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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rajah Soliman (Rajah Sulayman)

Rajah Soliman
(Rajah Sulayman)

Rajah Soliman was the last native ruler of Maynilad, then a Muslim Kingdom on the southern delta of the Pasig River. He was considered as the “greatest king of Manila”

and its most important native chief when Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo landed there in 1570. Spanish sources refer to him as Rajamora or Raja Mura, the Spanish transcriptions of Rajang Mura meaning Young Raja. He was also known as Ladya Soliman or Raja Sulayman. He was related by marriage to the Sultan of Brunei. His wife was a daughter of a close relative of the Brunei Sultan. He ruled Manila jointly with his uncle Rajah Matanda.

In the light of the genealogy of Fernando Malang Balagtas (1503-1589) a descendant of a royal family in Borneo, Rajahs Matanda, Lakandula (ruler of Tondo) and the father of Rajah Soliman were first degree cousins. Rajah Soliman, therefore, was a nephew of both Rajahs Matanda and Lakandula.

As a native pretty state ruled by Rajah Soliman, Maynilad was defended on the shoreline by stakes and wooden palisades, with a gate which was guarded b “bombardiers and warriors, livestock on hand” and provided with native made artillery composed of culverins, cannons and lantakas. Soliman and his warriors had learned to use gunpowder and to manufacture weapons, including cannons and lantakas from the Chinese who had come to their shores centuries ago. These weapons were made in a storeroom by the house of Soliman.

The large house of Rajah Soliman marked his affluence. It was said to contain many valuable things, like gold, copper, iron, porcelain, blankets, wax, cotton, and wooden vats full of brandy. His furniture alone was said to cost thousands of ducats.

When the first Spanish expedition headed by Martin de Goiti reached Manila in 1570, Rajah Soliman would not allow them inland. He gave instruction that he would meet the Spaniards on shore. He came bearing himself haughtily, and his words sounded as a warning to the Spaniards: he was willing to make peace with the Spaniards, but they must remember that his people were not like the pintados (referring to the Visayans ) who were “subservient”. He further started that his people would not tolerate any abuse and “they would repay with death the least thing that touched their honor”. Then Soliman left without inviting the Spaniards into the town.

Rajah Soliman’s behavior showed that he was no friend to the Spaniards, to use the words of Martinez de Zuniga. And in the afternoon of the first meeting which was probably June 4,1570, Soliman’s men, armed and holding lighted ropes in hand, conducted bold inspection of the Spaniards on shore. It irritated the Spaniards but they kept their cool for the sake of peace.

This mission of peace spoken b Goiti in his conferences with Rajah Soliman implied recognition by the Maynilad rulers of their vassalage to the king of Spain and payment of tribute as a token of that vassalage.

Rajah Soliman would not accept peace on that basis. He let it be known to Goiti that he would never pay tribute. He considered the implication of Goiti’s proposition as an affront to his honor and dignity.

On the morning of the second day (June 5), Soliman sent an envoy with a message to Goiti that no Spaniard could bring their ships into the river since tribute had been asked. So Goiti asked for another meeting and immediately went ashore and entered the fort. In the meeting held with the Maynilad rulers, terms of peace were discussed that Spaniards would be allowed settlement in Manila and no tribute would be exacted.

In the afternoon of the drawing up of the peace pact and despite it, the Spaniards became anxious at the news they received that Rajah Soliman was mustering all his warriors for a “military review” but the shots would be directed in the air. Causing more suspicion to the Spaniards was the rumor that Soliman was just waiting for the rain when the Spaniards muskets could not be fired and then he would attack the Spaniards.

Caused by misunderstanding, hostilities ensued the next day. As a result, the Spaniards, superiorly armed, attacked and burned Maynilad. Many of its inhabitants perished and the large house of Soliman with its valuables turned into ashes.

Some of those captured by the Spaniards stated that in opposition to his uncle, Rajah Soliman ordered the attack on the Spaniards and had fired the first shot which pierced the side of Goiti’s ship.

In 1571, the Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi cameas head of the second Spanish expedition to Maynilad. It was in pursuance of the order of the King of Spain to colonize the Philippines.

Rajah Soliman would not welcome him. But through the prodding and intercession of his uncles, Rajah Matanda and Lakandula who were convinced of Legazpi’s honeyed words of goodwill, Soliman reluctantly went with them to conclude a pact with the Adelantado.

By the terms of the agreement, the Spaniards were allowed to settle in the old site of the burned town of Maynilad and would have the right to collect tributes from the inhabitants. The Maynilad rulers and their descendants were granted exemption from paying tributes.

Legazpi formally took hold of Maynilad. And the native rulers remained faithful to their pledge of frienship to him.

In the latter part of 1571, Rajah Soliman, together with Lakandula went with the expedition of Martin de Goiti in Pampanga to serve as interpreters in the pacification of the province. About this time also, Rajah Matanda, who had no children by his legitimate wife, gave word to Legazpi that his nephew Rajah Soliman be his heir and successor and given the senorio or chieftainship of Maynilad. Shortly, Rajah Matanda died and Leagzpi formally declared in the name of the King of Spain Rajah Soliman as heir and successor of his deceased uncle. Rajah Soliman received the senorio of Maynilad with Spanish approval in April of 1572.

Two years after the death of Legazpi in 1574 Rajah Soliman and Lakandula headed a local revolt in towns north of Maynilad. It arose over the system of government apportionment of encomiendas to the Spanish officials. Certain lands of Soliman and Lakandula were given and assigned to encomenderos in utter disregard of their patrimonial rights.

Initial conciliatory talks between Fray Geronimo Marian the two leaders held in Pagaga were unacceptable to Rajah Soliman so that he took his men to another village. He was found to pose the greatest problem to Marin, because he “did not act fairly in whatever the Spaniards were concerned, nor did he regard them with friendly eyes”. With the aid of Capitan Juan de Salcedo, the conciliator effected peace first with Lakandula, and later, Soliman yielded to the assurance that the rebel’s complaints would be given due attendance by the Spanish government.

After this incident, the name of Rajah Soliman was no longer mentioned in Spanish accounts and chronicles. The exact date of his death, therefore, remains unknown and has become the topic of controversy among present day historians. Some writers, however, boldly presume that Rajah Soliman lived in the person of Agustin de Legazpi, a leader of the Tondo Conspiracy (1587-1588) who died in 1588.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Vicente Abad Santos

Vicente Abad Santos
Supreme Court Justice

Vicente Abad Santos, the namesake of the father of former Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, and his nephew, was born on July 12, 1916 in San Fernando, Pampanga. He finished his early schooling in hometown, then went to Manila for his higher studies. He graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude. He obtained his master’s degree in law from Harvard University.

He entered the government service as technical assistant in the department of justice in 1954. In 1956, he was appointed judge of the Court of First Instance in the 15th judicial district. After two years in the judiciary, he became dean and professor at the College of Law of the University of the Philippines. He also served as a supervisor of the UP Law Center and, in 1962, a member of the Board of Pardons and Parole. He was appointed secretary of justice by President Marcos in 1977. In June of the same year, Marcos named him to the supreme Court as an associate justice, but he did not immediately assume the post and, instead, continued on as justice secretary.

Abad Santos was one of the most learned legal luminaries harnessed by President Marcos in his, lamentably. tainted pursuit of the New Society goals. Nevertheless, his integrity as a public remained unsullied

Abad Santos was a participant in various international law gatherings, among which were: the United Nations Seminar on Human Right, in Canberra, Canada, in 1963; South Asian and Pacific Conference in Jurist on the Dynamic Aspects of the Rule of Law, in Bangkok, 1965; World Peace Through Law Conference in Washington, DC, 1965 and 1975; Regional Conference on International Law, In Hong Kong, 1967; United Nations Interests on Treaties, In Vienna, 1969; United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Seabed, in Geneva, 1971; Third World Congress on Medical Law, in Ghent, 1973; and Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, in Caracas, 1974, Geneva, 1975 and New York, in 1976.

