The Philippines will be marking the 146th birth anniversary of General Emilio Aguinaldo, the first president of the republic, this March 22.
Even if the day falls on a Sunday, President Benigno Aquino III is still expected to declare the day as a special non-working holiday throughout Cavite just like in previous years. Cavite is Aguinaldo’s home province. This page will be updated as soon as a holiday proclamation is released.
Fondly referred to as “General Miong” by his province-mates, Aguinaldo perhaps is one of the most polarizing figures in Philippine history. Although he holds the distinction of not only being the country’s first president but also its longest lived former commander-in-chief, the overall assessment of Aguinaldo is rather mixed.
Some of his life accomplishments are being questioned. For example, his series of military victories in Cavite, the feat that earned him immense popularity throughout Luzon, is now being attributed to the weakness of the Spanish forces in the area rather than to his combat expertise.
His record of being the country’s first president is meanwhile being disputed by a lot of contemporary historians, who point out that Andres Bonifacio should get that declaration instead.
These controversies are of course nothing compared to the effect on Aguinaldo’s reputation of Bonifacio’s execution in 1897 and the assassination of Antonio Luna in 1899.