One of the most heroic and colorful figures to emerge out of the Philippine revoulution, who lead the people in these uncertain times. The seventh child of middle class parents, he possessed military talent, courage, charm, gentle, prowess and leadership.
He was born on March 22, 1869, his parents are Carlos Aguinaldo and Trinidad Famy. He grew up in a farm and educated at the Tagalog School in Cavite. He did not finish college but he was able to serve as Captain Municipal of Kawit, his hometown.
As Military Leader
During the time Katipuneros hold an election of the officials of the revolutinary government, Aguinaldo won the presidency. By means of secret ballot, the election gave the results that Aguinaldo as the first President of the Philippines. Bonifacio, as the elected director of the interior, and his other companions, protested. President completed his cabinet at the Naic Assembly, he added secretaries to handle various branches and departments.
Some of the significant matters and discussion agreed during the Naic Assembly were as follows: adoptation of new flag with the colors of blue, red, white and with sun at the center of white triangle, that will replace bonifacio flag; Restructuring of the revolutionary army; adoptation of the uniform for the soldiers; Modification of new rules fixing military ranks.
At the end of the year 1897, President Aguinaldo organize an assembly of revolunary generals and leaders at Biaknabato. This assembly has unwavering interest to continue the war no matter it will cost.
Proliferation of the Revolution
When the revolution spread, On November 1, 1897, the Biaknabato Republic was inaugurated with Emilio Aguinaldo again elected as president. The Biaknabato Constitution, which was writted by Isabelo Artacho and Felix Ferrer, stated that the revolution's objective is a separation into an independent state.
The Pack of Biaknabato, a peace agreement, was conferred. The agreement was composed of three documents, but the reforms which President Aguinaldo demanded was not included. The demanded reforms which he sought were: secularization of the Philippine parishes and expulsion of the religious orders; restoration of Philippine representation in the Spanish Cortes; equality of the law of Spaniards favoring Filipinos and guaranty of human rights, liberty of the press, and right of assembly.
He went on voluntary exite to Hong Kong when the Pact documents were signed. In Hong Kong, he continue to run Revolunationary Government.
The peace brought by the said agreement is short-live. Aguinaldo returned to the country bringing with him a constitution that will give way for federal republic. He feels what the country needed was a dictatorship and not republic form, he established a dictatorial government, himself as dictator.
The siginficant achievement of the Dictatorial geovernment was the proclamation of Philippine Independence at Kawit on June 12, 1898. Thousands of people gathered to witness the event. The rites were held in the balcony of Aguinaldo's house.
It was the first time the Philippine flag was unfurled as the Philippine national anthem was being played. Aguinaldo brought the flag from Hong Kong, the flag was sewed by Marcela de Agoncillo.
The national anthem was composed by Julian felipe. The words written by Jose Palma.
The Americans are triumphant in entering Manila, and as soon as the Treaty of Paris was signed. The main provisions were: Spain ceded the Philippines to the US and the civil and political status of the people would be determined by the US Congress.
Aguinaldo sent Felipe Agoncillo, patriot and lawyer, as an emissary to negotiate peace. The revolutionary government which he represented was not recognized by other other countries. When the move failed, Aguinaldo prepared the ground for the Philippine Republic.
The Philippine Republic was the first in Asia, it was inaugurated on January 23, 1899 at Barasoain Church. In his address, he congratulated the members of the Malolos Congress for drafting the Malolos Constitution, and the armed forces for winning the freedom.
Aguinaldo and the War with the Americans
Aguinaldo fled from the advancing Americans, he went to the mountains of Luzon to Palanan, Isabela where he established his headquarters.
He was captured by Americans a year later, and on April 19, 1901, he took the oath of allegiance to the US. Although beaten in war, Aguinaldo and all Filipinos did not give up their independence ideal. The are still aiming for liberty and freedom.
Aguinaldo wrote a manifesto of peace and the war with America ended. He organized the Association of the Veterans of the Philippine Revolution.
End of Presidency
Emilio Aguinaldo was succeeded by Manuel L. Quezon who became the first President of the Commonwealth.