Birthday: March 22, 1869
Died At Age: 94
Sun Sign: Aries
Also Known As: Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy
Born Country: Philippines
Born in: Kawit, Philippines
Famous as: First President of the Philippines
Spouse/Ex-: Hilaria del Rosario de Aguinaldo (m. 1896–1921), Maria Agoncillo (m. 1930–1963)
father: Carlos Aguinaldo
mother: Trinidad Famy
siblings: Ambrosio Aguinaldo, Benigno Aguinaldo, Críspulo Aguinaldo, Esteban Aguinaldo, Felicidad Aguinaldo, Primo Aguinaldo, Tomasa Aguinaldo
children: Carmen Aguinaldo Melencio, Cristina Aguinaldo Suntay, Emilio Aguinaldo.Jr, Maria Aguinaldo Poblete, Miguel Aguinaldo
Died on: February 6, 1964
place of death: Quezon City
education: Colegio de San Juan de Letran
Who was Emilio Aguinaldo?
Emilio Aguinaldo was a revolutionary political and military figure from the Philippines. He is officially regarded as the first and the youngest president of the Philippines and first president of a constitutional republic in Asia. He served as the leader of the Philippine forces against Spain in the latter part of the Philippine Revolution and the Spanish–American War. He was also a prolific military leader against the United States during the Philippine–American War. Originally from the province of Cavite, Aguinaldo was made a Freemason in January 1895. He joined the Philippine struggle for independence against the Spanish later that year. Between March and November 1897, he served as the president of the Tejeros Revolutionary Government. He subsequently was the president of the Republic of Biak-na-Bato between November and December 1897, dictator of the Philippines between May and June 1898, president of the Revolutionary Government between June 1898 and January 1899, and the 1st president of the Philippines between January 1899 and March 1901. In 1935, Aguinaldo contested for the position of president of the Philippine Commonwealth against Manuel Quezon but lost. He has been listed among Filipino historical figures considered to be national heroes of the Philippines.
Childhood & Early Life
Born on March 22, 1869, in Kawit, Cavite, Captaincy General of the Philippines, Emilio Famy Aguinaldo Sr. was the son of Carlos Jamir Aguinaldo and Trinidad Famy-Aguinaldo.
His parents were a Tagalog Chinese mestizo couple, who raised Aguinaldo and his seven siblings in an affluent household. Carlos Jamir Aguinaldo served as the gobernadorcillo (municipal governor) in the Spanish colonial administration.
Aguinaldo was a student at Colegio de San Juan de Letran but could not complete his education due to a cholera outbreak. He was made "Cabeza de Barangay" in 1895 following the implementation of the Maura Law that required the reorganization of local governments.
When he was 25 years old, he was appointed the Cavite el Viejo's first "gobernadorcillo capitan municipal" (municipal governor-captain).
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Role in the Philippine Struggle for Independence against Spain
On January 1, 1895, Aguinaldo joined the Freemason society. Two years later, on the advice of Santiago Alvarez, the son of a capitan municipal (mayor) of Noveleta, he became involved in the armed movement for the expulsion of the Spanish and independence of the Philippines by joining "Katipunan", a secret revolutionary society that waged a bitter and eventually successful war of independence against the Spanish.
As the general of the Philippine forces, Aguinaldo led the revolutionaries to several victories against the Spanish, including at the Battle of Imus (September 1-3, 1896), twin battles of Binakayan-Dalahican (November 9-11, 1896), and the Battle of Zapote Bridge (February 17, 1897). However, he suffered decisive defeats to the superior Spanish forces at the Battle of Perez Dasmariñas (February 15 to March 24, 1897).
On March 22, 1897, the Tejeros Convention, the presidential and vice-presidential elections of the Tejeros Revolutionary Government, was held. Aguinaldo emerged as the eventual winner and became the president of the Tejeros Revolutionary Government.
