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Monday, October 20, 2008

Gen. Gregorio L. Aglipay

Gen. GREGORIO L. AGLIPAY (1860-1940)

The formal launching, in 1902, of a Philippine national church called the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, was the culmination of a vision first raised at the Assembly of Paniqui which was convened in 1999 for the purpose of organizing the Filipino clergy. This assembly marked the beginning of a religious revolution that; came to affect the lives of a great number of Filipinos. At the forefront in convening the assembly was a man who was a former Catholic priest, a nationalist, a patriot, a guerrilla leader, and the first Supreme Bishop of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. His name was Cregorio Aglipay Cruz y Labayan.

Gregorio Aglipay was born in Bathe, Ilocos Norte on May 8, 1860. His parents were Pedro Aglipay Cruz and Victoriana Labayan Hilario. Little is known of his family: an elder brother, Benito, died at an early age; Canuto, a teacher, was a year or two older than Gregorio.

His mother died when he was barely a year and seven months old. Orphaned. Aglipay came under the care of his maternal granduncles and grandaunts. An industrious and lively lad, he spent his boyhood in the fields helping in the planting of tobacco. An unpleasant incident when he was fourteen made a deep impression on him. For failing to meet the required quota of tobacco, Aglipay was arrested and brought before the gobernadorcillo. This caused him to harbor deep resentment against the Spanish civil authorities.

Aglipay had his early education in his hometown. In 1876 he went to Manila and studied at the private school of Julian Carpio, a lawyer. After two years and with the financial help extended to him by a granduncle, Francisco del Amor, he enrolled at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran where he worked his way as a "capista." A diligent student, Aglipay received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Letran and went on to the University of Santo Tomas to study law. Subsequently, however, he decided to study for the priesthood and entered the Vigan Seminary in 1883.

Aglipay was ordained a priest in Manila on December 21, 1889 and celebrated his first Mass in January of the following year. For eight years he served as coadjutor (assistant parish priest) in various parishes: Indang, Cavite, San Antonio, Nueva Ecija; Bocaue, Bulacan; San Pablo. Laguna; and, finally, Victoria, Tarlac. He was coadjutor of San Pablo when the Philippine Revolution broke out in August 1896.

Aglipay had some radical ideas and his sentiments were doubtless for the revolution. But it was not until after he was assigned to Victoria, Tarlac in the latter part of 1896 that he became directly involved with the movement. He was known to have given aid to the revolutionaries. In Victoria, Aglipav is remembered as a hero and a liberator. Joaquin Rigor, an old resident of the town, recalled that in 1897, the Spanish cura parroco had ordered the arrest and execution of all male residents upon being informed that many prominent familes were connected with the revolutionary movement. However, Aglipay, who was then the coadjutor, prevented the execution when he appealed to the Spanish friar and vouched for their innocence. The order was revoked and the men were freed.

On October 20, 1898 Gregorio Aglipay was appointed military chaplain of the Revolutionary Government by Emilio Aguinaldo. As a military chaplain, he earned for himself the gratitude of the Spanish Jesuits. It was said that through his intercession the Spanish Jesuits, Fathers Antonio Rosell and Felix Mir, who were being held prisoners by the revolutionaries, were ordered released and sent to Manila. On another occasion, he interceded in behalf of several imprisoned Spanish friars in Laoag who were being asked to cut grass in the public plaza. However, his appointment of Eustaquio Gallardo as vicar general of the See of Nueva Segovia, was later cited as one of the causes for his excommunication from the Catholic Church.

In September of that same year, General Aguinaldo called for a meeting of delegates in Malolos, Bulacan. Gregorio Aglipay represented his home province of Ilocos Norte and was among those who affuted their signatures to the Constitution which was adopted by the Congress.

Aglipay was raised to the rank of vicario general castrence (military vicar general) by General Aguinaldo in a decree issued on the 20th of October. As such, he resumed the work begun by Fr. Jose Burgos - the Filipinization of the Church in the Philippines. He issued several manifestoes urging the Filipino clergy to unite and take over the government of the Church in the country. These manifestoes, among other reasons, led to his excommunication. The ecclesiastical court, in a decree issued in May 1899, found him guilty of inciting the clergy to rebellion against Church authorities.

During the lauching of the new church, Isabelo de los Reyes, a labor leader, offered him the position of supreme bishop. He hesitated at first, but finally accepted the offer that sealed his break with the Roman Catholic Church.

The independence of the Philippines was a consuming passion for Aglipay. He tried in every way to serve his country. He was an energetic soldier and an effective guerrilla leader during the Philippine-American war. His guerrilla unit courageously engaged the Americans in several encounters. In April 1901, a month after the capture of General Aguinaldo, Aglipay realized the futility of continued resistance against the Americans, and surrendered to Colonel MacCaskey in Laoag.

Aglipay's desire for independence did not lose its fervor even after peace was restored. He became deeply involved in the campaign for independence during the American regime. The success of his tour in the United States in 1931 intensified his interest in the political affairs of his country. In 1935, he ran for the presidency of the Commonwealth but lost to the fiery Manuel L. Quezon. Aglipay devoted his remaining years to the welfare of his church.

The Iglesia Filipina Independiente allows its clergy to marry. On March 12, 1939, Aglipay married Pilar Jamias of Sarrat, Ilocos Norte.

