Saturday, February 21, 2009

Boracay of Cavite

Unlike the real Boracay which is highly popular, well developed and explored, Cavite's Boracay is not even known to some of Caviteneos, sad to say, the place is more known as the "marine camp", the only marine training ground in the whole country, the same place where the "Balikatan" (Filipino and US Marines joint training) is being held from time to time.

No public transportation is available, you will need private vehicle to reach the place. But travel will be pleasant, you will be entertained by the beautiful sceneries as  you move along in the smooth asphalt road in the midst of the thick rainforest..... cool breeze.... monkeys by the road... singing of different bird species... distinct sound of an insect especially in the afternoon.... exhilarating experience of a magnetic field slowing down your vehicle.

From Metro Manila to Trece Martires City using ordinary bus fare would be about P55 (over US$1)  per person. From there,  you may hire a Van for about P2,500 ( US$54) for a day in a round trip to the camp and back to Trece Martires City. Hotels nearby are about P1,000 to P3,000 (US$21 to 50) per person per day. If you are in real budget trip just tell me I can offer my hut for about P200 per day, ( that is over US$4)  but i'm warning you, there will be a lot of sacrifice to do with this accomodation. but if you like extra challenge, why not?

Boracay of Cavite is just one of the many tourist spots to visit. I would recommend Shrine of Aguinaldo in Kawit, you can enjoy a beautiful resort like IslandCove also in Kawit, Tagaytay the home of smallest Taal volcano in the world, horseback riding is available in many areas of the town, the cable car in Picnic Groove Resort, you can as well taste the famous amadeo coffee, Bulalo, (Boiled Beef/Bone marrows)  mushroom burger, authentic bird's nest soup for only P400 (US$9) in Balinsasayaw resto in Silang. But this is not my subject matter as of this time, i'll discuss all of these one at a time.  

You may contact Marine camp at: tel nos.
or you may email me at 
I would be glad to help.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nanay Co

Previous postings featured famous and great men of Cavite, but people whom we thought to be ordinary, whom we thought to be insignificant, whom we ordinarily meet everyday has stories to tell as well. Mrs. Feliza Caballero Co, fondly called by friends, "nanay Co", a resident of Sampaquita village, Trece Martires,  is a happy, energetic and contented granma. She was born in February 15, 1943 in Dalagit, Cebu. At 5 years of age, her family moved to the town of Aurora, Zamboanga where she grew, started her own family, then, eventually, migrated to Cavite in 2000.

She used to work in a pebbles stone processing company until 2007. At present she sells biko, hotcake, pansit, bread, bibinka, and puto to her former co-workers in the factory. though she's 66 years old, she worked hard as vendor and served as massuer to anyone who would ask for her service. With her meager earnings from selling and massaging she could earn a living to support some family members and even pay for her memorial plan of Pph650 per month (US$1=Pph47).

Though she experienced some misfortune, as she recalled how her CHDF (Civilian Home Defense Force, organized by government to protect civilians) husband was killed by the New People's Army in 1992, she maintains a happy and light spirit that everyone who meets her would feel the same.

She has been a member of the senior citizens group organized by the mayor where they were taught to sell "basahan" (rags), They were actively participating in a morning exercise scheduled every saturday in front of the capitol building.

She's very contented living in Trece Martires because all her seven children and 19 granchildren are happy and contented having the basic things they needded in life. Besides, Trece is a nice and peaceful place to live in. 

Emilio Aguinaldo

When you talk about Cavite, to most people, they would think of Aguinaldo. The name is synonymous to the place, He is the pride of Cavite. Who would not be proud of the brave hero such as him who fought against the powerful enemy and won. That is why Caviteneos have the reputation as brave and think highly of themselves because of him and the rest of heroes from Cavite. Who would not be proud of the first President of the republic. In his honor, and the rest of the heroes especially with the 13 martyrs, I could not continue without mentioning them all.

From Wikipedia:

General Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy (March 22, 1869 – February 6, 1964) was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role in Philippine independence during the Philippine Revolution against Spain and the Philippine-American War that resisted American occupation. He eventually pledged his allegiance to the US government.