He was a senior fellow at the Yale Law School, 1965 to 1966; charter member and past president (two terms) of Philippine Society of International Commission of Jurists; member, Philippine Bar Association and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines; and president of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Prior to his appointment as secretary of justice, he was governor of the Philippine Red Cross, and board member of the Philippine National Bank, the National Teacher’s College, Philippine Exchange, National Warehouse Corporation, National Sugar Development Corporation, and the Subic National slipways. He was also a member of the Petroleum Board and of the Dangerous Drugs Board.

He was married to Lydia Raquel Santos, who bore him two sons and two daughters. He died on December 30, 1933.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Francisco Dagohoy


Francisco Dagohoy holds the distinction of having led the longest revolt (1744-1829) in the Philippines.

There are no available records that contain information about his parentage, birthday and boyhood.

Dagohoy's brother, a constable, was requested by the Jesuit Gaspar Morales, who was in charge of the disrict of Inabangan, Bohol to go after and bring back a renegade indio who had fled to the mountains. The renegade killed Constable Dagohoy instead. When he heard of his brother's death, Francisco went to the mountain and brought his brother's body back to the village so that it could be given a Christian burial. Great was the disappointment of Francisco when Father Morales, in whose service his brother had lost his life, refused.

The priest did not want to have the body buried in consecrated ground because he had been killed in a fight. Far three days the corpse remained unburied and rotting. Angered at this arbitrary and harsh treatment, Dagohoy swore vengeance on the Jesuits, and persuaded the natives of his district to join him. Soon he had about 3,Q00 men following him to the mountains. On their way they plundered a large and valuable Jesuit estate named San Xavier which was well stacked with cows, carabaos, horses, pigs, and other animals.

In an inaccessible region in the mountains between Inabangan and Talibon, Dagohoy established his headquarters and proclaimed the independence of Bohol. Under his direction and supervision, the Boholano patriots fortified their stronghold with. trenches of big rocks. They built numerous dwellings for the families who joined their cause and cleared the surrounding forest to plant food crops. They plundered the lowlands for their other necessities.

Dagohoy and his men sallied out in lightning raids on the lowland towns, assaulting the local Spanish garrisons, looting the churches, and slaughtering Spaniards, particularly the Jesuit priests. On January 24, 1745 one of Dagohoy's bold warriors killed Father Ciuseppe Lamberti, an italian Jesuit and parish priest of Jagna. Shortly after, the hated Father Morales was killed. Dagohoy's personal vengeance was fulfilled. But he continued his rebellion, for his armed movement was organized not merely to liquidate a personal enemy, but to regain the lost freedom of his people and to make his beloved Bohol once more a land of free men.

The Spanish authorities were worried by the remarkable successes of Dagohoy. In 1747 Bishop Juan de Arrechedera of Manila, then acting governor-general, dispatched a Spanish expedition to Bohol under the command of Don Pedro Lechuga Dagohoy resisted this expedition and forced it to withdraw to Zamboanga. Later Bishop Line de Espeleta of Cebu, who became acting archbishop and governor-general, tried to pacify the rebels. But Dagohoy refused to listen to him The flames of rebellion rose higher than ever.

The Recollects replaced the Jesuits, and Father Pedro de Santa Barbara, who was stationed in Baclayon, ascended the mountains to interview Dagohoy. He was welcomed and well treated, but Dagohoy courteously refused to give up Bohol's independence. Supplementing the peace efforts of the Recollects, Governor-General Jose Raon offered amnesty and pardon to Dagohoy and his followers if they would lay down their arms. Dagohoy spurned this offer, saying that his people were enjoying the good life of a free people.

From 1744 to 1829, a long period of 85 years, the Boholanos successfully maintained their independence and preserved it with fierce courage and flaming partriotism. It seemed probable that Dagohoy died before the year 1829 in his mountain kingdom either of old age or of sickness. His followers, imbued by his indomitable courage and fearless heroism carried on the fight for independence. Twenty Spanish governors-general, from Gaspar de la Torre (1739-1745) to Mariano Ricafort (1825-1830), failed to suppress the libertarian struggle.

The death of Dagohoy greatly weakened the cause of the Boholanos. Governor Ricafort, an able and energetic administrator, exerted efforts to conquer the island of Bohol. He dispatched strong expeditions to the island in May, 1827 and in April, 1828. The following year, Captain Manuel Sent, a veteran Spanish soldier conducted the last drive against the Bohol patriots.

Missing Dagohoy's excellent leadership, the Boholanos made their last stand in the mountain of Boasa. Two brave brothers named Handog and Auag, commanded the patriots. They resisted the enemy with extreme courage, but their efforts were in vain. They also had three lieutenants who must have taken their place and at least one of them probably lived to the time of the surrender. They were Ignacio Aranez, Pedro Bagio and Bernabe Samonte. By August 31, 1829, the last flames of the rebellion were put out. Dagohoy's survivors agreed to recognize Spain's rule once more.

According to Captain Sanz's combat report, 19,420 Boholanos surrendered while 3,000 fled to other provinces. More than 400 Boholanos died in action during the last battle.

Governor Ricafort, himself a brave soldier, admired the fighting spirit of Dagohoy's men. With magnanimity, he pardoned them and allowed them to live in peace in the lowland villages, now the towns of Batuan, Balilihan, Catigbian, and Pilar.

During the 85 years of Bohol's independence, the patriotic Boholanos lived as free and sovereign people. They did not render forced labor nor pay tribute. They suffered neither racial discrimination nor social humiliation from the hands of the Spaniards. Dagohoy was able to maintain a government. His rule was firm and just. He was obeyed and, respected by his people. Governing like the datus of the pre-Spanish era, he was the chief executive, the supreme judge, and the military generalissimo. He was assisted by the old men in peace affairs and by the military captains in war matters.

historical marker on Dagohoy's grave in the mountain fastness of Danao, Bohol has been installed in his honor.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

General Mariano Alvarez


A revolutionary general and a teacher, Mariano Alvarez was born in Noveleta, Cavite on March 15, 1818, to Severino Alvarez and Maria Malia. At the age of 10, he started his formal education in the town's friar school. Then he was sent to San Jose College in Manila for further schooling. While studying, he found time to read colorful corridos like Los SIete Infantes de Lara and Doce Fares. These corridos instilled in his mind hatred against tyranny.

After obtaining the teachers' diploma, he returned to his hometown and became a school teacher. He taught at Naic and Maragondon, Cavite for a couple of years.

In May 1863, he married Nicolasa Virata y del Rosario, by whom he had an only child, Santiago, who became an equally noted revolutionary general.

One day in 1871, obviously to manifest his hatred for the Spanlards, Mariano ordered that a cupful of dirty water from a ditch be given to a Spanish soldier who had been thrown off his horse. The next day Mariano was bound and hauled off to the soldier's headquarquater at Barrio Dalahican, where he was tortured. He was spared from an untimely 'death only through the intercession of the provincial governor to whom his townmates had appealed for his life.

The next year (1872) he was arrested and tortured again after he was implicated in the Cavite Mutiny following the discovery of an autographed photograph of Fr. Jose A. Burgos on his person. This was used as an evidence against him. Mariano was placed in solitary confinement. Chains placed around his neck and his legs prevented his moving around freely. One measly meal was allowed him daily.

Together with some suspected rebels, he was placed on a boat for Manila. The suspicion was that he was going to be sent into exile, but an order releasing him from captivity was received by the officer-in-charge of the prisoners.

In 1881, he was elected capitan municipal of Noveleta against his wishes. He later acceded and held the post for six years, after which he tendered his resignation - only to be appointed Justice of the Peace (Hukom Pamayapa) of the town. Much later, he was re-elected capitan municipal of Noveleta. He held this office until the outbreak of the Revolution.