Death came to Gregorio Aglipay on September 1, 1940. He died in Manila following a cerebral stroke. His remains were buried in his hometown, in Batac, Ilocos Norte, after having been interred first at the Aglipayan Cathedral in Tondo, Manila, and later, after the cathedral was destroyed in 1945, at the Temple of Maria Clara in Sampaloc.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pedro Bukaneg

Pedro Bukaneg

(Born March 1592 – c. 1630 in Bantay, Abra)

He is the recognized Father of Ilokano Literature

One of the figures that shaped up the Philippine history, particularly in the annals of Samtoy (ancient name of Ilocos).

He was born blind, coined as the first Ilokano poet, orator, musician, lexicographer, and linguist.

Bukaneg is acknowledged as the author of one of the Philippine' great epics entitled Biag ni Lam-ang (Life of Lam-ang). With his extensive knowledge of the Spanish and Ilocano language, he co-authored the Ilocano-Spanish grammar book and dictionary. In 1621, he took part in the publication of the first Ilocano book. His famous poem entitled "Patay" (Dead) shows his clear and vigorous philosophy on death. Many of his novenas, prayers and religious literature are in Ilocano, and edited by an Augustinian friar.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dr. Candido M. Africa

CANDIDO M. AFRICA (1895-1945)

Dr. Candido Macasaet Africa was a doctor of medicine, scholar and researcher. His contributions tp medical science made him internationally known and won "for the first time recognition of the Filipino scientist abroad, thus reflecting glory and honor upon his calling and country."

He was born in Lipa, Batangas on October 2, 1895. After graduating from the College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines, he taught at the Department of Parasitology, School of Hygiene and Public Health of the same college. He became associate professor and head of the department in 1932.

It was while teaching at the state university that he became involved in scientific research. In all, he wrote 19 scientific articles, some of which he co-authored with his colleagues Walfrido de Leon, E. Y. Garcia, P. G. Refuerzo, F. J. Dy, J. Soriano, J.O. Nolasco, S.F. Sta. Cruz and A. V. Vasquez Colet. Among his important works were "The Progress of Medical Science In The Philippines," "An Anthropod Associated with Chronic Dermatitis Involving The Face," "Three Cases Of Insect Bites Involving Triatoma Rubrofasciata, and "The Occurence Of Bartiella In Man, Monkey And Dog In The Philippines." Much of his researches dealt with parasites that caused heart failure. He also worked on their effects on the other parts of the human body. Finally, he undertook research on the causes and prevention of malaria.

In the course of his researches, he discovered four human flukes that attach themselves to the heart, resulting in disease and, eventually, death. This discovery was hailed as a significant contribution to medical science as it greatly benefited heart patients.

To improve his scientific skills, Dr. Africa studied at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and graduated with the degree of Doctor of Tropical Medicine in 1929. That same year he became a Fellow in the Tropen Institute of Hamburg, Germany. A year later, he received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. It allowed him to attend the Harvard Medical School at Cambridge, Massachusetts and John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1930-1931.

In recognition of his extensive contributions to scientific research, his works were compiled in special books and were exhibited in 1937, during the silver jubilee of Dr. Sadao Yosida of the institute for Research in Microbic Diseases of the Osaka Imperial University of Japan. In the same year, his works were also exhibited at the silver jubilee of Professor Sadamu Yokogawa of the Taihoku Imperial University in Formosa, and in the 30th year of the professorship of Dr. K. J. Skrajabin of the All-Union Institute of Helminthology in Moscow, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In 1938, in the silver jubilee of the professorship of Dr. Lauro Travassos of the Institute of Oswaldo Cruz in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, his works were also displayed.

Dr. Africa was known all over the world for his researches. This allowed him to visit leading laboratories undertaking experiments in parasitology in London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Paris, Utrecht, Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, and in other cities in Europe. He represented the Philippine Commonwealth at the Third International Congress of Microbiologists held in New York City, U.S.A., on September 1939. At this international gathering of well-known scientists, he read a monograph entitled. "Visceral Complications In Intestinal Heterophydiasis of Man."

His other valuable works include "Certain Developmental Stages of Ascaris Lumbricoides Ova In Live Tissue," "Preliminary Report in Cystercerous Cellulose In Man," "Notes on Malaria," and "Notes In The Prevention of Malaria."

Dr. Africa's activities, however, were not only confined to laboratory work. He was also an active member of scientific and technical organizations, like the American Society of Parasitologists, the Philippine Scientific Society and the National Research Council of which he was a charter member. He was also a member of the Association of Tropical Medicine, the Philippine Medical Association, The Phi Kappa phi, the Society For The Advancement of Research, and the Manila Medical Society.

As an authority on heart disease, he was written up in the 1938 editions of American Men of Science and in Who's Who Among physicians and Surgeons.

As an outstanding alumnus of the University of the Philippinzs, he was acclaimed one of the best scientists the state university had ever produced. In accordance with the recommendation of the Board of Citizens and the Board of Directors of the U.P. Alumni Association, he was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit and was conferred a Diploma of Honor for distinguished achievements in the field of parasitology.

He continued to serve in the government until the war broke out in 1941. He was a known figure among the Japanese military officers during the occupation of Manila but unfortunately he was one of those civilians who died in the battle of the liberation of Manila on February 12, 1945.

His colleagues did not forget him. In the General Session of the Philippine Medical Association held in Manila on May 8, 1946, Doctor Africa was honored with a citation naming him a great doctor and scientist

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

General Mariano M. Alvarez

MARIANO M. ALVAREZ (1818-1924)

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.