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BALDOMERO B. AGUINALDO

(1869-1915)

 

 

Patriot and great revolutionary leader, General Baldomero Aguinaldo y Baloy was born on February 27, 1869 in Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite, the fourth of the eight children of Don Cipriano Aguinaldo and Silveria Baloy, both natives of Kawit.

 

He acquired his early education at a school in his hometown. A few years later, he attended a private school owned by Sr. Jose Basa in San Rogue, Cavite. There he took up his secondary course (segundo enseņanza). He later went to Manila and enrolled at  Ateneo Municipal. Subsequently, he transferred to the University of Santo Tomas to take up law. He was still a law student when the Philippine Revolution broke out. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws but failed to take the bar examinations. Unable to practice law, he engaged in farming instead.

 

Before the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution in August,  1896, "Capitan Berong"' as he was known, successively held a number of offices: as town executive (directorcillo), as register of deeds (registrador de titulos) and finally as justice of the peace of Kawit.

 

Shortly after the outbreak of the Revolution he organized, together with his first cousin Emilio and the Tirona brothers, Candido and Daniel, the Magdalo faction of the Katipunan in Kawit. Capitan Berong became the president of this Council.

 

During the early days of the hostilities, he always stayed by  General Emilio Aguinaldo's side. As a general, he figured in the bloody battles at Binakayan, Dalahican and Noveleta on November 9-10, 1896; in Zapote on February 17, 1897; in Salitran on March 7 of the same year; and in Alapan, Imus on May 28, 1898. It was in the battle of Alapan that the reorganized Filipino revolutonary troops led by  Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo won their first victory. It was also in Alapan  that the first recorded hoisting of the Filipino flag was made.

 

His knowledge of law and administrative procedures made him very valuable to the revolutionary government. In view of his qualifications, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo appointed him to various cabinet positions.

 

At the assembly of revolutionary leaders held in Naic, Cavite in April, 1897, Baldomero was appointed Director of Finance. He retained this position even after a cabinet reshuffle in November of the same  year.

 

As a member of the revolutionary cabinet, he was one of the signers of two historic documents: the Biak-na-bato Constitution, on November 1, 1897, and the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, on December 14-15 of the same year. He also helped draft this Constitution and served as secretary of the Treasury of the Biak-na-bato Republic. Together with  some members the cabinet, he accompanied General Emilio Aguinaldo to Hongkong, as a voluntary exile, on December 27, 1897.

 

In July of 1898, in the Cabinet formed in Bacoor, Cavite, Baldomero was appointed Secretary of War and Public Works. He also served in the same capacity under the Mabini Cabinet which lasted   from January 2 to May 7, 1899.

 

He served as Judge Advocate General (Auditor de Guerra) in the  court-martial of the Bonifacio brothers Andres, Ciriaco and Procopio.  He reviewed the decision of the Council of War headed by General Mariano Noriol and forthwith transmitted the papers including his recommendation to General Emilio Aguinaldo on May 8, 1897.

 

During the Filipino-American War, Baldomero fought anew. He   was made the commanding general of the revolutionary forces in the southern Luzon provinces. When General Emilio Aguinaldo had established his headquarters in Palanan, Isabela, he issued an order to Baldomero to relieve Colonel Lazaro Makapagal who was then in command of the province of Isabela.

 

After the cessation of hostilities, the general retired to private

life and devoted his time to farm work, particularly the supervision of  his coconut plantation in Silang, Cavite which he acquired years after   his marriage. In his residence in Silang he was frequently visited by friends and the townspeople asking for advice and, in some instances, recommendations for those seeking employment.

 

 When the Association of the Veterans of the Philippine Revolution (Asociacion de Veteranos de la Revolucion) was organized in 1912, Baldomero became its first president and remained so until his  death on February 4, 1915.

 

He died in. Malate, Manila at the age of 46, a victim of heart failure and rheumatism. His remains were buried at the Mausoleum of the  Veterans of the Philippine Revolution at the Manila North Cemetery.   A big crowd that included high government officials, attended his   funeral

 

 At the time of his death, Baldomero was survived by his widow, Doņa Petrona Reyes and their two children, Leonor and Aureliano, married to Dr. Enrique Virata and Liwanag Virata respectively.

 

 

 

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