Today is Aguinaldo day. Holiday in the whole Cavite province, normal day to us outside Cavite.
This tells you where Aguinaldo is in the pantheon of Filipino heroes.
A blogger once asked why we don’t have an Aguinaldo day. We do have but its seem to be celebrated exclusively by his beloved Cavitenos. For all the negative connotation Cavitismo had in the past, at least this trait never failed to remember their great idol. March 22 by the way is also the same day Aguinaldo won the Tejeros convention aside from being his birth day.
After the fall of his revolutionary government, the assasination of known allies (the first political killings in Filipino history) and surrender to the Americans – he gradually fell from critical favor – his reputation never fully recovered. The final nail was when he was soundly defeated by his former soldier Quezon in the first election.
Historians like Ocampo suggest that he lived too long, declining into a sad old age – if he died in the battle fields his story would’ve been an epic, just like that of Boni and Pepe.
This day would’ve been a national holiday.
As I approached Binakayan, I suddenly remembered the days when my Father would wake us up or call our attention because we are nearing the Aguinaldo mansion. The road use to pass by the mansion, now it has been redirected since a park was created to honor the General.
The park was a fitting tribute not only to Aguinaldo but the proclamation of Philippine Independence. The reality at that time was that we’re still not free, we have not gotten rid of the Colonials but it was a brave thing to do – its like Taiwan proclaiming independence from motherland China (which up to this point has not been done for fear of being crushed by the red giant).
Mabini opposed this proclamation, as he feared that we are revealing our intentions prematurely which puts us into a disadvantageous position against the Yanks who conquered a nation just by just controlling Manila and the important ports of its bay.
I think that it’s strange that they continue to portrait that a flag waving Aguinaldo declaring Philippine independence in his balcony. The Binense Rianzares-Bautista authored and read the proclamation. Not that its really that important, you have to expect some degree of historical inaccuraccies.In our case, more than the usual amount.
The events that took place in Kawit should be studied, discussed and analyzed. There’s much that we can learn from it.
Happy Aguinaldo day everyone.