When the provincial council or Sangguniang Magdiwang at Noveleta was formed in April, 1896, he was elected president. To a certain extent, he was responsible for the spread of the Katipunan in the province. He initiatedrevolutionary activities in Cavite in September of 1896. In an effort to prevent the Spaniards from sending reinforcrments, he had the bridge at Dalahican destroyed, an incident that resulted in the death of the local commandant of the civil guard,

Antonio Reboleda. He also led his forces in an ambush of about a thousand Spanish troops who were planning to cross the Calero bridge at Dalahican. This initial success at Dalahican was followed by other victories. In a week, most of the towns in Cavite were in the hands of the revolutionary forces.

In recognition of his valiant accomplishments, Bonifacio designated Alvarez general and second Supreme of the Katipunan during the Magdiwang Council meeting in Cavite in December 1896.

Alvarez did not join the revolutionists who retreated to Biak-na-Bato because Bonifacio's death in 1897 grieved him. He was not even present during the signing of the declaration of independence at Kawit on June 12, 1898.

During the American regime he affiliated himself with the Nacionalista Party whose constitution he signed on August 28, 1901, the day the party was founded. Later, he was elected municipal president of Noveleta. As town executive, he helped construct the municipal cemetery through voluntary contributions and effected the annexation of barrio San Juan (previously under the jurisdiction of Kawit) to Noveleta.

Mariano Alvarez was not only a nationalist by party affiliation but his nationalism extended to his religion. Hejoined the Aglipayans and helped build a church in the town.

After his term as town president, he retired to his farm and devoted himself to agriculture. In the morning of August 25, 1924, he died of chronic rheumatism at a rather advanced age. He was 106 years old.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pio Valenzuela

(1869 - 1956)

Pio Valenzuela was born in Polo, Bulacan on July 11, 1869. His parents, Francisco Valenzuela, a capitan mayor, and Lorenza Alejandrino, were affluent.

After he was tutored at home, he was brought to Manila to study at San Juan de Letran College. In 1888, he enrolled at him University of Sto. Tomas and finished his Licenciado en Medicina in 1895. He practices his profession in Manila and Bulacan.

In July 1892, when he was a medical student and the Katipunan was barely a week old, he joined this secret organization. He became a close friend of its founder, Andres Bonifacio, and was godfather to the Supremo’s and Gregoria de Jesus’s first child. After their house burned down, Bonifacio and his family lived with Valenzuela in the latter’s house.

Even before he was conferred the medical degree, he was elected physician of the society in January 1895 and fiscal general in December.

In December 31, 1895 election, he could have won the presidency of the Katipunan Supreme Council had he not refused his compadre Bonifacio’s offer to campaign for him. He was inducted together with the other elected officials at Bonifacio’s residence on New Year’s Day in 1896.

On January 16, 1896, after spending a two-week stay in Polo, he returned to Manila and took up residence at No. 35 Lavezares Street in San Nicolas. It was considered a convenient place for him to live and edit the projected Katipunan official organ. The printing press was transferred from the house of Bonifacio and put under his management with the help of Ulpiano Fernandez, a printer of El Comercio, and Faustino Duque, a San Juan de Letran Student, who were both from his hometown.

He suggested the name Kalayaan for the society’s organ, which Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto approved. The latter took charge of editing it and upon Valenzuela’s suggestion; Marcelo H. del Pilar’s name was printed as editor with Yokohama, Japan as the place of publication. This was to mislead the Spanish authorities.

Because of the lack of many printing types, he and Jacinto had to secure them. For each type that was stolen by the four employees of the printing press of Diaro de Manila, Valenzuela paid a peso. Aguedo del Rosario and Apolonio de la Cruz gave him types free of charge.

A thousand copies of the first issue of Kalayaan dated January 18, 1896 came out in mid-March. This maiden issue of eight pages published a news item written by Valenzuela under his nom-de-plume Madlang-Away entitled Catuiran? Describing the cruelties of Spanish priest and civil guards of San Francisco del Monte against a poor barrio lieutenant.

He distributed copies of this paper in his province, Bulacan. After its distribution to other parts of Luzon, the Katipunan rapidly gained many adherents and sympathizers.

He considered the publication of Kalayaan as the most important accomplishment of the Secret Chamber of the Katipunan. This body, composed of only three members, Valenzuela, Bonifacio and Jacinto, was organized in Valenzuela’s Lavezares house in early 1896. In one of its meetings in July 1896, it decided the assassination of the notorious Fray Mariano Gil, parish priest of Tondo who discovered the existence of the Katipunan. Dr. Valenzuela and Bonifacio attempted to execute this plan but failed. Then they distributed at various places letters implicating wealthy Filipinos in the Katipunan movement.

He was a member of the Katipunan committee which met with the Japanese Admiral named Canimura and handed to him a memorial to be delivered to the Emperor of Japan beseeching him for help in the Filipinos’ emancipation struggle. He was a signer of this memorial.

He administered the Katipunan oath of membership to Isidro Torres, Feliciano Jocson and three others who all proved loyal to the organization. He also organized many branches of the Katipunan in various municipalities of Morong and Bulacan. In April 1896, Valenzuela in the company of Bonifacio and his brother Procopio and Jacinto organized the Katipunan branch in Kawit.

He did not neglect his profession. He gave free medicine to the poor.

At the secret general meeting called by Bonifacio on the night of May 1, 1896 at sitio Ugong in Pasig, Valenzuela present to the body a motion to solicit contributions to buy arms and ammunitions from Japan in order to carry out the revolution as early as possible. The motion was carried on condition that it first is submitted for approval of Dr. Jose Rizal who was in exile in Dapitan. Since he was the most highly educated member of the society, he was chosen as the emissary to consult with Rizal..

Accopanying the blind Raymundo Mata, who was supposed to consult Rizal, and Rufino Mugos, he left for Dapitan on June 15, 1896 under the assumed name Procopio Bonifacio aboard the ship Venue. Immediately after their arrival six days later, he and Rizal discussed privately the Katipunan plan. Rizal told him that the revolution should not be started until sufficient arms had been secured and the support of the ealthy Filipinos had been won over.

Upon his return to Manila, many Katipuneros came to him to ask about Rizal’s reply and the day set for the revolution. As this would run the risk of exposing the Katipunan to authorties, he was advised by Bonifacio to keep away from the streets and hide from the members. He moved to the house of Dr. Anastacio Francisco and then transferred to that of Maximo Cecilio, a pharmacist. He had to practice his profession at night and at daytime; he went to towns far from Manila in disguise.

In preparation for the eventuality that the Katipunan was discovered, Bonifacio assigned him to procure at least 2000 bolos.

When the Katipunan was discovered, he fled to Balintawak on August 20, 1986. However, availing of the amnesty offered by the August 30 decree of Governor General Ramon Blanco, he surrendered to the Spanish authorities on September 1.

He was detained, tried and deported to Spain when he was tried anew and sentenced to cadena perpetua. He was imprisoned first in Madrid, then in Malaga, Barcelona, and still later in Manila, After serving his term for about two years.

He returned to the Philippines in April 1899. In Manila, he was denounced to the American Military authorities as a radical propagandist and once more imprisoned up September of the same year.

To suppress in aggressive leadership upon his release, he was made municipal president of Polo. From 1902 to 1919, he served as president of the military division of his district. From 1919 to 1925, he served the people of Bulacan for two terms as provincial executive. As governor, he was uncompromising against graft and corruption in the government.

After he retired from politics, he wrote his memoirs on the revolutionary days. He also practiced his medical profession, but only for philanthropic purposes. He was married to Marciana Castro by whom he had seven children. Early in the morning of April 6, 1956, he passed away in his hometown.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marcela Agoncillo


A brave beauty forever enshrined in history as the "Maker of the Filipino Flag," Doña Marcela Agoncillo was born in Taal, Batangas on June 24, 1860 to Francisco Mariño and Eugenia Coronel. Her parents were said to have been as rich as they were religious.

