57th Death Anniversary of the 1st Filipino President

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On this day (February 6), the year was 1964. Emilio Aguinaldo, the 1st President of the Filipino Republic dies at the age of 94. One more month, then he'll be 95 at that time. Pres. Diosdado Macapagal issued 15 days of mourning to honor the revolutionary general.

Aguinaldo aboard the USS Vicksburg following his capture in 1901

Before his death, since he was captured & surrendered to the Americans on March 23, 1901, Miong (his nickname) took an oath of allegiance to the United States and was granted a pension from the government until his retirement & private life. He decided to run again as President of the Commonwealth Republic but lost to his former aide-de-camp and a veteran of the Revolutionary forces, Manuel L. Quezon. In 1942, he appealed to Gen. Douglas MacArthur to not wage war with the Japanese so he collaborated with Imperial Japan during World War II, until MacArthur returns in 1944 then liberated Manila in 1945, and orders the arrest of Miong because he cooperates with the Japanese, but was released by presidential amnesty. In 1950, Pres. Elpidio Quirino appointed Miong as a member of the Council of State where he served a full term. In his later years, he devoted his attention to veterans’ affairs, the promotion of nationalism and democracy in the Philippines, and the improvement of relations between both countries.

Liwasang Emilio Aguinaldo/Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite

Two years before his death, On May 12, 1962, Pres. Macapagal changed the celebration of Independence Day from July 4 to June 12 to honor Aguinaldo and the Revolution against the Spaniards. 5 months later, Miong was rushed to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center on October 5, 1962. While he was in the hospital in 1963, he donated his property at Kawit, Cavite to the Filipino Government. His home serves as a shrine (Aguinaldo Shrine) to "perpetuate the spirit of the Revolution in 1896." At 3:05 a.m. (February 6, 1964), Miong died of coronary thrombosis, as the whole nation mourns for 15 days, funeral services were held on February 15, 1964. Miong was buried in his hometown of Kawit, Cavite. On August 4, 1964, under Republic Act No. 4166, June 12 is officially proclaimed as Philippine Independence Day and the 4th of July was renamed Philippine Republic Day (also called Filipino-American Friendship Day).

Aguinaldo with his former aide-de-camp Quezon during Flag Day in 1935.

This was Aguinaldo's misfortune to our history, he may live a longer life and reached America's colonization to the invasion of Imperial Japan. If he died sooner on the battlefield, then his heroism would be undeniable. But, let us recognize Aguinaldo's contributions to our history, our national anthem, our flag, and his leadership of the revolution at the age of 28.


Lead Image from https://www.esquiremag.ph/long-reads/features/emilo-aguinaldo-150th-birthday-history




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