Sunday, June 9, 2013

Biyaheng Bonifacio - Rosario, Noveleta and Imus Cavite (Jun 1, 2013): Tejeros Convention, Noveleta Tribunal and Imus Plaza

Casa Hacienda of Tejeros - Site of the Tejeros Convention

Historical Note:  

By December 1896, the Philippine Revolution had spread to three main groups - Cavite (under Emilio Aguinaldo and others), Bulacan (under Mariano Llnera) and Morong, Rizal (under Bonifacio).  These groups differed in their tactics with Aguinaldo defeating the Spaniards in "set piece" battles while Bonifacio and Llanera's groups were engaged in guerilla warfare.

It should also be noted as well that by this time, both Aguinaldo and Bonifacio had formed separate revolutionary governments.  Bonifacio created his earlier in August at the outbreak of the revolution in Caloocan.  Aguinaldo on the other hand rode high on his early victories against the Spaniards by issuing a manifesto proclaiming a provisional and revolutionary government despite Bonifacio's already existing government.

But the plot thickens.  You see, the Katipunan in Cavite had several councils and two of them: the Magdiwang and Magdalo developed an intense rivalry where it came to a point that neither of them wanted to assist the other in battle.  Bonifacio was then asked by Artemio Ricarte and Pio Del Pilar to come to Cavite and mediate between the two factions.  On March 22, 1897, a meeting was held in Tejeros with the aim of discussing the defense strategy for the revolution but discussions quickly shifted to the formation of a unified revolutionary government.  Perhaps it was because the Magdiwang faction (where Bonifacio was allied to) was hosting this meeting and also because most of the Magdalo leaders including Aguinaldo were not present, that Bonifacio was so confident that he could win the Presidential post hands-down so he gave permission for the election to proceed and even asked everyone to respect the results - which he eventually lost (Aguinaldo - 146 votes; Bonifacio - 80 votes; Trias - 30 votes).  Bonifacio's supporters then reasoned out that since he got the second highest vote, Bonifacio should be automatically considered as the Vice President.  But there was no motion for or against this proposal so the elections went ahead with Bonifacio again loosing the Vice Presidential post this time to Mariano Trias Closas.  Bonifacio did however manage to win a post - Director of the Interior but Daniel Tirona, a Magdalo supporter, questioned his qualifications to hold the post since he did not have a lawyer's diploma.  This clearly angered Bonifacio who then drew his gun and was just about to shoot Tirona but stopped when Ricarte grabbed his arm.  Bonifacio then voided the convention before walking out.

 Travel Note:

After having lunch in Naic,we boarded a "baby-bus" (imagine a mutated jeepney and minibus plying the streets of Cavite) bound for Rosario to visit the next site:  the Casa Hacienda Tejeros.  This was probably the most draining part of our trip not only because it was high noon but also because our driver took his most leisurely time to wait for all the passengers he can find along the way.  Total travel time was about 45 minutes.  Be sure to buy bottled water before going here since there is only one water filling station in the area, all the rest are auto-parts shops.

Upon reaching the site, we met Tatay Tacio and another guy (forgot his name again, sorry) who gave us a pamphlet about the site's historical significance.

Tatay Tacio showed us the cave Aguinaldo used as a hidden passageway to board a boat in a nearby river.

Although the site was  renovated (original house got burned down, it already showed signs of deterioration.  When we got there, it was being spruced up for a party later that evening.

Novelata Tribunal

Historical Note:  

The Noveleta Tribunal was captured on August 31, 1896 by Gen. Pascual Alvarez of the Sangguniang Magdiwang under orders from Gen. Mariano Alvarez. 

Magdiwang (To celebrate) is one of the Katipunan Councils located in Cavite and this council was established by Bonifacio together with Pio Valenzuela, Emilio Jacinto and Pantaleon Torres.  Other Councils in Cavite include Magdalo (To come) for Kawit, Magwagi (To win) for Naic, Magtagumpay (To succeed) for Maragondon, Walangtinag (Never-diminished) for Indang and Haligue (Wall) for Imus)

Travel Note:

From Rosario, we boarded another baby-bus bound for Cavite City and got off at Noveleta.  Travel time was about 30 minutes.  Once you arrive in Noveleta, just ask the locals where the Tribunal is.

The marker notes that when the Tribunal was captured, the Captain of the Guardia Civil and his adjutant were both killed.

Imus Plaza

Historical Note:

On December 28, 1896 (some records say this happened in December 31, 1896), the councils of Magdiwang and Magdalo met at the friar estate house in Imus to discuss the framing of the constitution and the possibilities of merging the two councils.  This meeting failed to have a firm resolution.  This meeting was also the precursor for the Tejeros Convention.


Travel Note:

From Noveleta, we took another baby-bus going to Binakayan and we got off just after the intersection where there is a Metrobank branch and a 7-11 store facing each other.  We then walked less than 100 meters to a jeepney loading area bound for Imus.  Total travel time was about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

We finished the day by going back to Binakayan via jeepney then boarding a baby-bus back to Kawit.  We then waited less than 10 minutes for a Lawton-bound bus to take us back to Manila via Cavitex.

Recap:  When doing the Cavite leg of the Biyaheng Bonifacio, be sure to start early and to board the Cavite-bound buses that pass through Cavitex to save time.  Don't hesitate to ask the locals since they are more than willing to give you the right directions but be sure to cross-check their tips with the brochure.  Using a smartphone with navigation apps such as Waze won't be useful in these places unless your device has mobile internet capability.  Google's Map app would be a good reference tool if you want to visit these places again (no internet link needed).

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