As a young girl, she was reputedly the prettiest in Batangas. Tall nd stately, she was fondly referred to as "Roselang Hubog," a virgin enthroned in the town church. Stories are told of people waiting patiently by the church patio for her appearance in the morning, in variably accompanied by a maid or an elderly relative, to hear Mass. Her natural beauty was enhanced by the exquisite pearly tinted piña blouse and the long, full skirt that she usually wore.

Her parents were known to be disciplinarians. When time came to finish her education in Manila, they chose a convent noted for its rigid rules. This was the Sta. Catalina College of the Dominican nuns, established in the Walled City of Intramuros. While in Sta. Catalina, she learned Spanish, music, the feminine crafts and social graces. She was also a noted singer and occasionally appeared in zarzuelas in Batangas.

It was natural for a girl of Marcela's beauty and social standing to have many eligible young men seeking her hand in marriage, but they only met her indifference and her parents' disapproval. Don Felipe Agoncillo who was also of a prominent family from Taal was handsome, wealthy and a lawyer of great promise. He was deemed a fair match. Nevertheless, the young Agoncillo had to wait for a long time to win her hand and to obtain her parents' consent.

Don Felipe was already a judge when they were finally wed. Both were nearing 30 then and already orphans. Six daughters were born to them: Lorenza, Gregoria, Eugenia, Marcela, Adela, who died at 3, and Maria. She raised the daughters to be fine ladies. One of her favorite pieces of advice to them was to "live honestly and well, and to work hard and not depend on family property." The Agoncillos formed a happy and harmonious family.

Like her husband, she was a patriot whose heart bled to see her People suffer under the often brutal Spanish authorities. She stood bravely and loyally by the side of her husband who valiantly defied the corrupt Spanish authorities and defended the rights of the people. She stood by him even as he was denounced by his enemies as a filibustero (traitor).

As a true Filipina of the Spanish era, she was taught early to obey her father's every wish. As a wife, she let her husband make important decisions. Thus, she calmly accepted her husband's decision to go into self-exile in Hongkong to escape a deportation order sending him to Jolo.

When that decision was made in Apri1 1895, Don Felipe had but one hour left before his ship was to set sail for Japan. Not daring to go home to say goodbye to his family, he stopped at Estrella del Norte to purchase a token to be delivered later to his wife, a true "queen of the home." His gift, her most treasured gem,was a gold bracelet bearing diamonds representing each of their living daughters.

As a result of the signing of the Truce of Biak-na-bato in December 1897, General Aguinaldo and his party of 40 revolutionary leaders, went on voluntary exile to Hongkong. Once in Hongkong, General Aguinaldo proceeded to visit the

Agoncillo residence. He requested Doña Marcela to make a Filipino flag. She immediately acceded to the request, seeing in it a big chance to serve her counts). In this she was assisted by her eldest daughter Lorenza, and Mrs. Delfina Herbosa de Natividad, Rizal's niece by his sister Lucia.

Of the first flag made in accordance with the new design, General Aguinaldo said, "The first Filipino national flag, was made by the hands of the Agoncillos at Hongkong. It was the flag I took with me to Cavite when I returned from my exile which was slowly unfurled at the balcony of the Aguinaldo residence at Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898." Interviewed on this matter, Mrs. Agoncillo made the following written statement. "In the house at No. 535, Morison Hill, where I lived with my family, exiled from our country on account of the national cause, I had the good fortune to make the first Philippine flag under the direction of an illustrious leader Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy ... It took me five days to make that National Flag, and when completed, I myself delivered it to General Aguinaldo before boarding the transport McCulloch ... General Aguinaldo is the best witness who can give the information whether or not that flag was the first to be displayed in Cavite at the beginning of the revolutionary government against the government of Spain in these islands."

General Aguinaldo was delighted with the flag and congratulated Marcela and her assistants for it. "It was a big play made of beautiful satin," related Don Felipe who witnessed the sewing of the "beautifully embroidered in gold and it contained the present of blue and red and in white triangle with the sun and the 3 stars.

From 1895-1906, Mrs. Agoncillo remained in Hongkong with her daughters. She took care of their home in Hongkong which had practically become an asylum for Filipino leaders. Even Josephine Bracken sought refuge there when the Spanish authorities threatened to torture her.

After the fall of the first Philippine Republic and the establishment of the American regime, Doña Marcela and her family ended their exile in Hongkong. Her funds had run out because of the heavy expenses incurred by Don Felipe's diplomatic activities in France and the United States. She sold her jewels not only to finance their voyage home to Manila but also to help boost the revolutionary funds.

Back in Manila, the Agoncillos settled in their family house in Malate. Don Felipe returned to his law practice. Her association with the rich and privileged people did not, however, make her forget the poor. It was her practice to distribute alms every Saturday to the beggars who came to her regularly. On one occasion, Don Felipe saw through the window of his studyroom a healthy man receiving alms from one of his daughters. After the man had left, he summoned her and asked. "Did you give alms to that man?" "Yes, Father," she replied. "He said that he has heard that we are kind and charitable," she added. "He has heard that we are fools," her father rejoined.

Doña Marcela and her daughters deeply mourned the passing away of Don Felipe. She was his constant and devoted companion throughout the turbulent years of the Revolution.

During the Japanese occupation, the Agoncillo family (the widow and five surviving daughters) suffered like all the others from lack of essential commodities and the rampant cruelty of the Japanese conquerors. Although the supply of food was meager, Dona Marcela gave part of it to the starving. When her daughters complained she remarked, "If it is hard to give, it is harder to ask."

Doña Marcela, who lived through the most hazardous and significant periods of our country was continually a source of inspiration. She took all sufferings in stride. She was also a pragmatic person. When their house burned down, all she said was "We will then have to go to Taal."

Although she survived the Battle of Manila, Mrs. Agoncillo's health consistently declined. She continued to be disconsolate over the death of her husband and lived the remaining years in obvious loneliness. On Ascension Day, 30 May 1946, Doña Marcela passed away quietly, at the age of 86. In accordance with her last wish, her body was brought from Taal to Manila and interred alongside her husband in the Catholic cemetery of La Loma.

And there in a family mausoleum now rest a great couple, Don Felipe and his beloved wife Doña Marcela.

To Doña Marcela, the nation owes an everlasting legacy in the national flag.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jose Abad Santos


Jose Abad Santos, eminent jurist and patriot, was born in San Fernando, Pampanga, on February 19, 1886, to Vicente Abad Santos and Toribia Basco.

He took his segundo enseñanza at the private school of Roman Veler, in the neighboring town of Bacolod. During the early part of the American regime, he studied in the public high school established by the American soldiers in San Fernando.

In 1904, he was sent to the United States to complete his high school studies at Santa Clara College in San lose, California. He studied law in the University of Illinois and later transferred to the law school of Northwestern University, where he received his Bachelor of Laws on June 4, 1908. He pursued graduate studies at George Washington University and received his Master of Laws on June 19, 1909.

Back in the Philippines, he worked as temporary clerk in the Archives Division of the Executiye Bureau. Later, he was appointed clerk in the Bureau of Justice and was, subsequently, promoted to court interpreter after passing the Philippine Bar on October 12, 1911. On July 31, 1914, he was appointed assistant-attorney at the Bureau of Justice. On July 16, 1918, he became a special attorney for the Philippine National Bank. He later went into private practice, while the PNB retained him as its counsel. In 1919, he was reappointed assistant attorney in the Bureau of Justice and served concurrently as one of the six technical advisers to the First Parliamentary Independence Mission to the United States. Upon his return he resigned as assistant attorney and counsel of PNB.

