Friday, January 18, 2013

Filipino Martyr: MARIANO M. ALVAREZ

Educator and Revolutionary Leader 
Mariano M. Alvarez was born in Noveleta, Cavite on March 5, 1818 to Severino Alvarez and Maria Malia from Kawit. His father was once the Capitan Municipal of Noveleta. 
After his early education in the friar school in his hometown, he was sent to San Jose College in Manila where he obtained his diploma in teaching. He taught in the towns of Naic and Maragondon in Cavite for a couple of years. In May 1863, he married Nicolasa Virata y del Rosario with whom he had a son, Santiago, who would become an equally noted revolutionary general. 
One day in 1871, Mariano manifested his hatred for the Spaniards. He ordered that a cupful of dirty water from a ditch be given to a Spanish soldier who fell from his horse. Because of this, Mariano was bound and hauled off to the soldier’s headquarters in Barrio Dalahican, where he was tortured. He was only spared when the provincial governor interceded for his release on appeal of his town mates. 
In 1872, a mutiny at the Cavite Arsenal broke out. Although the mutiny was easily quelled, the Spanish authorities responded with much alarm by arresting all the suspected instigators and one of them was Alvarez. He was arrested when an autographed photo of Fr. Jose Burgos, a vocal advocate for the Filipinization of the clergy, was found in his possession. Because of this, Alvarez was placed in solitary confinement and together with other suspected rebels was sailed to Manila. 
After his release, he returned to his town. In 1881, he was elected capitan municipal of Noveleta and later as Justice of the Peace (Hukom Pamayapa) of the town. In 1896, he joined the Katipunan and adopted the name “Mainam.” He initiated revolutionary activities in Noveleta, led an ambush against the Spanish civil guards and captured their headquarter and seized a number of firearms. In order to prevent the reinforcements of the Spanish army, he destroyed the Calero Bridge in Dalahican and ambushed the Spanish soldiers, killing Antonio Reboleda, leader of the civil guards. This initial success at Dalahican was followed by other victories until most of the towns in Cavite were in the hands of the revolutionary forces. 
Alvarez’ valiant accomplishments in the Katipunan were recognized by his comrades who nominated him for the vice-presidency during the Tejeros convention in 1896. However, he lost in the election and the infightings within the Katipunan affected his revolutionary activities. Bonifacio’s death in March1897 added to his grief so that he did not appear the event in Biyak-na-Bato. He was not heard of until peace was restored in the early 1900’s. 
On 28 August 1901, Alvarez joined the Nacionalista Party and was one of the signers of the party’s constitution. Later, he was elected as municipal president of Noveleta. It was during his term as town executive that the public market and cemetery of the town were constructed. The Barrio San Juan of Kawit was also annexed to Noveleta. After his term as town president, he retired to his farm. The Nationalist spirit of Mariano Alvarez was not confined in his political affiliation. He joined the Aglipayan Church. 
On 25 August 1924, he died of chronic rheumatism at the age of 106. 

Manuel, Arsenio E. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume 2. Quezon City: Filipiniana Publications, 1970. 

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