Sunday, September 4, 2011

The untold story of ‘Unang Sigaw ng Nueva Ecija’

CABIAO, Nueva Ecija, September 4, 2011-A local historian here Friday revealed that Novo Ecijano revolutionaries led by General Mariano Llanera conspired with the parish priest of this town in launching the historic “Unang Sigaw ng Nueva Ecija” 115 years ago which led to the conquest of the Spanish garrison in nearby San Isidro town.

Historian Jose Hipolito Jr. said that unknown to many, Llanera met secretly with revolutionary leaders from Arayat and Bacoor, Pampanga in the compound of Don Andres Romero and plotted the revolt in the eve of September 1, 1896.

Among those present in the meeting called by Llanera were Don Mariano Alejandrino of Arayat, former kapitan municipal Alipio Tecson, Silvino Sagcal, kapitan municipal Pantaleon Valmonte and Romero.

Hipolito said that the planned revolt had the blessings of parish priest Monsignor Saturnino Parungao.

“Before Llanera’s group marched to San Isidro, they even went to the St. John Nepomucene Church in Cabiao to hear Mass,” he said.

He said Llanera’s group proceeded to San Isidro at around 3 in the morning of September 2 and upon reaching the boundary of the two towns, started playing the musical instruments signaling the assault.

Hipolito narrated the “conspiracy” during the commemorative rites presided by local officials led by Mayor Gloria Congco at the municipal compound here Friday.

Hipolito earlier pointed out certain “historical errors” about the revolution, prompting Malacanang to call the attention of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to look into them to put the “Unang Sigaw” in its proper perspective.

Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) said the NHCP, led by its executive director Ludovico Badoy should conduct a thorough research on the historic event and make facts and figures accurate and realistic to give justice to its heroes.

Hipolito said one of these errors include accounts that up to 3,000 revolutionaries from this town marched towards San Isidro with the use of a “musikang bumbong,” saying only 753 revolutionaries laid siege in San Isidro and they marched there accompanied not by “musikang bumbong” but by a brass band.

Aside from the glaring historical inaccuracies, Congco also questioned why the center of celebrations for the annual event is often held in the provincial capital Palayan City and not in this town. She said she had nothing against holding festivities in other towns to commemorate the event for Novo Ecijanos to appreciate history but said Cabiao’s role should be given utmost importance.     

The event marked the day when Llanera and Valmonte led home-grown revolutionaries, armed only with 100 guns, bolos and pointed sticks in assaulting the Spanish garrison in San Isidro on September 2, 1896, two days after the “Unang Sigaw ng Balintawak.”

Waving black and red flag, the revolutionaries caught the Spanish guardia civil by surprise.

For its role in the revolution, the province earned its place in the Philippine flag as one of the eight rays of the sun, each ray representing the province that revolted against the Spaniards.

“This revolutionary conspiracy was the untold story in this town,” Hipolito said. (Jason de Asis)

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