In January 1922, Abad Santos was appointed Undersecretary of Justice and later Secretary of Justice under Governor-General Leonard Wood, a position he held up to June 28, 1932. On December 5, 1938, he took his oath as Secretary of Justice for the third time and served the position untilluly 16, 1941. On December 24, 1941, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

At the outbreak of World II, in addition to being Chief Justice, he was named Secretary of Justice and Acting Secretary of Finance, Agriculture and Commerce in the Quezon War Cabinet. Left behind by Quezon who was evacuated to Washington, D.C., Abad Santos became the virtual head of the government. He performed his duties with amazing zed and dedication, prompting Quezon to describe him as "one of the noblest, purest and ablest men in the government service."

Abad Santos was captured by the Japanese near Carcar, Cebu. He was subjected to gruelling investigations for three weeks and was asked to contact General Manuel Raxas and to renounce his allegiance to the United States of America. He replied with dignity and courage: I cannot accede to the things you ask of me. To obey your commands is tantamount to being a traitor to the United States and my country. I would prefer to die rather than live in shame."

He was brought to Parang, Cotabato, and finally to Malabang, Lanao del Sur, where he was told of his impending execution. When his son learned of the verdict, he bust into teen, but Chief Justice Abad Santos confronted him, saying with sincere tenderness: "Do not cry Pepito. Show these people that you are brave. It is a rare opportunity far me to die for our country. Not everybody is given that chance."

After kneeling down together and reciting a brief prayer, Abad Santos and son embraced each other. Shortly after, a volley of shots was heard. It was two o' clock in the afternoon of May 2, 1942.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunshine Dizon

Sunshine Dizon is a Filipina actress. She started in show business when she was only three years old. On her teens, she became a sweetheart. Through time, she was molded into one of the greatest serious actresses of her generation.


Born as Margarette Sunshine Cansancio Dizon on July 3, 1983 to Isagani Benzon Dizon and Dorothy Cansancio Dizon, Sunshine is the sister of drummer Mike Dizon of Sandwich, the youngest and only girl in their family. At a young age, her mother who was then a producer of films and TV shows, noticed her interest in show business. She entered Philippine show business at the age of three.

When she was six, his dad left for the States. After a few months, she and her mom followed. When they went to the States, she was then shooting for the movie "Kung Kasalanan Man" with Dina Bonnevie and the scene in the movie where she is flying for the States is actually true because after shooting that scene, they proceeded to the airport immediately. She spent her seventh birthday in the United States.

She entered elementary and spent her Grade 1 in St. Joseph College and she even ranked three in the entrance examination. The funny story is that she was able to make it when the truth is that she is does not know how to read during that time. She didn't go through pre-school because she is already acting during that time that's why she has no knowledge in reading and writing. What she did was she told the proctor that she left her eyeglasses that's why she can't read the test question and asked for the proctor to read it for her. The school was impressed by the results of her examination. During this time, her mother also decided to focus on her academics and take a break from show business, they rejected a number of movies and projects. Later, she was asked to read a phrase from their book, that was the time that they discovered the truth that Sunshine can't actually read.

Sunshine was doing well in her classes. She one of the brightest students in her class, but she can't resist the call for acting because of the many offers she has been getting. She got an offer to star with Dolphy which they could not resist.

She transferred school to Sunny Hill when she was in Grade 2. At her young age, she is juggling acting and schooling yet she managed to be in the list of honorees. Still, despite her absences she got good grades and was even running for honors in her last year in elementary. But she wasn't given the award because a parent threatened the school that he would complain if Dizon gets an award because of her absences.

Acting Career:

Sunshine, the Childstar:

Sunshine Dizon started acting at the age of three. Her screen name then was simply "Sunshine". Her mother was a producer then, and her mom would always bring her in her meetings. Her mother's co-producers were amazed and delighted by her personality; that's why they told her that she could be a child actress. The first movie that she did was "God’s Little Children".

At a young age, she has already worked with some of the icons in the local industry. She worked with Dina Bonnevie in "Kung Kasalanan Man" (1989); Fernando Poe Jr. in "Hindi Pa Tapos Ang Laban" and "Kahit Butas ng Karayom Papasukin Ko" where she got her first acting recognition as Best Child Actress from FAMAS.

In television, she became a regular in the longest-running gag show in the Philippines Bubble Gang. She also became part of "That's Entertainment" for six months. After which, VIVA signed her and cast her in "DATS", the show that replaced That's Entertainment.

Sunshine Dizon, the Teenstar:

From a childstar, she then became a teenstar. VIVA relaunched her and casted her as one of the leads in the TV Series Anna Karenina with Antoinette Taus and Kim delos Santos. The three with pairs Dingdong Dantes, Polo Ravales and Dino Guevara were the hottest youngstars during the 90s and they were dubbed as the VIVA Teens Barkada. The group were also introduced as the new cast of TGIS (Thank God It's Sabado). She starred in teenybopper flicks which were box office hits like "Honey, My Love, So Sweet" (1999) and "Kiss Mo Ko" (1999).

Sunshine Dizon, the Drama Actress:

In 2001, GMA Network got her to star with Angelika dela Cruz in the primetime television drama "Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin". But during the course of the series her character was killed. This was because she was given a solo soap, the critically acclaimed "Kung Mawawala Ka" where she was paired with Cogie Domingo. She proved her versatility as an actress when she tried comedy by being casted in "Masikip sa dibdib" (2004) and the TV sitcom "Daboy En Da Girl" (2002). Meanwhile she was also casted in drama flicks, her forte like "Mga Batang lansangan... ngayon" (2002), "Filipinas" (2003) and "Sabel" (2004). She also starred in the GMA mini-series "Umulan Man o Umaraw" and "Tuwing Kapiling Ka."

But the turning point of her career was when she was casted as Sang'gre Pirena in Encantadia saga (2005-2006). It was in this series that her acting prowess was recognized by critics. She even got two Best Actress Awards from ENPRESS (Golden Screen Entertainment TV Awards) and Gawad Amerika and various nominations for Encantadia.

She continued showing her comic antics in the sitcom Bahay Mo Ba To? (2005). Her Encantadia stint was followed by "Captain Brabell" TV Series (2006) where she played a pivotal villain. She was later pulled out from the show to give way for her biggest break on Philippine television, she was chosen to be the title roler in "Carlo J. Caparas' Bakekang", a role which was once played by Superstar Nora Aunor. Nevertheless, she was able to pull it off and was critically acclaimed for her magnanimous portrayal of the ugly yet warmhearted movie fan. The show also topped the ratings chart which elevated her status into a serious actress and primetime queen. She was awarded Best Actress by PMPC Atar Awards for her portrayal in Bakekang.

This was followed by Impostora(2007) where she plays a dual role. And now, La Vendetta (2007), a drama-thriller series.

GMA Network recently signed her as an exclusive contract star. While her television career is on its peak, she still has to prove herself in the box office. She was casted in the GMA Films' movie Dagaw which to be aired in 2008.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yeng Constantino

Josephine "Yeng" Constantino (born December 4, 1988) is a popular reality TV winner of Pinoy Dream Academy—a Philippine edition of Endemol's Star Academy—a reality TV singing search in the Philippines.


Yeng Constantino is the youngest child of Susan Constantino and Joselito Constantino and was born in Rodriguez, Rizal.