The seventh of eight children of Crispulo Aguinaldo and Trinidad Famy, he was born into a Filipino family on March 22, 1869 in Cavite El Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite province. His father was gobernadorcillo (town head), and, as members of the Chinese mestizo minority, they enjoyed relative wealth and power.
As a young boy, Aguinaldo received basic education from his great-aunt and later attended the town's elementary school. In 1880, he took up his secondary course education at theColegio de San Juan de Letran, which he quit on his third year to return home instead to help his widowed mother manage their farm.
At the age of 17, Emilio was elected cabeza de barangay of Binakayan, the most progressive barrio of Cavite El Viejo. He held this position serving for his town-mates for eight years. He also engaged in inter-island shipping, travelling as far south as the Sulu Archipelago.
In 1893, the Maura Law was passed to reorganize town governments with the aim of making them more effective and autonomous, changing the designation of town head fromgobernadorcillo to capitan municipal effective 1895. On January 1, 1895, Aguinaldo was elected town head, becoming the first person to hold the title of capitan municipal of Cavite El Viejo.

His first marriage was in 1896 with Hilaria Del Rosario (1877-1921). They had five children (Miguel, Carmen, Emilio Jr., Maria and Cristina). His second wife was Maria Agoncillo (1882-1963).

In 1895, Aguinaldo joined the Katipunan, a secret organization led by Andrés Bonifacio, dedicated to the expulsion of the Spanish and independence of the Philippines through armed force. Aguinaldo used the nom de guerre Magdalo, in honor of Mary Magdalene. His local chapter of the Katipunan, headed by his cousin Baldomero Aguinaldo, was also called Magdalo.
The Katipunan revolted against the Spanish colonizers in the last week of August 1896, starting in Manila. However, Aguinaldo and other Cavite rebels initially refused to join in the offensive due to lack of arms. Their absence contributed to Bonifacio's defeat in San Juan del Monte.While Bonifacio and other rebels were forced to resort to guerrilla warfare, Aguinaldo and the Cavite rebels won major victories in set-piece battles, temporarily driving the Spanish out of their area.

Conflict between the Magdalo and another Cavite Katipunan faction, the Magdiwang, led to Bonifacio's intervention in the province. The Cavite rebels then made overtures about establishing a revolutionary government in place of the Katipunan. Though Bonifacio already considered the Katipunan to be a government, he acquiesced and presided over the Tejeros Convention in Tejeros, Cavite (deep in Aguinaldo territory) on March 22, 1897. Away from his power base, Bonifacio lost the leadership to Aguinaldo, and was elected instead to the office of Secretary of the Interior. Even this was questioned by an Aguinaldo supporter, claiming Bonifacio had not the necessary schooling for the job. Insulted, Bonifacio declared the Convention null and void, and sought to return to his power base in Morong (present-day Rizal). He and his party were intercepted by Aguinaldo's men and violence resulted which left Bonifacio seriously wounded. Bonifacio was charged, tried and found guilty of treason by a Cavite military tribunal, and sentenced to death. After some vacillation, Aguinaldo confirmed the death sentence, and Bonifacio was executed on May 10, 1897 in the mountains of Maragondon in Cavite, even as Aguinaldo and his forces were retreating in the face of Spanish assault.Biak-na-Bato Spanish pressure intensified, eventually forcing Aguinaldo's forces to retreat to the mountains. Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo signed the treaty of Biak-na-Bato, which specified that the Spanish would give self-rule to the Philippines within 3 years if Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was exiled. On December 14, 1897, Aguinaldo was shipped to Hong Kong. Under the pact, Aguinaldo agreed to end hostilities as well in exchange for amnesty and "$800,000 (Mexican)" (Aguinaldo's description of the amount)as an indemnity. Aguinaldo took the money offered. Emilio Aguinaldo was President and Mariano Trias (Vice President). Other officials included Antonio Montenegro for Foreign Affairs, Isabelo Artacho for the Interior, Baldomero Aguinaldo for the Treasury, and Emiliano Riego de Dios for War.
However, thousands of other Katipuneros continued to fight the Revolution against Spain for a sovereign nation. Unlike Aguinaldo who came from a privileged background, the bulk of these fighters were peasants and workers who were not willing to settle for 'indemnities.'
In early 1898, war broke out between Spain and the United States. Aguinaldo returned to the Philippines in May 1898. He immediately resumed revolutionary activities against the Spaniards, now receiving verbal encouragement from emissaries of the U. S.
Philippine-American War. On the night of February 4, 1899, a Filipino was shot by an American sentry. This incident is considered the beginning of the Philippine-American War, and open fighting soon broke out between American troops and pro-independence Filipinos. Superior American firepower drove Filipino troops away from the city, and the Malolos government had to move from one place to another.
Aguinaldo led resistance to the Americans, then retreated to northern Luzon with the Americans on his trail. On June 2, 1899, a telegram from Aguinaldo was received by Gen. Antonio Luna, an arrogant but brilliant general and looming rival in the military hierarchy, ordering him to proceed to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija for a meeting at the Cabanatuan Church Convent. However, treachery was afoot, as Aguinaldo felt the need to rid himself of this new threat to power. Three days later (June 5), when Luna arrived, he learned Aguinaldo was not at the appointed place. As Gen. Luna was about to depart, he was shot, then stabbed to death by Aguinaldo's men. Luna was later buried in the churchyard, and Aguinaldo made no attempt to punish or even discipline Luna's murderers.
Less than two years later, after the famous Battle of Tirad Pass with the death of Gregorio del Pilar, one of his most trusted generals, Aguinaldo was captured in Palanan, Isabela on March 23, 1901 by US General Frederick Funston, with the help of Macabebe trackers (who saw Aguinaldo as a bigger problem than the Americans). The American task force gained access to Aguinaldo's camp by pretending to be captured prisoners.

