Posts Tagged ‘Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’


Department of Foreign Affairs to Screen “PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon” on July 26

July 23, 2016

Today, July 23 is Apolinario Mabini’s 152nd Birth Anniversay, the end of the week-long celebration of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week. However, as a post celebration of the NDPR Week, and as a tribute to Mabini, PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon is scheduled to be shown on Tuesday, July 26, 2 p.m. at the Department of Foreign Affairs Main Building located in Roxas Blvd., Pasay City. Mabini afterall, was DFA’s First Secretary of Foreign Affairs [1899].


PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon is the Filipino-narrated version of The Sublime Paralytic, the English narrated version which showed yesterday at the Launching of the 29th Apolinario Mabini Awards in Quezon City. They are both about Mabini’s life; his struggles as a working student, until he got involved in underground activities while yet a student of Law. As a Mason and a reformist, he was considered as a threat and subversive by the Spaniards. The cruelty of the Spaniards later turned him into a revolutionary. The educational documentary touches on the “intervention” of the United States in Philippine affairs which Mabini strongly opposed, the reason why he was deported to Guam in 1901.

Though I manipulated — [the advantage of being a film editor!!!] — transposed and changed juxtaposition of shots and segments used in The Sublime Paralytic, Pule’s thrust is more towards his role as the Brains of the Revolution being the Chief Adviser [1898] of the President of the First Philippine Republic Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, and later the First Secretary of Foreign Affairs. This version is also longer, being nearly an hour long. Except for the 1899 document opposing his appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court due to his physical disability, matters about the causes of his disability, and a clause on the UNCRPD are excluded in Pule. Instead, more on Mabini’s cautiousness, doubt and foresight on the American interests in the Philippines at the turn of the century were added.

Described as stubborn, the Americans considered Mabini as the “Insurrection’s Brains.”[The Wichita Daily Eagle, Kansas, December 14, 1899]. Unfortunately, the fight for absolute Philippine sovereignty which Mabini dreamt of, and fought for seems to this day elusive. Big powerful countries continue to fight with the Philippines being sandwiched in between — whereas before it was Spain versus the U.S., now it still is the U.S. backed by the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement [EDCA] that makes the U.S. presence in the country official, as tension brews in the Pacific with China’s nine-dash-line territorial claim over parts of the Philippine economic zone, and most of the South China Seas.


In Celebration of 2016 Philippine Independence Day, PULE Screens at Rizal Park Visitor’s Center

June 11, 2016

PULE at Rizal Park

I just came to know today, that the showing of our documentary PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon / Brains of the Revolution will push through tomorrow, June 12, as part of the nation’s celebration of the 118th Philippine Independence Day. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has informed me this week about the National Parks Development Committee’s interest to show our historical film on Apolinario Mabini, first Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister.

It is unquestionably timely since a segment that led to the declaration and proclamation of the Philippine Independence in 1898 is part of the docu. Venue is at Rizal Park Visitor’s Center in Manila. Moreover, viewers can relate to the historical significance of Jose Rizal [after whom the park was named] as his martyrdom is also included in the film. Rizal’s death was a turning point in our history.

Incidentally, the day Apolinario Mabini was summoned to come to Cavite by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, first President of the Philippine Republic was on June 12, 1898. Aguinaldo ordered the making of the first Philippine flag, and the composition of the national hymn by Julian Felipe in time for that celebration.

PULE was produced by Miryad Visyon in collaboration with DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (SDEAS) and the NCCA. It will be screened at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Admission is free!

For photos when first screened at DLS-CSB Theater, click:


Heritage Tour to Kawit

April 23, 2016

Exactly a week ago [April 16, Saturday], I got up early at 4 am to get ready to join a cultural tour in Kawit, Cavite. With my niece, Eirene Bautista and her family – Dick, Bernie and Tonette — we headed to Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, the assembly point. We arrived early enough to take our breakfast at a restaurant called “Hidden Tapsihan.” The first trike man we hailed to take us to the place did not know where it is located. Presumably, only tricycle men from that part of Kawit would know because it is literally hidden. Off the main road it is located at Tomas Mascardo Street. I actually do not know remember how we got there.


Dick and Oye Bautista Family

OYEAnyway, the tour started at Aguinaldo Park where the two jeepneys provided by the sponsoring group were parked. One of our guides, Ms. Lean “Lei” Aldea introduced the place where copies of the “Acta de la Proclamacion de Independencia del Pueblo Filipino” [Act of Proclamation of the Independence of the Filipino People] in Spanish, English and Filipino versions are etched on high dark-colored, or black? marble walls. But how I wish they could easily be read! Needs polishing I guess! Gen. Aguinaldo’s statue on a horseback is installed at the middle of the large park. [See his house and statue behind]

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There were nearly 30 participants – mostly local and two Australian tourists

From there, we were led to Kawit Church whose patroness is Mary Magdalene. It is also thus called as the Mary Magdalene Church. General Aguinaldo and his men frequented and prayed there before going to the battle against the Spaniards. First built in wood material in 1638, its first cornerstone was installed in 1737. Aguinaldo’s nomme-de-guerre “Magdalo” was derived from it, thus, Magdalo from Magdalene.