Josephine Constantino a.k.a Yeng is the first Grand Star Dreamer from ABS-CBN's Talent Reality Show, PINOY DREAM ACADEMY (PDA) or FAME Academy in other countries. At Age of 18, Yeng showed the filipino viewers her versatility in singing, Rockista Appeal and love for Writing and Composing her original songs. One of her very own composition "HAWAK KAMAY" topped most of the radio station's both in manila and provinces. and won the Best Theme Song at the MMFF as it was use by Star Cinema's "KASAL KASALI KASALO" as its official theme. After Winning at PDA, Dream Big Production launched her debut album called "SALAMAT" with its carrier single "SALAMAT", the album reached GOLD from its 1st week and later was reached 3x Platinum. Most of the tracks from the album such as Pangarap Lang, Cool Off, Time IN, Salamat topped most of the radio station's. Yeng also done a successful series of Concert Tours Worldwide and was debuted her very 1st and overwhelming concert in the philippines, entitled "ROCK ENROLL- Yeng Constantino's Rock to School Concert". Now, yeng was a mainstay at ABS-CBN's no.1 Variety Show "ASAP'07"

Grand Star Dreamer:

As the "Grand Star Dreamer", Constantino received a brand-new Suzuki Swift, a condominium unit at G.A. Towers, a 60-inch SXRD Sony Bravia TV, a Touch music video unit, a Belgian Waffle dine-in franchise, a recording contract with Star Records, and 1 million pesos from Fitrum.


Constantino won the competition becoming the first "Grand Star Dreamer" of Pinoy Dream Academy, garnering a total of 697,648 votes (37.32%); followed by Jay-R Siaboc (first runner-up) with 612,767 votes (32.77%). Her career continuously booms in radio and TV airwaves.

After Winning as the Grand Star Dreamer, Star Records/ Dream Music launched Yeng's debut albut titled "salamat" which was overwhelmingly accepted by public as it reached 3x platinum reords or sold over 90,000 copies.

Other than having a concert tour worlwide, Yeng is doin some Print add modelling for such products as Persi and Globe. Yeng being new to the showbizness receives ton's of awards such as "Best new Artist", "Pop Album Awards", "Best Movie Theme song for Kasal Kasali Kasalo", Yeng also has been choosen to sing theme songs from Judy Ann Santo's Teleserye "ysabella" and Movie " Sakal Sakali Saklol".

And On February 15, Her Musch awaited sophomore Album title "Journey" will be launch on ASAP 08. The Album contains 12 tracks, and most of it are all written by Yeng here self. The carrier single of the said album is calle "Di Na Ganun".

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Korina Sanchez

Korina Baluyut Sanchez is a Filipino award-winning and one of the most respected broadcast journalists in the Philippines. She is one of the frontline personalities for ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, which is her home network for more than two decades. She is best known for her image as a strong woman who is willing to defend herself and the well-being of other Filipino people, especially women.

Sanchez was born on October 5, 1964 in Hong Kong, where her parents met. Her mother, Celia, was a singer and her father, Ramon, was a manager in Ambassador Hotel. She is the second child and only girl in the family. Her family came to the Philippines and set up a carpet company that she says "that rose to one of the biggest in the Philippines."

She attended St. Theresa's College, Q.C. for her elementary and secondary school, and Maryknoll (now Miriam College), where she earned a bachelor's degree in Communication Arts. Her first love was writing, yet she was also into singing, theater, public speaking, and varsity volleyball. She claims to be poor in Math and had to be tutored by her seatmate, who also taught her how to speak French. She completed a third-level French language course at the Alliance Francaise de Manille.

Korina dreamt to be in the performing arts, just like her mother, but she believed her calling had always been in the field of information and communication. Seeing future-ABS-CBN-colleague Loren Legarda doing the news appealed to her enough to enroll in a newscasting school. She figured that with newscasting, she would be able to get the best of both worlds: writing and being on TV. Without telling her parents, she temporarily stopped college to take courses at Programs Philippines Incorporated. Before her parents knew it, she was delivering the news on TV. She left her family home shortly after she started working.

Korina Sanchez is also known for being an advocate against medical malpractice in the Philippines.

Sanchez rose from the ranks. From being a station weathergirl at PTV-4 (now NBN-4) under the supervision of Greg Cendaña, she advanced to be the hourly newsbreak announcer, beat reporter and pinch-hit anchor to her seniors. She was one of ABS-CBN's pioneers when it reopened in 1986 after being closed down by President Ferdinand Marcos. She became executive producer and host to programs such as Magandang Umaga Po with Noli de Castro, Bayan Ko Sagot Ko, Hoy Gising!, Options, Balitang K, Isyu 101 and Pulso: Aksyon Balita.

When de Castro ran for public office in 2001, Korina was elected by ABS-CBN's news department to be the anchor of flagship news program TV Patrol.

In 2003, she was asked to pinch-hit as co-host to actress Kris Aquino. The tandem clicked and what was supposed to be a two-week stint became a hit sixteen-month talk show. Morning Girls with Kris and Korina ended in May 2004 after Sanchez was offered a slot in a Sunday newsmagazine show, Rated K: Handa Na Ba Kayo?, which still runs to date.

Sanchez also has a career in radio through dzMM, ABS-CBN's Metro Manila radio station. She does socio-political commentary with longtime friend Ted Failon, who was also her co-anchor in Hoy Gising!. Their program was first entitled Aksyon Ngayon, and then renamed Tambalang Failon at Sanchez. When Failon was elected Congressman of the first district of Leyte province, Sanchez hosted the program on her own and it was renamed Korina sa Umaga. Three years later, the show reverted to Tambalang Failon at Sanchez after Failon opted not to run for another term.

2004 was an eventful year for Sanchez after her romantic relationship with then-Senatorial-candidate Mar Roxas was revealed to the public. Rumors spread, saying he paid her millions of pesos to help him gain votes. She also lost her parents barely three months apart: her mother to cancer and her father to a series of strokes. She was also removed from TV Patrol after 24 Oras of rival GMA 7 triumphed in the ratings with veteran Mel Tiangco. However, she was appointed by the network and remained as the news organization's Chief Correspondent for Philippine & Global Operations.

After almost two years of Sanchez' hiatus in newscasting, she was re-installed as news anchor at Bandila, the news program of ABS-CBN which replaced Insider. It had its pilot last July 3, 2006 with a banner story about Danny Lim's withdrawal of support from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

On July 10, 2006, ABS-CBN News Channel celebrated its 10th Year in the broadcast industry. It introduced new programs that will make the channel a better provider of news. Included in the new programs is a noontime discussion (with a late evening rerun) show Korina Today, hosted by no less than Miss Sanchez herself.

Korina is also consistently included as one of the preferred senatoriables. Her name is always included in the top 12 preferred personalities for the Senatorial Race based on the surveys of Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations, including the 2004 and recently released survey for 2007 elections. However, Korina has always declined invitations to join the political arena, thinking that it is better to watch mud wrestling than being part of it.

Korina Sanchez was suspended by ABS-CBN for one week effective December 21, 2006, covering all her TV and radio programs. Sanchez was reprimanded by the network for “conflict of interest, several articles that called attention to her activities outside of the company, and an editorial lapse,” when she became a proponent of a firm that produces concerts for MYMP


Sanchez has received numerous awards from various award-giving bodies for television, including the Gawad CCP para sa Telebisyon, Community Outstanding Young Achievers Awards, Catholic Mass Media Awards, KBP Golden Dove Awards, PMPC Star Awards for Best Female Newscaster which she shared with almost a decade winner and industry pillar Mel Tiangco. Her recent awards include Best Newscaster for TV Patrol, Best Talk Show Host for Morning Girls with Kris and Korina, Best Radio Program for Korina sa Umaga, Pipol of the Year 2004, best female newscaster award from UST TV Awards 2005, and Anak TV Seal 2006 favorite Female Personalities. For 2007, Sanchez was awarded as Best Magazine Show host by two award-giving bodies, the Philippine Movie Press Club and the Kapinasan ng mga Brodkasters ng Pilipinas. She was also awarded as one People Asia's Women of Style and Substance. She also ranked number one across all ten female TV personalities in Anak TV Seal's Most Admired Female Personalities for 2007.

