said...

One compatriot, Gen. Maximinio Hizon from my hometown in Pampanga was probably in the same boat that banished the Great Plebeian to Guam. The general actually died in exile.

Thanks to you for shining the light on the Apo... who served the revolution with his brains at the seat of his pants.

Agree the Apo is not known, except for "A. Mabini" street in Ermita. This generation does not even know who he was.

Keep them coming, Bert.

Best to you and your loved ones.

- Rudy O.

Bert M. Drona said...

Yes Rudy, Gen. Hizon was one of those named with Gen. Ricarte ... together with Mabini under General Order #4.



Addi said...

Bert –

I don’t know what it is about our people, but somehow I get this impression that Filipinos for the most part have this infatuation with martyrdom.

Take a look at our first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz – martyred at Nagasaki. Martyrdom somehow provides that “rapid express” ticket to heaven. Now, the Pope will be canonizing Blessed Pedro Calungsod – martyred in Guam.

There is a Filipina candidate, Venerable Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo, the recognized founder of the RVM Sisters. Her cause for beatification has been languishing for more than 50 years now, and so far there’s been no movement.

Perhaps because she was a “confessor”, one who was into meditation, contemplation and prayer, and action-reflection. Indeed, a tough act to follow.

Mabini would be comparable to Ignacia – he brooded and reflected on the issues of his time day after day, and made activism his lifetime commitment. Again, a tough act to follow, since in-depth analysis of the issues is not the cup of tea for many of our kababayans.

Besides, it’s always easy to simply “worship” a celebrity (Rizal is!), put him on a pedestal, and offer songs, praises, and even incense – to him. The ritual, the “mechanical” is always easier than thinking things through, like Mabini did.

And so, many fall into that trap which Renato Constantino called “Veneration Without Understanding”. This “devotion” to Rizal, somehow compensates for one’s lack of nationalism (or lack of understanding of “nationalism”), and the “devotion” sort of leaves one with a good feeling…even if he doesn’t understand the complex issues confronting us as a nation.

Actually, the same can be said about the way we practice our brand of Christianity – we go to the temple, make offerings and rehearse certain routines, and…leave without being transformed. Although many would believe that they’ve been “transformed” because they left the temple “feeling good”. As if “conscientización” were something like jogging, where one can have the “mission accomplished” feeling after running a few miles.


Bert M. Drona said...


I appreciate your informative and thoughtful feedback.

We native Filipinos have been conditioned to see martyrdom as a religious offering/service to God. Thus the instances you mentioned. I suppose, missionaries are thought as such, given the teachings according to the Old & New Testaments.

Frankly, it makes me wonder why a God, who is supposed to be what we were/are taught to be, would expect such sacrifices. Looks like this God is worse than us humans.

In the case of Rizal, who may be emulated by a rare few, dies for his homeland; would it not be better to have lived longer, to struggle and fight as long as possible for what one think and believe is right? Versus having a death wish, through coming back to hand oneself to the enemy without preparation to fight? One can do much more by being alive as Mabini did.

We native Filipinos can not expect much from the impoverished -thus ignorant mass - as the daily struggle is foremost, especially for those with families. Those of us who are among the middle class and/or the wealthy class and have time to think critically have themselves to blame.

These classes of native Filipinos do not have a feeling of national community, no feeling and caring beyond our circle of friends and family (lacking nationalism).

So for the most part we native Filipinos, at home and abroad, including those who rose from poverty to middle class, carry this unrecognized feeling of absent nationalism. Thus, we natives do not have a sense of national community and are perpetually lost as a nation of strangers.

Anonymous said...

It's good that you remember the good deeds that our heroes have done for our country.

And you are doing good deeds by writing about the ills of our country. Keep it up!

- Ramon del Gallego

philtrvia01 said...

Apolinario Mabini y Maranan known as "Sublime Paralytic", he was really a knowledgeable person: He wrote most of Aguinaldo's decrees to the people and wrote EI Verdadero Decalogo which was his introduction to his draft of the Philippine Constitution meant to arouse patriotism among the Filipinos.

philippine trivia | trivias

Bert M. Drona said...


Rest assured I will continue as long as I am able. We need to inform the common tao about our nationalist history and help ourselves get a better understanding of why we have a weak state and a long-suffering people; and thus work to pressure or force the rulers to act/change for the common good.

Thanks for the encouraging remark.


Anonymous said...

It would also be interesting why Gen M Hizon ordered the execution of the Parish priests of México and San Fernando... Studying his life span, what did they do that he ordered this. He was also a free mason. He is also my great grand father. He only had 1 son. My grandfather who never met him since he as sent to exile prior to my Lolo's birth. Very interesting and dramatic history. Thanks for sharing Bert!