In December 1897, he entered into a deal with the Spanish, agreeing to a permanent exile from his country in exchange for a substantial financial reward from Spain and the assurance of liberal reforms. He also had to dissolve his government. This marked the end of the revolutionary war.
During his exile, Aguinaldo lived in Hong Kong and Singapore, where he met the representatives of the US government.
At the advent of the Spanish-American War, Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines aboard the USS McCulloch on May 19, 1898, and once more became the commander of the revolutionary forces. Through a proclamation issued five days later, he became the leader of all Philippine forces and set up a dictatorial government with himself as the titular dictator.
The Philippines became an independent country on June 12, 1898. It subsequently declared itself a provisional republic and Aguinaldo was set to become its first president.
In September 1898, a revolutionary assembly got together and gave the formal consent for Filipino independence. However, unbeknownst to Aguinaldo, the Treaty of Paris was signed between US and Spain on December 10, 1898, bringing the Spanish-American War to an end. According to the treaty, US acquired the Philippines from Spain for $20 million.
Stint as the First President of the Philippines & Conflict with America
On January 21, 1899, the proclamation of the Malolos Constitution took place. Approved by the assembly and Aguinaldo, the Malolos Constitution effectively declared the country a republic. Aguinaldo, who had been serving as the president of the provisional government, became the first president of the Philippines following an election.
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Since the beginning of his tenure, the relations between the Philippines and US were tense. On the night of February 4, 1899, the Filipino-American War began. By the morning of the following day, the Filipinos, despite fighting valiantly, lost at all points.
While the fighting was going on, Emilio declared war on US, which began sending more troops to the Philippines. The Filipino government was forced to shift its base northward and engage the enemy in guerrilla warfare.
The fighting went on for the next three years before the rebellion was fully quashed. Aguinaldo was apprehended from his secret headquarters at Palanan in northern Luzon on March 23, 1901. A month later, on 19 April, he took an oath of allegiance to the United States, which effectively brought the First Republic to an end. Emilio was allowed to retire with a pension granted by the US government.
In 1935, he ran against Manuel L. Quezon in the Philippine presidential election but was defeated. During World War II, while Japan was occupying the Philippines, they used him to spread anti-American propaganda. After the war ended, and the Americans returned to the country, he was incarcerated for several months before being granted a presidential amnesty.
On June 12, 1956, Emilio Aguinaldo was awarded the Quezon Service Cross.
He received the Philippine Legion of Honor, Chief Commander in 1957.
Between 1985 and 1996, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas printed five-peso bills featuring a portrait of Aguinaldo on the front.
Family & Personal Life
Emilio Aguinaldo married twice in his life. His first wife was Hilaria del Rosario, with whom he exchanged wedding vows on January 1, 1896. Their five children were Carmen Aguinaldo-Melencio, Emilio "Jun" R. Aguinaldo Jr., Maria Aguinaldo-Poblete, Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntay, and Miguel Aguinaldo. On March 6, 1921, Hilaria passed away due to complications related to pulmonary tuberculosis.
On July 14, 1930, Aguinaldo tied the knot with Maria Agoncillo at Barasoain Church. The couple were together for the next 33 years, until her death on May 29, 1963.
Later Years & Death
In 1950, Aguinaldo was made a member of the Philippine Council of State by the President Elpidio Quirino. After serving a full term, he went back to retirement. He devoted himself to veteran soldiers' "interests and welfare".
On May 12, 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal announced that the Philippines would celebrate Independence Day on 12 June to commemorate Aguinaldo and the Revolution of 1898. The country previously had its Independence Day on 4 July to honour the Insular Government of the Philippine Islands by the United States. Since 1964, 4 July has been celebrated as the "Philippine Republic Day".
Aguinaldo passed away due to coronary thrombosis at the age of 94 on February 6, 1964. His mansion has since become a shrine to "perpetuate the spirit of the Revolution of 1896".
In 1964, his memoir, ‘Mga Gunita ng Himagsikan’ (Memoirs of the Revolution), was released.