Korina is mostly known to rather keep things to herself, but rather unsuccessfully. She was known to have a relationship more than a decade ago with Kris Aquino's brother, Noynoy and she is currently in a relationship with Philippine Senator Mar Roxas.
Korina Sanchez was suspended by ABS-CBN for one week effective December 21, 2006, covering all her TV and radio programs. Sanchez was reprimanded by the network for “conflict of interest, several articles that called attention to her activities outside of the company, and an editorial lapse,” when she became a proponent of a firm that produces concerts for MYMP.

Sanchez' name was also dragged during the height of a controversy involving FrancSwiss, a pyramiding scheme. On July 10, 2007 denies having invested in FrancSwiss. “I categorically deny making any investment in FrancSwiss. It was irresponsible for the National Bureau of Investigation to make the reckless allegation and destroy my reputation as a broadcast journalist, which I carefully built and protected through the years,” Sanchez, who is abroad issued the statement. 25 people already filed complaints against Francswiss and each poured in a minimum of $1,000. NBI Senior Agent Manny Fayre is set to invite some personalities to shed light on the incident, including popular actress Claudine Barreto and her actor-husband Raymart Santiago, broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez and cager Bonnel Balingit.

TV Shows:

* Magandang Umaga Po
* Hoy Gising
* TV Patrol
* Balitang K
* Morning Girls with Kris and Korina
* Korina Today (ANC)
* Rated K: Handa Na Ba Kayo?
* Bandila

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Emilio Aguinaldo


General Emilio Aguinaldo was the President of the First Philippine Republic and leader of the Revolution against Spain and War in opposition to America occupation of the country. The seventh child of Don Carlos Aguinaldo y Jamir and Doña Trinidad Famy y Valero, Emilio was born at dawn of March 22, 1869 in Cavite El Viejo ( now Kawit).

He was a plucky and daring tot. At a playmate's dare, he jumped into the Marulas river and almost drowned as he did not know how to swim. At two, he got sick with smallpox and was given up for dead until he opened his eyes. He was bitten by hundreds of ants in a bamboo clump where a relative had abandoned him for fear of some Spanish troops out on a juez de cuchillo (Justice of the knife) mission in retaliation for the Cavite Mutiny of 1872.

As a young man, he engaged in barter and trade in the nearby southern islands. On one of his trips, taken in a big paraw (sailboat with outriggers), he grappled, subdued and landed a huge man-eating shark which he thought was just an ordinary big fish that swallowed everything in its path.

Aguinaldo was slender and stood at five feet and three inches. His stiff black hair, always cut short, flat at the sides and semi-flat on top, became popularly known as the "Aguinaldo" haircut. His Chinese lineage was betrayed by almond-shaped eyes and the sparseness of the moustache he tried to grow as a young gallant. He appeared shy, self-effacing, gentle and humble - traits that won the people's hearts.

He was only in the third year of his bachillerato (equivalent to our present high school) when he decided to leave the Colegio de San Juan de Letran to help his widowed mother manage their farm. He was only 17 then. His mother, Kapitana Teneng worked for his appointment as cabeza de barangay of Kawit to prevent his being conscripted into the Spanish army. He proved to be a capable official. Hence, when the Maura Law was implemented in the Philippines, he was chosen capitan municipal (mayor) - the first in Kawit - by the electoral tribunal. In the morning of January 1, 1895, he took his oath as town executive and, in the evening of the same day, he was initiated into the Masonry, then a fraternity outlawed by both the Church and State. Three months later, in March of 1895, he was inducted into the Kntipunan in Manila by its founder and Supremo, Andres Bonifacio.

For his name in the secret society, Aguinaldo chose Magdalo, after the patron saint of Kawit, Mary Magdalene. His official position served the purposes of the Katipunan very well, specially when he became very active in recruting members.

Aguinaldo fell in love with Hilaria del Rosario of Imus, Cavite and married her in 1896. He had kept his revolutionary activities secret from his wife until the Katipuneros staged the "Cry of Pugad Lawin" on August 23, 1896. Under his leadership, the Katipunan forces in Cavite captured Kawit, Imus, Bacoor, and other towns. After his initial victories, he led his men to help the Katipuneros in Batangas..

The Spanish forces concentrated their campaigns in Cavite. They sent feelers to Aguinaldo, urging cessation of hostilities, but these were ignored. The Spanish authorities. then put a price on his head and circularized their intention to display him in Manila in an iron cage once captured.

Early in 1897, under Governor-General Camilo de Polavieja, the Spanish forces launched a vigorous campaign in Cavite, resulting in the capture of several towns and the killing of a number of Aguinaldo's commanders: his elder brother, Crispulo, and his friends, Evangelista and Flaviano Yengko, all of them generals of his army.

The two Katipunan factions (Magdalo under Aguinaldo and Magdfwang under Bonifacio) held a convention in March of 1897 in Tejeros,a barrio between the towns of San Francisco de Malabon (now General Trias) and Noveleta, in Cavite. The assembly elected Aguinaldo: (who was not present) president, but a conflict broke out between the two factions when Daniel Tirona derogatorily questioned Bonifacio's election as minister of interior.

As more towns of Cavite were recaptured by the Spaniards, Aguinaldo had to transfer his headquarters to Batangas and finally to a hideout in Biak-na-bato mountain in Bulacan. There he reorganized the revolutionary government. With the war in Cuba, Spain was hard-pressed to keep fighting on two fronts. Pedro A. Paterno, Filipino scholar, offered his services to Governor-General F. Primo de Rivera to negotiate with Aguinaldo. The latter wanted nothing short of independence while the governor general insisted on ending hostilities in exchange for general amnesty. The persistence of Paterno resulted in the Truce of Biak-na-bato in December 1897.

In compliance with the conditions of the truce, Aguinaldo and about 25 of his leaders left for Hongkong as exiles. However, the Peace turned out to be as flimsy as the faith of the contracting parties. Apolinario Mabini, who became Aguinaldo's adviser, admitted later that both parties had acted in bad faith. The promised general amnesty and reforms were not implemented satisfactorily by the Spanish authorities. On the other hand, the stipulated surrender of most of the arms was withheld by the Filipino forces.

Aguinaldo deposited the indemnity money in two Hongkong banks, and he and his fellow exiles lived meagerly off its interest. The money was later used to purchase firearms.

Before the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Aguinaldo had already agreed, through the American consul in Singapore, to a supposed alliance with the United States Hence, after the Spanish warship were sank by the fleet of Admiral George Dewey at Manila Bay, Aguinaldo returned to Manila to renew the fight against Spain. .

In Cavite, on the advice of lawyer Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, he established a provisional dictatorial government to "repress with a strong hand the anarchy which is the inevitable sequel of all revolutions." His first two significant acts were the proclamation of Philippine independence in Kawit on June 12, 1898, and the organization of local political units all over the country.

The return of Aguinaldo united the Filipinos once again. From Cavite, Aguinaldo led his troops to victory after victory over the Spanish forces until they reached the city ofManila. Despite the surrender of the Spaniards, however, the Americans forbade the Filipinos to enter the Walled City of Intramuros.

Aguinaldo, still optimistic and unsuspecting of the real intentions of the Americans, convened a Revolutionary Congress at Malolos to ratify the independence of the Philippines and to draft a constitution for a republican form of government.

On the night of February 4, 1899, the shooting of a Filipino soldier by an American sentry at the San Juan bridge, kindled the brewing enmity between the Filipino and American armies. An open war followed soon after. Consequently, superior American firepower drove the Filipino troops away from the city. The govermnent at Malolos then had to transfer from one place to another. Aguinaldo had to retreat to the north of Luzon with the Americans closely trailing him.

President WilliamMcKinley offered the Filipinos an autonomous government under the American flag but this was emphatically rejected.

Aguinaldo's odyssey ended in September, 1900, in Palanan, Isabela, where he was captured by General Frederick Funston on March 23, 1901, a day after his 32nd birthday. Although Generals Miguel Malvar and Artemio Ricarte, and a few others continued their resistance, the capture of Aguinaldo virtually ended the Filipino-American War.

