Friday, January 18, 2013

Filipino Martyr: JOAQUIN N. LUNA

Revolutionary Leader and Legislator
A senator in the 1916 Philippine legislature, Joaquin Luna was born in Manila on
December 11, 1862 to Joaquin Luna de San Pedro and Laureana Novicio. He was a brother of the
famous Lunas from the north: Juan, the artist, and Antonio, the general.
Like his brother Antonio, he also took part in the Philippine Revolution and served as a
colonel in the revolutionary army.
In 1898, he managed the newspaper La Independencia (whose publisher-editor was
Antonio) and, later, La Patria.
Prior to Antonio’s assassination in June 1899, Luna left La Union to warn his brother of a
plot against him, of which he had received such information from contacts in the revolutionary
government. But Antonio, confident as he was of his position in that government, belittled his
warnings. Nevertheless, succeeding events tragically proved Luna right for, during his journey
back home, he received news of his brother’s death at the hands of Aguinaldo’s soldiers.
At the Malolos Congress, Luna represented the province of La Union. In 1901, following
the fall of the Malolos Republic, he served as treasurer of the Asociación de Paz, which hoped to
enforce peace through the surrender of arms by the Filipino rebels in exchange for amnesty.
Revolutionary leaders such as Galicano Apacible, however, condemned the Asociación for being
Luna became one of the principal members of the organizing committee of the Democratic
Party. He was likewise Philippine delegate to the 1904 International Exposition in St. Louis,
In 1904, he was elected governor of La Union, which declared him an adopted son in 1905,
in a resolution passed by the assembly of municipal presidents of the province. In 1907, he was
elected to the Philippine Assembly, representing La Union’s first district. 1912, he was reelected to
the Assembly.
During his first term, he served on the committees on banks and cooperation, provincial
and municipal government, public instruction, and budget and policy. During his second term, he
was president of the committee on provincial and municipal government, and was a member of the
committees on budget and policy, and public works, railways and franchise.
In 1916, he was appointed governor of Mt. Province and the sub provinces of Apayao,
Benguet, Bontoc, Lepanto, Amburayon, Kalinga, and Apayao. Later that year, he was appointed
senator for the 12th senatorial district, embracing the city of Baguio, Mountain Province, and Nueva
Vizcaya, as well as Mindanao and Sulu.
As a lawmaker, Luna, who had musical inclinations, was instrumental in pushing for the
bill creating a music school, later to be known as the Conservatory of Music, under the University
of the Philippines, which was established in 1908. He also sponsored a bill reorganizing the
country’s municipal police and another creating an academy for the Philippine Constabulary.
Luna was married to Filomena Baltazar.
In honor of the historic name of Luna, the municipality of Namakpakan in La Union,
where the Luna matriarch was born, was renamed as such in 1907.

Alejandrino, General Jose. The Price of Freedom (La Senda del Sacrificio). Translated
into English by Jose M. Alejandrino. Manila: 1940.
Alzona, Encarnacion. Galicano Apacible: Profile of a Filipino Patriot. Manila: National
Historical Institute, 1999.
Galang, Zoilo M. Encyclopedia of the Philippines. Volume II. Manila: P. Vera & Sons,
Guerrero, Fernando Ma. (Secretario del Senado) y Villanueva, Rafael (Secretario de la
Camara de Representantes. Directorio Oficial del Senado y de la Camara de
Representantes. Manila: Bureau of Printing, 1917.
Jose, Vivencio R. The Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna (Reprint from Philippine Social
Sciences and Humanities Review, XXXVI [March-December 1971] Quezon City:
University of the Philippines Press, 1972.
Kalaw, Teodoro M. The Philippine Revolution. Mandaluyong, Rizal: Jorge B.Vargas
Filipiniana Foundation, 1969.
NHI Clippings (Biographies under “L”)
Scott, William Henry. Ilocano Responses to American Aggression 1900-1901. Quezon City:
New Day Publishers, 1986.
Photo in: Fifty Years of Philippine Autonomy

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