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The April 16 Tour Batch in front of the Church retablo. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was baptized here in 1869.


It was my first time to enter the Mary Magdalene Church. At home, I browsed on my photos published in “Paghihimagsik nang 1896-1897” [Medina, 1998]. I only saw shots of the church exterior [p.334]. Because the book was published nearly two decades ago, I have forgotten that I had actually been there to take photos for the book. Joining the tour was therefore quite worth it as this time I managed to see its interior. [I shall have a separate photo blog on the Kawit Church later]

Just outside the church and near what used to be the Kawit tribunal is the statue of Candido “Sukat-Na” Tirona [1862-1896], one of Aguinaldo’s men. Like Aguinaldo, and most of our brave revolutionary heroes, he was also a Mason. Noticeably, in the photo that I shot for the same book above mentioned, a coco tree used to stand behind him [p265].


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Sa jeepney on the way to our destination with tour guide Lei

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Reverse Shot with tour guide Lehn

Next stop was an interesting segment of the tour – the “Pandayan” or the blacksmith’s shop. On the verge of “extinction,” it is one of the only three remaining shops in Kawit. Located in Panday Street, it is owned by Mrs. Germinia Santulan. [Watch the video below]

During the revolution, bolos and knives were the main weapons of our heroes. Rifles and guns were for them quite rare. Andres Bonifacio, the Katipunan leader has always been portrayed carrying a bolo, unlike Aguinaldo who is always shown either wielding or carrying a saber. It was the symbol of his triumph against the Spaniards as he got it from the Spanish General Ernesto de Aguirre who fled when the Spaniards were defeated during the Battle of Imus.

Bolo making was demonstrated by Tatay Walden “Waldy” Cabigona with the help of his assistant Noel Catuba. Unfortunately, according to Panday Waldy, the youth are not interested in it anymore. It has now become one of our rare and dying industries.

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House of Gen. Baldomero Aguinaldo

Baldomero Aguinaldo Museum in Binakayan was next in the tour itinerary. I was happy to meet again Ms. Rose Misolas, its curator. She used to be the accommodating curator of Mabini Shrine-PUP at the time I was collecting materials for my documentaries on Mabini sometime in 2014.

Baldomero “Mabangis” Aguinaldo  was ex-Prime Minister Cesar Virata’s lolo. A cousin of Emilio Aguinaldo, he was the President of the Magdalo faction of Katipunan. In 1899, he became the Vice-President of the First Philippine Republic. The architectural style of his house typically belongs to the American period. An aparador or cabinet even carries designs inspired by the American flag. It is definitely not as grand as General Aguinaldo’s but the furnitures and “appliances” like the ref they had, the piano for entertainment, the separate toilet and bathroom — are reflective of their social status at the time. “Angat sa buhay” sabi nga. [See below what my camera captured]

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Close up of the Antique collection at Baldomero Aguinaldo Museum

On the way back to the last in the list of places to explore — the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, we passed by in front of the Battle of Binakayan‘s depiction in sculpture by Amado Castrillo, brother of more renowned Filipino sculptor Eduardo. It is located opposite the Covelandia Resort.

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Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’ House in terms of size, area, type of architecture, and the quality and choice of furniture are reflective of the stature and high social status and taste of the General and the First President of the First Philippine Republic. Since many printed materials and photographs are available about the house of Aguinaldo, I would rather concentrate here on what could be seen inside the “tore” [tower]. And especially so because it is not always accessible to the public when busloads of visitors come. Hence, we were in fact, lucky and privileged to have been allowed to go up there. We went in batches of up to six people only.

So, here’s a glimpse on what visitors will see in the rooms up there…There were seven levels in all, and several steep plight of stairs to climb.

An interesting part was the triangular shaped room – an attic – where wounded revolutionaries were hidden to be treated. [See below]

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Tower View

On the other hand, here is what to see from one of the tower levels… Top angle view of the Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s tomb located behind the Shrine.

I gave up after reaching the 6th level. I did not dare climb up the ladder to reach the uppermost part, the sniper’s post, they say, on the 7th level of the tower. Ay naku! Thank you na lang! Nakakalula!

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The Australian tourist and his friend

Though I had been to all the toured places [except the Pandayan] being the field photographer of my brother, Dr. Isagani Medina for his books “Cavite Before the Revolution” and “Paghihimagsik nang 1896-1897”, the tour when we signed up to join it was really then something to look forward to for two reasons: firstly, I did not know the itinerary of places to visit simply because I did not bother reading the details on the poster when shared to me by my niece. Secondly, I have a plan to work on an AVP on Aguinaldo’s House — a long time desire that keeps on haunting me for reason[s] I do not know why, so better do it to appease my heart. In short, I wanted to refresh my mind on some of the house details in preparation for my shot list.

Overall, we had great fun, and the objective of the organizers to inform and for people to be appreciative of the past I think were met. We are truly appreciative and grateful for having met friendly, excited, and knowledgeable tour guides. Introducing: The Magnificent Four!!!

