MARIANO M. ALVAREZ
A revolutionary general and a teacher,
Mariano Alvarez was born in Noveleta, Cavite on March 15, 1818, to Severino
Alvarez and Maria Malia. At the age of
10, he started his formal education in the town's friar school. Then he was
sent to San Jose College in Manila for further schooling. While studying, he
found time to read colorful corridos like Los SIete Infantes de Lara and Doce
Fares. These corridos instilled in his mind hatred against tyranny.
After obtaining the teachers' diploma, he
returned to his hometown and became a school teacher. He taught at Naic and
Maragondon, Cavite for a couple of years.
In May 1863, he married Nicolasa Virata y
del Rosario, by whom he had an only child, Santiago, who became an equally
noted revolutionary general.
One day in 1871, obviously to manifest his
hatred for the Spanlards, Mariano ordered that a cupful of dirty water from a
ditch be given to a Spanish soldier who had been thrown off his horse. The next
day Mariano was bound and hauled off to the soldier's headquarquater at Barrio
Dalahican, where he was tortured. He was spared from an untimely 'death only
through the intercession of the provincial governor to whom his townmates had
appealed for his life.
The next year (1872) he was arrested and
tortured again after he was implicated in the Cavite Mutiny following the
discovery of an autographed photograph of Fr. Jose A. Burgos on his person.
This was used as an evidence against him. Mariano was placed in solitary confinement.
Chains placed around his neck and his legs prevented his moving around freely.
One measly meal was allowed him daily.
with some suspected rebels, he was placed on a boat for Manila. The suspicion
was that he was going to be sent into exile, but an order releasing him from
captivity was received by the officer-in-charge of the prisoners.
In 1881, he was elected capitan municipal of Noveleta against his wishes.
He later acceded and held the post for six years, after which he tendered his
resignation - only to be appointed Justice of the Peace (Hukom Pamayapa) of the
town. Much later, he was re-elected capitan municipal of Noveleta. He held this
office until the outbreak of the Revolution.
When the provincial council or Sangguniang
Magdiwang at Noveleta was formed in April, 1896, he was elected president. To a
certain extent, he was responsible for the spread of the Katipunan in the province.
He initiatedrevolutionary activities in Cavite in September of 1896. In an
effort to prevent the Spaniards from sending reinforcrments, he had the bridge
at Dalahican destroyed, an incident that resulted in the death of the local
commandant of the civil guard,
Antonio Reboleda. He also led his forces
in an ambush of about a thousand Spanish troops who were planning to cross the
Calero bridge at Dalahican. This initial success at Dalahican was followed by
other victories. In a week, most of the towns in Cavite were in the hands of the
In recognition of his valiant
accomplishments, Bonifacio designated Alvarez general and second Supreme of the
Katipunan during the Magdiwang Council meeting in Cavite in December 1896.
Alvarez did not join the revolutionists
who retreated to Biak-na-Bato because Bonifacio's death in 1897 grieved him. He
was not even present during the signing of the declaration of independence at
Kawit on June 12, 1898.
During the American regime he affiliated
himself with the Nacionalista Party whose constitution he signed on August 28,
1901, the day the party was founded. Later, he was elected municipal president of
Noveleta. As town executive, he helped construct the municipal cemetery through
voluntary contributions and effected the annexation of barrio San Juan (previously
under the jurisdiction of Kawit) to Noveleta.
Mariano Alvarez was not only a nationalist
by party affiliation but his nationalism extended to his religion. Hejoined the
Aglipayans and helped build a church in the town.
After his term as town president, he
retired to his farm and devoted himself to agriculture. In the morning of
August 25, 1924, he died of chronic rheumatism at a rather advanced age. He was
106 years old.