During the United States occupation, Aguinaldo organized the Asociación de los Veteranos de la Revolución (Association of Veterans of the Revolution), which worked to secure pensions for its members and made arrangements for them to buy land on installment from the government.

When the American government finally allowed the Philippine flag to be displayed in 1919, Aguinaldo transformed his home in Kawit into a monument to the flag, the revolution and the declaration of Independence. His home still stands, and is known as the Aguinaldo Shrine.

Aguinaldo retired from public life for many years. In 1935, when the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established in preparation for Philippine independence, he ran for president but lost by a landslide to fiery Spanish mestizo Manuel L. Quezon. The two men formally reconciled in 1941, when President Quezon moved Flag Day to June 12, to commemorate the proclamation of Philippine independence.

Aguinaldo again retired to private life, until the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in World War II. He cooperated with the Japanese, making speeches, issuing articles and infamous radio addresses in support of the Japanese — including a radio appeal to Gen. Douglas MacArthur on Corregidor to surrender in order to spare the innocence of the Filipino youth.

After the Americans retook the Philippines, Aguinaldo was arrested along with several others accused of collaboration with the Japanese. He was held in Bilibid prison for months until released by presidential amnesty. In his trial, it was eventually deemed that his collaboration with the Japanese was probably made under great duress, and he was released.

Aguinaldo lived to see the recognition of independence to the Philippines July 4, 1946, when the United States Government fully recognized Philippine independence in accordance with the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934. He was 93 when President Diosdado Macapagal officially changed the date of independence from July 4 to June 12, 1898, the date Aguinaldo believed to be the true Independence Day. During the independence parade at the Luneta, the 93-year old former president carried the flag he raised in Kawit.

In 1950, President Elpidio Quirino appointed Aguinaldo as a member of the Council of State, where he served a full term. He returned to retirement soon after, dedicating his time and attention to veteran soldiers' interests and welfare.
He was given Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa by the University of the Philippines in 1953.
In 1962, when the United States rejected Philippine claims for the destruction wrought by American forces in World War II, president Diosdado Macapagal changed the celebration of Independence Day from July 4 to June 12. Aguinaldo rose from his sickbed to attend the celebration of independence 64 years after he declared it.

Aguinaldo died on February 6, 1964 of coronary thrombosis at the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City. He was 94 years old. His remains are buried at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. When he died, he was the last surviving non-royal head of state (self-proclaimed) to have served in the 19th century.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Cavite Conspiracy

From Wikipedia:

Shortly before the Katipunan was uncovered, Emilio Aguinaldo was planning to attack the Spanish arsenal at Fort San Felipe and he enlisted other Katipuneros to recruit enough men so they could overrun the Spanish garrison. Their meetings were held at the house of Cabuco.

Aguinaldo and the other Katipuneros agreed that they would arm the inmates of the provincial jail who were made to work at the garrison. The task of recruiting the inmates was given to Lapidario, who was also the warden of the provincial jail. Aguado was to supply Lapidario with money to buy arms.

According to their plan, the uprising would be signalled by fireworks from the warehouse of Inocencio. Other leaders of the uprising were Luciano, Conchu, Pérez, Pablo José, Marcos José, and Juan Castañeda. The revolt was to start on September 1.

On August 26, Aguinaldo received a letter from Andrés Bonifacio who reported that a Katipunan assembly in Balintawak on August 24 decided to start the revolution on August 30, to be signalled by a blackout at the Luneta, then known as Bagumbayan. On the appointed day, Bonifacio and his men attacked the Spanish powder magazine in San Juan. Later that same day, the Spanish authorities declared martial law in Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija.