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Most unexpectedly, we were invited for lunch in the joint birthday celebrations of Gina Ayran and Lei Aldea, one of the tour guides. Gina is the ever-awesome Aguinaldo Shrine overseer na hindi na Others to me and my brother, Gani.

Libre na tour, libre pa merienda and lunch, what a day! The culminating day of the project according to them. The fun ended with a group photo of the privileged lot like us [hehehe] with the members of the sponsoring groups Cavite El Viejo Heritage Tourism Association [CVHTA] and the NHCP Aguinaldo Shrine.

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With high hopes that through efforts like this, interest in cultural heritage, and nationalism rekindle in the hearts of many Filipinos!!!

Again, thanks to the sponsors:  CVHTA, NHCP, Fundacion Santiago and the Municipality of Kawit. [Photo credits: Mirana and Mon Llave]


PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon Screens on February 10

February 7, 2016

DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies [SDEAS] scheduled the premiere screening of my educational and multilingual documentary, PULE: UTAK NG REBOLUSYON / Brains of the Revolution on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 9 am. It is narrated in Filipino, subtitled in English and interpreted in Filipino Sign Language.

The film is about our revolutionary hero and political thinker, Apolinario Mabini, the Chief Adviser of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, First President of the Philippine Republic. It is about his adamance against American sovereignty over the Philippines at the turn of the century. Mabini was also the First Secretary of Foreign Affairs. A paralytic, he is considered the icon of Persons with Disability in the Philippines. A twice exceptional Person with Autism music scored the film while Deaf performers interpreted in Filipino Sign Language one of Mabini’s famous writings: El Verdadero Decalogo, for the first time after it was written more than 100 years.

Admission is FREE! The National Commission for Culture and the Arts also collaborated in the making of the film. Details are on the poster below.



“Before this film, kulang ang alam ko about Mabini. Now I understand.”

August 19, 2015


The Blind Architect, Jaime Silva with Febe Sevilla, hearing interpreter. [Grabbed frame from The Sublime Paralytic; Segment on Mabini disability]

“...Mas naintindihan ko yung hirap ni Mabini as a writer, the policies that he did for the government para alam natin yung magiging direksyon ng Pilipinas, and the problems na hinurdle nya with his disability…Hindi rason yung kanyang disability, his love for [the] nation, his love for what he is doing was really something that the nation benefited from. Before this film, kulang ang alam ko about Mabini. Now I understand. Ni hindi ko alam na naexile pala sya sa Guam. These are some things that I’ve learned ngayon sa aking napanood,” says Architect Jaime Silva after “watching”, rather listening to the story of Mabini as my documentary, Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic screened last Friday, August 14. A special preview was held at the Department of Foreign Affairs as part of their 2015 Post Celebration of NDPR Week. Arch. Silva is United Architect of the Philippines Chair on Disability Affairs. Known as THE BLIND ARCHITECT, he is the subject of a 14-min documentary with the same title that I made for APCD, JICA, NCDA and the UAP.

Interviewed for The Sublime Paralytic, Architect Silva talks about the discrimination Mabini must have experienced as a Persons with Disability [PWD]. The only difference then and now, he said was the fact that during Mabini’s time, there were no assistive technologies for PWDs and there was no law that protected the rights of PWDs. The Philippine Accessibility Law was enacted only in 1983, or 87 years after Mabini contracted paralysis in 1896.

A segment on disability matters and the causes of Mabini’s paralysis forms an important part of the film. The latest findings of Dr. Jiggs Gilera contests the pronouncements in the 80s that polio was the cause of Mabini’s paralysis. Guillain Barre-Syndrome [GBS] he says caused it. Incidentally, the reader of El Verdadero Decalogo / Ang Tunay na 10 Utos, Abner Manlapaz was crippled by GBS at the age of 16.

PREMIERE Showing on August 27, 2015 at DLS-CSB ARG Theater, 5th floor, 4 pm. Taft Campus, Manila. Contact DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies for more information.

Apolinario Mabini: The Sublime Paralytic’s Filipino-narrated version, PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon is now in post-production. Mabini was the Chief Adviser of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, First President of the Philippine Republic [1898] and his First Secretary of Foreign Affairs [1899].


The Sublime Paralytic Previews Today at the Department of Foreign Affairs

August 14, 2015

In 1899, Apolinario Mabini was already paralyzed by the time he was appointed as First Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the First President of the Philippine Republic, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. As a tribute to Mabini on his Sesquicentennial Year, we made “The Sublime Paralytic”. A special preview will be held this afternoon at 3 pm at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Roxas Blvd. as part of their Post Celebration of the National Disability Prevention and Disability Week.


Apolinario Mabini’s Statue Graces the Hall’s Front Lobby  of the Department of Foreign Affairs  in Pasay City

Icon to Persons with Disability, he is revered as one of our great political thinkers. Also called the Brains of the Revolution, he was recognized as the one who “shaped the destiny of our nation.” A Filipino narrated version is now in post-production. It is entitled PULE: Utak ng Rebolusyon.

The general public screening of The Sublime Paralytic will be held on August 27, 2015 at 4 p.m., 5th floor, DLS-CSB ARG Theater, Taft Campus in Manila. DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies co-produced the video docu.