After the restoration of peace, Aguinaldo led the life of a gentleman farmer and looked after the welfare of his former comrades-in-arms. He organized the Veteranos de la Revolucion (Veterans of the Revolution), secured pensions for its members, and made arrangements for them to buy land on installment from the government.

On March 6, 1921, his first wife died. From that marriage five children (Miguel, Carmen, Emilio, Jr., Maria and Cristina) were born. On July 14, 1930, aged 61, he married Dona Maria Agoncillo, niece of Don Felipe Agoncillo, the pioneer Filipino diplomat.

In 1935, Aguinaldo ran for the presidency of the Commonwealth government and lost to Manuel L. Quezon.

During the parade at the Luneta on July 4, 1946, marking the restoration and recognition of Philippine independence by the US Government, the 77-year old general carried the flag he raised in Kawit on June 12, 1898, the date he believed to be our true Independence Day. When President Diosdado Macapagal proclaimed this date in 1962 as Independence Day, Aguinaldo regarded it as the greatest victory of the Revolution of 1896.

On February 6, 1964, less than a year after the death of his second wife, Aguinaldo died of coronary thrombosis, at the age of 95, at the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City.

A year before his death, he had donated his mansion and lot in Kawit to the government "to perpetuate the spirit of the Revolution of 1896... to conserve and vivify the nationalism that moved our country to rise in arms..."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rico J. Puno

Rico J. Puno (born as Enrico de Jesus Puno on February 13, 1953) is a popular Filipino pop singing artist who is credited as a pioneer-promoter of original Filipino music. He started the trend of incorporating Tagalog lyrics in his rendition of the American song The Way We Were and other foreign songs. Also known as Rico J. and as The Total Entertainer, Puno is a singer who regularly infused his on-stage performance with comedy and jokes.


Puno was born in Manila to parents, Felipe Puno Sr. and Corazon J. Puno. Although he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Philippine School of Business Administration, Puno dreamed of becoming a singer.

Singing Career:

Puno introduced himself and his talent to the entertainment business by performing at folk houses and small clubs in Metro Manila. In 1975, while singing at the Palazzi, Puno met and performed with the American Motown group, The Temptations. Puno’s talent was later noticed by the executive producers from Vicor Records. His first record was Love Won't Let Me Wait, while his first big hit was the Tagalog-infused The Way We Were.

In 1976, Puno won the Aliw Award for Most Promising Entertainer. Two years later, he became Aliw's Entertainer of the Year. His Rico in Concert show at the Cultural Center of the Philippines launched him as one of the foremost Philippine pop stars. In 1978, Puno’s popularity and his regular concerts at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City and his performance tours in the United States broke records in terms of audience attendance. His fame also made him into a sought-after product endorser including advertisements for San Miguel Beer Corporation in the 1970s.

In 1979, Puno represented the Philippines at the Tokyo Music Festival in 1979, with Lupa (Dirt), a song that imparted messages on how an individual could strive to change for the better, on how to gain humility and other human values, on how not to judge others, and on how to struggle against one’s own weaknesses.

Hit Songs:

Puno’s hit songs included Kapalaran (Fate), Buhat (Ever Since), Macho Guwapito (Good-looking Young Gigolo), Lupa (Dirt), Damdamin (Feelings), May Bukas Pa (There's Still Tomorrow), Ang Tao'y Marupok (People are Weak), Magkasuyo Buong Gabi (Together Through the Night) - a duet with Elsa Chan - and his Filipino rendition of You Don't Have to Be a Star (to Be in My Show).

One of Puno’s recent album is Aliw by BMG Records. Its carrier single was Kay Hirap Mong Limutin (It is Difficult to Forget You) by Lito Camo.


Among his contemporaries in the original Filipino music industry, Puno is one of the still consistently-active performers since he launched his career in 1975. The duration of his career as a Philippine singer now spans three decades. He became a favorite of the Philippine Amusement and Games Corporation (PAGCOR) and other casinos around Metro Manila and the provinces. His performances included tours in the United States, Canada, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and European countries.

The Big Five Concerts:

From 2001, the Greatest Hits series in Manila, produced by Viva Concerts helped maintain Puno’s popularity. These Greatest Hits concerts brought him together with other Greatest Hitmakers in the Philippine music scene during the 1980s, namely Philippine pop icons: Hajji Alejandro, Rey Valera, Nonoy Zuñiga and Marco Sison.

Beyond Showbusiness Boundaries:

From 1986 to 1987, Puno had a noontime variety show, "Lunch Date" over GMA-7. In 1994-1995 he headlined Chibugan Na (It's Eating Time), aired on weekdays at 12 noon on RPN 9, with Hajji Alejandro.

Puno is also the owner of the karaoke bar, Corix, at Vito Cruz Extension, Manila. He also manages a trucking business. In 1998, he became a Makati City councilor.

Passing The Torch:

During Puno’s recent performances, he is often joined on stage by his oldest daughter, Tosca.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Jonalyn Viray

Jonalyn Viray (born November 15, 1989 in San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines) is a Filipina singer from noted for her vocal ability. She is also known as "The Soul Princess."


Jonalyn is the eldest of four children. She started joining singing contests in her early age, winning first runner-up on IBC's "Birit Bulilit" as a child and on "MTV Teen Pop Star." Her winning piece was Mariah Carey’s "Never Too Far." Growing up, Jonalyn, much like any aspiring singer, admired Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Regine Velasquez and later, Kelly Clarkson. She joined GMA Network's talent search Pinoy Pop Superstar and won with her rendition of Reflection by Lea Salonga. On its second week, she won again with her rendition of it might be you and make her a fix finalist when she sung Get Here on its following week. At the finals night, she first sang "It Might Be You." From the eight finalists, four were chosen: Jonalyn along with Charmaine Piamonte, Michael Garcia and the crowd’s favorite, Brenan Espartinez.

In the second bout involving four of them, Jonalyn sang Whitney Houston’s "Run to You." She was chosen to be one of the final two contenders, the other being Brenan who sang George Michael’s "Careless Whisper." In their face off, they both sang "My Miracle" and it was Jonalyn who emerged as the champ. Among her prize winnings was a P100,000 gift certificate from Belo Medical Group which she notoriously availed by undergoing rhinoplasty and other cosmetic enhancements at a young age to improve her marketability.

Present, On My Own:

Finally, the time has come for Pinoy Pop Superstar Jonalyn Viray to shine on her own as GMA Records releases her debut album “On My Own”. Jonalyn's first album is in fact a dream come true – from the little girl who aimed for a goal to reach her destiny, the young diva has now achieved that goal and made her dream a reality.

The petite belter now proves to everyone that she has made it as a singer with an album like “On My Own”. Now a GMA Artist Center talent, Jonalyn rightfully claimed the title of being the ultimate Pinoy Pop Superstar, besting aspiring singers from all over the Philippines. The amateur singing contest paved the way for the young lass and she is now reaping the fruits of her hard work. And with her first solo album, her talent sparkles even brighter with the ten tracks that highlight her vocal prowess. “Close to Where You Are”, Jonalyn's carrier single can effortlessly turn any listener to a fan. Composed by ace composer Danny Tan, this is the first song Jonalyn sang as a Pinoy Pop Superstar grand winner.

Jonalyn's renditions of “It Might Be You”, “Get Here”, and “Run To You” are for the young and old. She will aims to mesmerize listeners with her rendition of the Darna theme song “Di Na Mag-iisa”.

Jonalyn's soulful voice is in full force with “On My Own”. Pinoy Pop Superstar's “Soul Sister” sheds off the shyness of a former dreamer to wear the cloak of a certified diva.

Jonalyn also competed at the prestigious World Championships of Performing Arts in Hollywood and was awarded the Industry Award Female Vocal Solo for winning five gold medals.