12p President Emilio Aguinaldo - Singles
55p - Souvenir Sheets of One - 4,000
Designer: Rodine Teodoro
Design: Emilio Aguinaldo
& 150th Anniversary Logo
First Day Covers: Manila & Kawit,
PRESIDENT EMILIO AGUINALDO - 150TH BIRTH
Emilio Aguinaldo was born on March 22, 1869, in Kawit, Cavite. He
was the seventh of eight children. His parents were of Chinese and
Tagalog descents. His father, Carlos, died when Aguinaldo was just
nine years old. Widowed, his mother, Trinidad, sent him to attend
public school in Manila.
Having had to cut his studies short at the Colegio de San Juan de
Letran due to a cholera outbreak, Aguinaldo returned home to Kawit,
where he developed a growing awareness of Filipino frustration with
Spanish colonial rule.
While serving as the head of barter in Manila, he joined the Pilar
Lodge chapter of the Freemasonry in 1895. The Freemasonry was a
government and church-banned resistance group. It was through his
role as municipal captain of this fraternity that Aguinaldo met
Andres Bonifacio, a key figure in the fight to overthrow Spanish
Independence From Spain.
Eager to fight for the cause of Philippine independence, in
1895 Aguinaldo took up with a secret society of revolutionaries
headed by fellow lodge member Andres Bonifacio. When a rival faction
executed Bonifacio in 1897, Aguinaldo assumed total leadership of
the revolution against Spain.
By December 1897, Aguinaldo had managed to reach the Truce of Biak-na-Bato
with Spain. He and his rebels agreed to a surrendering of arms and
accepted exile to Hong Kong in exchange for amnesty, indemnity and
liberal reform. However, neither side kept up their end of the
bargain. The Spanish government did not deliver in full all that was
promised, and the rebels did not truly surrender arms. In fact,
Aguinaldo's revolutionaries used some of Spain's financial
compensation to purchase additional arms for the resistance. From
Hong Kong, Aguinaldo also made
arrangements to assist Americans fighting against Spain in the
Spanish-American War. As neither peace nor independence had been
achieved, in 1898 Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines to resume
his rebellion against Spanish rule.
Back in Cavite, after meeting with the Malolos Congress and drafting
a constitution for a new republic, on June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo at
last declared Philippine independence.
Announced from his hometown of Kawit, Aguinaldo's proclamation put
an end to four centuries of Philippine oppression under Spanish
Colonial rule. In January of the following year, dressed in a white
suit at Barasoain Church in Malolos City, Aguinaldo was sworn in as
the first president of the new, self-governed Philippine republic.
The United States, however, was not eager to accept the
Philippines' new government. While the United States and Spain had
been fighting the Spanish-American War, the Philippines had been
ceded by Spain to the United States in the Treaty of Paris in
Just two weeks after Aguinaldo's inauguration, an American sentry
killed a Philippine soldier stationed at the San Juan Bridge, in a
gesture of resistance against the newfound Philippine independence.
On February 4, 1899, the Philippine-American War exploded into
action. Aguinaldo's revolutionaries quickly resorted to guerilla
tactics, resulting in one of the bloodiest wars in American history,
but in little direct progress for Aguinaldo and his cause.
Concerning the apparent futility of his efforts in war, Aguinaldo
said, "I saw my own soldiers die without affecting future events."
After three years at war, Aguinaldo was captured by American General
Frederick Funston on March 23, 1901. After swearing an oath of
allegiance to the United States, on April 19, 1901, Aguinaldo
officially declared peace with the United States. By this time, the
United States was ready to support limited Philippine
independence. It wasn't until 1946 that the Philippines would have
absolute control of its own sovereignty.
Aguinaldo retreated to a private life as a farmer but never forgot
the men who fought alongside him. In their honor, he would later
establish the Veterans of the Revolution, an organization that
arranged their pensions, as well as affordable payment plans for
Emilio Aguinaldo died of a heart attack at Veterans Memorial
Hospital in Quezon City, Philippines, on February 6, 1964, at the
age of 94. His private land and mansion, which he had donated the
prior year, continue to serve as a shrine to both the revolution for
Philippine independence and the revolutionary himself.