A book, entitled “Proclamation: Philippine Independence – The Truth About Aug. 1, 1898 Bacoor Assembly (A Historiographical Inquiry)” was launched Wednesday at the Plaza de Mariano Gomez here.
The launching is seen to offer researched data and analysis of an important yet unrecognized part of the country’s Proclamation of Independence which happened in this city.
The city government of Bacoor, led by Mayor Lani Mercado Revilla commissioned Philippine Historical Association (PHA) President Dr. Emmanuel F. Calairo to examine, research and collate in book form the turning points in Bacoor history, the ‘Bacoor Assembly’ included as part of the city’s program to highlight the role it played in shaping national history.
The book’s focus is the Bacoor Assembly on Aug. 1, 1898 which gathered close to 200 “Presidente Mayor” or the present local chief executives or mayors from different provinces of the Philippines in this old Cavite town then where they took their oath of office and ratified the document on the Declaration of Philippine Independence.
This ‘Aug 1 Act of Independence,’ authored by Apolinario Mabini, was immediately distributed to other countries and the same document was ratified at the Malolos Congress, “which was convincingly established by Calairo in the book,” part of the impressions shared by Bacoor Historical Society President Dr. Jose Andres L. Diaz.
Jose Napoleon L. Cuenca, current head of Bacoor’s Tourism Cluster and a great grandson of the original owners of “Bahay na Tisa” or Aguinaldo’s “Malacañang” at that time, has advised readers to understand the words “declaration, proclamation, ratification and promulgation” for a better appreciation of the message relayed in this important publication.
Cuenca added that this book will level up questions and queries of what truly transpired then during the dictatorial years, the revolutionary government, until the establishment of the first republic in Asia.
Although the (1898) Bacoor Assembly, the event in general, is now recognized as part of the (Philippine) Independence trail: from Alapan in Imus on May 28, to the declaration of the country’s independence at Kawit town on June 12, the Bacoor Assembly on Aug 1 and the Malolos Congress on Sept 29, which all happened in 1898, the book seeks to lobby the country’s leaders to also recognize this ‘Bacoor’ proclamation.
Mercado acknowledged that highlighting the Aug 1 event may become controversial matter, because it claims a “proclamation of independence” apart from what is annually celebrated in Kawit on June 12.
“However, the city’s commitment towards understanding the real happening in Bacoor and its constituents is our priority in order to show to our people that once upon a time, Bacoor stood up to be the center of the revolutionary struggle in Philippine history,” Mercado stressed.
And asked if the book will lead towards a petition to Congress to change the country’s proclamation of independence, Calairo’s advice is to read the book to find out.
The book launching is one of the highlights of a 3-part program, which includes the unveiling of the Plaza de Mariano Gomez marker and the premiere showing of the documentary film “Agosto Uno, Kasaysayang Nakalimutan” to commemorate the 120th year of the Bacoor Assembly.
The book containing 250 pages book from cover to cover, a product of a year of research and months of writing, is given free by the city government.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III was the guest-of-honor and speaker during Wednesday’s event with former Prime Minister and President of Cavite Historical Society Cesar E. A. Virata and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chair Dr. Rene R. Escalante, with provincial and local officials, including the province’s various historical groups and advocates. (PNA)
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