Aguinaldo learned of the declaration of martial law in a meeting with Spanish Governor Fernando Pargas on the morning of August 31, 1896. He then went to Cabezas' haberdashery and ask him to inform to Lapidario that they had alternative but to rise in arms. Cabezas was the one who enlisted Lapidario for the planned uprising.

But Cabezas was not in favor of starting the revolt on August 31, 1896 so they discussed the uprising further. They decided to postpone the attack to September 3. However, the Spanish learned of the plan from a dressmaker named Victoriana Sayat and they immediately arrested Lapidario, de Ocampo and Aguado. The three were held incommunicado in the boat Ulloa and interrogated. They are presumed to have been tortured.

De Ocampo revealed the names of his companions and the thirteen suspects were rounded up on September 3 along with dozens of other Cavite leaders, including the musician Julián Felipe, who would compose the Philippine national anthem the following year. Felipe was incarcerated for nine months at Fort San Felipe. Also subsequently released were Pablo and Marcos José, and Juan Castañeda of Imus, who are also believed to have been involved in the uprising.

While awaiting trial, guilt-stricken de Ocampo tried to commit suicide by slashing his stomach with a piece of broken glass. However, he was included in the indictment for treason before a military court which found them guilty on September 11 after a four-hour trial.

At 12:45 p.m. the following day, the thirteen patriots were brought out of their cells and taken to the Plaza de Armas, outside Fort San Felipe, and executed by musketry. Their bodies were later buried in a common grave at the Catholic cemetery at the village of Caridad.

Later, the bodies of seven of the martyrs—Máximo Inocencio, Victorino Luciano, Francisco Osorio, Luis Aguado, Hugo Pérez, José Lallana, and Antonio San Agustín—were exhumed and reburied elsewhere. But the rest—Agapito Conchu, Máximo Gregorio, Alfonso de Ocampo, Eugenio Cabezas, Feliciano Cabuco, and Severino Lapidario remained unclaimed in their common grave.

In 1906, a monument to the Thirteen Martyrs was erected at the place where they were executed. Their families reinterred the remains of their loved ones at the foot of the monument. The capital of Cavite was renamed Trece Mártires in their honor and its 13 villages were named for each of the martyrs.

The 13 Martyrs of Cavite

From Wikipedia

The Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite (Spanish: Trece mártires de Cavite) were Filipino patriots in Cavite, Philippines who were executed by mustketry on September 11, 1896, for cooperating with the Katipunan during the Philippine Revolution against Spain. The city of Trece Martires in Cavite is named after them.

