Sunday, September 7, 2008

Another bandolero

In his captivating book, “BANDOLEROS”, OUTLAWED GUERRILLAS OF THE PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN WAR, 1903-1907, historian Orlino A. Ochosa tells us that Gen. Luciano San Miguel served the Revolution since 1896, as a stalwart of the Magdiwang council, was probably a rabid “Bonifacista” and continued fighting against the American invaders, in defense of the First Philippine Republic. But, despite his being a die-hard follower of Bonifacio, Gen. San Miguel( with Gen. S. Alvarez) decided not “ to attack the Magdalo headquarters in Naic (Cavite) to rescue the Supremo from prison…” after the fatal Tejeros convention because San Miguel and Alvarez “…would have no part in any bloody plan which would lead the Revolution to nowhere but its fall…” They believed that the blood and lives of revolutionaries should be consecrated to no other purpose but the “Kalayaan ng Inang Bayan…” That intruiging fact was revealed by Prof. Ochosa.

Gen. San Miguel’s long and arduous patriotic quest did not only inspire other “renegades” like General. Artemio Ricarte, ( Prof. Ochosa said he was the latter’s personal hero) but also American writers like Vic Hurley who dedicated ten pages of his book , JUNGLE PATROL, to “…the most serious menace to the peace of the Philippine Islands…”; he was described as a “sincere insurrecto” even if Hurley’s work was about the Philippine Constabulary which the American colonial government established precisely to pursue revolutionary fighters branded bandoleros, tulisanes and ladrones by the Anti-Brigandage Act of 1901.

According to Prof. Ochosa, Gen. San Miguel was the “ the last bonafide insurrecto” of the First Republic who continued fighting against the American invaders after Gen. Vicente Lukban (of Balangiga fame) was captured and Gen. Artemio Ricarte ( a.k.a.Vibora) summarily exiled to Guam . Macario Leon Sakay and his group were waging guerrilla warfare in the mountains of Rizal while Gen. San Miguel was fighting the enemy in Cavite and Batangas until he perished in the ferocious battle of Corral-na bato in 1903.
In Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo’s book about the Philippine Revolution, he stated that upon returning from Hong Kong, “…the old revolutionary chief, Señor Luciano…presented himself to receive orders….” And he then saw action in Manila, Laguna, Batangas, Morong, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. Prof. Ochosa also said that there is not record that Gen. San Miguel took part in the truce of Biak-na-bato, or that he was in Hong Kong with Aguinaldo.

In these turbulent times, when the Philippine Republic is in danger of Balkanization, we should all emulate Gen. San Miguel’s rejection of factionalism for the sake of the greater good, for the overriding interests of Inang Bayan. Prof. Ochosa included one of San Miguel’s memos to a Major Alba in his book: “ I entreat and request that you abstain from meddling with the Katipunan affairs …Today more than ever, the union of the province is needed, and I have sufficient personnel to prevent the province [Bataan] from becoming divided against itself, or some towns from declaring themselves independent from others. …”
Ironically, there are streets, parks and plazas, even schools named after Filipinos of lesser stature and paltry achievement. Not a single pathway nor barangay center is named after a true nationalist and patriot like General Luciano San Miguel, another “bandolero” whom we must rescue from undeserved oblivion.(


josé miguel said...

Thank you for featuring our heroes. These are very inspiring for us Filipinos to recover our inheritance remained stolen until today by the American invaders.

rbleano said...

Read this book. My mother is a Montalan and she said when she and her siblings were studying in Manila after the war that they are being taunted in school as "tulisan". One professor at the Philippine Normal College even put to shame an aunt right during her class. Another aunt in UP was suspected of stealing her book because it was a second hand textbook, fortunately my mom who bought the book kept the receipt. Unfortunately those branded as "Bandoleros" are still not recognized as Filipinos legitimately fighting for Philippine independence.