The martyrs

Luis Aguado: was the son of a captain in the Spanish navy. He would later become supply chief of the Spanish arsenal in Fort San Felipe in the town of Cavite (now Cavite City). He was married to Felisa Osorio, sister of Francisco Osorio and oldest daughter of Antonio Osorio: a Chinese-Filipino businessman reputed to be the richest in Cavite at that time. Aguado's widow would later marry Daniel Tria Tirona.
Eugenio Cabezas: (born 1855 in Santa Cruz, Manila) was a goldsmith who was a freemason and Katipunero. He was married to Luisa Antonio of Cavite by whom he had seven children. He owned a jewelry and watch repair shop on Calle Real (now called Trece Martires Street) in Cavite which was used by the Katipunan as a meeting place.
Feliciano Cabuco: (born June 9, 1865 in Caridad, Cavite Puerto) was born to a wealthy family in Cavite el Viejo (now Cavite City). He worked in a hospital. He was married to Marcela Bernal of Caridad by whom he had two sons.
Agapito Conchu: (born 1862) was a native of Binondo, Manila who migrated to Cavite and became a school teacher, musician, photographer, painter and lithographer.
Alfonso de Ocampo: (born 1860 in Cavite) was a Spanish mestizo, who had been sergeant in the Spanish colonial army before his appointment as assistant provincial jail warden. He was both a freemason and Katipunanero. He was married to Ana Espíritu by whom he had two children.
Máximo Gregorio: (born November 18, 1856 in Pasay, Morong) was drafted into the Spanish colonial army while he was studying at the Colegio de San Juan de Letrán. After training in San Antonio, Cavite, he was inducted into Regiment No. 72 and dispatched to Jolo, Sulu to fight the Muslims. Upon his return from Mindanao, was appointed chief clerk of the Comisaría de Guerra in Cavite where he worked for 20 years. He became a freemason and joined the Katipunan in 1892. He organized two Katipunan branches, namely, the Balangay No. 1 named Marikit (Bright) in Barrio San Antonio, Cavite and Balangay No. 2 called Lintik (Lightning) in Barrio San Rafael, also of Cavite. Among the people he initiated into the Katipunan were the jail warden Severino Lapidario, Feliciano Cabuco, tailor José Lallana a watchmaker Eugenio Cabezas and tailor Eulogio Ray: (born November 18, 1833 in Cavite) was the oldest of the martyrs. Being a frmundo. He was married to Celedonia Santiago with who he had four children.
Máriano Inocencio: Was the oldest of the martyrs being a freemason, he was implicated in the Cavite Mutiny of 1872 and was subsequently exiled to Ceuta in Spanish Morocco or Cartagena, Spain for 10 years. Upon his return he rebuilt a fortune from building and bridge contracting, shipbuilding, sawmilling, logging and trading. He was married to Narcisa Francisco with whom he had nine children,
José Lallana: (born 1836 in Cavite) was a tailor whose shop was used by the Katipunan as a meeting place. Lallana was married to Benita Tapawan of Imus, by whom he had two children, Clara and Ramón. Ramón would later join the Philippine Revolution to avenge his father's death, but he never returned and is believed to have been killed in action.
Severino Lapidario: (born January 8, 1847 in Imus, Cavite) was a corporal in the Spanish Marine Infantry who was implicated in the Cavite Mutiny of 1872. He later regained the confidence of the Spanish colonial authorities who named him warden of the Cavite provincial jail in 1890.
Victoriano Luciano: (born March 23, 1863) was a pharmacist and freemason who was recognized for his formula of rare perfumes and lotions and was a member Colegio de Farmaceuticos de Manila. He studied at the Colegio de San Juan de Letrán and University of Santo Tomas. He owned a pharmacy, Botica Luciano, on Real Street (now Trece Martires Avenue) in Cavite whih was also a meeting place of the Katipunan.
Francisco Osorio: (born 1860) was the scion of a wealthy and well-connected family in Cavite. Little is known of him except that he was a pharmacist and not a freemason or a Katipunanero.
Hugo Pérez: (born 1856 in Binondo, Manila) was a physician. There is little biographical information about Perez except that he was a freemason.
Antonio San Agustín: (born March 8, 1860 in San Roque, Cavite) was a scion of a wealthy family. He studied at Colegio de San Juan de Letran and University of Santo Tomas. He was married to Juliana Reyes. He owned the only bookstore, La Aurora, in the town which was used as a meetingplace by the Katipunan.
Donde morir uno, así mismo moriren todos... May panahon din sila. (Where one dies, so also all must die... They will have their time.)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Exploring Cavite

  I started visiting cavite, particularly Trece Martires City since 1993. By that time, I could not imagine residing in a place that does not offer convenience. If you need something the only available place is the public market and the only modern store available is seven eleven. In 2005, We found ourselves transferring from the mega Pasig in metro manila to this quite city, we merged our warehouse and office to cut cost in office space rental in Metro manila.

I still recall having difficulty finding resto or even "turo turo" for lunch during saturdays. Weekends are most difficult times looking for a place to eat. eateries are closed as if owners are not interested to do business, we found the reason why. During the investor's night organized by the mayor, one of the city officer reported that the population of the city during weekdays is around 200 thousand, by weekend, the number decreased to 50 thousand, that is because the city population is only 50 thousand, but by weekdays,  people from neighboring places have to report to work in the city where goverment offices including capitol are located.

In a span of 3 years since we migrated, big names in business industry sprouted like mushrooms, the Mercury and Southstar drugs stores , Jolibee, chowking, Dunkin and Mr. doughnuts,Red ribbon. Banks increased, usually, there's only one ATM for the whole place, now a total of at least 6 were scathered around the city,  other establishments offering good services with airconditioning had grown. The Capitol and other offices were modernized and upgraded. New schools were established such as The New Generation International School, KRISLIZ international school. SM, Robinson Malls and Waltermart were built recently. Korean and Japanese restaurants are finding its place just nearby. The white sand beach which they call "Boracay of Cavite" was opened recently to the public, the place is exclusively used by Philippine Marines in the past. Caylabne, the world class beach hotel/resort, the world's famous Tagaytay, the home of the smallest volcano in the world is just 25 minutes away, the historical kawit and corrigedor island, the beautiful Pico de Loro mountain. International airport is around 2 to 3  hours during traffic time but 45 minutes or less on wee hours. 

Cavite as a whole has a lot to offer and that is the purpose of this blog, I want to explore it and share what I know to the world.